Stunning Serpentine Falls | A Local’s Guide

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.

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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 is A$15 per car as of May 2022. 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.

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 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 use Booking.com for most accommodation bookings as they offer free cancellation on most rooms, have a loyalty program (Genius), a price match guarantee, the site is user-friendly and they have great customer support. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are often cheaper than Airbnb.

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. It is listed on the following sites with the prices for two nights in August for two adults and two children aged 15:

Booking.Com A$532

Stayz A$519

Airbnb A$906!

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

Western Australia Travel Guide

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35 thoughts on “Stunning Serpentine Falls | A Local’s Guide”

  1. ‘Brain-eating amoeba’ and 28 deaths wouldn’t typically entice me to put ANY destination on the list, Wendy, but on further reflection: yeah.. this seems like a cool place. Such a pity with the ‘no swimming’ guidance though… I’ve only just got started open water swimming…

    Reply
  2. I was going to ask you if you all were swimming until I arrive to the meningitis part ahaaha.
    In any case, looks like an amazing and refreshing place.
    Loving always your guides Wendy, hope to make it to Australia sometime soon!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  3. A nice recreational spot to be in tune with nature. One look at the falls and the surroundings and it soothes your entire being! Looking forward to visit this nature’s paradise. Thanks for the post.

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  4. Serpentine Falls looks like a fun place to visit and I’d love to see some of the wildlife on those trails. Good to know that you shouldn’t swim there. After reading “brain-eating amoeba” I think I would stay clear of that water!

    Reply
  5. Serpentine Falls looks like a wonderful place to visit! After being stuck indoors for most of 2020, I would welcome the fresh air and beautiful views. It’s good to know that there are spacious accommodations nearby, and that a kitchen is available in the cabin. We often cook breakfast before heading out on our outdoor excursions.

    Reply
  6. Serpertine Falls – the name alone is enticing and there’s a certain precariousness in it…and I guess it proved me right after reading about the “brain-eating amoeba”. Well nature is always full of surprises 😉 #flyingbaguette

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  7. Stunning is the right word Wendy! I’ve not seen a waterfall in years so I’m happy to enjoy the views in your post. I think the nature trail sounds right for me.

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  8. Sign me up to a place that has a gorgeous waterfall and kangaroos! So nice and relaxing to just sit and listen to a waterfall. I’d enjoy the few hikes too but I would definitely stay out of the water to avoid the brain eating amoeba! Can’t wait to visit Australia one day!

    Reply
  9. Brain-eating amoeba! Sounds fun haha. But apart from that and the venomous snake, the Serpentine Falls looks like an amazing place to visit! Love that you can see kangaroos there too.

    Reply
    • Unfortunately, venomous snakes are a part of life in Australia .As long as you respect them and keep your distance, they’re fine. The brain-eating amoeba are actually found in still warm waters world-wide.

      Reply

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