Review: Perth laneway walking tour explores a fascinating urban maze

The transformation of Perth's inner city over the last few years has been nothing short of mind-blowing. New life has been breathed into once forgotten laneways and alleys, and they're now home to vibrant street art-scapes, quirky bars and on-trend eateries. This Perth laneway walking tour will introduce you to the best of the backstreets. Review: Jennifer Morton

Perth laneway walking tour

Perth laneway walking tour. Image: Jennifer Morton

4.5 stars

Perth laneway walking tour with Urban Adventures

Get lost in a maze of commercial bliss and popping street art on this informative Perth laneway walking tour. Explore the ever evolving inner-city lanes and arcades, and get plenty of insider tips from your local guide on places to eat and drink during the rest of your stay. Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

Best price guarantee: If you find this tour elsewhere at a cheaper price, we will beat it by 10%. Some conditions apply. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book this tour with The Big Bus tour and travel guide.

Everyone knows that Perth is famous for beaches and blissful weather, but what visitors may not know is that the city centre is a web of arcades and alleyways – making the Western Australia capital interesting and buzz-worthy.

Now I’ve been to Perth many times, but I’ve never really taken the time to get to know the place. That’s all about to change, as I join Urban Adventures on their popular Perth laneway walking tour.

I meet tour guide Ben at the Town Hall. He’s a true-blue Perthite who has spent years working as a concierge at swanky hotels – so he’s accustomed to knowing his way around big cities.

As we stroll through Cathedral Square between the Town Hall and the iconic heritage-listed former government State Buildings, Ben narrates some of Perth’s history. I’m embarrassed by how little I actually know about the area’s Aboriginal heritage and its settler and convict beginnings. Luckily I don’t have to sit for a citizenship test any time soon!

Be sure to read the path you walk on this Perth laneway walking tour – there’s more interesting information at your feet.

Perth laneway walking tour

Perth laneway walking tour. Image: Jennifer Morton

We venture into the State Buildings and downstairs to trendy Long Chim Thai restaurant. The décor hooks me but Ben says the food is amazing too. He recommends reserving a table. I add it to a mental wish list: ‘Places to eat when next in Perth’.

As we snake our way through high-end shops, cafes, bars, I’m gasping and gaping at all the shiny places I’ve never seen before. We exit through the six-star COMO The Treasury hotel. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as six stars!

Perth laneway walking tour

Perth laneway walking tour: Long Chim. Image: Jennifer Morton

By the time we get to St Georges Terrace, I’m hopelessly and deliciously lost!

We arrive at London Court, an English-themed shopping lane built in 1937 to encourage British investors. The Tudor-style architecture inspires a trip to the UK, if only in my mind. Jolly good, I say.

Perth laneway walking tour

Perth laneway walking tours: London Court

As we mosey down bustling Hay Street Mall, Ben explains the city’s ploy to attract more visitors by reinventing the inner-city lanes and alleyways. The City of Perth Public Art Strategy has funded lighting and cobbled strips down the centre of some alleys to encourage exploration.

It’s all part of a big push to make Perth more engaging (and interesting) by the bicentenary in 2029 and you’ll find murals and other urban art-scapes in every nook and cranny.

Grand and Wolf Lanes are heavily decorated with wall paintings and random art. The Lego Jesus tile and the floating women mural by Argentinian artist Hyuro are my favourites.

Perth laneway walking tour

Perth laneway walking tour. Image: Jennifer Morton

Not only are these artful alleyways now full of character and creativity, they’re home to some of the city’s hippest and most innovative bars and eateries. Cheeky Sparrow and Wolf Lane are quickly added to my return visit wish list.

Perth laneway walking tour

Perth laneway walking tours. Image courtesy of Wolf Lane

The only alley eatery I’m familiar with is Toastface Grillah in Grand Lane. This simple cafe is famous locally for its toasted sandwiches but they also make kick-ass coffee. I grab a takeaway flat white before Ben leads me down Wellington Street.

Perth laneway walking tour

Perth laneway walking tour: Toastface Grillah. Image: Jennifer Morton

At Forrest Place stall holders are setting up for the Twilight Hawker Markets. The Friday night food bazaar runs October to April. My food-fuelled wish list continues to grow!

When we pass BamBamBoo in funky Globe Lane, I think this is where I will eat later. (Note: I did come back here and eat later. It’s modern, fast Chinese food in an up-market, communal-style setting. The duck spring rolls rule!)

Perth laneway walking tour

Perth laneway walking tour: Spend up big on King Street.

We also enjoy jaunts through Trinity and Piccadilly Arcades (two words: Roc Candy), before a final gape down ultra-pricey King Street.

It’s amazing what you can discover about a city in a couple of hours. This Perth laneway walking tour is definitely the way to go – and I can’t wait to get lost in the lanes and arcades all over again on my next visit.

Jennifer travelled as a guest of Urban Adventures.

Additional images: Bigstock


Jennifer Morton

About the writer

Jennifer Morton is a freelance writer and photographer. The Canadian expat has lived all over Canada, New Zealand and Australia. She also spent six months working on a cruise ship in Europe. When Jennifer is not writing about travel, you may find her lounging on the beach, fishing with her son, sipping coffee at a cafe, reading a book or zooming in on a beautiful scene. She’s also likely to be boarding a plane – or jumping out of one.

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