The Kalamunda Zig Zag is a short but hugely popular drive just 30 minutes from Perth’s city centre. It makes for a fun and spectacular day trip from the city with your Perth rental car, where you’ll enjoy a gorgeous city view, and plenty of stunning scenery along the way.
That said, this Zig Zag scenic drive in Kalamunda National Park is somewhat more challenging than a typical Sunday day trip, so you will need to have a quick read of our safety tips before tackling this road.
What is the Kalamunda Zig Zag?
The Kalamunda Zig Zag is a 2.9-kilometre scenic drive that takes you down Gooseberry Hill, overlooking Perth.
The Zig Zag itself was once part of a railway line that hauled timber down from the top of the mountain, but the line eventually closed down, and the rails were removed in the 50s.
Today, the road is popular with sightseers for its incredible views. Each switchback opens up new scenery, and one second you’ll be driving along a narrow road with thick trees on one side and rock on the other, then it will open up and you’ll be able to see out over the city of Perth and beyond.
Due to the fact that the road is so narrow, the Zig Zag is one-way only, so you’ll need to drive through the suburb of Gooseberry Hill and up Lascelles Parade to begin driving down.
Note that the Zig Zag is closed to traffic just one day of the year – on the first Sunday of October for the Zig Zag Festival. This springtime celebration brings together the wildflowers of the season, music, and competitions such as the longest skid mark.
Kalamunda Zig Zag driving tips
The Zig Zag itself is very narrow, which is why traffic is one-way only. There are also numerous hairpin turns, so as the driver, you’ll need to pay attention to the road and try not to be distracted by the views.
It is not a dangerous road in of itself, but being cautious is certainly adversed.
Firstly, take it slow. There is a 40km/h speed limit posted, but many people will drive more slowly than this to take in the views and to take the corners at an easy pace. There is the occasional gravel pull out so if a car behind you is on your tail, you can pull over momentarily to let them pass.
You must also be on the lookout for walkers. As you can imagine, a steep 3-kilometre stretch with great views is just as attractive for those on foot as it is for drivers. However, there is not a separate footpath, so you will often see walkers tackling the hills on your way down.
Overall, there’s nothing to worry about when tackling the Zig Zag scenic drive, and plenty to look forward to (aim to be there at sunset for some of the best views in Western Australia!).
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