Every city in Australia has its very own Hyde Park it seems, and Perth is no exception. Our Hyde Park is located between North Perth and Highgate, a couple of older inner-city suburbs. It’s a shady peaceful retreat for people living and working nearby to go for a stroll or a morning jog, to have a picnic, or to relax on the grass in the sunshine on a lunch break.
For people with kids there’s some excellent play equipment. It’s also well set up for picnics, with barbecues, picnic benches and even power points for music. A network of paved paths make it an excellent park to go to with a pram or a wheelchair, and lots of bench seats provide plenty of places to sit and relax, in the sun or the shade, with a view of the lakes.
About Hyde Park – Trees and Nature
Perth’s Hyde Park is an old fashioned style city park with green lawns, flower gardens and lots of non-native trees including jacarandas, Illawarra flame trees, willows, oaks and plane trees.
Huge wide-spreading old Moreton Bay fig trees grow around the outer lawns, casting a deep shade across the ground and obscuring the sky from view. Some of them are huge and very interesting to look at up close, with smooth bark and gnarled branches and roots. Some of them look like they’d be good to climb!
The great thing about the trees in Hyde Park are the colours they turn as the seasons change. The plane trees turn orange and gold in autumn and then lose their leaves, the flame trees bloom with bright red flowers in spring and early summer, and the jacarandas turn a brilliant shade of purple. And then in summertime and early spring everything is green.
As Hyde Park has so few native plants and trees, it is a rather unnatural piece of nature, and that’s largely what differentiates it from other parks around Perth and one of the reasons I like to go there sometimes. Perth parks tend to have Australian gum trees as the dominant tree type, which I generally much prefer, but sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of a change.
In the middle of Hyde Park there are a couple of man-made ponds encircled by a row of plane trees that turn red and orange and loose all their leaves in winter. Islands in the middle of the ponds are overgrown with sedges, willows and some native plants, providing a habitat for water birds.
My Impressions of Hyde Park
The massive shady Moreton Bay fig trees and dark green ivy growing on the ground beneath them give Hyde Park a gloomy and oppressive feel sometimes and it puts me off walking through the park for some reason. But on a hot sunny day it’s the heat and sunlight that’s oppressive instead, and the dark shade of these huge old trees becomes a cool sanctuary away from the sun’s glare. One person’s shivery-cold and creepy is another person’s otherworldly dark green oasis, I guess!
As you might be able to tell, I’m a bit 50-50 about Hyde Park, but many Perth people love it. And I must say that on the occasions I go there for a walk or a picnic, I’m always surprised to find that in the middle of the park it’s nowhere near as dark and creepy as it looks from the outside as you drive past along Vincent Street.
Last time I visited I had a lovely time walking around the lakes. The sun was shining brightly, and lots of people were out and about walking, jogging, pushing prams, and just sitting together on the benches, watching the ducks on the lakes.
The plane trees that border the lakes were in full autumn colours, the orange and golden leaves backlit by the afternoon sun. I enjoyed watching busy activity of ducks and cootes swimming and diving on the lake, and I spotted several ibises as well.
Playgrounds and Facilities
Hyde Park has a range of facilities that make it accessible and useful for all the community – it has just about everything you could ask for in a city park, really.
Summary of Facilities at Hyde Park
- Public Toilets
- Playground Equipment
- Water Playground for summertime
- Fitness Equipment
- Drinking Fountains
- Picnic Benches
- Park Bench Seats
- Pavilion Gazebos
- Paved Pathways
Hyde Park Playgrounds
The main children’s playground at Hyde Park is located in the south-western corner. It’s quite extensive and has a good range of play equipment with something for all age groups, and a swing for kids with disabilities.
Additionally there is also a water-fountain playground not far away in the north-western corner of Hyde Park, a great spot for kids to play during summer and something that not many other parks have. You turn the water on with a button located on a green pole on the south side of the water playground and it will turn itself off after a set amount of time.
Both the main playground and the water playground are close to picnic benches, bbq’s and toilets.
History of Hyde Park, Perth
As is the case with many parks and manicured lakes in Perth, the site where Hyde Park is now was originally a wetland, part of a chain of wetlands between Claisebrook and Herdsman Lakes. It was known to local Aborigines as “Boodjamooling” and to early English settlers as “Third Swamp”.
In 1897 15 hectares of Third Swamp were gazetted to be turned into a park, which two years later was named “Hyde Park”. The plane trees were planted between 1897 and 1899 and the grove of Jacaranda trees in the south-eastern corner were planted in 1921.
Visiting Hyde Park
When to visit Hyde Park, Perth
You’ll really appreciate the big shady trees on a hot day in summer, a wonderful time of year to enjoy a picnic in the park. A bright sunny day in autumn, winter or spring is also lovely. It’s not so nice when it’s cloudy and rainy though. Wet weather makes Hyde Park gloomy, dank and cold.
Where is Hyde Park in Perth and How do you Get There?
Hyde Park is located on the border of Highgate and North Perth, very close to the city centre. The streets that border it are Vincent Street, William Street, Glendower Street and Throssell Street.
Hyde Park is within a half hour walking distance of Northbridge, Highgate, Mount Lawley, East Perth, North Perth and Leederville.
East Perth and Perth train stations are both about a 20 minute to half hour walk away. Several buses stop right near by.
Plentiful free parking can be found on the roads surrounding the park and in the adjoining residential side streets. It may be a crowded on busy weekends but if you’re prepared to walk 5 minutes you’ll be sure to find something.
Last Updated: 9th June, 2015.
First posted on 20th May, 2015 by Bonny.
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