waterfall flowing down red rocks

Stunning Serpentine Falls: A Local’s Guide with Photos 2024

Serpentine Falls, in Serpentine National Park, is one of Perth’s best waterfalls. The park is stunning, with ancient landforms, woodlands, and the Serpentine River valley gorge crossing through it.

The popular waterfall cascades over a huge granite rock face, falling 15 metres into the pool below.

Living in Perth, I visit this waterfall regularly and enjoy the various hikes the national park offers.

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Location of Serpentine Falls

Serpentine National Park is 55 kilometres southeast of Perth, Western Australia, on the Darling Scarp. The entrance is on Falls Road, off South Western Highway.

waterfall flowing down red rocks
Serpentine Falls in September

Best Time to visit Serpentine Falls

My favourite time of year to visit Serpentine Falls is in late winter to spring (August to October). The wildflowers are out at this time, and the falls are flowing after the winter rains. The wildflowers are at their peak in September, at which time the park becomes full of colour. Spring is peak hiking season, however, and the trails are busy.

For hiking, any time from late autumn to the middle of spring is the best time as the temperatures are cooler.

wooden picnic tables in a clearing in the middle of a forest
Picnic Benches close to Serpentine Falls

When is Serpentine Falls open?

Serpentine Falls National Park is open every day from 8.30 am to 5 pm. However, the park fills up quickly and is shut to new visitors once it reaches capacity. I would advise you to arrive by 10 am.

girl sitting looking at a waterfall

How much does it cost to enter Serpentine Falls National Park?

The cost to enter Serpentine Falls National Park was A$15 per car in January 2023. You can find up-to-date prices on the Parks and Wildlife site.

If you are visiting more than one park or want to return, consider purchasing a Park Pass. RACWA members can receive a discount.

Brief history

The local Noongar people probably camped and hunted in the forests between Perth and Pinjarra. The Serpentine River would have been a freshwater source, and the surrounding hills and wetlands would have provided food resources such as birds, lizards, and tortoises.

 a sign from the traditional custodians of serpentine national park

Serpentine Falls Walk Trails

Most visitors want to view Serpentine Falls, but there are some lovely walking trails in the park too. The Falls Walk Trail, Baldwins Bluff Nature Track, and Kitty’s Gorge Walk Track start from the Serpentine Picnic Area car park.

The car park has toilets, free barbecues, and lots of shaded grassed areas. Kangaroos frequent this area on the look out for food but do not feed them.

kangaroo with a joey in her pouch eating grass
Kangaroo and joey near the Serpentine Falls car park and picnic area

Falls Walk Trail – 400m return – 15 minutes

The Falls Walk Trail is an easy 15-minute walk that is fully accessible. It leads to the beautiful Serpentine Falls, which has a wooden lookout area with stairs leading down into the pool. When we visited in September, there was hardly anyone there so we could sit there and take in the spectacular view of the rushing water over the colourful polished granite.

a green natural pool surrounded by yellow wattle and forest
The natural pool by Serpentine Falls

Baldwins Bluff Nature Track – 6 km return – 2 hours – Class 4

The 6 km return Baldwins Bluff Nature Track climbs gravel tracks which require a decent amount of fitness. However, the summit’s views across the Swan Coastal Plain and the Serpentine Falls are worth the climb. This trail takes you through Marri and Jarrah forests and then Wandoo woodland.

a dirt walking track amongst green leafy shrubs
The gravel track – Baldwins Bluff Nature Trail

Kitty’s Gorge Walk Track

Kitty’s Gorge Walk Track is one of the most popular trails in the Serpentine National Park. This 7.4 km loop is a medium difficulty trail that takes you along the Serpentine River, Gooraling Brook, and Kittys Gorge. You can access the walk from either Jarrahdale or the Serpentine Falls car park.

It can be steep in parts with uneven ground, but the scenery is spectacular. You will pass stunning granite outcrops and waterfalls along the brook.

