explore Perth, Australia
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Explore Perth, Australia

Explore Perth the capital city of Western Australia and the most isolated capital city of over 1,000,000 people in the world.

Perth has a population of around 1.6 million, making it the fourth largest city in Australia. The many uncrowded beaches along the Perth coastline define the lifestyle: Perth is laid-back, quiet and safe.

The Perth region has been home to the indigenous Nyoongar people for at least the past 40,000 years.

Despite its isolation and relatively small population, Perth is a surprisingly culturally diverse city. Due to the high rate of migration to Perth, slightly less than half of Perth’s residents were born outside Australia. Its proximity to Southeast Asia and Africa has led to an influx of migrants from countries such as Malaysia, South Africa and Thailand, and this is reflected in the diversity of cuisine available in Perth. If you wish to experience a cosmopolitan culture without the hustle and bustle of larger cities then Perth is worth visiting.

The City has a temperate Mediterranean type climate. Summers are hot and dry whilst winters are generally wet and mild.

It’s best to visit

Spring (Sep-Nov) and autumn (Mar-May) are ideal times in which to visit Perth. Spring (particularly October / November periods) is perhaps the very best to see the sights as after a decent winter’s rainfall, the famous wildflowers around Kings Park and the Avon Valley bloom splendidly. The metropolitan areas as well as the bush lands have many flowering species which often flower en-masse, so it is wise to purchase over-the-counter hay fever or antihistamines from a local chemist before making a trip to see them with minimal discomfort. Beach-goers from colder climes might find the summer months too harsh, usually reaching about 35°C and sometimes up to 45°C during the midday, so it is perhaps best to visit during March-April or October-November as well as taking a hat, sun-screen lotion and sunglasses.

All scheduled international and domestic flights arrive and depart from Perth Airport.

The Perth metropolitan area has a fairly reliable and inexpensive public transport system operated by Transperth.

Perth and Fremantle can be comfortably explored on foot or by bicycle as Perth has some of the best cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in Australia. The Perth bicycle network features an ever growing, metro-wide system of bicycle/pedestrian paths.

A favorite amongst seasoned local cyclists is the ride along the North side of the Swan River between the City and Nedlands. Allow 60 min for a round trip along this route, as you might encounter a strong headwind.

Renting a car is the ideal means of transportation for traveling to outlying attractions. Perth’s major freeways and highways are free from any tolls, as is not the case in Sydney and Melbourne and from either of these major arterial roads; it is possible to be surrounded by beautiful countryside within minutes.

Rent-a-car providers such as Classic Car Hire Perth, Europcar, Redspot, Avis, Hertz are located at the airport and there are quite a few scattered around the city and the suburbs.

There is plenty to see in the city centre within wandering distance. Hidden among the sprawl of the surrounding and metropolitan area are a few worthwhile attractions usually less than an hour away by car, or a bit longer on public transport.

Outside of the metropolitan area are some unspoilt national parks, unpopulated coastline and other interesting locations.

What to see. Best top attractions in Perth, Australia.

  • There is a designated area in the zoo for kangaroos where they can wander on visitors’ paths and the animals are used to people so you can see them very close.
  • To see semi-wild kangaroos visit the Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park; it’s a walking distance from Whitfords Transperth Train/Metro Station. As there is plenty of space for them you may see them not only eating but also hopping.
  • Many local golf clubs, Karrinyup Golf Club, Joondalup Golf Club will have Kangaroos dotted along the fairways, and it is very likely to spot them during a game of golf.
  • Cricket – Home ground is the WACA. The WACA also hosts one of the summer Test matches against England in January.
  • Perth boasts some of the country’s best beaches, which are ideal for swimming during the warmer months.
  • Swim Naked. There is only one beach in Perth that permits nude bathing: Swanbourne. There are no lifeguards or red-and-yellow flags at this beach and so it is essential to keep a close eye on children near the water. The nude beach is frequented by a variety of sun-seekers of all ages; couples, families, groups. The easiest way to get there is by car
  • Perth has excellent bike paths and fantastic weather almost all year round which makes it perfect for cycling. The paths that follow the Swan River are very scenic and mostly flat. You can take your own bike or hire a bicycle
  • Perth has a number of fantastic parks, ranging from inner-city parks such as Kings Park, Bold Park, and Lake Monger, to outer city parks such as John Forrest and Whiteman Park
  • At one of the many independent or European cinemas. These cinemas showcase a range of local, Bollywood, French and Italian productions as well as International film festivals and documentaries throughout the year. Also check out the open air cinemas in summer, located in Kings Park, Movies by Burswood, Luna Leederville, and Mundaring.
  • Spend a day in Fremantle; great for a walk around without a specific goal in mind or for some light shopping or why not enjoy a meal or coffee and cake whilst soaking in the atmosphere? Don’t miss Fremantle Markets. Fremantle Prison, the Maritime Museum, the Round House and the Statue of AC/DC’s Bon Scott are popular attractions.
  • Visit the nature reserve off the coast of Fremantle, Rottnest Island. There is a huge variety of wildlife to see (including the famous Quokka) and opportunities to see whales, dolphins and fur seals off the coast, but this will always depend on the season. Another option is to visit Penguin Island, home of the “Little Penguins” or “Fairy Penguins”, located 5 min off the coast of Rockingham, a 45 min drive south of Perth.
  • Well renowned amongst locals and tourists alike, the Swan Valley in the hills boasts some of the country’s best wineries and micro-breweries. Although the wine is perhaps not as highly regarded by seasoned wine buffs as that produced in regions such as Margaret River, the Swan Valley features the advantage of being close to the city.
  • Adventure World. Perth’s only theme park has roller coasters, water slides, go-karts, and rides for younger kids. Located in Bibra Lake, it’s around 20 minutes by car from the CBD with plenty of parking available so it’s best to go by car. The park is usually open from September through to June but check the website for open times and dates.
  • The zoo in South Perth has over 1,000 animals and more than 150 different species, including elephants are particularly well-loved by the locals.
  • If dance music is your thing, many top DJ and electronic music artists will make the trip out to Perth between October and March.

