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National Trust Free Entry Weekends & Open Days

Home > Perth > Cultural Events | Festivals | Free | Fun Things To Do | Historic Houses
by MaggieVP (subscribe)
Freelance writer specialising in serendipity: the art of finding wonderful things by accident or sagacity. Comments and suggestions always welcome!
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Explore WA history during the Australian Heritage Festival
National Trust Free Entry Weekends & Open Days
Since 1980, the annual National Trust Heritage Festival has celebrated Australian heritage and culture. Now known as the Australian Heritage Festival and held during April and May, the 2017 festival features a huge variety of events all around the country. There are tours, exhibitions, art shows, markets and more, with over 100 in Western Australia alone. In addition, National Trust properties have Free Entry Weekends during the festival period. There are also a number of Open Days, offering a rare chance to explore other heritage places not normally open to the public.

Australian Heritage Festival

The Australian Heritage Festival is supported through funding from the Australian Government's National Trusts Partnership Program.

This article only covers one aspect of the Festival. The complete program for WA can be viewed or downloaded here.

Free Entry Weekends - Perth Metro

Most National Trust properties charge a small entry fee which, together with the work of many dedicated volunteers, helps to maintain these historic places for all to enjoy. All entry fees are waived on weekends during the Australian Heritage Festival. The properties detailed below are all located in the Perth metro area. Some have cafes or picnic areas. Why not take advantage of the pleasant autumn weather to explore local history and enjoy an al fresco meal?

Peninsula Farm
2A Johnson Rd, Maylands

One of the first farms in the colony and the earliest metro residence still standing, Tranby House at Peninsula Farm was built by Joseph Hardey in 1839. A successful and innovative farmer, he produced olive oil and prize-winning wine in addition to the usual staples.

The Peninsula Tea Gardens offers high tea and light meals. Bookings recommended.

April 22 23, 29 30, May 6 7, 13 14, 20 21
Noon 4 pm

National Trust Free Entry Weekends

Ford St, Woodbridge

The site of Woodbridge House was granted to captain Stirling in 1831. He built a cottage to use as the colonial equivalent of a weekender. In 1883, Charles Harper purchased the land and built the grand house that still stands in all its glory today.

The Riverside Cafe offers meals and afternoon tea. Bookings recommended.

April 22 23, 29 30, May 6 7, 13 14, 20 21
1 4 pm

No 1 Pump Station
Mundaring Weir Rd, Mundaring

In 1891 WA Premier John Forrest appointed C.Y. O'Connor Engineer-in-Chief in charge of "railways, harbours, everything". His most famous project, completed in 1903, was the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme, built to transfer water 560 kilometres from the Perth hills to the goldfields. A modern version of the project continues to do the same today.

April 22 -23, 29 30, May 6 7, 13 14, 20 21
Noon 4 pm

Australian Heritage Festival

East Perth Cemeteries
Bronte St, East Perth

Over 10,000 people were buried at the East Perth Cemeteries between1829 and 1899. The 800 remaining headstones tell many tragic but fascinating stories of WA's early years. A database of names is available for those interested in tracing family history.

April 23, 29, May 7, 14, 21 (Sundays only)
1 4 pm

Open Days - Perth Metro

Many historic buildings are still in use today and public access is limited. The Australian Heritage Festival offers a rare chance to visit and tour some of these places during Open Days and special events.

Government House
St Georges Terrace, Perth

The first official residence of WA Governor Captain Stirling was a tent in what is now the Supreme Court Gardens. This was replaced by a wooden building nearby in 1834 which served until the current building was constructed in 1859.

The Open Day features self-guided tours, entertainment in the ballroom and other activities. Refreshments are available for purchase. Note that booking is required for some tours.

Sunday, April 30
10:30am 4:00 pm

Australian Heritage Festival
Government House
Image by Robert Young via Wikimedia Commons

Fremantle Sailing Club
151 Marine Tce, South Fremantle

Feel the breeze in your hair on a boat tour around the harbour or watch a live display of hard hat diving like the divers of yesterday. They'll be a bouncy castle, face painting and fishing for the kids or enjoy a delicious lunch on the Sunset Deck.

Sunday, 23 April
10am 3pm

Musical Moments: Gallop House
22 Birdwood Pde, Dalkeith

This lovely two storey house was built by the Gallops in the 1870s and enjoys panoramic views over the Swan River. Now home to the Feilman Foundation Composer in Residence program, this open day offers a chance to experience the Music Mill, a music making machine built by the current composer in residence.

Saturday 20 May
11am 4pm
Donation requested

KSP Writers Centre
10 Old York Rd, Greenmount

Learn about the Centre's activities and services as well as the literary and ANZAC history of this landmark character property. There will be market stalls, tours and readings by the various writers groups. Refreshments available.

Sunday 7 May
10:30am 3pm

The Old Observatory Tours
4 Havelock Street, West Perth

Built in 1897, the Old Observatory was a complex of three buildings. The one remaining building was originally the residence of the Government Astronomer and is now the headquarters of the National Trust.

April 22, May 13 & 20
1 pm & 3 pm
Prebooking required
Donation requested

Wireless Hill
1 Telefunken Dve, Ardross

The Wireless Station was one of Australia's first links with radio technology and was used for telecommunications during World War One and World War Two. See a live Morse code demonstration, do a history focused site tour or taking a self guided tour through one of the three interpretive walk trails.

Thursday, 18 May
10am -2 pm

Woodloes Homestead
39 Woodloes St, Cannington

Woodloes Homestead was designed and built as the home of Francis Bird and his family, pioneering settlers in the developing Canning region. Tour the property and enjoy a variety of stalls and demonstrations.

Sunday, 7 May
10am 4pm
Admission $2

Regional Properties

Australian Heritage Festival

The Australian Heritage Festival is supported through funding from the Australian Government's National Trusts Partnership Program.

As well as the Perth Metro area, National Trust properties in many different parts of the state are participating in the Free Entry Weekends. There are also a variety of events from the Peel region to the Great Southern, the Goldfields and the Northern region. Why not plan a day trip or a getaway weekend? Details are available in the program.
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Why? Discover the presence of the past
When: See article for dates
Where: Perth metro and regional WA
Cost: Free, some request donation
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