Western Australia’s capital is one of the nation’s cultural hotspots, with its origins woven into much of its landmarks. Sparkling beaches, green parks, gold-mining heritage, multicultural suburbs and vibrant restaurants and cafés collectively give Perth its distinctive character.
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Australia’s sunniest city is easy to explore – there are free buses and walking tours in the city, plenty of guided tours that will take visitors further afield and it’s an easy self-drive destination. Perth’s vibrant urban offering is complemented by its nature-based experiences. Visitors to the city can connect with the Swan River on a foreshore bike ride, a lunch or wander around Elizabeth Quay, a boat tour with an Aboriginal guide or simply soak up the sunset over the Indian Ocean on one of the city’s 19 metropolitan beaches. Just 30-90 minutes from the city centre, visitors can be swimming with dolphins, meeting cute quokka’s on Rottnest Island or cruising the canals of Mandurah
All the finest ingredients for a fantastic holiday can be found here so it is no wonder that Perth is so high on the list for the world’s most liveable cities.
Celebrating Perth’s love affair with the Swan River, Elizabeth Quay is transforming the foreshore into a free playground for all ages to enjoy the city’s active lifestyle, abundant sunshine, amazing views, alfresco dining, outdoor markets and lively festival scene.
Finding an immense native park studded with trees that live for 2000 years, a suspended bridge and dense wildflower carpets in the heart of a capital city is as unexpected as it is engaging. Kings Park – full of soaring native trees, birds, small mammals and Aboriginal heritage – is bigger than New York’s Central Park making it one of the world’s largest and prettiest urban parklands.
Cottesloe is an iconic beach for Perth locals and visitors alike, blessed with a wide sweep of squeaky white sand is fringed on one side by the transparent turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, and on the other by cafes, restaurants and casual beachy shops.
Northbridge is a cultural feast for the senses within minutes of the city. Showcasing local, national and international art, fashion and history, it’s also a multicultural melting pot of flavors blended together with a lively mix of bars and nightclubs.
Perth is the only Australian capital where you’ll find yourself surrounded by gourmet sweet treats and fresh produce, arts and crafts and beautiful natural bushland.
Fremantle, Perth’s bohemian sister city lies at the mouth of the Swan River, a short train ride west of Perth’s city centre. Effortlessly blending old and new, Fremantle offers a glimpse back to Perth’s early years with preserved historic streetscapes, and a European feel that carries through to today in numerous coffee shops, tapas bars, and restaurants serving up the freshest seafood straight from the harbour.
Take a journey to Rottnest Island, Perth’s secluded island playground surrounded by coral reefs and the sparkling Indian Ocean. A ferry, plane, helicopter or even seaplane can transport you to the place where locals go to swim, surf, snorkel, fish and relax. Don’t forget to pack a selfie stick and capture the ultimate souvenir – a #quokkaselfie.
Perth has an abundance of sun-kissed beaches, offering plenty of opportunities for lazing, swimming and water-sports.
For the more action-prone traveller, cycling the city’s bike paths is highly recommended, and is a great way to see more of the city. Residents and visitors spend many an hour in Perth’s botanic gardens and public green areas, which include Lake Monger and Bold Park.
For a day trip from Perth, visit John Forrest National Park, Western Australia’s oldest. It is home to a variety of plant communities, two waterfalls and wildlife that includes the national icon: kangaroos.
The city’s dining scene has also undergone a transformation which has positioned Perth as a food paradise. Sitting under a balmy night sky, beside an Indian Ocean sunset, or with a million-dollar Perth city view is the way to dine in Perth – an experience made all the more memorable by the imaginative and award-winning creations of Perth’s chefs and baristas.
Discover a growing European-style small bar scene tucked away within Perth’s laneways. Seek out chic eats of the finest fresh and organic local produce in the CBD (Central Business District) and trendy inner-city enclaves. Feast on Fremantle’s yesteryear charm, vibrant Boat Harbour dining scene and heritage colonial pubs. Or tuck into some fish and chips as you catch the sunset from Perth’s iconic Cottesloe Beach.
Perth’s State buildings precinct in the heart of the CBD epitomises the city’s appetite for the highest quality national and international cuisines. When you’re done, explore the neighbouring restaurants in the State Building precinct. For contemporary Australia fare, head for the rooftop views at Wildflower, and for a smack of fiery Thai street food, Long Chim matches mouth-watering flavours with street-art inspired decor in a basement setting.
Retail therapy can be found in the form of leading fashion houses, chic boutiques and outlet bargains on a shopping spree in Perth, Northbridge and West Perth.
Seekers of high end fashion should head for the King Street precinct, in the west end of the city – the place to be seen with Perth’s well heeled, indulging in international and local designer labels and luxury brands. Other rich pickings include designer jewellery crafted from Western Australian gold, Argyle diamonds, Australian opals and Broome’s famous South Sea pearls.
Other popular city shopping precincts for big-brand fashion, jewellery, housewares and more include the Murray and Hay Street malls, Brookfield Place, Raine Square, Enex 100, 140 William, Wesley Quarter, Arcade 800 and Bon Marche Arcade.
If vintage, hip and quirky is more your style, make a beeline for the boutiques of William Street in Northbridge. Or, if it’s a bargain you really want, take the train or a short drive to West Perth’s Watertown-the buzzing hub of outlet shopping.
For more local flavour, pop in at one of Perth’s bustling farmers’ markets. Head to Subiaco, Mount Claremont, Palmyra, and North Perth for near city farm freshness. Seasonal hawkers markets run through spring, summer and autumn in Perth’s Forrest Place, and food truck feasts line Inglewood’s stretch of Beaufort Street every Monday across the same period.
Essential facts about Perth
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