Climbing steps has never been a favourite activity for me so I was less than enthusiastic when my husband suggested we climb the new attraction at a nearby park.
Previously known as Hillary’s Beach Park, the Whitfords Nodes Health and Wellbeing Hub is popular with everyone who wants to get a little bit fitter. And its big attraction is an exercise staircase known locally as the Jacob’s Ladder of the North.
While the Jacob’s Ladder in Perth has 242 steps, the Whitfords Nodes Stairway has 145 steps and a couple of landings complete with seating for those who need to take a breather on the way up or down. There are also helpful signs to let climbers know how many steps there is still to go to get to the top or the bottom.
I opted for the easier version – a winding path that also leads to the top of the staircase. It is quite steep in places so I feel that it would be hard going for wheelchair access however for those like me, with limited mobility, it is a good choice. Keep left on this wide pathway, as there is a spur about a quarter of the way up which leads to another lookout area.
Views from the top of the staircase and path are over Hillary’s Boat Harbour to the Indian Ocean and are spectacular – well worth the effort of running, walking or getting there slowly!
There is an information bar about the Noongar seasons as well as the area’s geography, flora and fauna.
I found going down the staircase relatively painless.
Exercise equipment is positioned around the area at the bottom of the staircase. There are parallel bars complete with instructions on how to use them as well as other pieces of equipment that remain a mystery to me although some large young men were enjoying making use of them.
There are also drinking fountains and a bicycle parking area nearby. The only thing missing near the staircase seems to be a rubbish bin as there were several empty water bottles and other small items scattered on the grass.
The Nodes is also a good place to bring grandchildren, as there is a large shaded play park with nearby bbq areas, tables, chairs and restrooms.
It’s very easy to find the park/hub – if coming from Perth the Whitfords Nodes entry is from the third roundabout north from Hillarys Boat Harbour. And if travelling from Joondalup, entry is from the first roundabout after the Ern Halliday Recreation Camp on Whitfords Avenue.
There is ample parking including Acrod spaces.
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