Top Trail: Boom or Bust Trail, Perth CBD
The Boom or Bust trail is a historical walk through Perth city that highlights the “boom” created by gold and the resultant surge of growth, wealth and prosperity in Western Australia. The city population swelled, buildings were erected and it seemed Perth would “bust” as this remote town turned into a buzzing cosmopolitan city.
About the Trail
You’ll discover interesting trinkets in the bustling London Court - a mock Elizabethan reproduction of an old London street, boutiques and cafes in King Street, one of the best preserved gold rush period streetscapes in Perth, and gold bullion at the Perth Mint which still operates today.
The trail also takes in some of Perth’s most interesting architecture including the Victorian Free Gothic arches of the Perth Town Hall, the Edwardian finery of His Majesty’s Theatre and the imposing Beaux Arts style of the General Post Office.
The Boom or Bust Trail is one of several trails around the City of Perth. Volunteers guide free walking tours each week day, departing from the i-City Information Kiosk in Murray Street Mall near Forrest Place. The tours take up to 2 hours, and you can join in or leave anywhere along the way.
Need to Know
All the essential ingredients for an amazing holiday can be found in Perth. Think endless beaches and ocean sunsets, new dining, shopping and cultural precincts and a lively emerging cultural scene, parks, nature reserves and marine adventures, fresh local produce and its very own wine region. Little wonder Perth's up there with the world's most liveable cities. Centring on Australia's sunniest capital city, Perth invites you to relax and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, from city to country and river to sea. Regular flights to Perth depart from overseas, all state capitals and many regional locations. Alternatively, you can make the journey part of the adventure boarding the legendary Indian Pacific rail, taking an epic road trip across the Nullarbor, or joining a summer cruise of the coast. Take your pick of 19 pristine beaches, from iconic Cottesloe to the surf hotspot of Scarborough. Or hit the neighbouring city of Fremantle to soak up a little heritage and culture, strolling through one of the world's best preserved 19th century port streetscapes and sampling the catch of the day at the Fishing Boat Harbour. Make the short hop by ferry from Perth to Rottnest Island, a car-free and carefree Class A nature reserve blessed with some of Australia's most beautiful beaches and secluded bays. Or follow the river 45 minutes inland to taste the fruits of Western Australia's oldest wine region - the Swan Valley - touring the cellar doors, boutique breweries and providores of fine fresh produce. To the south, Rockingham and the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park offer close encounters of the marine kind, from penguins and dolphins to dive wrecks and snorkel trails. While the vibrant seaside town of Mandurah invites you to spend a day on its pretty foreshore or wide open waterways, dining or picnicking, fishing or bird watching, sailing or paddling. To the north east, the rolling hills, orchards, vineyards and pastures of the beautiful Avon Valley make for a scenic daytrip to Western Australia's first inland settlement and the river that inspired the greatest white water race - the Avon Descent.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden is the green heart of the city, covering 400.6 hectares and located adjacent to the Swan River, approximately 1.5 kilometres from the Central Business District of Perth. With its remarkable expanses of unique bushland, tranquil parkland and botanic garden, the Park is the most popular visitor destination in Western Australia. Kings Park and Botanic Garden has extensive city and river views with panorama to the Darling Range. The magnificently sited State War Memorial is also one of several scenic vantage points. Kings Park and Botanic Garden showcases an outstanding collection of Western Australia flora. It is a popular place for picnics, pleasant walks, cultural and ceremonial events. Nearly two thirds of the Park is natural bushland containing 319 species of native plants and around 80 bird species. The balance of the Park is made up of superbly cultivated gardens and open recreational areas. There are picnic and barbecue facilities, public toilets and playgrounds at several locations in Kings Park. The Lotterywest Family Area (accessible from Kings Park Road) is home to the Ivey Watson Playground, an ideal location for families with very young children. Synergy Parkland (accessible from May Drive) is wheelchair accessible and features the popular Zamia Cafe. The playground, including an ornamental lake and island fort is adjacent to the outdoor cinema venue that operates between December and March each year. The Kings Park Kiosk, Botanical Cafe and Fraser's Restaurant are located on Fraser Avenue and all enjoy spectacular views over the city and Swan River. Aspects of Kings Park, also located on Fraser Avenue, is a unique showcase of Australia’s finest arts, craft and design. The Annual Kings Park Festival is held in the month of September, and includes the spectacular blooming wildflowers in the Botanic Garden.
