Perth Bushwalkers Club was formed in 1969. It was not Perth's first hiking club, but 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 of 1969 had brought results and so the new Club was underway in May 1969, with the Club's first walk being 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 of the Club, 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 membership numbers have fluctuated typically between 300-400 members, making us W.A's largest bushwalking club. 

In 1980, the Club began a regular newsletter, the ‘Venturer’ to inform our members about planned walks. In mid-2011 a weekly email also commenced to provide members with regular safety and training tips (‘QTips’). This was soon expanded to include a weekly program update which became the current ‘Cooee’ weekly email.  Meanwhile after reaching its 400th issue milestone, the Venturer newsletter was changed from monthly to quarterly, to allow presentation of more magazine-style articles from members. The Venturer's former walks program role is now replaced by Cooee and the Upcoming Activities on this site.

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 126 pages of 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. 

As the Club approaches its 50th birthday (in May 2019) we can look back on a very active history which in recent years has included well over 100 activities for members per year. These have taken members on wonderful adventures in far-flung places, such as  N.Z.‘s Southern Alps, Tasmania, 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. and various other of the national parks. And then there have been the many day walks (both on Sundays and mid-week) and overnight pack-carries closer to Perth.