If you want almost permanent good weather, white beaches with turquoise surf, a cosmopolitan city and plenty of activities to keep you occupied then look no further than Perth (except it’s quite far away from anything). I spent two weeks here and fell in love with it, it’s well worth that flight across Australia!
Explore the city
Start in Northbridge and grab lunch at one of the restaurants with outdoor seating that are perfect for people watching, my favourites are Guzman y Gomez for fast and cheap Mexican food, Hans Cafe for any Asian food you can think of, or Nomafia for cheap wine and tapas before 6pm.
Head south into the main shopping area along Hay Street and through London Court wondering if this is what Australians actually think England looks like (It isn’t by the way guys). Grab a drink at the Aviary, a rooftop bar with good cocktails.
Stroll through the Supreme Court Gardens and along to the Esplanade to admire the very modern Bell Tower. Enjoy the view sat by the river while eating an icecream that will probably melt faster than you can finish it.
Have a picnic in the park
The beautiful King’s Park and Botanic Gardens are perched high above the city with incredible views of Perth and the Swan River. It’s huge so you’ll have no problem finding yourself a secluded, shady spot to spend the afternoon with a picnic.
If you drive towards the Mt Eliza House you’ll find plenty of free parking, and endless paths and trails to walk along to the Aboriginal Art Gallery, the State War Memorial or the Pioneer Woman’s Fountain. There’s also a restaurant and cafe both with great views over the city.
Go to the beach
Cottesloe is a small but popular spot close to the city, City beach is even closer. Scarborough beach is huge, and is lined with some great bars and restaurants, The Local Shack has good food, cheap beer and board games!
North beach is pretty much deserted all the time and has plenty of free parking. If you have a family or you want a little more entertainment head to Sorrento beach and Hillary’s Boat Harbour, Sorrento Quay has a ton of shops and restaurants surrounding an enclosed beach park.
WEAR SUNSCREEN. I cannot stress enough how important that is.
This suburb turned city is a 30 minute ($4.50) train ride away but it couldn’t be more different than Perth. Give yourself a whole day to explore the winding streets and markets.
You can tour the old Fremantle Prison, the Shipwreck Museum and the Roundhouse to learn about the colonial and gold rush past of the city before spending the afternoon on another beautiful beach.
Head to Adventure World
OK so it’s not free, but it’s $56 well spent when it’s 40° and you’re either melting or on fire. It’s half theme park, half water park, there is even a wildlife sanctuary where you can cuddle a koala. Pack some food, water and suncream!
Abyss is a short but fun rollercoaster with a completely vertical drop, and it’s got the usual rides that you’d find at any theme park: things that spin you round and round and upsidedown until you want to puke. When you get too hot there is a huge pool to cool off in, but why waste time on that.
There are 4 water slides in one area that consist of two fast and twisty slides for solo riders, a pitch black and very disorienting slide for two people and a hilarious white water rapid slide that throws you about a bit. They all finish in the same pool and there’s usually a queue for at least one of them.
In the other half of the park are the racing slides, they even record your time so there is no argument about who wins. Its a short walk up a steep hill to The Kraken, an epic four person slide that starts off in a pitch black tunnel before you plummet down up and again into a giant funnel. You can hear the screams across the park.
Getting to and around Perth
You can fly from Sydney to Perth for around $140 if you time it right, and transport around the city makes it easy to explore without a car. Pick up a Smartrider card that gives you slightly cheaper fares across all buses and trains. You can buy a day pass for $9 or single fare rides (Zone 1 for $3 or Zone 2 for $4.50).
There are plenty of hotels and hostels in the downtown area if you want to be in the middle of it all, or you can choose to stay near the endless string of beaches if you want to get away from it all. Try the popular Bambu Backpackers in Northbridge or Ocean Beach Backpackers on Cottesloe Beach.
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