When I’m feeling under the weather, a trip to the beautiful city of Perth always cheers me up! Come with me to Australia’s sunniest capital city! This busy little city is sunny almost every day and is home to a vibrant nightlife scene, expansive parkland, and impressive inner-city wildlife.
Before Perth developed into a charming town and bustling metropolis, it was once the home of the Nyoongar people and their ancestors. In 1829, the British Government, fearing the French would establish a colony in Western Australia, formed the Swan River colony. The settlement led to ongoing conflicts between the European settlers and the Indigenous Australians that were only resolved over decades.
Hot time, Summer in the City!
Here’s a Pro Tip: The currency used is the Australian Dollar. About 2 AUD is equal to one British Pound, though the rate regularly fluctuates.
Natalie Portman watch out, black swans are everywhere!
Once in the city, make use of Transperth, Perth’s public transport system which includes trains, buses and ferries. Purchase a SmartRider card from a Transperth InfoCenter, load it with credit, and tap on and off as you travel!
Here’s Another Pro Tip: An alternate mode of transport around Perth is by bicycle. Daily rental prices start around £13, and there’s a handful of cycle rental stores around town.
Whether you’re visiting for the day or staying the week, here are my “must-see” attractions in Perth:
Kings Park and Botanic Garden – As one of the largest inner-city parks in the world, Kings Park is spectacular. Explore the botanical gardens on foot, stopping to admire sculptures and war memorials as you go. The park comes alive in September at the height of the wildflower season!
The locals pack a punch!
- Fremantle Prison – This former maximum-security jail is the only UNESCO World Heritage-listed building in Western Australia! Exploring the labyrinth of underground prison tunnels on a night tour is nicely spooky.
- Perth Zoo – Covering 41 acres of grassland, the Perth Zoo is home to some of the most amazing animals on the planet. From Black-necked Storks to Emperor Tamarin, view some of the country’s most extraordinary wildlife.
- Swan Valley Wine Tours – The Swan Valley sits 25km east of Perth and is Western Australia’s oldest wine region. Pick up a trail map from the Swan Valley Visitors Centre and spend the day sampling some of the region’s finest food and wine! Shiraz and Verdelho are the local specialties, and a wine tour is a perfect way to brush up on your grape knowledge.
- The Bell Tower – This unique attraction is a set of 18 bells hanging in a glass campanile that overlooks the Swan River. Fun fact; the bells are rung by local volunteers!
Award-winning restaurants, quirky cafes, and hip bars serving light bites make up Perth’s eclectic dining scene. Here are some of my favourite restaurants:
- Long Chim – Underground Asian restaurant serving contemporary Thai dishes with a twist. Try the prawn dumpling Masaka or the chicken larp! If you’re in a rush, dine from the ‘tuck shop’ street food menu.
- Lulu La Delizia – Romantic, intimate, and indulgent are adjectives that accurately describe one of Perth’s best Italian restaurants. The menu is packed with handmade pasta dishes, from traditional tagliatelle to the more obscure ‘pig blood pasta‘.
- Wildflower – Fine dining at its best; this elegant restaurant sits on the 4th floor of COMO’s The Treasury and serves seasonal dishes that align with the Noongar calendar (the six aboriginal seasons).
Seafood here is healthy. You’ll be covered in mussels!
After the sun sets on a busy day in Perth, you’ll likely wish to relax with a drink in hand. Here are some of my preferred bars in the city:
- The Peach Pit – This beachfront bar has a laid-back atmosphere and boasts views over Scarborough beach. Order a jug of Tropical Pimm’s Spritz, sit-back, and watch the world.
- Rodney’s Bait’ N’ Tackle – Shake up your evening with a little live music at this funky bar that boasts shabby-chic decor. Fun fact; the bar is made from a 1950s timber cruiser!
- The Standard – Take to the rooftops at this contemporary bar which features a secluded patio area and mod decor. Order the Lady in White cocktail (Tanqueray gin, limoncello, syrup & bitters) to kick start your evening.
From sprawling luxury hotel complexes to boutique accommodation in the heart of town, here are my top three Perth hotels:
Life’s a beach in Perth!
- COMO The Treasury – Housed inside a collection of disused 1980’s state buildings, this 5-star luxury hotel boasts 48 contemporary rooms in the heart of the city. The hotel’s wellness spa (COMO Shambhala) is renowned worldwide for its innovative health therapies.
- Alex Hotel – This boutique hotel is owned and operated by the creators of the Little Creatures Brewery, so it’s hipster to its core. The shared living areas are a great way to “get to know your neighbours” and the rooftop bar is quite a hit.
- Crown Towers – Heated swimming pools, a Roman-style spa, and spacious suites make up the Crown Towers hotel, part of the Crown complex which spreads across the city’s Burswood neighbourhood.
Perth is well known for its festivals too, and the city regularly celebrates everything under the sun (quite literally). There’s a good chance your visit will combine with an event like the Perth International Arts Festival, or a celebration of all things food and wine at the Fremantle Seafood Festival. Other festivities include the annual Stereosonic music festival in November and the King’s Park Festival in September, which showcases Western Australia’s native flora.
While Perth might be one of the most isolated city’s on the planet, its blooming wildflowers, fabulous wineries, exciting festivals and surrounding natural landscape make the journey more than worth the distance!