I have fond memories of Perth; the world’s most isolated capital city. After our campervan decided it had had enough in the middle of the Outback, we (eventually) flew to Perth to re-group. The three weeks I spent in Perth left me feeling comfortable and safe after a nightmare of a week. Now, even though I visited in winter, Perth was full of endless clear blue skies and mid-20 degree days. What makes this city even more beautiful is how isolated it is. The nearest capital city is Adelaide. Imagine living in London and your nearest capital city being Moscow. There’s a great feeling of togetherness here and it results in a perfectly relaxing place to visit. If you’re thinking of visiting Perth (don’t think, just do it), these are the ten best things to do in Perth.
Catch an AFL game at the Optus Stadium
Aussie Rules Football otherwise known as Footy. Where to start? This is Australia’s sport.
Eighteen players on either side compete on a huge oval shaped pitch with the aim of essentially scoring the most points. You can run and bounce the ball, fist the ball forward or kick it! I’m not going to go into the rules because I don’t really know much about the game. All I can say is that it’s enjoyable to watch and much better than rugby! Don’t be surprised if the scores end up in the hundreds! The one thing that got me was the amount of times the referee blows his whistle; his cheeks must get a right workout.
Anyway, make sure you find time to catch one of the local teams; Fremantle Dockers or the West Coast Eagles (2018’s Grand Final Winners!) at the brand new Optus Stadium. Sit back and see if you can understand what’s going on!
Walk the banks of the Swan River (from Langley Park to Elizabeth Quay)
Nothing beats an early morning walk and walking along the Swan River is about as peaceful as they come. Walking down the palm tree lined Riverside Drive is perfect as the sun bounces off the water. If you’re lucky you might even spot a dolphin or too exploring further upstream. Arriving in Elizabeth Quay you’ll see that this is an area full of development. Don’t let that stop you as the views are brilliant and with plenty of bars as well as Bell’s Tower, you could easily spend the rest of your morning here.
Explore King’s Park
Classed by a number of people as one of the world’s best city parks and I’d be a fool to disagree. Only a short stroll from Perth’s CBD, King’s Park rises dramatically from the Swan River and encompasses around 400 hectares of bush as well as a botanic garden. There’s over 2,000 plants in this park that can only be found in Western Australia.
For a challenge, try your luck climbing Jacob’s Ladder before entering the park. 242 steps up a practically vertical cliff edge. Perth’s locals must be mad as they were running repeatedly up and down in the midday heat. By the time I reached the top I thought my leg muscles were going to tear apart.
If you needed any more reasons to visit King’s Park, you’ll find the best view of Perth’s CBD from the lookouts here. Grab a picnic and make a day of it!
Travel across the world in London Court
Shopping in the CBD is made better by the ability to seemingly transport yourself to London or the Shambles in York by walking through London Court. Whilst the buildings are new and connect to some super modern centres, this is a taste of England that you may or may not miss. The shops in this laneway are mostly for tourists but it’s still worth a few photos.
Catch the ferry across to Rottnest Island
In my opinion, this is the number one thing to do in Perth. Although it can be expensive for a day trip, you certainly won’t regret it even if you are on a budget! The ferry leaves from Fremantle and you can add bike hire to your ticket which I’d highly recommend.
This island is home to beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, seals, dolphins and the absolute king of the selfie; the quokka. If you do decide to hire a bike, be aware that it will take most of the day to ride around the whole island. Given the heat and the lack of drinking water, it’s a long tough slog of around 28kms.
Eat toasties in Perth’s laneways
The laneways aren’t anywhere on the scale of those found in Melbourne but head down Grand Lane and you’ll find Toastface Grillah. Hugely popular with city workers who pop down from their offices to savour some of the most amazing toasties I’ve ever tasted. This is far from the ham and cheese that you might find at a little café on an English high street.
My recommendations are Pear Grillz; blue cheese, pear and lime chutney and Chilli cheese which is pretty self-explanatory.
Check out the street art in Wolf Lane
After filling up on divine toasties, head deeper into Perth’s laneways and you’ll find Wolf Lane; home to some of Perth’s best street art. Again, not on the scale of Melbourne or even Townsville up in Queensland but this is worth seeking out. By the time you visit, the street art scene might have exploded meaning even more brilliant artworks. I definitely think Smug should hit up some buildings!
Have a beach day
Cottesloe is Perth’s safest swimming beach but there are plenty to choose from. All with bright white sand and crystal clear seas, any beach would be an epic spot to watch the sun slip below the Indian Ocean.
Spend the day in Fremantle
For just a small amount of change, you can catch the train direct from the CBD to the port city of Fremantle. Everywhere you look there’s convict-built colonial-era architecture which makes for some very impressive buildings. Your day in Fremantle needs to focus on the prison, which is on the world heritage list, the market and the Little Creatures Brewery. The brewery is huge and perfect for sunset drinks and a pizza. By the way, the pizza’s here are as good as the beer. The pumpkin, spinach and goats cheese pizza washed down with a few schooners of Elsie WA Ale is what dreams are made of. This beer is only available in Western Australia too so it’s kind of special!
Waste an afternoon in a rooftop bar
I love a good rooftop bar and there’s no better place to soak up the views of Perth’s CBD than from the Aurora Rooftop Bar on top of the Melbourne Hotel. Grab a seat and order a few drinks as you’re here for the long haul. If you fancy another rooftop bar, try the Nest at the Aviary.
These are, in my opinion, the ten best things to do in Perth and will easily will your time for a week or so. There’s plenty more to do too in this magnificent city and I’m sure you’ll love the overall relaxed, easy-going vibe!
Let me know your thoughts on Perth and, if you need any recommendations, let me know in the comments below!
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