Wildflowers are beginning to bloom in Kings Park and while there are big displays near the main car park behind Frasers and Aspects of Kings Park, there’s more to see in other, more remote parts of the park.
With more than 400 hectares to explore, one of the best and easiest ways to get around is by bike. You still feel connected to the environment and you’re travelling slowly enough to enjoy the scenery, and it is easy to get off and have a closer look at flowers.
You can, of course, bring you own bike, but another option is be to join one of GoGo Active Tours guided bike tours.
Their comfortable, easy to ride bikes are the perfect for park and the tour reaches spots that few visitors ever see.
I meet GoGo Active Tours owner Matt Baldock, and his good mate and fellow guide, Kevin Lampard at the Kings Park main car park to try it out. Their enthusiasm for Kings Park and its environment is immediately apparent, as is their close friendship and cheeky sense of humour.
Matt says their aim is to give guests a unique ecotourism experience. “Our tours are coupled with strong and vibrant stories that delve into the historical, cultural and of course horticultural significance of Kings Park and we aim to leave our customers energized and with a strong sense of connection to nature,” he says. “We try to make it an enjoyable outing and point out a few things that even locals don’t know.”
So off we go, rolling along out from the car park and onto May Drive. It’s easy pedalling — the route has been selected so there’s not too many hills. After a few minutes, Matt ducks down a side track and I immediately get a feeling of being in a secret part of Kings Park. In here, we are in a tunnel of green. It’s very different to the main display up by the war memorial. It’s wild and uncurated. “How lucky are we to have this on our city’s doorstep?” I think to myself.
Up ahead, Matt signals for us to stop. We’re at the first of several points of interest where the dynamic duo stop to educate me on the ecosystem we are travelling though.
It’s very early in the season but already the bush is awash with colour. It’s natural bushland here so you have to look a little closer for some things but the joy of discovery makes it all the more special.
Beautiful yellow flowers of the acacia prickly Moses dominate at the moment but there’s heaps of other stuff blooming as well. There’s cute little blue native wisterias with little green eyes called Hardenbergia comptoniana, and some Banksia sessilis, aka parrot bush.
We even spot a specimen of the banded greenhood orchid but it’s still a little early for some of the other orchid species.
High up in what remains of an old jarrah tree, Kevin points out a Swan River myrtle which has found a home in a hollow there. Kevin explains that leaving dead wood in the park is really important. “You’ve got fungi growing, you’ve got them breaking down the dead material and it provides habitat for a whole bunch of different creatures,” he says. “One third of invertebrates live on deadwood, one third live on wood and the remaining third, on a combination of both. Maybe and ant or a bird took a seed up into the tree and that’s how it germinated up there”.
There are several other Swan River myrtles in the area around the dead jarrah tree and Kevin thinks that perhaps this one, because it is high up in the tree, has spread its seeds around the dead tree.
We continue our gentle spin through the park but stop frequently at various points of interest where Matt and Kevin regales me with many more anecdotes and facts. Their colourful stories has made this a fun tour to be part of. It’s light and breezy yet full of information. It has been two hour’s well spent! I’ve learnt many new things and discovered places in Kings Park I never knew existed.
GoGo Active Tours offer two tours — Pedals & Petals, and Boab, Bikes & Bees — and they have teamed up with Peddle Perth to offer a limited number of chauffeured rickshaw bike tours for customers who are unable to ride a bike or for those who just want to sit back and relax while taking in Kings Park’s scenery and biodiversity.
Tickets for the two hour Pedals & Petals and the Boab, Bikes & Bees bike tours costs $65 per person. The tours includes a very knowledgeable guide, bike, helmet and a wildflower reference guide.
A two hour Pedals & Petals tour by Rickshaw tour costs $230 (for two people). It includes the rickshaw and driver plus a wildflower reference guide.
For more information head to gogoactivetours.com.au