Welcome to the
Convicts and Colonials trail
In 1850, the sleepy Swan River
Colony received its first shipload
of convicts. Life would never be
the same again!
This self-guided trail will take up to two hours.
You can join in or depart from the trail anywhere
along the way.
The trail intercepts with the city’s free CAT bus
service accessing the foreshore, East Perth,
Northbridge and West Perth (excluding public
Other City Walking Trails:
Boom or Bust
Icons of Influence
The Secret of Point Zero children’s trail
City Parks & Gardens
i-City Information and Police Kiosk
Murray Street Mall near Forrest Place, Perth 6000
City of Perth
Council House, 27 St Georges Terrace,
Perth WA 6000
Trail prepared by Research Institute for Cultural
Heritage, Curtin University and the City of Perth.
Thank you to the Western Australian Museum for
This information is available in alternative
Although the Swan River Colony was established as a
free settlement in 1829, convict transportation was
introduced in 1850 to answer the demand for a plentiful
supply of cheap labour for the small population. Nearly
10,000 male convicts were transported until 1868. The
introduction of these reluctant immigrants caused much
debate and controversy amongst the residents, who feared
that their free colony would be forever tainted by the
Whilst convict transport lasted only 18 years, the legacy
of the short penal period is embedded in the streets of
Perth and the folklore of the State.
Perth Town Hall Corner Hay and Barrack Streets.
Many convicts were specially selected to come to
because of their
artisan skills and
labour, they could
and eventually a conditional release. The Perth Town
Hall was built by these men between 1867 and 1870,
to a design by Richard Roach Jewell and James
Manning. It is estimated that a team of 15 convicts
worked every day for three years