Yellagonga Regional Park
Yellagonga Regional Park is primarily a wetland system that includes Lake Joondalup, Beenyup and Walluburnup Swamps and Lake Goollelal and is located approximately 20 km north of Perth City and 6km from the Indian Ocean. It is about 1400 hectares in size and is a Bush Forever site.
Lake Joondalup, the largest of the water bodies, lies in the northern half of the Park. Walluburnup and Beenyup Swamps are located centrally within the Park, with Lake Goollelal situated in the southernmost part of the Park.
These lakes and wetlands are a continuation of the chain of lakes that begins 21 km further north at Loch McNess in Yanchep. Lake Joondalup is of national significance and is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
Landform and Vegetation
Yellagonga Regional Park contains a wide variety of ecosystems from upland forest, fringing wetland and aquatic vegetation to open water bodies. They are surface expressions of groundwater, emerging in interdunal swales within the Spearwood Dune System as a chain of linear lakes and wetlands.
This rich diversity and complexity of ecosystems has very high conservation value within a rapidly expanding urban setting. The wetlands within the Park are some of the last remaining freshwater wetland systems on the Swan Coastal Plain.
The vegetation on the upland areas surrounding the wetlands was once Jarrah – Marri – Banksia (Eucalyptus marginata – Corymbia calophylla – Banksia attenuata) open forest, and Tuart – Jarrah – Marri (Eucalyptus gomphocephala – Eucalyptus. marginata – Corymbia calophylla) open forest. Small sections remain.
The wetland and upland habitats include Fringing Paperbark Woodland (Melaleuca rhaphiophylla) and Flooded Gum Woodland (Eucalyptus rudis) and these provide habitat for a variety of waterbirds and bushbirds.
Many birds inhabit the woodland and wetland areas of Yellagonga. Of the 122 species recorded in the Park, 18 are known to breed in the area. The wetlands serve as important/breeding grounds for local birds and as a summer refuge for a diverse bird population, including trans -equatorial migratory wading birds. The Park’s woodlands also provide habitat for a diversity of bushbirds.
When shallow inland breeding grounds begin to dry out in spring and summer, large concentrations of birds can be found in the Park.
Significant populations of Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis), Musk Duck (Biziura lobata), Hardhead (Aythya australis), Splendid (Malurus splendens) and Variegated Fairy-wrens (Malurus lamberti), Broad-tailed (Acanthiza apicalis), Western Thornbill (Acanthiza inornata) and Yellow-rumped Thornbills (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa), Weebill (Smicrornis brevirostris), Scarlet Robin (Petroica multicolor), Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis) and Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica) have all been recorded in the Park.
Three bird species recorded in the Park, Carnaby’s Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris), Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) and Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) are specially protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.
Yellagonga Regional Park is significant to the local Aboriginal people (Nyungars) because it was an important camping area used widely for watering, food-gathering, camping and tool-making, hunting and corroborees, and summer social life. There are seven listed Aboriginal sites within the Park and another four adjoining the Park.
Yellagonga Regional Park is of high recreational value as it provides opportunities for a wide range of passive and active recreation. The lakes, wetlands and bushland areas provide visitors with recreational opportunities including picnicking, bushwalking and bird watching.
Two heritage trails are located within the Park.
The Lake Joondalup Trail is a 27km self-guided walk/drive trail, which traces the development of Wanneroo around Lake Joondalup.
The Yaberoo – Budjara Heritage Trail is a 28km walk trail which links Lake Joondalup and Yanchep National Park and highlights features of local Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal cultural significance in the area.
A popular place to start your visit to Yellagonga Regional Park is the Neil Hawkins Park on Lake Joondalup, accessed from Lakeside Drive. Access and walks map.
The material presented here is sourced from the Yellagonga Regional Park Management Plan 2003.
There is also a wealth of resources at the Friends of Yellagonga Regional Park website.