Postcards of Serpentine National Park, Western Australia

You don’t have to travel far in Western Australia to find an Irish connection!  The Darling  Scarp lies to the east of Perth. It was originally named  the General Darling Range in 1827  in honour of General Ralph Darling who was Governor of New South Wales.  Ralph Darling  (1772 – 1858) was born in Ireland, the eldest son of  Sergeant Christopher Darling and has had several geographic features named after him. (For detailed biography  of this remarkable and controversial man see here.)

Serpentine National Park is a recreational area set  in the foothills of the Darling Scarp, that centres around a river of the same name. The upper reaches of the river flow into Serpentine Reservoir on the Darling Plateau, which is retained  by a 55 metre high dam, with a crest of 424 metres. This is one of the sources of drinking water for the metropolitan area of Perth

Water from the Serpentine Reservoir is released into the Serpentine Pipehead catchment some 5 kilometers downstream.The Pipehead Dam is 15 metres high and  142 metres across. From here, the water is piped away to the water mains.

The river  then  flows off  the Scarp at Serpentine Falls as it makes its way to the sea. Being mid-summer the Falls were not as dramatic as in winter when fuelled by rains. At their base is a deep, natural pool that has been hewn out of the rock by the force of the river

The area is heavily forested , most commonly by Eucalyptus marginata that has the Aboriginal name of Jarrah,  a dark wood that  resembles Mahogany. There are wonderful amenities in the very scenic park ranging from picnic sites complete with gas barbecues, cycle trails, bushwalks, campsites. and there is a very nice café at the top of the dam, with the original name of the Cafe on the Dam!

The area is beloved of birdwatchers and just from my table, I snapped these!

Just 40 kilometers from the hustle and bustle  of the city, Serpentine National Park is well worth a visit!



Biography of Ralph Darling at Australian \dictionary of \biography

Governor Ralph darling’s Iron Collar  by Marcus Clarke






Filed under Ireland and the World, Irish Australian, Irish diaspora in Australia, Travels in Australia

7 responses to “Postcards of Serpentine National Park, Western Australia

  1. Lyn Nunn

    Governor Darling has many things named after him – the Darling River, Darling Downs etc. I had always thought he was one of the “better” Governors – at least that was the impression I was given at school. I do thank those inquires that were held at different times – they can be interesting reading. Reading one was how I confirmed my suspicion that my two convicts were brothers and what some of their life was like when they lived under Major Druitt. He was in NSW from 1817.

    Thanks also for the link to ADB – I had forgotten most of my school history about Governor Darling – I didn’t realise he was in Mauritius either – I have a family history connection to Mauritius at that time. Your history lessons are much more interesting than the ones from my school days. 🙂

    Angela, did you know Jarrah is only found in WA? This looks like a lovely place for a picnic and I loved the parrot – I have not seen them those colours here. It looks like it was a lovely day.

    • Thank you Lyn. Darling seems to have been a bit of a character – I must get a biography and read up on him. I had not realized that jarrah is unique to WA – thanks for that gem!
      It is indeed a green and beautiful oasis here – so much sand and bush around Perth, its nice to see real green and lots of water! Thanks so much for dropping in!

  2. I lived in Perth for 18 months. Even though we traveled around I never went to this spot. It is beautiful. Wow, great photos. I would love to return one day.

  3. Great post, SV, how right you are about Irish connections!

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