So grab a takeaway treat from the many cafes around and get your steps up with these self-guided City of Perth walking tours – you are guaranteed to learn something new along the way!
Each of the below links will take you to a downloadable PDF that includes a map and guide to the places you will see. Start and finish wherever suits you or jump on one of Perth’s free CAT buses for part of the journey. Trails differ in length and can take up to two hours.
Karla Yarning – Aboriginal Heritage Walking Tours
The land that the City of Perth stands on has been a traditional meeting place for many thousands of years, a place for Aboriginal people to eat, trade, talk and be together. A place of homefire for Whadjuk Noongar people. There are two Karla Yarning walking tours that explore the cultural significance of this area.
This City is Whadjuk Country is a good introduction to the way Aboriginal people lived prior to white settlement. It is especially effective in evoking a sense of place and appreciation for the lay of the land in its most natural form. This walk stretches from the Esplanade down to the Cultural Centre.
Along the walking tour Fighting for Rights and Recognition you will explore a period of displacement through to the beginning of land rights and learn many important lessons from our not so distant past. The northern start of this path is the Cultural Centre and winds through the CBD via Murray Street and the Supreme Court Gardens to end on Barrack Street.
Perth Heritage Trails
These three Heritage Trails focus on the emergence of the City of Perth as it is today - from town planning to the heady days of the gold rush to the controversial use of convict labour.
Icons of Influence explores John Septimus Roe’s vision as the original town planner of Perth. From 1829 St Georges Terrace was designed to be at the centre of the city, which is where this tour is focused. Explore buildings of architectural significance and take some time to enjoy the Stirling Gardens, which dates all the way back to 1830. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the pavement plaques dedicated to people of note.
For a period that only lasted 18 years from 1850, convict transportation left an indelible mark on the history of Perth that has influenced both our physical landscape and become the stuff of folklore. There may be less stops on the Convicts and Colonials tour, but it is packed with interesting stories, like that of Audrey Jacob who shot a former fiancée on the crowded dancefloor of a ball at Government House… and got away with it. Start in the Cultural Centre and end at East Perth Cemeteries.
Boom or Bust follows a time of rapid change for Perth when the wealth of the Goldfields and the migration it attracted saw Perth’s population surge to grow three times over in just one decade! Discover the stories of some, now heritage listed, buildings that were regarded as very opulent at the time. This one will take you through the central CBD right up to the corner of Hill and Hay Streets.
Art Walking Tours
Dotted all around the streets of Perth are over 200 works of art just waiting to be discovered. Maybe you walk past some daily, others you might have to search out a little more. The Art City Walking Tour will take you on a journey of creative discovery to provide a deeper understanding of the CBD’s public art dating back to 1971. Start on the Esplanade, head up to Kings Square and end at the Concert Hall.
For a bit of a twist on the traditional self-guided walking tours above, be sure to check out the Activated Art Walk. By downloading a special app, you can bring public art to life right in front of your eyes as you walk from the city to Optus Stadium.
Historic Heart Walks
You can choose your own adventure with Historic Heart walks – either install the app for an interactive adventure or download a PDF map to follow the trail. Whichever way you choose to tackle them, each is a great experience that centers on the east end of the city.
Put together with care by the not for profit community group Historic Heart Inc. there are several walks to choose from, below are two of our favourites that are suited to current social distancing guidelines.
For a dose of Western Australian art, the Historic Heart Art Walk will take you on a romp through the east end from Barrack Street to Irwin Street. Along the trail is a collection of 65 planter boxes and benches, grouped by artist and filled with native plants that bring little bursts of colour and vibrancy to the area. Other art pieces also pop up, including Kangaroos on the Terrace at the corner of Barrack Street and St Georges Terrace.
The Historic Heart Architecture Walk explores some of Perth’s most iconic architectural buildings dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Highlights include Government House, the Perth Town Hall, St Mary’s Cathedral and Fire Brigade No. 1 Station along with private residences and the heritage listed Moreton Bay Fig on Murray Street.
- 06 May '20