John Boyle O’Reilly Interpretive Walk & Monument

An easily accessible memorial monument and trail within the Leschenault Peninsula Conservation Park where you can learn about the life of John Boyle O’Reilly – an Irish republican convict from the 1860s.

O’Reilly was one of 62 Irish Political prisoners among 279 convicts who arrived at Fremantle in 1868. He was a member of the Fenian Movement, an organisation dedicated to achieving an independent Irish Republic.

Whilst working as a member of a convict road crew near Bunbury, O’Reilly escaped and hid in the dense peppermint woodland with the help of a local family. Many of the early pioneers in the Leschenault and Australind area were originally from Ireland and were, therefore, sympathetic to his cause.

O’Reilly secretly departed Western Australia aboard an American Whaler, the Gazelle anchored nearby on 3 March 1869.

Before settling in Boston, he also assisted six Fenian political prisoners in their escape from Fremantle Prison aboard the Catalpa.

O’Reilly became a well-known humanitarian, poet, writer and orator.

A granite monument erected in his honour stands at this site.

At the information shelter, discover how the Irish convict John Boyle O’Reilly made his daring escape. Along the trail, you will also learn more about the plants and animals of this Park as you meander through Tuart, Peppermint and Paperbark trees.

Trailhead Location

  • Park at the designated car park, immediately off Buffalo Road.


  • Grade 1. The surface is bitumen and boardwalk and is accessible for prams and wheelchairs.


  • 1 kilometre return.


  • 10 – 15 minutes.



  • Car park
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