For a city that is highly dependent on the use of private vehicles, the central business district of Perth, capital of Western Australia, has large sectors that are for the exclusive use of pedestrians.
Certainly the main shopping area, which was once a traffic throughway, has been turned into a series of malls which means that shoppers can move about quite freely.
“There are three main malls within the shopping precinct.”
Hay Street Mall runs east west between Murray and Barrack Streets and is the oldest of the malls. Towards the eastern end of Hay Street Mall is London Court, and Elizabethan-style arcade which connects the mall to St Georges Terrace, which is considered to be Perth’s most prestigious street commercial street.
Immediately north of Hay Street Mall is Murray Street Mall, another popular shopping street. These two malls are linked by a series of arcades and some of Perth’s most popular shops and department stores, one of which is David Jones.
Forming a T-junction with Murray Street Mall is Forrest Place, which is a large public space in which many events are held throughout the year. Bordering both Murray Street Mall and Forrest Place is the shopping centre known as Forrest Chase, where you will find Myers, which is probably Perth’s most popular department store.
Forrest Place ends at Wellington Street, which is right opposite Perth’s main rail station, with bridge access between the station and Forrest Chase.
There is also an underground promenade which links Murray Street Mall with both Perth Station and, ultimately the Perth Cultural Centre in Northbridge home of the Art gallery of WA, The State Library, WA Museum, State Theatre and the Northbridge restaurant and entertainment precinct.
So, from the Cultural Centre it is possible, by using bridges and arcades, to make your way right through the city and under St Georges Terrace to Allenby Square, a major tower block, without having to be bothered by cars.
Whilst entertainment in Forrest Place is provided courtesy of the City of Perth, and is particularly busy during school holidays and at Christmas, Murray Street Mall is known for its buskers, some of whom put on spectacular shows which draw large crowds.
The area beginning from St Georges Terrace and ending at Wellington Street is mainly dedicated to shopping, eating and drinking.
“Each Friday night, a variety of food stalls are erected in Forrest Place so that you can, literally, eat your way around the world.”
Despite these three blocks being popular places for people to congregate there are no hotels of any note within the precinct, nor is there a cinema there. This area gets very busy during the day, but can get quite dead at night, particularly early in the week.