Avon Valley National Park
This is the destination description for Avon Valley National Park
Wild bushranger valley
About an hour’s drive north-east ofÂ Perth, the Avon River flows through the rugged scenery of the Avon Valley before joining the Brockman River to form the Swan River.
The Avon runs seasonally. In winter and spring, it churns into a series of spectacular, turbulent rapids – a challenge to intrepid canoeists. During summer and autumn, it dies away to a slow-flowing series of pools, trickling along a bed of granite boulders among tea-tree thickets. In spring, the valley is famed for its profusion of wildflowers. Whatever the season, visitors to Avon Valley National Park can enjoy panoramic views while seeing a wide variety of birds and wildlife.
Avon Valley National Park contains a mix of forests. Native trees such as jarrah, marri and wandoo create a diverse range of habitats for plants and animals. More than 90 species of bird live in the park, including grey fantails, rufous treecreepers, western yellow robins and several types of honeyeaters. Rainbow bee-eaters and sacred kingfishers arrive to breed in the spring.
The Avon Valley was once bandit country, sheltering bushrangers such as Joseph Bolitho Johns, also known as Moondyne Joe, whose exploits began after his first escape from Toodyay lock-up in 1861. During a series of repeated escapes, Joe continually returned to this area – one of Western Australia’s wildest and most inaccessible places – while on the run. He was a true gentleman bushranger – he never hurt anyone and he always went out of his way to avoid violence.