Mount Lawley Architecture

Into architecture, much? Mount Lawley offers up some classic examples of Australian art-deco design along Beaufort St, and beautiful Federation-era houses in the back blocks. In particular, the leafy streets east of the Beaufort St/Walcott St intersection host some gorgeous Federation villas (aka Queen Ann style), built in the 1890s and early 1900s and characterised by red brickwork, terracotta-tiled roots, white-painted timber work and wrap-around verandahs. Hot tip: book a B&B room at Durack House if you want to explore this lovely neighbourhood.

Back at the Beaufort St/Walcott St intersection, check out the art-deco Astor theatre (1939) and the streamlined, mod Alexander Buildings (1938) and Beaucott Buildings (also 1938…love the font!) on the same street corner. Also on Beaufort St, the Flying Scotsman pub is another art-deco beauty, built in 1934. For more on Mount Lawley's art-deco heritage and art deco right across Perth, see www.perthartdeco.net.au.

Park Life

Highgate and Mount Lawley have some lovely leafy backstreets, but if you're not a local you mightn't have cause to venture into these shady enclaves. Instead, head for the park: gently undulating Hyde Park is great for the kids (ponds, playground, water park), while the open lawns of Birdwood Park (Beaufort St, Highgate) and the manicured grass tennis courts and huge Moreton Bay fig trees in Robertson Park (Palmerston St, Highgate) are a sight to behold. Forrest Park (Harold St, Mount Lawley) is where the local school kids get their soccer game on; there's a running track around the outside and some built-in gym equipment if you feel like sweating it out too. Down by the Swan River, Banks Reserve (off Gardiner St, Mount Lawley) is a top spot for a picnic. Follow the waterside Tony di Scerni Pathway along the riverbank heading upstream from here (Big Tone is credited with ensuring that Banks Reserve survived as a public open space).

Maylands Rising

So you've cruised through Highgate's parks and enjoyed Mount Lawley's bars…what's next? Curving into the Swan River immediately east of Mount Lawley is Maylands – an uvula-shaped peninsula with a quirky industrial heritage (a brickworks and an airport). It's fast becoming the go-to 'burb for cool kids who've been priced-out of Leederville, Subiaco, Mount Lawley and Fremantle. Take a few hours to snoop around: there are some great cafes around Maylands train station and along Eighth Ave, some lush parks and walking trails down on the river flats, and even a public golf course (www.maylandsgolf.com.au).