Ghost House Walk, Yanchep National Park

Was it haunted? Was it even slightly spooky? Our seniors group decided to find out last weekend by heading north to the Ghost House Walk in Yanchep National Park.

Yanchep National Park is about an hour north of Perth city and has many attractions apart from the trails. There is a nine-hole golf course, a koala enclosure, an Aboriginal experience and caves to explore as well as the Yanchep Inn, a café and a gift shop. BBQs and picnic tables ensure a steady stream of visitors to the lake area during the warmer months.

Starting from the Lakeview car park, the group did the walk in an anti-clockwise direction – skirting Loch McNess and passing by the gift shop and café then turning right after the koala enclosure and following the signposts.

The most striking parts of the walk were the many blackened trees, presumably from the fire that decimated about 8000ha of the park in 2013. These trees presented an almost artistic exhibition for visitors. Also lots of wildflowers, bracken ferns, some tuarts, marri and jarrahs. Not so many sweeping views as on previous walks but as one of the group remarked, “I love what the rain has done to the bush. The colours are so vibrant.”


 

Morning tea was spent at the Shapcotts Campsite. The campsite is part of the Coastal Plain Walk Trail, a multi-day walk from the Melaleuca Conservation Park near Carabooda to Yanchep. Inside the sturdy hut is a large raised area suitable for sleeping bags etc. There is also a table and a bench. More importantly there is a toilet at the back!

Constant companions on the walk are the kookaburras – very noisy almost drowning out the other birds, which tried to join in the chorus.

Finally the group reached the actual Ghost House which is basically a small, old ruin slowly being overtaken by nature. Not too interesting but fine as a focus of the walk. There is a flat patio-type area where walkers could stop for tea or coffee.

The majority of the path was wide and well-maintained. Some areas were rocky and other places had lots of loose sand that is like walking on the beach without the waves.  The only other challenging areas were one incline, a small set of steps and a couple of descents which were not too steep although walkers should be careful underfoot as there are a lot of broken twigs and small branches lying around. At some points there are narrow stretches where the bush has encroached on the path but these did not cause any problems.

Wildlife sightings were mainly of kangaroos and birds but the sound of banjo frogs carried quite a distance from the wetlands. Banjo frogs? Imagine being in  the bush and hearing the music from the film Deliverance!

This is a popular walk but not crowded – our group passed a few others doing either the same walk (but in a clockwise direction) or the Caves walk.  The Ghost House Walk took around two and a half hours to complete 14 kms that included the morning tea stop.  Did it feel haunted? No. Slightly spooky? No Enjoyable? Yes.

Address: Yanchep Beach road and Indian Ocean Drive, Yanchep

Phone: 08 9303 7759

Opening hours: 7 days a week,24 hours a day

Cost: $13 per vehicle or $7 (senior or concession card). Entry booth is manned during the day. There is also an honesty box.

Facilities: Several large car parks with accessible toilets, gas barbecues and picnic tables. ACROD parking available

Website: https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/yanchep

About Hazel Broomhead

My name is Hazel and I am a Perth senior!

Originally from Edinburgh in Scotland, my husband and I moved to New Zealand with our children in 1974. As my husband is in the oil business, we moved to several other countries including the Sultanate of Oman, the Netherlands, Singapore, the Philippines, the USA, Russia and Kazakhstan during the next 36 years before retiring to Perth.

We have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who live in different parts of the globe – New Zealand, Scotland and Colombia - which makes a great excuse for us to travel and visit.

My career background is in radio and print journalism in Scotland and New Zealand as well as public relations in various other countries.

We love to eat out, walk, travel and enjoy the wonderful lifestyle here in Western Australia.

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