Take the Mitchell Freeway north-west out of Perth’s CBD and within a few minutes you’ll be able to turn off into the comfortable, if somewhat eccentrically-named, suburb of Innaloo, which lies between the freeway and fine Indian Ocean beaches such as Scarborough and Brighton.
On Innaloo’s southern fringes are the pleasant recreational areas around Jackadder Lake and, especially, the Herdsman Lake Regional Park - a haven for birdwatchers.
This beautiful wetland provides a wildlife sanctuary where many species of waterbird breed. A dredged moat encircling the 300-hectare lake ensures permanent open water, making it an important summer drought refuge. A wildlife education centre for viewing and protecting the many migratory birds that frequent the lake was built by the Worldwide Fund for Nature.
Herdsman has playground facilities, a wildlife viewing centre, the lake, grassed parklands and kilometres of walking and cycling tracks. A settler's cottage, one of many built during the 1920s and 1930s, has recently been refurbished.
The quiet urbanity of Innaloo can be put into perspective quickly by taking a quick trip back into the bright lights of Perth's CBD.