Thursday, 13 December 2012

A - Z of Australia - S is for South Perth

The suburb of South Perth just 3km south of the Perth´s CBD and just across the Swan River is one of my favourite suburbs.
At the time of the European settlement, the South Perth area was just used for agriculture and dairy farms, while the residential areas were either just north of the city or in Fremantle.
South Perth foreshore
In 1831 the river frontage land was divided among 7 people, and a mill was built in 1833, which is still visible when driving over the Narrows Bridge from the city to South Perth. The mill is now a National Trust property.

At that time a ferry crossing the Swan river into Perth was implemented. By the 1850´s the Canning Bridge and Causeway was constructed for road traffic, and lots were allocated to pensioners and construction of roads was started.
By the 1880´s a lot of Chinese gardeners arrived and started to grow fruit and vegetables and set up markets along the river to sell their produce. These markets lasted until the 1950´s.
With the gold boom in the Kimberley in the 1880´s, cashed up people moved into the suburb and built many elegant homes. The Perth Zoo and Royal Perth golf course were opened in 1898 and the area got a lot of tourists from across the river.
South Perth across from the city centre. Sir James Mitchell Park is the green area by the river (top), golf course by river (middle). The botanic gardens - Kings Park is to the left of the river
The ferry arriving from Perth
Arriving by ferry in South Perth
Taken from the ferry leaving Barrack Square in the city in front of the "Swan Bells"
Waiting for the ferry at Barrack Street
The Perth´s Zoo is nowadays still one of the suburb´s main attractions, opening daily from 9am to 5pm.
Apart from the animals, there are also a lot of special events held at the zoo, like outdoor concerts, New Year eve´s concert.

Another great place in South Perth is the Sir James Mitchell Park along the foreshore. It´s full of picnic areas, barbecue facilities, kids playground, cycling and walking paths. It´s also a great spot to watch the Australia Day fireworks on the 26th of January.
A ferry terminal in Mends Street is close to the zoo, with ferries coming from the Barrack Street terminal across the river in Perth.
Sir James Mitchell Park with Burswood Casino and residential buildings across the river
Due to its proximity to the city and the riverside location, South Perth is nowadays a very expensive residential area. To capitalise on this there are quite a lot of highrise apartment buildings near the foreshore, but there are also a lot of large and beautiful mansions and smaller townhouses.
There are some interesting restaurants and cafes by the riverfront, although I think a lot more could be done to revitalize the area in way of shopping and more variety of restaurants, but maybe being so close to the city means the residents and visitors go to the city centre rather than shop in South Perth.

Unfortunately I don´t live in this beautiful area, but when I go there I enjoy walking by the river in the Sir James Mitchell Park, and I always take my Perth visitors on the short ferry crossing, just to admire the view from both sides of the river.

You can find other bloggers with interesting posts on the A-Z series -


  1. I do like South Perth also Sami, unfortunately I don't live there either haha! I have to say though any further south is too far for me, I 'm definitely a Northern suburbs gal, love the beach too much to live any further than five minutes away from it.

  2. Perth deve ser muito giro, tenho visto imensas fotos da anterior comentadora, mas já percebi que esta é uma zona diferente da dela. Boas fotos, o moinho é demais! :-)

  3. HI Grace,we live south of the river, but I don´t much care for the beach...

    JM - Perth é uma cidade muito comprida com 120km de norte a sul, practicamente só junto á costa e junto ao rio que divide a cidade ao meio. A Grace vive a norte do rio e eu vivo a sul do rio. Tenho um mapa de Perth no meu post sobre "housing".

  4. I does look lovely! The ferry sounds fun- is it actually used for commuting or is it more for tourists?

  5. The ferry is used as public transport, with a regular timetable. Mainly used by the people that live close to the river, otherwise they would need to catch a bus that would probably take a bit longer to get into town. The ferry takes about 10 minutes.

  6. it looks lovely. Thanks for the great pics!


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