Education and Learning



Havelock St, West Perth 

The Old Perth Observatory, situated at the top of Mount Eliza just to the east of the City of Perth, is now the headquarters of the National Trust. Originally there were three main buildings on the Observatory site but today just the Government Astronomer's Residence remains.

Prior to European settlement Mount Eliza was used by the Whadjuck people led by Yalongonga. Numerous Aboriginal sites have been identified in the area but no archaeological or ethnographic records have been found relating to the site of the Old Observatory.

The elevated site on the northern edge of the Mount Eliza ridge was originally a recreation ground for the High School (later Hale School). In 1895 the area was set aside for an Observatory and Government Astronomer's residence. The building was designed by the first Government Architect George Temple-Poole. The first Government Astronomer was William Ernest Cooke who came to Perth from Adelaide.

SEARCHING FOR SECRETS for middle and upper primary students

Teachers of S&E for years 8 to 12 should contact the National Trust to discuss curriculum specific needs.

Bookings essential. Please allow at least 2.5 hours for your visit.
Teaching resources are available.

Booking Fees and to Request a Booking click here


View Larger Map

Despite its modern surrounds, the Old Observatory still commands a prominent position in West Perth, and provides a landmark of late nineteenth century architectural and scientific endeavour. Today, the building makes a practical base for touring West Perth by foot.

West Perth has changed considerably since the gold-rush days of 1890s when it was a generally a residential area for the workers of Perth city. A guided tour gives students the opportunity to discover the space and architectural changes that have occurred since 1895. Activities back at the Old Observatory link to its original use. By using West Perth as a model, students learn what to look for when conducting a study of their own local area.

Teachers of S&E for years 8 to 12 should contact the National Trust to discuss further specific needs.

 back to top