Jarrahdale is a historic timber mill town close to Serpentine Falls. We had lunch and a beer at the Jarrahdale Tavern after our hike as a reward. It has a children’s playground and is dog-friendly.

small waterfall running down browny orange boulders
Kittys Gorge Walk Trail

Flora and Fauna at Serpentine Falls NP

Flora

The best time for flora is during the Western Australia wildflower season when the hills and forest are full of colour. During spring, you may see spider orchids, giant sundew, dryandras, greenhoods, and grevilleas. Look for Donkey orchids on the granite outcrops.

The most common trees in the Serpentine National Park are marri, jarrah, and wandoo. There are also two rare species: the Darling Range Ghost Gum (Eucalyptus laeliae) and the Salmon White Gum (E. lane-poolei).

red wildflower with green leaves
Lemon Scented Darwinia

Fauna

A staggering 70 out of 100 bird species known in the region visit Serpentine Falls National Park. Some of the most seen birds are the splendid fairy wrens, red-tailed and white-tailed black cockatoos, ‘twenty-eight’ parrots, red-capped parrots, scarlet robins, and yellow robins.

You will see the western grey kangaroos in the picnic area by the Falls car park. Please do not feed them as it can cause them health problems and cause them to rely on humans for food.

Some other animals that live here, but aren’t as noticeable, are the echidna, chuditch, mardo, quenda, dunnart, brushtail possum, western brush-wallaby and maybe the quokka.

You may come across reptiles, including bobtail lizards, dragon lizards, carpet pythons, and long-neck tortoises. Be careful of the venomous dugite snake, which is more active during the warmer months.

close up of a kangaroo eating a yellow flower

Where to eat near Serpentine Falls

If you visit on a weekend or public holiday, you can purchase food and drink from a mobile food truck that’s usually in the car park.

Serpentine Falls National Park is a lovely spot for a picnic or a bbq with grassed area and picnic tables.

As mentioned, we had lunch instead at Jarrahdale Tavern.

a swing in a playground in front of a tavern
Jarrahdale Tavern playground

Accommodation near Serpentine Falls National Park

We stayed in a deluxe villa (cabin) at Tasman Holiday Park Serpentine, which is a 2 km walk from Serpentine Falls. For more information and photos of this Serpentine accommodation, please read this Tasman Holiday Park Serpentine review or see up to date prices on booking.com

cream cabin in a holiday park with wooden decking
Tasman Holiday Park Serpentine cabin

Another accommodation option is the Braybrook Boutique Bed & Breakfast.

Tips for visiting Serpentine Falls

  • Do not feed wildlife.
  • Picking wildflowers is not allowed.
  • Dogs are not allowed in the park.
  • No alcohol or glass is permitted in Serpentine National Park.
  • Eskies, food, chairs, and flotation devices are prohibited at Serpentine Falls. You can use the picnic areas for lunch.
  • Put all rubbish in the bins or take it home with you.
  • Stay on the trails at all times. Not only is this for your safety (Dugites live in the bushland) but Dieback is prevalent in some areas. If you walk off the path, you may spread the soil-borne disease.
a natural pool with rocks and trees

Is it safe to swim at Serpentine Falls?

Swimming is not recommended at Serpentine Falls despite it being a popular swimming hole. The rocks are slippery when wet, and the water has varying depths and submerged dangers. The water is also untreated and has been closed previously after the detection of ‘brain-eating amoeba’, Naegleria fowleri. This amoeba can cause an infection known as amoebic meningitis or primary amoebic meningoencephalitis.

Sadly, there have been twenty-eight deaths at Serpentine Falls over fifteen years from people climbing or jumping from the rocks.

Other attractions close to Serpentine Falls

Other attractions close to Serpentine Falls include Jarrahdale, Serpentine Dam, and the smaller Pipehead Dam. 

grey rocks in front of a large dam with trees behind it

Other Perth Waterfalls

Perth waterfalls may not be up there with New Zealand or Queensland, but there are still some beautiful falls and spectacular hikes. Some other waterfalls around Perth are:

60 Foot Falls

Lesmurdie Falls

Bells Rapids

Noble Falls