Perth is a sleepy city in Western Australia, that’s the most isolated city in the World. Famous for it’s beautiful beaches, vibrant foodie scene, and countless vineyards, Perth is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Australia. Many visitors to Australia tend to stick to the East Coast and completely miss out the West Coast and it’s wealth of scenery and exciting activities, so we’ve put together a list of our Top 10 Things to do in Perth.
1. Spend a day in Fremantle.
Fremantle is a harbour town just west of Perth. It’s the main port and is the home of the Western Australian ‘indie’ scene, however it’s also full of history and fantastic restaurants. Get there around 10am and spend the day exploring the town; have brunch at The Attic, before going on a tour inside Fremantle Prison. After your tour, if it’s a Friday or Saturday browse the Freo Markets, if not then just take a walk to the Round House and learn more about the history of the town before making your way over to the WA Maritime museum. Then head to Little Creatures on the harbour for a drink in the Brewery. If it’s your style stay for dinner and make sure to get their famous Frites, if not, go next door to The Mussel Bar for a fine-dining experience with a beautiful view.
2. Go to Caversham Wildlife Park
Spend a half day out in the countryside away from the city. Caversham Wildlife Park is much better than Perth Zoo as you can get up close to the animals. Stroke the koalas, cuddle a kangaroo, and then afterwards drive to Oggie’s ice-creamery for the best ice-cream in town! On your way back stop off at Sandalford Wines to get a taste of the WA vineyards. If you have quite a bit of time for your trip to Perth, we would definitely recommend a few days in the Margaret River region – our favourite hotel there is the Pullman Resort Bunker Bay.
3. Visit York
After your visit to Caversham and Sandalford jump in the car and make the one hour drive out to York. The drive takes you through the breathtaking countryside and York is a gorgeous little colonial town just east of Perth. It only needs a couple of hours to walk up and down the street, so just go for a half day rather than a full day. Take a picnic and have it by the river – but be careful not to go in the river, or you could end up very sick!
4. Go to Rockingham and Serpentine Falls
Head to Rockingham early in the morning and go on a boat trip to Penguin Island, where you can see the smallest penguin in the world, the little penguin. You can also take an extra boat trip that takes you to see the local sea lion’s, and there are options to swim with dolphins. In the afternoon drive 30-minutes to Serpentine Falls. Serpentine Falls are great fun if you have children or young adults with you. Slather on the suncream, and spend the afternoon lazing by the lake and going in for a dip every now and then to cool off. Only the bottom pool is safe to swim in as that’s the one that has a constant stream of fresh water going into it.
5. Have a Day On The Beach
You can’t go to Perth and not go to the beach, they’re some of the best in the world. If you have a car drive to Cottesloe and have tea at the Indian Tea House or brunch at the Blue Duck, then after a quick dip in the ocean jump back in and drive up the coast to City Beach. City Beach has a glorious big white sandy beach and clear waters. Spend a couple of hours relaxing and swimming, and then drive to Brighton Beach (next to Scarborough beach). This is one for any surfers out there, but it’s also good for swimmers too if it’s a calm day. Then drive further up to Hillary’s Boat Harbour for a fish and chip dinner.
6. Visit the Pinnacles
Spend a day at the Pinnacles, two and a half hours north of Perth. These eerie limestone formations are in Nambung National Park, a short drive from the fishing town of Cervantes. The formations are mindblowing and very impressive, and it’s best to see them very early in the morning or late in the evening to see them at their eeriest.
7. Have a day in the City and Kings Park
Have a day in the city itself! It’s a very small city and won’t take long to wander around, but make sure to stop by the Perth Mint for some history and culture, before visiting the Bell Tower and seeing the original bells from St Martin in the Fields in London. Have a light lunch, and save yourself for dinner, because it’s going to be a good one. In the late afternoon it’s time for Kings Park.
Kings Park is a large botanical garden a short walk from the city centre and has breathtaking views over the city skyline, make sure you enter it from the Fraser Avenue entrance for the impressive gum tree walk-through. After taking a relaxing stroll through the beautiful Kings Park go to Frasers Restaurant for dinner (make sure you make a reservation!), one of the most famous restaurants in Perth, it’s very special and serves excellent food.
8. Have a night at Crown Perth
Previously called the Burswood entertainment complex, it has since been taken over by Crown and renamed Crown Perth. This huge entertainment complex includes a day spa, theatre, casino, two hotels, a nightclub, and numerous bars and restaurants. If you enjoy fine-dining and luxury then have a drink in La Vie before dining at at Rockpool or Nobu (you must book beforehand), however if relaxed informal dining and a buzzy atmosphere is more you, then try The Merrywell. For an after-dinner experience go to cocktail bar Mink, or the nightclub Eve if that’s of interest to you. Naturally a visit to the casino is never complete without a little flutter at the poker tables!
9. Go on a Day-trip to Rottnest Island
If you have a lot of time in Perth you could go to Rottnest Island for two or three nights to get the best of it, but if not a daytrip is better than nothing! Rottnest, or Rotto, is a paradise island a 40 minute ferry journey from Fremantle. This is one not to be missed. Get the earliest ferry you can, and the latest one back, and make sure you book in advance.
When you get to Rotto go to Dome for their eggs benedict, and then head to the bakery. Get some pies and desserts to take with you on your bus trip to the beaches. Rottnest Bakery do the best pies! Then go to the bus stop and get the Bayseeker bus, which takes you around the island dropping you off at beaches along the way. There are hundreds to choose from, but I suggest Ricey Beach, The Basin, Parker Point, and Salmon Bay.
10. Visit The Best of The Suburbs
This one is easy to do. No matter how limited you are with time, living like a local in a city is the best way to see it, and to do that you need to visit the suburbs. Perth is very suburban, there isn’t much to do in the main city as most of it is just the CBD. If you have a car spend the day visiting different suburbs. The prettiest are Subiaco and Claremont, and both of them are fantastic for shopping and food. If you don’t have a car, take the train; it’s very easy and takes you to all of the main suburbs. Stop off at Napoleon Street in Cottesloe (by the station, rather than the beachfront), and get brunch at Cimbalino or Vans.
If you have a car drive down to the river in Peppermint Grove, where the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club is, and have an Iced Chocolate at the small cafe outside that overlooks the waterfront. Then do some shopping at the gorgeous luxury boutique stores in Claremont, and have a late lunch in Claremont at Atomic or Grill’d if you’re a burger fiend. Then drive on (or jump back on the train) and head to Subiaco for drinks at Purl bar.