Araluen Botanical Park is located in a sheltered valley in the Darling Ranges approximately 30 kilometres (19 miles) south-east of Perth, Western Australia, in the suburb or Roleystone. The Botanical Park covers an area of about 59 hectares (150 acres). There is a small entry fee to the park, and it is open every day of the year. There is a mixture of exotic plant varieties; however the park also contains many remnants of native bush.
History................Jack Simons bought the property in 1929 on behalf of the Young Australia League to use as a holiday camp. The YAL put the Araluen Botanic Gardens up for sale in 1985 (but retained Camp Simons). A private investor was going to redevelop the land, however the local communities rallied the State Government to purchase the Park. Encouraged by strong community support, the State Government purchased the Park in 1990. The Araluen Botanic Park Foundation (Inc.) became incorporated in July, 1990 with the aim of working with the WA Planning Commission to restore the Park. Since 1995, the Foundation has managed the Park under lease from the Commission.
Facilities.............include a gift shop, cafe with tearooms and function centre, parking, toilets, a miniature train and walkways. The old swimming pool is now a lake and the diving board has been removed.
Events............Araluen hosts annual events, including the Tulip Festival ion Spring and the Fremantle Chilli Festival in Summer at Fremantle Esplanade and the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour. From 1997 till 2007 an annual Folk Music Festival was also held each Spring in Araluen. Children's activity Days are held during school holidays. Araluen recntly sponsored the ANZMAC mid-year Doctoral Colloquium Event.
I first remember visiting Araluen in about 1947 when I was 15. Mum and dad decided to go for a Sunday drive and I went with them. Araluen was quite different in those days but still very beautiful.
When I was working at the Forests Department they held their Christmas party at Araluen and Phil and I had a most enjoyable evening with my workmates. Afterwards we drove down to a couple's home in Forrestfield with several others. It was one of those very late nights and fortunately we didn't have to get up early the next morning.
About 12 years ago Phil and I met friends at Araluen for a picnic lunch and as it was Tulip Festival time we walked around and admired the beds of beautiful tulips in every colour you could imagine (except blue of course).
Another of my 'to do' list but it is a very hilly place so not much hope of me doing much walking. Lots often depends on the parking in this type of place. Can one drive close to amenities or not?