About Us

Home About Us

Present

At the Witch’s Hat, we pride ourselves as being one of the best backpackers in Perth. We are located in a quiet, suburban area of Northbridge but are within easy walking distance of the centre of Northbridge, the CBD and transport links. At The Witch’s Hat you will find a quiet, fun backpackers where you can feel secure and at home. Our staff are dedicated to ensuring that you have the best stay possible.

Witch's Hat won the Best Hostel in WA award in the Adventure Travel Awards 2014
Witch's Hat won a Golden Backpack Award in 2014 for Best Accommodation in WA

Past

William Dartnell and Family

The Witch’s Hat was built in 1897 for the Dartnell family by a German architect called Liebe. Whether described as a Victorian styled house, or as a Queen Anne home, the Continental influence of Liebe on the design is obvious as there are Gothic like-features in its appearance. William Dartnell and his family arrived from New Zealand in early 1892 and he was appointed as an engineer for the Brunner coal mines under the State’s Chief Engineer, Mr C.Y. O’Connor. He held this position for three years before being appointed ‘Chief Engineer of Existing Lines’. In this role he worked at maintaining existing railway lines and developing the rail infrastructure. Dartnell was also one of the engineers involved in designing the Horseshoe Bridge and the Fremantle Train station. Both structures still stand as a reminder of Perth’s federation heritage. A few years later the Dartnell family converted an adjacent empty block into a tennis court. In 1936 a bakehouse was constructed at the rear of the property. When the bakery no longer operated in the building, it and the adjoining garage were converted into a motor mechanics workshop.Up to the late 1940’s it went under the name Swan House. The next major change to the house occurred in 1961 when the Perth City Council approved additions to the rear of the building so that it could be used as a wrought iron and general engineering workshop. In 1982, the building, including the old workshop, received approval for use as a home for aged persons. The site was also included in the Town of Vincent Municipal Heritage Inventory. This historic house was saved from almost certain demolition when it was bought by the current owner in the mid 1990s. The Witch’s Hat was restored and the bakery was redeveloped into overall premises for accommodation. Since then, it has been brought back to its former glory and is described by Lonely Planet as having ‘an air of class’. We welcome you to visit us at ‘The Hat’ so you can see for yourself.