close up of a koala in a tree at yanchep national park

What To Do in Yanchep National Park

As a local of Western Australia, I am lucky to have access to some of the world’s most beautiful nature on my doorstep, like Yanchep National Park. Nestled just an hour’s drive north of Perth, this park is a nature lover’s paradise rich in flora and fauna and offers a range of activities and attractions.

Whether you’re a hiker, wildlife enthusiast, or just looking for a peaceful escape from the city, Yanchep National Park has something for everyone. The park is home to some of Australia’s most iconic animals, including kangaroos, koalas, and a variety of bird species.

As a frequent visitor to Yanchep National Park, I’ve explored its many trails, enjoyed picnics, and camped overnight in the park’s designated campsites. In this post, I’ll share my insider tips and local knowledge to help you make the most of your visit to Yanchep National Park.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning local, I hope my guide will inspire you to discover this incredible park’s natural beauty and unique attractions.

Yanchep National Park’s Natural Beauty

Yanchep National Park is home to a range of different habitats, from dense woodland to open grass lawns, providing a diverse range of ecosystems for flora and fauna to thrive. The park’s native vegetation includes eucalyptus trees, banksias, and a variety of wildflowers, which bloom in spectacular displays throughout the year.

red wildflower in yanchep national park

In addition to its stunning flora, Yanchep National Park is also home to lots of wildlife. Visitors may be able to spot kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, and a variety of bird species, including the park’s resident kookaburras and other birds of prey.

Another natural wonder that draws visitors to Yanchep National Park is its network of underground caves. The park boasts a series of limestone caves that have been formed over millions of years, creating an otherworldly landscape that’s both eerie and beautiful. You can take a guided tour of Crystal Cave to learn about its formation and explore its hidden depths.

For those who prefer to be above ground, Yanchep National Park offers a range of walking trails through some of the park’s best landscapes.

leaves on the ground of a walking trail in yanchep national park

How to Get to Yanchep National Park

Yanchep National Park is approximately 56 kilometres north of Perth.

If you have your own vehicle or a hire car, you can drive to Yanchep National Park by taking either State Road 60 or 71, then Yanchep Beach Road. From there, follow the signs to the park’s entrance. There is ample free parking available.

Several tour operators offer guided tours of Yanchep National Park. These tours typically include transportation to and from the park, as well as a guide who will take you on a tour of the park’s attractions and provide commentary on its history and natural wonders.

Admission fees to the park apply and can be paid at the entrance gate. Some areas of the park, such as the underground caves, require additional fees and must be booked in advance.

water well at yanchep national park

Yanchep Caves: A Natural Wonder

Unfortunately Crystal Cave is closed at the moment – please check direct for updates.

One of the park’s main attractions is its network of underground caves, which provide a unique opportunity to explore the subterranean world beneath your feet.

The caves at Yanchep National Park are limestone formations shaped over millions of years by the forces of nature. They are home to geological wonders, including stalactites, stalagmites, and columns.

You can take a guided tour of Crystal Cave to explore its hidden depths and learn about its fascinating history. Journey through the cave’s winding passages, with plenty of stops along the way to admire the formations.

geological cave formations inside crystal cave in yanchep national park western australia
Yanchep National Park, Yanchep by Tourism Western Australia

Koalas in Yanchep National Park: A Must-See Attraction

Yanchep National Park has been home to a thriving population of koalas since 1938. These adorable marsupials are a major attraction for visitors to the park.

Head to the Koala Viewing Boardwalk near the park’s entrance. This elevated boardwalk provides a unique opportunity to see koalas up close in their natural habitat. The boardwalk is wheelchair accessible and offers a fantastic view of the surrounding woodland area, making it a great photo spot.

Unfortunately, the 3.15 pm daily koala talk has been suspended until further notice.

close up of koala sitting in tree

Yanchep National Park’s Wildlife

The western grey kangaroo is one of the most iconic animals at Yanchep National Park. These marsupials can be found grazing in the park’s grassy areas. You can observe these kangaroos from a safe distance and take photos of them as they graze and socialise with one another.

One bird found in the park is the red-tailed black cockatoo. These birds are known for their striking black and bright red tail feathers. They can often be seen perched in the trees around the park squawking loudly throughout the day.

Of course, no visit to Yanchep National Park is complete without seeing the park’s resident koalas.

Other animals that visitors may spot at Yanchep National Park include wallabies, possums, echidnas, and a various birds.

close up of a red tailed cockatoo in a tree
red-tailed black cockatoo

Best Walks in Yanchep National Park

Yanchep National Park offers a range of walking trails for visitors of all ages and fitness levels. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, there’s a walking trail in the park that’s perfect for you.

map of the walking trail in yanchep national park

Some of the most popular walks in Yanchep National Park are:

Dwerta Mia Walk Trail

1 km, Grade 1

This family-friendly walk is good for families with young children. The names mean “house of the wild dog,” and has interpretive signs along the trail. The flat 500m accessible circuit can be taken from Boomerang Gorge carpark.

Wetlands Walk Trail

2 km, Grade 1

This short, flat walk takes you around Loch McNess through the park’s wetlands.

