Leederville Like a Local
Leederville is what every big city needs: a neighbourhood enclave of cafes, restaurants, bars and shops with a distinctly boho, offbeat vibe. Perth's urban culture does lean too far towards the mainstream at times, but Leederville offers sweet relief for anyone arty, subversive or just a bit different. Hang out at local haunts and catch the Leederville vibe.
- Start cnr Melrose & Oxford Sts
- End Lake Monger
- Length 2km; one hour
From Melrose St, head down Oxford St to the Luna cinema on the Vincent St corner. Like all Australian cities, Perth has lost most of its charming old neighbourhood cinemas to a tide of multiscreen megaplexes…but not the Luna! This art-deco art-house cinema has been here since 1927, when movies were still silent. Check out the awesome Vincent St mural.
Oxford St's effervescence is tempting, but for now, jag left onto Vincent St towards the Leederville Oval. This lush ground hosts the East Perth Royals football team, who compete in the West Australian Football League (WAFL; www.wafl.com.au). The Royals haven't been playing particularly regally of late, but have won the comp 17 times and inspire deep passions in Leederville locals.
Cross Vincent St, backtrack to Oxford St, turn left and cruise the cafes. If you've been thinking, 'You know, all these cafes are great, but where's the pub?', turn left onto Newcastle St. The lovely old red-brick Leederville Hotel has been beering-it-up since 1897, and has recently morphed into several venues under one roof. Hit the bar at Bill's.
Oxford St Reserve
Return to Oxford St and cool your boots at the bottom end of the main drag, where this lovely little Oxford St Reserve awaits. Local mums and dads and their artfully dressed kids rampage around the shady nature-play area here, then retreat to the adjunct cafe to discuss composting techniques and fair-trade coffee.
'I'm on a seafood diet: I see food, then I eat it.' Jokes aside, for some of WA's best seafood, head back up the western side of Oxford St and into Kailis Bros. Established in 1926 (on Oxford St since 2000), Kailis is the place for some fresh red emperor, flame snapper or blue swimmer crabs to take away.
Further up Oxford St, turn left on Vincent St and cross below the Mitchell Fwy. On your right is the rather unappealingly named Lake Monger and its surrounding parkland – Leederville's green heartland. There's a 3.8km track around the lake if you feel like walking further, but hey, this is Leederville – wouldn't you rather read a book under a tree?
Catch bus 15 from Central Perth and jump off on Oxford St at stop 12678, just north of Melrose St, opposite Leederville Tafe.