The Geological Survey of Western Australia publishes a series of easy-to-carry books and pamphlets for those who love to discover geology on self-guided drives or walks.

Discovery trails to early Earth

Geology and landforms of the Perth region

The east Pilbara region in the northwest of Western Australia has one of Earth’s best-preserved remnants of ancient crust that is more than 3.5 billion years old, and evidence for the earliest life on Earth. Discover the story with this book as your guide on a drive through one of Western Australia’s iconic geological regions.

From the town of Marble Bar, travellers choose from several tour routes to discover remnants of gigantic volcanic eruptions, rocks practically untouched by time despite their great age, the famed ‘Marble Bar’ itself, stromatolites, evidence for past glaciers, and inverted landscapes. All sites are close to the road, readily accessible, and located for you by GPS.

Geology of the Kennedy Range area

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Visitors to Kennedy Range are treated to a journey through a 300 million-year-old landscape that was once covered by ice. Rocks formed at that time were later inundated by the sea, and changes in climate over the past 20 million years have left their mark on the rocks.

Wind and water have sculpted and modified the rocks into remarkable shapes, and the rocky walking trails are strewn with boulders that have tumbled down the sandstone cliffs. It is a rugged and remote place, and yet readily accessible to the intrepid traveller looking to camp for a few days and explore a fascinating landscape.

John Forrest National Park Railway Reserve Heritage Geotrail

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The Railway Reserve Heritage Geotrail in John Forrest National Park is a gentle walk or bike ride accessible in all seasons. Close to Perth City, in the undulating hills of the Darling Range, the geotrail is easily reached for a half-day or full-day excursion.

With this guide and a keen eye, visitors will appreciate how topography, streams and different rock types interact to produce a distinct and varied terrain. Railway cuttings expose rocks that have formed the backbone of Western Australia since its inception. Granite tors dot the hillslopes and deep-red soils reveal where dolerite dykes cut through the granites. The rail cuttings offer a glimpse into how the geology influenced the construction of Western Australia’s first rail line connection Perth with the Eastern Goldfields. At the western end of the trail, the former railway tunnel merges organically into the bedrock excavated during its construction.

Geology of Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island provides a cross-section of some of the youngest rocks in Western Australia and has geological features of international significance. Whether exploring the island via the StoryMap virtual tour or in person with the handy pamphlet in your back pocket, you will discover clues to changes in sea level and environment that inform how we think about these issues today.

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Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones

Stepping stones is a pamphlet produced by GSWA, which facilitates two self-guided geotrails in the City of Perth. The trails lead the curious explorer on a journey to discover rocks and stones used in building facades, and other ways in which geology has influenced the city’s development. Trail 1 can also be followed using an app on your smart device.

Geology and landforms of the Perth region

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Stretching from the ocean to the eastern hills, the Perth region has coastal and river-valley landscapes, and forested hills that reflect the diverse geology beneath. Take a self-guided tour that encompasses nearly 3 billion years of Earth’s history.

This book explores the coastal plains bit by bit, with each chapter visiting a location where key aspects of the geology and landforms have helped us understand how the present-day landscape evolved. As you travel around the urban environment, or into the outer districts and hills, discover a new view of the setting in which Perth City was founded.

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