Wetland Whispers
Poetry Trail

Follow a trail of whispers through a historic centre, lush wetlands and enchanting bush. Discover some hidden paraphernalia and write nature-nurtured poetry! Let your words flow like the gentle ripples on the water's surface. Write of creatures that call this place home and the magic that surrounds them. Accessible and enchanting, this is trail unlike no other.

If you do write a poem and leave it in the box, feel free to take a pic and share it online with hashtags #wetlandspoetrytrail and/or #wildaboutwetlands


Mostly an urban, accessible walk with some uneven patches.


The Wetlands Centre Cockburn and surrounding areas.


Family Friendly, natural landscaping, artificial wetlands, historic and new buildings and artwork, Native Flora & Fauna


1-2 Hours, you can engage in prolonged periods of sitting down and writing.


400 metres


Very easy, wheelchair friendly (Assisted)

Trail Legend

Begin at STATION 1 or at whatever point you want to start your trail or know more about! There's do much to discover!
Click on any of the links on this table to jump to that section.


STATION 1Woodland to Wetlands Trail BoardSERENDIPITY
STATION 2Norm's Bench–Wildflower GardensALITERATION
STATION 3Centre's Artificial WetlandRAINCOAT
STATION 4Precinct BackwayTALK

If you do write a poem and leave it in the box, feel free to take a pic and share it online with hashtags #wetlandspoetrytrail and/or #wildaboutwetlands

INSTRUCTIONS (For those who need them)

  1. Uncover this box of poetry treasures. We recommend that you sift through the contents and find what resonates with you.
  2. Beyond the box, feel free to uncover the treasures around you—flowers, frogs, birds, gumnuts and leaves, things we cannot stow away in a box for you.
  3. Use the writing equipment provided in the box to write a poem. Happy writing! There are colour pencils, crayons, and stickers available if you want to embellish and decorate your creations.
  4. Leave your poem gift in the box for others to find or take it away with you as a reminder of your time in nature at the Centre.
  5. Please leave the box in the state you found it with all the contents put inside it. Camouflage it with natural leaves and sticks the best you can. Do not litter and please carry any rubbish away with you. We appreciate all your help in keeping our grounds safe and litter-free for our wildlife.

STATION 1: SERENDIPITY  |  Near Woodlands to Wetlands Trail Board

The trail begins at the southern end of the parking lot at the Centre. Look for the Poetry Box behind the board. You can pick up your writing materials and head a little further down the trail path, there is full of beautiful Jarrah trees, banksias and age-old grass trees.


GPS Coordinates: -32.0862798 S,115.8309063 E
Poetry to write about: SERENDIPITY
A wetland is a place where lots of different things come together at the same place and same time. Or maybe in a moment of need, the wetland was exactly what you needed it to be. Like stumbling upon a hidden treasure, where the convergence of different elements creates a moment of magic. The gentle swaying of reeds, the songs of the birds, the buzzing of the insects, and the tranquil ripples of the water—a symphony of nature's harmony. Allow yourself to be lost in this beautiful interplay and let your words flow and guide you to a place of serendipitous wonder.

STATION 2: ALLITERATION  |  Norm's Bench – Wildflower Gardens

Walking into our wildflower gardens, you will find so many interesting things. There's a frog pond. Benches and logs made by vollies in the years gone by. Bushes and tunnels where our resident quendas have their own trails. And at the centre of it, is Norm's Bench, installed in memory of Norm Godfrey, one of the founders of the Wetlands Centre and a volunteer of almost 2 decades. What's more, he was a poet himself!


GPS Coordinates: -32.085818, 115.830926
Poetry to write about: ALLITERATION
Explore the playful power of alliteration in capturing the essence of a wetland's vibrant world. Let the lyrical dance of consonant sounds echo the chorus of creatures and plants that inhabit this enchanting realm. Unleash your poetic prowess as you paint pictures with words, celebrating the wetland's wild whispers, mesmerizing murmurs, and soul-stirring symphonies. Dive into the depths of linguistic delight, where each line resonates with rhythm, inviting readers to revel in the mesmerizing magic of alliteration's artistry.

STATION 3: RAINCOAT  | Centre's Artificial Wetland

Being a wetland centre has meant we need to do things right ourselves first. Which means we cannot have our building situated right next to the lake. But what's a wetland centre without a wetland? So we wished the wetland come to us! Our educational wetland did not take long to transform into a healthy living ecosystem. You can sit and admire it for hours on end. There are birds, dragonflies, frogs, tadpoles and the water is teeming with macroinvertebrates. What will you write about?


GPS Coordinates: -32.086064, 115.830465
Poetry to write about: RAINCOAT
We're looking for wetlands-themed poems that happen to include a raincoat in some way, shape or form. Whether it's a child's yellow slicker, a hunter's camo gear, a compact poncho or a fisherman's waders, a raincoat can protect you from the elements, but it can also make you feel disconnected from nature. It can be a symbol of resilience, but also of vulnerability. Windcheater, Windbreaker, Rain Jacket, Raincoat—this humble gown can be a bridge between a wet and a dry world, a lens for us to explore rain—the miracle of the sky answering the wetlands supplication, bringing water, life and growth to the creatures that call it home.

STATION 4: TALK | Wetlands Precinct Backway

A well-trodden path, this is the way we head off for Bibra Lake. The point where we round up the troops, do a head-count, roll-call. You get a good view of the Precinct from here, and there are a couple of picnic benches nearby as well. If you don't mind people stopping for a chat or to share a cuppa.


GPS Coordinates: -32.086435, 115.830570
Poetry to write about: TALK
How might a wetland use dialogue, conversation, everyday lingo, colloquialisms or soliloquy?
Wetlands are often thought of as quiet, serene places, but they are actually full of conversation and dialogue. Beyond birds and bugs and aquatic animals, even plants have communication.
Does a wetland speak of its history with terms like "yeah man" or "how about it?" and "rock n roll"? Does a wetlands relate its ecology with txt msgs of lol hmu and imho? Does a gentle nature or a wrathful one use phrases like "through the eye of a needle"?
We are looking for HOW a wetlands talks. What it talks about is up to you, the poet.

STATION 5: CEREMONY | The Amphitheatre

It was built nearly 25 years ago by a dedicated team of volunteers with help from the community. It was used by the scouts for campfire sessions, by the Centre for its events and by the local indigenous peoples for gatherings and ceremonies. The Wetland Centre’s Amphitheatre was recently revamped in partnership with Western Wildflower Gardens, resulting in the stunning space you see. Sit down. Revel in this space. Let the breeze remind you of all the people that rested at this very spot years and years before you now.


GPS Coordinates: -32.087008 N, 115.830524 E
Poetry to write About: CEREMONY
With your poem, we invite you to describe the daily or seasonal events in a wetland as a ceremony or ritual. Imagine you are a witness or participant in this magical world, and share with us your observations and feelings through poetry.

General advice for walkers

  • Always take water and a mobile phone with you on your walks.
  • Stay on the trail at all times and follow the trail markers. 
  • Do not walk through long grass or rushes as snakes are often found there.
  • If you see a fire, please report it immediately to DFES (000 or 132500).
  • Do not pick wildflowers. It is an offence for which large fines apply.
  • Do not leave litter behind and use rubbish bins available at the facility.
  • Pets are welcome, but they must be kept on a leash at all times.
  • Please do not feed the birds and animals as bread/biscuits will make them sick.

We'd like you to walk with us!

If you're looking for a guided walk or tour for your school or group, get in touch with us! Use our extensive knowledge of the region, discover hidden insights and experience your local wetlands like never before.