Mount Lawley is one of Perth's most stylish suburbs and buzzing cultural hotspots. Beaufort Street, the suburb's main thoroughfare, is a long string of unique shops, award-winning restaurants, cool bars and chilled out coffee shops where you can enjoy the village vibe and full calendar of festivals, concerts and entertainment. Mount Lawley is located a mere five minutes' drive north of central Perth, or else a short bus or train ride from Perth's main station. The best way to experience the suburb is by walking the length of Beaufort Street. You'll find big brand shops and boutiques selling everything from fashion and home wares to music, books and memorabilia. Beside several gourmet delicatessens, there's a huge selection of restaurants to cater to any budget or hankering. You can transport your tastebuds to all four corners of the globe while you sit and watch the world go by. Mount Lawley gains even more vibrancy at night. The numerous bars in the area range from relaxed pubs and lively clubs to classy late night bars. Art and art history buffs will also be struck by Mount Lawley's fine examples of architecture from the first half of the twentieth century, including Federation, Colonial, English Vernacular Revival, Art Deco and Californian Bungalow style dwellings. The Astor Theatre - a multi-purpose venue built in 1919 - is well known for its fine art deco designs. For those looking to make Mount Lawley their basecamp for a city break, there are plenty of motels, bed and breakfasts and holiday apartments to choose from.
Northbridge is a cultural feast for the senses within minutes of Perth's city centre. Showcasing local, national and international art, fashion and history, it's also a multicultural melting pot of flavours blended together with a lively mix of bars and nightclubs. You can walk to Northbridge from Perth Underground Station in just four minutes along William Street. Or, hop on the free Blue CAT bus if you're out and about in Perth's central business district. Make a beeline for the cultural precinct and you can easily spend the day feeding the mind and soul for free with visits to museums, the State library and craft markets. The Art Gallery of Western Australia brings more than 15,000 works by renowned Indigenous, Australian and international artists before your eyes. The contemporary State Theatre Centre, home of the Heath Ledger Theatre, plays host to an array of high profile productions by the Black Swan State Theatre, as well as dance, music and fashion shows. You'll also find original visual, performing and media arts presented at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. Western Australian Museum shares a collection of stories and artefacts of the State's social and natural history, from dinosaurs to the Katta Djinoong. From here, you can explore more of the city's history, following heritage walks to some of Perth's oldest architecture. For a little retail therapy, browse the boutiques of William Street for vintage, hip and quirky fashion. Take your pick from a kaleidoscope of cuisines, from Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai to modern Australian. Then wash it down with any beverage imaginable, from coffees to cocktails. The nightlife menu is just as impressive, with a buzzing bar and club scene offering live music, comedy and DJ sessions, plus regular performances, festivals and other cultural activities at the Northbridge Piazza. With a wide variety of backpackers, bed and breakfasts, self-contained accommodation and hotels, it's easy to make Northbridge your base for a city break and catch one of the many annual events, such as the Perth International Arts Festival, Carnival Latino, Perth Food and Wine Festival and the Pride Parade.
Perth is Australia's only capital city where you can enjoy the beach lifestyle, relax in natural bushland, sample world-class local wines and watch an ocean sunset within just 30 minutes of the city. It's also the sunniest state capital, averaging 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and boasting a string of 19 beautifully clean and uncrowded beaches, from iconic Cottesloe to the surf hotspot of Scarborough. Regular flights to Perth depart from overseas, all state capitals and many regional locations, landing you just 20 minutes from the central business district. For more exciting ways to get there, how about a ride on the legendary Indian Pacific rail, an epic road trip across the Nullarbor, or a summer cruise of the coast? Situated beside the Swan River, Perth is a living picture postcard, with the best views of all from Kings Park and Botanic Garden - one of the biggest inner-city parks in the world. Larger than New York's Central Park, there are so many ways to enjoy its 400-plus hectares of sculpted gardens and natural bushland. Stroll the treetop walk, take an Indigenous cultural tour, picnic among the gum trees and in Spring, see the wildflowers in bloom. Another city icon is the Swan Bells, which fills the air with sounds from one of the largest musical instruments on Earth. From there, you can hop on the free bus to museums, art galleries and the Perth Mint - home to the world's greatest collection of gold bars. There's also plenty of retail therapy on offer. The high-end fashion boutiques of King Street make it the place to be seen. The Murray and Hay Street malls are where you'll find the big brands, or for some eclectic vibes, head to Northbridge, Mount Lawley, Leederville, Subiaco or Victoria Park. Take a lazy lunch by the river or beachside and enjoy the fresh fusion flavours of Perth's many cafes, restaurants and new small bars. Jump on a ferry to South Perth to take in that sensational skyline. It's spectacular at night, when the glittering lights are reflected on the river.
