The location of the main settlement was left to the first Governor, James Stirling, and his Surveyor General, John Septimus Roe. They decided to locate it behind a hill, beside a shallow river and near low-lying swampy ground. This location is somewhat unusual when compared to other Australia cities, being on a river that could not be navigated by larger ships, therefore requiring a seaport to be established where goods could be unloaded for further transportation to the settlement. The location did, however, have the advantage of fresh water, plentiful building materials and the defence advantage of an approach through the Narrows below Mount Eliza.
When viewing it from King’s Park, Francois Peron commented that the area which now forms the city was “… charmed with a beautiful prospect…. The banks of the river appeared almost every where covered in beautiful forests, which extended a considerable way into the interior of the country.”
When John Roe first laid out Perth in 1829 he had the intention that it would become an important city at the centre of a strong progressive economy. Driven on by Governor Stirling’s desire for a thriving settlement free from convicts.