Yanchep National Park is located around 50 kilometres north of Perth, and is known for its many caves, natural bushland area and large koala population.
The national park was designated in 1957, and is over 2,800 hectares in size.
Yanchep National Park was once a noted hunting site for Indigenous Australians.
Its name comes from Yandjip or Yanget, both of which are the Aboriginal name for a type of local bulrush reed found on the edges of the area’s lakes.
Join a tour from Perth to see the natural beauty of Yanchep National Park.
Things to do and see at Yanchep National Park
There are more than 400 caves within the Yanchep National Park area, many of which are accessible to visitors via walks and trails.
This has made caving a popular activity in the area, and there are a few options for visitors to undertake.
The first is a 45-minute guided tour of Crystal Cave, a stream cave featuring stalactites, stalagmites and helictites.
Visitors can learn about how caves are formed and see the tiny amphipods that call the cave system home.
The second is the private Yonderup Cave adventure caving experience.
This 90-minute experience can take place in one of the four suitable caves lead by seasoned cave guides.
Visitors will have headlights to get a better view of the natural caves.
The Yanchep National Park is a sanctuary for a range of Australian native wildlife.
Although, the western grey kangaroo and koala are the most common animals spotted.
The kangaroos tend to congregate on the open grass near the park’s picnic and BBQ facilities, and are most prevalent very early, or very late in the day.
By far more popular are the koalas, which are not native to state and were introduced in 1938.
They can be seen in abundance at the Koala Viewing Area, a 240-metre boardwalk through the bushland, where visitors can also learn about this unique Australian animal.
As well as the koalas and kangaroos, visitors may be fortunate enough to spot some of the area’s native birdlife, such as the short-billed black cockatoo.
The Yanchep National Park has nine bushwalking trails intended for a wide range of fitness levels and individual day plans.
They vary from short 500 metre strolls, to longer 55 kilometre treks.
Visitors can expect each trek to show the best of the region.
- Dwerta Mia Walk Trail – Discover the ‘house of the wild dog’ and explore the collapsed cave system at Boomerang Gorge.
(Distance: 500 meter; Grade: easy; Time: 20 minutes return).
- Wetlands Walk Trail – Walk around Lock McNess and see the natural sights.
(Distance: 2 km; Grade: easy; Time: 45 minutes return).
- Woodlands Walk Trail – See the many interesting flora of the coastal woodlands.
(Distance: 2.6 km; Grade: easy; Time: 1 hour return).
- Caves Walk Tail – Walk to Crystal Cave and learn about the cave formation on a guided tour.
(Distance: 4.5 km; Grade: easy; Time: 2 hours return).
- Ghosthouse Walk Trail – See the wilderness areas of the park, and explore the historic ruin of the Ghosthouse.
(Distance: 9.2 km; Grade: medium; Time: 4.5 hours return).
- Yanchep Rose Walk Trail – Hike to the Yanchep Rose Lookout, via WWII radar bunkers, and see the panoramic views.
(Distance: 14 km; Grade: medium; Time: 7 hours return).
- Cockatoo Walking Trail – See the many landscapes and views in the area, and keep an eye out for the endangered Carnaby’s cockatoo. Overnight camping available at Ridges camp site.
(Distance: 17.5 km; Grade: medium; Time: 8 hours return).
- Yaberoo Budjara Walk Trail – Experienced hikers only. Follow the footsteps of local Aboriginal groups from the past.
(Distance: 28 km; Grade: challenging; Time: 1 day).
- Coastal Plains Walk Trail – Take a three day walk across the coastal plain to Melaleuca Park. Experienced hikers only, camping sites available at Shapcotts, Ridges, Moitch and Pricklybark.
(Distance: 55 km; Grade: challenging; Time: 3.5 days one way).
Explore the culture of the Aboriginal people who call the Yanchep National Park home: the Nyoongar people of Western Australia’s southwest.
Visit Wangi Mia, or the Meeting Place, to learn about their seasonal movements and their language.
See a spear-throwing demonstration to see how they hunted.
Also learn about significant local plants and animals of the area.
Wangi Mia only operates on Saturday and Sunday.
- Feeding The Animals – Visitors should note that although animals such as kangaroos and birdlife may appear friendly, under no circumstances should they be fed. If you’re planning on having lunch or taking a picnic, dispose of your food waste in an animal safe and environmentally friendly way.
- Visitors Centre – Yanchep National Park has a visitors centre, the McNess House Visitors Centre, where park visitors can get information on park activities. The visitors centre provides brochures, maps, information, and paid activities can be purchased from there. The centre is also the starting point for many of the area’s walks, and there is a gift shop on site.
- Eating and Drinking – Visitors can bring their own food into Yanchep National Park without limits. Both BBQs and picnic facilities are available for use on site. Also located within the Yanchep Park area are the Chocolate Drops Tea Rooms, where visitors can purchase snacks, ice creams and handmade chocolates. The Yanchep Inn, which serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks, also offers accommodation.
- The first settler to arrive in the area was Henry White, who later became a local caretaker and guide. In 1901 he settled in the area, and built his house on the north shore of Yonderup Lake.
- Yanchep National Park is home to Perth’s only venue cave for hire. Cabaret Cave, originally decorated in the 1930s as a secret dinner and dance location for Perth’s wealthy, is now a venue for between 120 – 200 people.
How to get to Yanchep National Park
Yanchep National Park is located around 50 kilometres north of Perth and can be accessed via the Mitchell Freeway (State Route 2) and Wanneroo Road (State Route 60).
The drive takes about 45 minutes.
If you prefer to relax, you can join one of the many tours from Perth that go to Yanchep National Park.