One of the top spots to take in Perth's stunning city skyline and sweeping Swan River views, South Perth is beloved for its buzzing cafés, sophisticated restaurants and scenic river foreshore that hosts concerts, local fairs and markets. From the city, South Perth is a short drive or bus ride over Narrows Bridge. Or, for a more scenic and leisurely route, there's the public ferry that runs from Barrack Street on the city side of the river to the Mends Street and Coode Street jetties, which depart (approximately) every 30 minutes. Against the magnificent city and river backdrop, you can cycle the foreshore footpaths, hire a surf cat, walk through the parklands, or enjoy a picnic or barbecue using the free facilities that dot the riverside. Mends Street tempts you with a variety of cafes and restaurants, while bustling Angelo Street provides the perfect shopping pit stop, with its boutiques selling everything from homewares to fashion to gardening accessories, interspersed with a growing number of bakeries and cafés. Within easy walking distance from the jetty and Mends Street, the award winning Perth Zoo brings you face-to-face with more than 1,300 native and exotic animals, many set in their natural habitats. For other family friendly activities, check out the local calendar of events, featuring the annual City of South Perth Fiesta (usually in March) - a two-week long festival of live music, art, craft markets, food and sporting activities. It's also a great spot to watch the Australia Day (26 January) fireworks display. Many visitors choose to stay in South Perth for its proximity to the city, panoramic views and relaxed atmosphere. Accommodation options range from four star hotels to budget motels and self-serviced apartments.
Subiaco is a suburb renowned for its eclectic architecture, quaint and leafy residential streets, premier shopping and multicultural dining scene. By day, it's one of Perth's most vibrant districts with a friendly, cosmopolitan atmosphere. By night, Subiaco becomes a hub of activity with locals and visitors flocking to its restaurants, pubs and clubs and theatres. Located just five kilometres to the northwest of Perth's city centre, Subiaco can be reached via the Perth to Fremantle train line. The train station is at the heart of Subiaco's bustling town centre, making it a perfect starting point to explore all that the suburb has to offer. Subi, as the locals call it, has a rich history with humble origins. Settled in 1851 by Benedictine monks from Subiaco, Italy, the area soon developed into a distinct town centre resembling a European village. Today, these origins are still evident. The quiet residential streets of Subiaco are home to some of the city's most beautifully maintained heritage homes. The quaint Subiaco Museum contains memorabilia originating from the 19th century Benedictine monks, as well as relics of local Aboriginal culture. Running through the centre of Subiaco is Rokeby Road, a leafy street offering some of Western Australia's finest shopping and dining - from chic boutiques and art galleries, to bustling European cafés and award-winning restaurants. On weekends, Subi is abuzz by day and night. The Subiaco Station Markets offer a variety of arts, crafts, food and entertainment. The Regal Theatre, Subiaco Arts Centre, bars and clubs create a lively night scene, and Patersons Stadium plays host to football, soccer and rugby games. Not far from Subiaco are the picturesque grounds of the University of Western Australia, perched on the curve of the Swan River at Matilda Bay. It's little wonder that many visitors choose to stay in Subiaco while visiting Perth. Select from several hotels and guesthouses and make it your base for a memorable city break.
The vibrant inner city precinct of Victoria Park is a south of the Swan River gem. Affectionately known as 'Vic Park' by locals, the area is a cultural melting pot, well reflected in its lively dining and entertainment. You can reach Victoria Park by train, bus or on foot from Perth city. It lies just three kilometres east of the Perth city, bordered by the Swan River to its northwest and comprises the suburbs of Victoria Park, East Victoria Park, St James, Carlisle, Lathlain, Burswood, and parts of Bentley and Welshpool. Running through its centre is the precinct's high street, the Albany Highway, which boasts a variety of cafes, restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues. Diners are spoilt for choice with Indian, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, Chinese and Italian all featuring on the menu. While there are many well-known heritage style pubs, the heart of Victoria Park's nightlife is centred at the Crown Perth, one of the capital's key entertainment hubs. This riverside venue is home to Western Australia's only licenced casino, Crown Theatre Perth and a number of award-winning restaurants. Vic Park is also an ideal place to enjoy the spectacular eastern views of the city skyline from across the Swan River. There are a number of local community parks and reserves ideal for picnics and outdoor activities. McCallum Park, for instance, has its own skatebowl, along with leisure centres providing activities for children, teens and adults. Accommodation wise, your options range from the five star luxury hotel rooms to affordable motels. That's the beauty of Vic Park, there's something for everyone.
Western Australian Visitor Centre
55 William Street (corner of Hay Street), Perth Western Australia 6000, Australia
Phone: (08) 9483 1111 | www.wavisitorcentre.com.au
The Western Australian Visitor Centre is located in the centre of Perth. It is a one stop shop for travel information, souvenirs and offers a free tours and accommodation booking service. The Centre is open 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday and 11.00am to 4.30pm Sunday.