Woodlands Walk Trail

2.6 km, Grade 1

This is an excellent family walk starting from McNess House Visitor Centre through coastal woodlands. See a variety of trees, including banksia, tuart, marri, stunted jarrah, sheoak and paperbark.

In spring, you’ll see kangaroo paw and cats paw with an array of jacksonias, acacias, hoveas, and hardenbergias. If you have a good eye, there are orchids to discover, including spider orchids, donkey orchids, and purple enamels.

As you explore the park’s walking trails, look for native birds, parrots, lizards, and other small animals. If the weather is warm, you may even spot kangaroos seeking refuge in the shade during the day.

Ghost House Walk Trail

12.4 km, Grade 3

This 12 km walk takes you on a scenic journey through the park’s bushland and past the famous Ghost House ruins. The walk is challenging and takes approximately 5 hours, but it offers views of the park’s natural beauty.

Yanchep Rose Trail

14 km, Grade 3

The Yanchep Rose Trail is a rewarding 14 km hike named for the vibrant and fragrant wild roses that bloom in the area during spring.

The hike takes approximately 7 hours, but you may encounter diverse flora and fauna, including kangaroos and native birds. The trail also offers views across the coastal plain.

No matter which walking trail you choose to explore, be sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water and sunscreen.

map of the walk trails in yanchep national park

Camping in Yanchep National Park

Henry White Oval is suitable for tents, caravans, and campervans and offers a range of facilities, including picnic tables, BBQs, toilets, and showers.

Please note that camping is only allowed in designated camping areas.

Yanchep Inn

If camping’s not your thing, the Yanchep Inn is located within the park and offers a range of accommodation options, including hotel rooms, suites, and apartments. The heritage-listed Inn features a restaurant, bar, and outdoor seating area with views of the park.

The restaurant serves delicious pub-style meals and drinks to enjoy inside the restaurant, atrium, or outside in the beer garden.

One of the best times to visit is for their Christmas in July dinner (Saturday nights only).

Treetops Adventures Yanchep National Park

Treetops Adventures is an exciting and unique experience where you can participate in thrilling treetop challenges high up in the canopy of the park’s towering trees. There are two Junior Courses and five Tree Ropes Courses, with zip lines, wooden bridges, and swinging cargo nets.

A fun activity for ages 3 to 75!

Yanchep National Park for Families

Yanchep National Park is an excellent destination for families for several reasons:

  1. The park is home to a variety of wildlife that children and adults alike will enjoy seeing, such as kangaroos, koalas, and a wide variety of birds.
  2. Numerous activities are suitable for families within the park, including zip lining, hiking, picnicking, and cycling.
  3. Yanchep National Park offers many educational opportunities for children, including ranger-led tours that teach them about the park’s wildlife and cultural heritage. Several interpretive trails throughout the park offer information on the local flora and fauna.
  4. The park has camping areas suitable for families, including picnic tables, BBQs, toilets, and showers.
  5. Yanchep National Park is conveniently located just 45 minutes from Perth, making it an easy day trip or weekend getaway for families.
close up of a duck in yanchep national park

Yanchep National Park Fees

The fee to enter Yanchep National Park for vehicles and visitors as at April 2023 were:

  • A$15 per vehicle (up to 12 seats)
  • A$8 per vehicle concession (up to 12 seats)
  • A$8 per motorcycle
  • A$7 per adult (over 12 occupants)
  • A$2.50 per concession adult (over 12 occupants)

Please note that fees are subject to change.

Guided Tours of Yanchep National Park

Aboriginal cultural tours

Aboriginal cultural tours provide the opportunity to learn about the park’s rich cultural heritage and history. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who share stories about the park’s traditional owners, the Noongar people, and their connection to the land.

aboriginal cultural tour in yanchep national park
Yanchep National Park, Yanchep by Tourism Western Australia

Yanchep, Koalas & Crystal Cave Tour

This half-day tour by Aussie Perth Tours (a small-group tour specialist) takes you from your Perth CBD / Northbridge accommodation to Yanchep National Park.

Inclusions are:

  • National Park fees
  • Live commentary on board
  • Driver/Guide
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Crystal Cave
close up of koala in yanchep national park

The History and Culture of Yanchep National Park

The name “Yanchep” is derived from the Aboriginal word “yanget”, which refers to the bulrushes (or yanget) that provided the local Noongar people with a staple diet. Artefacts have been found that show people inhabited the area between 6500 and 1700 years ago. According to Aboriginal tradition, Loch McNess is inhabited by a
waugal (rainbow serpent).

Henry White was the first European settler who built a cottage near Lake Yanchep between 1899 and 1902.

In 1905 the government declared 5,640 acres at Yanchep for the “protection and preservation of caves and flora and for a health and pleasure resort”.  Yanchep National Park was created in 1969.

Gloucester Lodge, McNess House, and the Tudor-style Yanchep Inn were built in 1936, and Crystal Cave was fitted with electric lights.

pink and white flower in yanchep national park

Conservation of Yanchep National Park

Several conservation efforts are in place at Yanchep National Park to help protect its natural resources and biodiversity. Some of these efforts include:

1. Conservation of Threatened Species

Yanchep National Park is home to several species of flora and fauna considered threatened or endangered. The park’s management works to protect these species by monitoring their populations, controlling threats such as feral animals and weeds, and undertaking habitat restoration projects.

