explore small museums and
tour historic buildings
in Perth's historic heart
Perth's east end is home to many small museums and historic buildings.
Take time to walk the Historic Heart, from the Old Court House Law Museum to The Perth Mint and beyond, and explore the history of our city within these intriguing spaces. Further details and opening times below.
Photographs by Dion Robeson.
1. Old Courthouse Law Museum
Stirling Gardens, cnr Barrack Street & St Georges Terrace, Perth
Open Tuesday to Friday from 10am - 4pm. Admission is free.
For further details visit Old Court House Law Museum
The Old Court House Law Museum is housed in Perth's oldest building, constructed in 1836. One of only a few law museums in the world, the museum's objective is to promote understanding of the law, legal issues and the legal profession in Western Australia’s community and to preserve the history of the law and the legal profession in this state. The Museum’s interpretive displays, Small Court House Big Stories and People and The Law, are accompanied by an audio overview and take visitors on a journey through Western Australia’s legal history.
2. Government House
St Georges Terrace, Perth.
Tours of Government House are offered to groups every second Tuesday at 11am. Bookings are essential.
For further details visit Government House Tours
The grounds of Government House are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week from 12pm to 2pm
for lunch in the grounds. Please note that the grounds are sometimes closed for work or private functions,
so we recommend calling ahead.
For further details visit Government House Grounds
3. WA Museum at the
Perth Concert Hall
5 St Georges Terrace, Perth
Open daily from 9am - 5pm. Admission is free to see the WA Museum display. For further details visit the WA Museum website
WA Museum has partnered with the Perth Concert Hall (PCH) to display a selection of objects from its collection while the new museum is under construction. The PCH display showcases Australia’s ancient history, including an iron meteorite found in 1917, dinosaur skeletons and skeletons of extinct megafauna.
3. Perth Concert Hall ...
behind the scenes tours
5 St Georges Terrace, Perth
For further details visit the Perth Concert Hall website
In addition to current WA Museum display, PCH offers behind the scenes tours where they reveal the secrets of the Perth Concert Hall - taking tour groups backstage, upstage, down narrow passageways, past technical contraptions and into a previously concealed area that is now used as a performance space.
4. St George's Cathedral
Cathedral Square, St Georges Terrace, Perth.
Open daily 7am - 6pm (5pm on Saturdays and public holidays)
Admission is free. For further details phone (08) 9325 5766 or
visit the St George's Cathedral website
St George's Cathedral is one of only a few cathedrals constructed of handmade bricks. Its gothic revival design is enhanced by a blend of local and imported materials, including local jarrah roof trusses and arches, limestone from Fremantle, bricks made in brickyards along the Swan River, bluestone pillars from Victoria, Oregon pine ceilings, marble reredos manufactured in Italy with English alabaster inserts and a stone pulpit carved in France.
Within the Cathedral are numerous icons, beautiful stained glass windows and memorials to West Australian pioneers, community leaders and those who served in the twentieth century wars.
5. Perth Town Hall
Cnr of Hay Street and Barrack Street, Perth
The Lower and Upper Foyers are generally open to the public from 10am - 4pm Monday to Saturday. Admission is free. Please note that the Town Hall is sometimes closed for private functions, so check before your visit by calling (08) 9461 3555.
Tours of the Perth Town Hall are conducted Thursdays at 2pm. Tours last about 45 minutes departing from the City of Perth kiosk in the Murray Street Mall. Tours are free of charge but it is advisable to book by calling (08) 9461 3444.
6. YAL Museum
45 Murray Street, Perth.
Open Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am - 2pm
Admission is free. For further information visit
YAL Museum website
With a 110-year history the Young Australia League museum has a wonderful collection of photos, artefacts and momentos from trips, tours and the evolution of the YAL, with a number of unique items which can’t be seen anywhere else.
7. Fire Station Museum
Corner of Murray and Irwin Streets, Perth.
Open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 10am - 3pm. Admission is free. For further details visit
DFES Education website
Housed in the original Perth Central Fire Station, constructed in 1899, the museum showcases vintage fire service appliances and has an exhibition space featuring the history and stories about fire brigades, hazards and emergency responses.
Welcoming over 18, 000 visitors a year, the centre is open to the public and offers an interactive, interesting and fun experience for schools, tourists, families and community groups.
8. Royal Perth Hospital Museum
1 Colonial House, Murray Street, Perth
Open Wednesday and Thursday 9am - 2pm.
Admission is free. For further details visit RPH Museum website
The RPH museum takes visitors on a walk through the history of the hospital from its opening in 1855. The medical equipment of the past provides a fascinating insight into the changes constantly taking place in medicine, each object with a story to tell.
One of the most valued artefacts in the Museum is a box containing the first ever x-ray equipment in Australia. Imported from France by Dr W. J. Hancock, the Cold Cathode X-ray tubes assisted in examining patients in the hospital in the early 1900's.
9. St Mary's Cathedral
Victoria Square, Perth
Public tours at 10.30am every Tuesday (except public holidays)
Entry $5 donation. Tour tickets available at the Church Office at
25 Victoria Avenue. For further details visit
St Mary's Cathedral website
The Cathedral, as it now stands, was constructed in three main phases, with the first phase completed in 1865. Plans were drawn up for the replacement of the cathedral in the 1920s with a larger Perpendicular Gothic edifice. However, construction was interrupted by the onset of the Great Depression.
After 70 years incomplete, and portions of the cathedral requiring extensive repair work, funds were eventually raised in the late 1990s and early 2000s for the completion of the expansion. A new curved design for the expansion was created, and featured a second spire and underground parish centre.
10. Mercy Heritage Centre
86 Victoria Square, Perth
Open by appointment for guided tours. Admission is free.
For further visit Mercy Heritage Centre website
Located within the Convent of Mercy built in 1871, the Mercy Heritage Centre is a space where people can share in the story of the first Mercy Foundation in Australia in 1846 and learn more about the Mercy ministries and various traditions which have developed since then.
11. The Perth Mint
Hill Street, Perth
Open daily 9am - 5pm. Phone (08) 9421 7223 or visit
The Perth Mint website for admission prices and tour times.
Established in 1899, The Perth Mint is the oldest operating mint in Australia, and Australia's only remaining gold rush mint.
Join a heritage tour and visit The Perth Mint’s dazzling exhibitions. View the largest gold coin in the world valued at more than $50 million, see Australia’s biggest collection of natural gold nuggets, watch a gold pouring demonstration in an 1899 melting house, and more. Hear tales of the Mint’s golden past and learn of the gold mining legends that shaped Western Australia.
Photographs by Dion Robeson.