Perth takes a while to get to, being located on the West Coast of Australia, as most of the large Australian cities line the East Coast.
The flight takes approximately 4 to 5 hours and from Melbourne and Sydney on the East Coast.
The city of Perth has a laidback feel. No one seems to rush like they do in sceney Sydney.
A drawcard of Perth is the closeness of the beaches to the city, providing a coastal and natural lifestyle.
Another notable feature of Perth is how clean the city is!
Forget the grungy alleyways of Melbourne. Perth seems well maintained with care, supporting the natural feel of the area.
We headed over to Perth from Melbourne in July, right in the middle of Australian winter.
Perth had very mild weather conditions (compared to Melbourne!), and the beachside warmth of the sun confirmed the attractive lifestyle of the city.
Let’s get to it! Here are my 10 best things to do in Perth, Australia.
Fremantle, often referred to as ‘Freo’, is a sweet, relaxed part of Perth 20 mins drive or train ride from the CBD. A lovely area to wander through on a sunny morning, taking in record stores, boutique shops and historic buildings.
I had my morning coffee from Hush Specialty Coffee, a great way to start the day. Highly recommended!
Taking a train south from the city is easy and a fun way to see the smaller suburbs on the way to Fremantle.
Some highlights in Fremantle include: Esplanade Park, a well maintained park next to the fishing harbour. The ferris wheel and kids playground are located here for fun over summer.
Bathers Beach House is a top spot for dinner, drinks or lounging outside on the beachfront gazing at the stunning sunset.
On arrival in Fremantle and it’s clear that the history of the place is tied up in docks and shipping.
In April 1829 the HMS Challenger arrived off the West Australian coast near the mouth Swan River, and formally ‘took over’ the land, then named “New Holland”.
Soon after Captain James Stirling arrived from England to begin the Swan River Colony of Perth (in 1829).
It was Captain Stirling who named the port settlement ‘Fremantle’ after Captain Fremantle, the captain of the HMS Challenger.
Perth beaches are cleaner than other city beaches and there are a lot to choose from.
Mostly located on the north coast of Perth, the beaches and culture here are one of the main drawcards of living in or visiting Perth.
Popular Perth beaches to discover:
Scarborough Beach in Perth is charming. A gorgeous beach 20 mins north of Perth CBD, with a line of summer beach style shops close to the water. You’ll see ice cream and coffee shops and a clean and empty (in July) long stretch of stunning beach.
Taking a bus to Scarborough from the CBD of Perth is easy and an ideal way to see the inner suburbs of Perth along the way.
City Beach is an expensive area inside Cambridge, a seaside stretch in Perth. There is plenty to choose from for food and drinks from the fancy restaurants and bars.
Although City Beach is on the quiet side, it’s a small but popular beach. During the summer there are many activities including volleyball and a large playground.
The Surf Life Saving Club at City Beach are patrolling the area during the peak season in summer.
Located halfway between Fremantle and Perth CBD, Cottlesloe beach is another popular destination during summer.
Cottesloe Beach stretches more than a kilometer of pure white sand, and is one of Perth’s most popular spots for swimming, snorkeling and surfing.
Generations of West Australians have spent summer days diving into the ocean from the distinctive floating bell offshore. Watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean while enjoying a glass of wine, a refreshing beer or a relaxed dinner.
In March the ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ transforms Cottesloe Beach into an outdoor art gallery with sculptures created by Western Australian artists displayed along its shoreline.
Where To Eat In Perth
There are many dining options in Perth, from low key, beach side bars or fancy restaurants in Inner Perth. Its recommended to read reviews and make bookings in peak seasons.
Here is a list of recommended places we ate at in Perth:
Balti Indian is a totally delicious and high class Indian restaurant, located in inner Perth. The service is great, and food delicious with menu items including a wide range of curries, sides and tasting plates. Highly recommended!