2. Weed Control

Weeds are a major threat to the park’s biodiversity. Yanchep National Park’s management implements weed control programs to minimise the spread of invasive species and protect the park’s native vegetation

3. Fire Management

Bushfires are a common occurrence in Western Australia, and Yanchep National Park’s management team works to reduce the risk and impact of fires through a range of strategies, including prescribed burning, firebreak maintenance, and fire suppression

4. Visitor Education

Yanchep National Park’s management aims to educate visitors about the importance of conservation and their role in protecting the park’s natural resources. Some ways you can help are:

  • Tread lightly
  • Stay on the established trails, tracks and roads
  • Take all your rubbish and waste with you when you leave
  • Prevent the spread of the dieback disease Phytophthora cinnamomi killing our native plants by brushing your shoes at the designated clean-down points
  • Do not feed the native animals – feeding them will make them dependent on us and may cause them to become sick
  • Use water wisely
  • Leave No Trace (camping/cooking/toilet)

Tips for a Memorable Visit to Yanchep National Park

To make your trip to Yanchep National Park memorable, follow these tips:

1. Plan Ahead

Before visiting the park, check the website or contact the park’s office to confirm operating hours, entry fees, and any other important details.

2. Choose the Right Time of Day

Early morning or dusk are the best times to visit Yanchep National Park to see the kangaroos or take photos. The park is less crowded during these times, kangaroos are more active, and the light is often ideal for photography.

3. Wear Appropriate Clothing

Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes suitable for hiking or walking. Bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.

4. Look Out for Wildlife

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and respect their space.

5. Visit the Yanchep Inn

Yanchep Inn is a historic hotel within the park that offers dining and accommodation options. It’s worth a visit to experience the heritage charm and enjoy a meal or drink.

6. Bring Insect Repellent

March flies can be a pest in the drier, warmer months. They can give a painful bite and are particularly attracted to blue. At night, mosquitoes and midges are common.

Ticks can be avoided by tucking long trousers into long socks. Apply insect repellent around your waist, ankles, arms and shirt collar. Familiarise yourself with the management of a tick bite before setting out on your walk.

7. Watch Out for Snakes

Venomous snakes can be encountered almost anywhere in WA, especially in the warmer months. Snakes normally avoid humans; however, you must be aware and take precautions such as wearing long pants and enclosed shoes when walking along bush trails.

Snakes usually sense your feet thumping and retreat well before you see them. An exception to this can be on unseasonally warm days in late winter and spring when snakes, having had a long sleep during winter, will be sluggish and may feel threatened.

If you find a snake, do not approach or aggravate it in any way. Most bites occur when people accidentally step on snakes. Tiger snakes, which are highly venomous, are fairly common near swamps and wetlands, though they can be found well away from water. Dugites are more commonly found in drier areas anywhere at Yanchep.

If you suspect a snake has bitten you, seek medical assistance immediately.

7. Use Walk Safe Register

Check with Yanchep National Park about the trail conditions before setting off. You should complete the ‘Walk Safe’ register at McNess House Visitor Centre before leaving on walks.

Remember to notify someone or sign out of the Walk Safe register at the McNess House Visitor Centre when you return.

What To Bring to Yanchep National Park

Some items that you should bring include:

  • Beanie, gloves and thermal underwear for cool evenings and cold mornings
  • Lightweight rain jacket
  • Polar-fleece or jumper
  • Long-sleeved shirt and long loose cotton trousers to protect legs and arms from ticks and the sun
  • Hat to protect your face, head, and neck
  • Sturdy footwear and thick socks
  • First aid
  • Pocket knife, notebook, & pen
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen (SPF 30+) and insect repellent
  • Camera
  • Mobile phone
  • Food
  • Take at least two litres of water a day (more if you are walking during summer) in an unbreakable plastic bottle

Yanchep National Park FAQs

What is Yanchep National Park known for?

Yanchep National Park is known for its natural beauty, including its extensive system of limestone caves, native flora and fauna, and coastal landscapes.

How much does it cost to enter Yanchep National Park?

The entry fee for Yanchep National Park varies depending on the type of vehicle and number of passengers. Check the park’s website for current entry fees.

Can I see koalas at Yanchep National Park?

Yanchep National Park is home to a colony of wild koalas that can be seen from the designated koala viewing boardwalk.

Is camping allowed in Yanchep National Park?

Yes, there are camping options within Yanchep National Park.

What are the park’s opening hours?

The park is open 24 hours every day of the year.

What is the best time of year to visit Yanchep National Park?

The best time to visit Yanchep National Park is during the cooler months from March to November, when temperatures are mild and the park’s flora and fauna are most active.

Are pets allowed in Yanchep National Park?

No, pets are not allowed within Yanchep National Park to help protect the park’s native wildlife and biodiversity.

We hope you found this guide helpful. If you require any additional information, please refer to the Yanchep National Park’s website. Thank you.