Looking for an unforgettable wildlife experience in Perth? Look no further than Heirisson Island! Home to wild kangaroo, rich cultural history, and diverse birdlife, this island is a beautiful oasis in the heart of the city of Perth in Western Australia. Situated on the Swan River, it’s an ideal destination for nature lovers, and the best part is it’s less than a 15-minute walk from the Perth CBD.

While many locals are familiar with the island, there are plenty of hidden gems and unique features that visitors might not know about. Here’s why you should add Heirisson Island to your must-visit list!

Aerial view of Heirisson Island and the bridges connecting it from Victoria Park to Perth CBD

The Island is home to wild kangaroo

Yes, you read that correctly – there are wild kangaroo living on Heirisson Island! These iconic Australian marsupials are a rare sight in the urban environment of Perth, and seeing them in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience. You can usually spot them grazing on the grassy areas or lazing in the shade during the day. But be sure to keep a respectful distance – while they are accustomed to human presence, these kangaroo are still wild animals and should not be approached.

There’s another spot in the Perth Hills where you can get close up and personal with kangaroo. Read our guide on visiting John Forest National Park one of Australia’s oldest conservation areas.

Kangaroo resting in the shade on Heirisson Island in the heart of Perth

Heirisson Island has rich cultural history

The kangaroo are just one part of what makes Heirisson Island so special. Boasting a rich cultural history it is of great significance to the Nyoongar people. In fact, it was originally a chain of small islands and mud flats known as Matagarup, which means ‘leg deep’ in the Nyoongar language and was the main crossing point where the Nyoongar people could wade through the water.

Statue to commemorate the significance of Heirisson Island to the Noongar people.

Not only kangaroo, it’s a haven for birds

With its natural bushland, wetlands, and riverbanks, Heirisson Island is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The island is home to a wide range of bird species, including migratory shorebirds, waterbirds, and songbirds. Some of the highlights include the Australian white ibis, yellow-billed spoonbill, and rainbow lorikeet. Bring your binoculars and a field guide, and you’re sure to spot some feathered friends.

Aerial view of Heirisson Island in the heart of Perth

Our tips for planning a visit to Heirisson Island

  • It’s FREE to visit the island and the Kangaroo Sanctuary.
  • The Kangaroo Sanctuary is located on the southern side of the island.
  • Parking is on the northern side of the Causeway. Walk under the bridge to access the southern side of the island where the Kangaroo are.
  • No pets are allowed on the island.
  • Toilets, a small playground, BBQs and picnic tables are located on the northern end of the island.
  • There is a scenic trail around the entire island. It will take about one hour to walk the full circuit beginning at the car park.
  • There’s a great view of the Perth skyline from the southern end of the island at lookout point.
Entry to the Kangaroo Sanctuary on Heirisson Island in Perth

So whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or just looking for a peaceful escape from the city, Heirisson Island has something for everyone. And with its convenient location and rich cultural and ecological heritage, it’s a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Perth.

View of Perth skyline from Heirisson Island Lookout Point

NEW Causeway Bridge in Construction to Heirisson Island

A wonderful new addition to allow easier access to Heirisson Island is now under construction by Main Roads Western Australia. A six metre wide shared bicycle and pedestrian path will connect the Victoria Park foreshore with Heirisson Island and Perth’s CBD at Point Fraser. Separating path users from the road traffic, the two bridges will be built alongside the Causeway, providing a 6 metre wide shared path connecting the Victoria Park foreshore with Heirisson Island and Perth’s CBD at Point Fraser. Built as two bridges that connect over Heirisson Island, the s-shaped curves of the bridge’s design will represent the sinuous movement of the Wagyl (rainbow serpent). Early construction and ground improvement works have begun, with bridge construction scheduled to commence in mid-2023. Follow updates on the construction here.

Artists Impression of the new Causeway Bridges. Image produced by Main Roads Western Australia.

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