Public House is charming, well located and the food is very delicious. The menu has a number of South American flavors, the staff are super friendly, the drinks really tasty and the atmosphere is relaxed and fun.
Well worth a visit if you’re looking for something different in Perth CBD.
UMA at the Sheraton
The high class Peruvian cuisine and atmosphere at UMA at the Sheraton are a novelty and the service and food quality here is exceptional. I couldn’t get enough of the potato sides and linguine with prawns.
I visited Rottnest Island for half a day during our stay in Perth. Rottnest is a remarkable place to see, even in the off season.
Typical activities on Rottnest Island include snorkeling, swimming, surfing and bike riding.
The green/blue of the sea, the natural surroundings, the history of the island, the accommodation and food and drink options are all top reasons to take a trip to Rottnest.
I took a ferry from Fremantle and wasn’t disappointed.
Further detail on Rottnest Island:
BEST THINGS TO DO ON ROTTNEST ISLAND, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Best Sunset Locations In Perth
Scarborough Beach has a stunning beach sunset in North Perth which also host Scarborough beach markets at varying times through the year.
Hillarys Boat Ramp
Hillarys Boat Ramp is one of the many North Perth beach locations that has wide landscape with a sunset that seemingly lasts forever.
Bathers Beach House in Fremantle is an ideal location for one of the best sunsets in Perth. Grab an outside beach chair and watch the sun drop with a drink and some bar food under sparkling lights.
Perth is a stunning city and one of the most beautiful locations in Australia. It is known for its white, sandy beaches on the Swan River as well as its recreational centre, Kings Park. This park boasts views over the city centre, Swan River, and Elizabeth Quay.
To watch the sunset at Lesmurdie Falls, you could drive up the road from the carpark and watch from your car. But it’s definitely worth it to take the 5 min walk, sit on the platform next to the falls and bathe in the golden light.
This is a stunning location to relax, with the waterfall beside you, city in front of you and the neighborhood hills surrounding you.
While you’re there ensure to consider the many great hiking trails available as well!
Art Gallery Of Western Australia
I visited the Art Gallery on a rainy day in Perth. Discovering the free exhibitions here were one of the highlights of my trip.
The Art Gallery of Western Australia was originally located in the Jubilee Building with the Library and State Museum. It was supposed to be a library only, but instead, the first stone for the foundation of an art gallery was laid in 1901 by the Duke of Cornwall and York, shortly after Australia’s federation.
Open 10am-5pm, Daily
Closed Tuesdays, Good Friday and Christmas Day
The gorgeous clear water in Perth is enough to draw keen snorkelers from all parts of the country. Here are some top spots to try when snorkeling in Perth.
Mettams Pool is a great spot for snorkeling in Perth. This protected bay has a rock formation that creates a ring around the pool, making it calm and protected. With stunning marine life living among the reefs, you’re bound to see colourful reef fish ranging from the size of your thumb up to hand sized zebrafish!
Rottnest Island is nature’s answer to a smorgasbord of marine life. Sleep with the fishes (from a safe distance) and swim with sharks, rays, turtles and more at Rottnest Island’s stellar snorkeling spots.
Snorkeling and diving are located only 75 metres from the sea wall of Hillarys Boat Harbour. There’s plenty of aquatic life to explore and uncover over a mixture of caves and ledges, as well as a series of very handy info plaques about the local flora and fauna. You’ll have an epic time swimming around these reefs and see a great range of fish, crabs and a lot more!
Western Australia’s first underwater trail, the Coogee Maritime Trail is the closest one to Perth that can be dived from shore. The trail is located 25 metres from the shore and begins at the Omeo shipwreck, an artificial reef and underwater art sculptures around it creating a linear dive trail and habitat for aquatic life. Underwater educational plaques give information about the Omeo shipwreck, maritime history and aquatic life in the area.
Did you know that Perth has some of the finest hidden drinking establishments? Leave your ‘mainstream’ bars behind you and head underground for some of the city’s finest hidden drinking locations.
