The Yaberoo Budjara Trail is a 29 kilometre trail that follows the migration route  of the local Noongar people  along a chain of lakes and swamps between Lake Joondalup and Yanchep. It crosses tuart and banksia woodland, coastal heath and wetlands.

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Yaberoo Budjara translates as "the land of the people north of Perth". It starts in the south from Neil Hawkins Park, next to Lake Joondalup, passes through Neerabup National Park, to Yanchep National Park in the north. Archaeological evidence indicates Noongar people have been in the area for over 40,000 years.

My Yaberoo Budjara Trail ride from 31 August 2019 is here:

The most of the trail surface has been made with crushed limestone (although some sections can be sandy), and is generally well marked and in good condition.  Look for the red triangular markers with a grass tree symbol. The Yaberoo Budjara Heritage Trail started life as a walking trail, but is now a mountain biking and walking trail. Further north, I saw motorcyclists illegally using the trail. Up to Romeo Road, there are information signs about the history, flora and fauna of the area.

There are no facilities (toilets, water, food etc) along the trail. There are toilets and water at the start and end (Neil Hawkins Park and Loch McNess).

Neil Hawkin's Park to Hester Ave : 10km The Trail theoretically starts at Neil Hawkins Park, but I could not find a trail head. None of the bike route signage referred to the Yaberoo Budjara Trail. But it is a nice ride along side Lake Joondalup on a flat sealed path for 2 km - just be aware this section is popular with pedestrians, so moderate your speed. You can then cross the major road at the roundabout ( see my map) and join the Yaberoo Budjara Trail proper - it is now sign posted as the Yaberoo Budjara Trail. The small car park there can be very busy, so it may be easier to start at Neil Hawkins Park, as its car park is very big. Neil Hawkins Park is about 1.5km from Joondalup Train station, so a train maybe a viable alternative to driving.

Neil Hawkins Park is part of the Yellagonga Regional Park. Neil Hawkins was a chairman of the Metropolitan Regional Planning Authority, and Yellagonga was a member of the local Noongar people.  Lake Joondalup ("place of whiteness" or "glistening water" in Noongar) is a large freshwater lake that was an Aboriginal camping and hunting ground. The park contains a grassed area surrounded by pathways. The park also has a playground near the main picnic area, toilets and water. As you ride along the flat sealed path by the lake you can see paperbark trees and shoreline vegetation, while on the western side tuart and marri trees are common.

This section was once part of a stock route for moving cattle from Walkaway, near Geraldton, to Fremantle. Called the North West Stock Route, it was used drovers, mail men, travellers and even camel trains carrying water to the Murchison Goldfields. 

Cross the busy road at the round about with caution and ride on the dual use pathway by Burns Beach Rd. Cross Burns Beach Rd carefully then enter the Neerabup National Park. Use the car park entrance to reach the Trail to avoid the bike unfriendly gate.  The crushed limestone path now begins, and occasionally crosses some old quarry access roads. Not long after, you will reach the top of a ridge which can give you views to the Indian Ocean.

Neerabup National Park is a long thin strip of important coastal bushland that is about 12 km long. It allows movement of native animals, acts as green corridor between housing, and is a recreational area. It contains no car parks and roads, so attracts no entrance fee.

There is a sign indicating jarrah was logged in the area by farmers to supplement their income. A timber mill was established in 1934 that existed in to the 1960's. Wanneroo limestone was used to help build the new Parliament House in Canberra. The wood was also used in local lime kilns below.

The limestone ridges in the area are actually million year old sand dunes. The limestone was quarried for construction and road projects. The City of Wanneroo had up to 47 lime kilns in operation, and signage along the Trail says two are still in operation today ( but doesn't indicate where). Wanneroo limestone was used to help build the new Parliament House in Canberra. 

Neerabup Road, and Hester Avenue later, are major roads on the map, but don't get mentioned on the literature. This is because they have underpasses, so the roads do not interfere with the ride. The roads the Trail crosses later are relatively minor and quiet. The Trail usually has a sign warning 50m out from road crossings. Always exercise caution at road crossings. On some of the ridges, you get good views of the suburbs and bush. Generally, the Trail feels like you are well away from Perth, but the occasional glimpse of suburbia, or the sounds of nearby roads remind you are not. A section near Butler goes about 300m from the suburb, but otherwise you see very little of habitation.

Hester Ave to Romeo Road: 7km The trail continues in Neerabup National Park, a narrow 12km long park,  through jarrah and sheoak. Neerabup is thought to be derived from neerimba, a Noongar word for a pelican. Western grey kangaroos and emus live in the park, and unfortunately, so do feral cats, rabbits and foxes. The vegetation changes from low banksia woodland to coastal limestone heath. From the top of the limestone ridge there are almost 360 degree views of the surrounding area.

Another sign indicates that during World War 2, 10th Light Horse had two camps nearby. One campsite is now the 10th Light Horse Trail, on Wanneroo Rd. The  10th Light Horse Cavalry was the last Australian mounted regiment to disband during WWII

Romeo Road to Yanchep National Park: 11km After a nice section winding through some bigger trees, the trail then tracks close to Wanneroo Road for about 5km. This section can be rough and sandy in parts, with short, steep up and downhills.  Fire and weeds have degraded the vegetation in this area. Sometimes the Trail is jammed on a thin strip of land between Wanneroo Rd and the market gardens. This was not my favourite section.

But once you turn into Lacey Road, it all changes. You pass Pipidinny House, and see another Trail sign. Pipidinny House was built in 1917 from a nearby ship wreck. There is a gate to keep motorbikes out, but then you enter Pipidinny Swamp. This swamp has been called the "Kakadu of Western Australia" because of the abundance and diversity of the birdlife.  It has also been used as a market garden and a source of peat, but in 19991 it was incorporated into Yanchep National Park.  This, and the rest of the ride,  is a really scenic section.

Less than 1 km from the end, you cross Yanchep Beach Rd (not signposted) and come out at the Trail head near Loch McNess. There are some toilets and bbq shelters 100m away, but a couple of hundred metres away, you can see the roofes of the old Inn (now McNess Visitors Centre) and the Tea Rooms. Loch McNess ( "Wagardu Lark" to the local Noongars, and also known as Yanchep Lake), which was a traditional Aboriginal meeting, corroborree and ritual area, is right in front of you. Loch McNess is a freshwater lake located in the northern part of the coastal plain of Perth. There are over 400 caves in the park, some which can be explored. The Tea Rooms serve drinks, ice cream and snacks, but I can not find there opening hours any where. You can visit some koalas (not native to W.A.) and also go zip lining.

Yanjidi, an edible root, grows along fresh water streams and banks of pools, gave it's name to Yanchep. Entrance fees apply if you drive into Yanchep National Park, but not if you ride in. There is no public transport back from Yanchep National Park.

This page is the property of Follow My Ride, a website detailing off road cycle tracks in Western Australia. This page is on the Yaberoo Budjara Trail.