Just a stone's throw from the Perth CBD lies Heirisson Island - a nature oasis on the Swan River and home to a group of wild kangaroos. Read our guide for planning your visit.

Where to find kangaroo in the heart of Perth

Kangaroo resting at Heirisson Island in Perth

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.

Heirisson Island is home to a group of wild kangaroo.

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!

The Island is home to wild kangaroo

Kangaroo are very friendly at Heirisson Island in Perth

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.

Heirisson Island has rich cultural history

Statue of indigenous man at Heirisson Island

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.

Not only kangaroo, it’s a haven for birds

View of the area where the Kangaroo live on Heirisson Island

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.

Tips for your visit to Heirisson Island

Entry to the kangaroo sanctuary at Heirisson Island in Perth

  • 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.

Why visit Heirisson Island

Aerial view of the mud flats at Heirisson Island

Whether you’re a nature lover, a 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.

NEW Causeway Bridge in construction to Heirisson Island

Artists impression of the new pedestrian bridge to Heirisson Island

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

A wonderful new addition to allow easier access to Heirisson Island is now under construction by Main Roads Western Australia. 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 has begun, with bridge scheduled to be completed by late 2024. Follow updates on the construction here.