Perth Bushwalkers Club was formed in 1969. Although not Perth's first hiking club, it was the first club to be committed to backpacking walks in addition to day walks. 

A series of advertisements in the personal column of newspapers in April 1969 brought results, with the new Club underway in May 1969. It's first walk was a weekend one, from North Dandalup to Keysbroook. 

Geoff Schafer

Of the hardy band of 'Perth Bushies' that came together in that beginning year, Geoff Schaeffer is regarded as the founder of the Club. Geoff, a life member, was recognised for his contribution to bushwalking in WA by having Schaeffer Campsite on the Bibbulmun Track named after him.

The Club grew to around 60 members in its first 5 years. Over recent years our numbers have fluctuated around 400 members, making us WA's largest bushwalking club. 

In 1980, the Club began a regular newsletter, the ‘Venturer’ to inform members of planned walks. In mid-2011 a weekly email was introduced to provide members with regular safety and training tips (‘QTips’), which was soon expanded to include a weekly program update. This has become the current ‘Cooee’.  Meanwhile, after reaching its 400th issue milestone, the Venturer newsletter was changed from monthly to quarterly, to allow for a more magazine-style publication with articles from members. Thus, members are now informed of the weekly walks through the weekly "Cooee" e-news and the "Upcoming Activities" page of this website.

40 years history PBW 2011The rich history of the Club’s first 40 years was published in 2011 under the editorial guidance of life member Jenny Young. See 40 Years (1969-2009). This book contains captivating articles and photos of the Club’s adventures over that period, including two epic walks by Club members: The three month 2800km desert walk of the entire Canning Stock Route in 1976 and the 34-day 660km coastal walk from Albany to Esperance in 1979. 

Members of the Club were also instrumental in the early establishment of the Eagle View trail in John Forrest NP.

In 2019, the Club celebrated its 50th birthday with a very active history, which in recent years has included 230-250 walks and social activities for members per year. This has included some wonderful adventures in far-flung places, such as  NZ‘s Southern Alps, Tasmania, Victoria, the Kimberley’s Drysdale River N.P., the Pilbara’s Karijini N.P., and the Murchison's Kalbarri N.P., plus of course many destinations in southwestern WA, including Stirling Range N.P.