Walking Tour: Central Perth Old & New

  • Start Yagan Sq
  • End Elizabeth Quay
  • Length 4km; two hours

Bookended by two of Perth's newly revitalised precincts – Yagan Sq, connecting the CBD with neighbouring Northbridge; and Elizabeth Quay, connecting the CBD with the Swan River – this walk highlights the evolution of Central Perth. Gorgeous architectural remnants crop up along the way – Central Perth is older than it looks!

Get started at Yagan Sq, nooked into the embrace of the historic Horseshoe Bridge, above the rail lines. Named in honour of Yagan, a Wadjuk warrior upon whose land Perth now stands, this public space is fast becoming the social hub of the city.

Cross Wellington St, head south down William St and turn left onto buzzy Murray St Mall, the city's main shopping precinct (any good buskers today?). Cut through the art-deco Plaza Arcade to Hay St Mall, more low-key than its Murray St partner in commerce. Directly opposite you'll spy the marvellously over-the-top London Court, a mock-Elizabethan shopping arcade built in 1937. Continue to the corner of Hay St Mall and Barrack St where the beautifully restored 1870 Town Hall soars high, with its impressive clock tower.

Continue up Hay St and turn left up Irwin St. At the corner of Irwin and Murray is the Old Central Fire Station (1901). Turn right onto Murray St: you'll pass the red-brick Royal Perth Hospital en route to the 1863 St Mary's Cathedral at the end of the street. Do a lap around Victoria Ave then track south to the Perth Concert Hall, a grand auditorium on St Georges Tce cobbled together in the early 1970s. Continue west along St Georges Tce past turreted Government House (1864) then dart through Stirling Gardens to the noble Supreme Court (1903).

Wind south of the Supreme Court and make for the river. Within moments the Bell Tower will come into view: controversial when it was built in 1999, it's become a must-see viewpoint for visitors to the city. Around the corner is fast-evolving Elizabeth Quay. Wander across the pedestrian bridge and survey the scene: cafes, bars, ferries, gondolas, kids, tourists…this is new Perth!