28 km east of Perth. John Forrest National Park is one of Australia's oldest conservation areas and Western Australia's first national park. The area was first established in 1898 as a reserve to conserve its many natural and cultural features.It became John Forrest National Park in 1947, in honour of the famous WA explorer and statesman. In the early 1900s, visitors came from Perth by rail and alighted from their trains at Hovea Station, a short distance from Hovea Falls, to enjoy a 'day in the bush'. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, sustenance workers built steps, ornamental gardens, walls, footpaths, picnic shelters and swimming areas. The park soon became a sanctuary for city dwellers and remains so for many people today.