By Melissa Sheil
DAYS of heavy rain, relaxed mask restrictions and swarms of kids looking for school holiday activities saw many of Perth’s eastern riverbanks, waterfalls and National Parks overcrowded with visitors on Sunday.
Visitors from all around Perth caused heavy congestion on roads leading to Bells Rapids, Lesmurdie Falls, Noble Falls, John Forrest National Park and Whistlepipe Gully.
Commuters expressed frustration on social media with long wait times on Cathedral Avenue.
“[Bells Rapids] was full at 9am when I went and I was lucky to get a park inside, but on leaving at midday it was crazy and parking went on for miles up the road,” one hills resident wrote on Facebook.
“It was hard to get out with cars parked on the already narrow road.
“I thought it may be busy but not to that extent.”
There were reports that the congestion had backed up to West Swan Road.
Some worried the extreme traffic would cause an accident, with space for only one way traffic moving across the two-way road and people getting frustrated with lack of parking spaces available.
“Trying to get home today was a joke,” one visitor wrote.
“City of Swan need to put in more parking for the [Bells Rapids] look out.
“Cyclists, trucks and tourists so do not mix.”
Despite the clogged roads, people from all over the metropolitan area were thrilled to see nature in full force, with those like Joondalup resident Simone Taylor saying the trip was worth it.
“It was such a beautiful morning at Bells Rapids,” she said.
“I only did the Goat Trail but it took me three hours because I kept stopping to admire the rushing water.
“It is so green and full of life at the moment, and you can sense spring around the corner.”
The City of Swan closed Bells Rapids on Monday due to flood risk.
It remained closed at time of print and will likely remained closed with severe weather and rain forecast into next week.