In May 1821, Governor Macquarie stayed with his friend David Gibson (pardoned convict) living on the vast Norfolk Plains. The name Perth was chosen to honour David's home town of Perth in Scotland.
The land was already occupied by Aboriginal people and free settlers from Norfolk Island, and the private ferry across the South Esk River was a significant obstacle to free travel between Launceston and Hobart Town. The area was being used for stock, wheat, and corn.
By the 1830s, there were 200 convicts at Perth Probation Station engaged in building the main road and the first Perth Bridge. There were houses, hotels, flour mills, general store, brewery, churches, school/post office, and police station.
The population of Perth was 2,965 at the 2016 ABS Census, and it is steadily increasing. The town was bypassed in 2020.