Perth’s’ shopping options has improved dramatically in recent years, with major international luxury brands such as Burberry, Gucci and Louis Vuitton now having branches in Perth, along with many local Western Australian boutiques. As a general rule, the luxury brands are located around the junction King’s Street and Hay Street in the city centre, while mid-range options are generally to be found at the pedestrian-only Hay Street and Murray Street malls.

The largest concentration of boutique shops is in the City centre while adjacent Northbridge is the place for niche independent stores. Trendier suburbs such as Mount Lawley, Leederville and Subiaco have a number of offbeat designer fashion stores.

Large shopping complexes located in the outer suburbs, such as in Morley, Carousel, Cannington, Midland, Joondalup, Booragoon (Garden City), Innaloo and Karrinyup have the usual department and chain stores.

Fremantle Markets offers an experience on its own with it’s over 150 independent stalls, but is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

One of Perth’s drawbacks is that its people have not embraced late night dining. Very few places will serve food after 10PM, even on Friday or Saturday nights. While most restaurants in Perth do cater for vegetarians (and more rarely vegans), the selection is often decidedly limited.

You will find a great selection of European and Asian restaurants.

There are many hidden gems of cafes, small shops and food producers in beautiful countryside with stunning city views.

Local specialties

  • A large Western Rock Lobster (known locally by its former name of crayfish) industry. Most of the crayfish is exported to Asia and USA for vast sums of money. However, crayfish prices in Perth can be relatively cheap, especially during summer in a good season. A chance to give it a try without breaking the bank.
  • Chilli Mussels are a popular local specialty, consisting of mussels cooked in tomato and chili jus, available in various restaurants.
  • Truffles are grown around Mundaring and Manjimup.

Perth has a large number of independent cafes serving high quality coffee of various types and brews.

Perth has bars scattered throughout the city but most bars are in the CBD, Northbridge, Subiaco, Leederville, Victoria Park, Mount Lawley & Fremantle areas. Bars usually become busy after 5pm with the after work crowd, but most locals tend to go to bars on Friday & Saturday nights. The CBD bars in particular get very busy on Friday nights with many of the popular bars forming long entry lines. Most bars open from around 11AM and close midnight. There has been an increase in small bars and bistro dining in niche areas of the CBD, however these are typically expensive even though good quality, so shop around for a good value evening. Smoking is prohibited inside all pubs and bars.

Club nights and both international and local gigs are held at a variety of venues across the city centre, Northbridge, Subiaco and Leederville, with some clubs scattered further out.

The main dangers that an overseas visitor to Perth faces are sunburn and dehydration.

Otherwise, Perth is relatively safe.

Outside of Perth you can visit

  • Margaret River – has some of the world’s best wines. Good food and pristine beaches make the South West region a favorite destination. It’s about three hours south, making it an ideal weekend getaway.
  • Hyden – east of Perth is the closest town to Wave Rock. A granite rock formation that looks like a large breaking wave.
  • Cervantes – north of Perth in the Wheatbelt, features thousands of limestone pillars raising out of the yellow the sand in the Pinnacles Desert. A nearby lake has stromatalites closely related to those found in rocks billions of years old.
  • Rockingham (Western Australia) and PenguinIsland, a nature reserve where you can see dolphins, penguins and sea lions.

Official tourism websites of Perth

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