They say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Well, the same thing goes for bars. While there are some impressive, fancy cocktail joints in Perth— those beautiful, Instagram-worthy pink-and-white tiled places— you shouldn’t take them at face value because they don’t always make the best drinks or provide the best experience.
Instead, if you are looking to dig beneath the surface, check out these venues. You may be surprised at how good they are!
Hidden away underneath the old 1907 on Queen Street, Caballitos is mixing some of the best cocktails in town alongside scrumptious Mexican food. Get yourself a lagerita and some tacos and call it a day.
The story behind Helvetica is one of Perth’s best secrets. Hidden behind a sliding door, you’ll find a vast whiskey selection that has been curated over the years with only the best single malts, tipples and blends.
Bob’s Bar at Brookfield Place is a lovely airy, open space. It has an extensive menu of craft beers, ciders and cocktails. The bar itself is well stocked with quality spirits and serves a variety of delicious house made non alcoholic cocktails.
West Australia not only offers some stunning sun, great surfing and wine but also some of the best wildlife in the world. Here are some of the standout wildlife to see while you’re visiting Perth.
Quokkas are found on a handful of surrounding islands west of the continent, including Bald Island and Rottnest Island. They’re also present in pockets of the south west corner of Western Australia, particularly near Northcliffe.
Thanks to their friendly and peaceful nature, you can cuddle up to one of these cuties at some locations in the Perth region.
On Rottnest Island, they simply hop over and present themselves to be stroked or cuddled by visitors. Some private reserves also have quokkas on site as pets (and will let you cuddle them!).
Dolphins are a common site in Perth and there are a number of ways to see them up close. The best time for dolphin watching in Perth is between September and May, when you might be lucky enough to spot them in Perth itself along the Swan River or off the coast near Ocean Reef and Sorrento.
Apart from taking a trip from Perth to Monkey Mia for WA’s iconic dolphin interaction experience, your best chance of seeing them is by joining one of the many dolphin tours out of Perth to Rockingham, Mandurah or Bunbury.
In each of these spots, you’re able to join a dolphin cruise to see these delightful creatures at play or even swim with dolphins for an unforgettable experience.
Sea turtles are encountered on the Coral Coast all year round, including incredible experiences such as snorkelling with turtles through the beautiful coral gardens of the Ningaloo Marine Park and seeing them pop their heads up out of the water on a wildlife cruise in Shark Bay Marine Park.
The loggerhead turtle is the most endangered species of sea turtle in the world and you can find some of their major breeding sites in the Coral Coast: Turtle Bay area of North Dirk Hartog Island in Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area and Muiron Islands off Exmouth.
Hamelin Bay is a town in Western Australia’s Great Southern, known as a home of a unique underwater stingray experience. The Hamelin Bay Stingrays have become a major drawcard to this area, who now attract more than 40,000 visitors annually.
Stingray attacks are extremely rare and the odds of dying from a stingray attack are small. The stingray is actually a docile, curious creature.
Penguin Island is a small island only 700m off the coast of Rockingham, part of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. With a 1.5km Boardwalk Trail, it’s easy to get around and spend time watching the Little Penguin colony at their nests, as well as arches and boating activities happening in other parts of the park.
Surfers, water lovers and beach bums, look no further than Western Australia. With more than 12,000km (7,456mi) of sparkling coastline, WA is home to some of Australia’s best surf breaks and most secluded beaches.
From the white sands of Rottnest Island to the rugged waves of the southwest, here are some of the best surf spots near Perth.
Surfers on Rottnest are normally able to sniff out a quiet break they can enjoy all to themselves.
Perth’s beachside suburb of Scarborough is the place to go when you want to enjoy the city’s laidback vibe. The long golden stretch of sand is a hot spot for surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing.
From its bustling cafes and restaurants to its laidback bars, this beachside suburb has something for everyone.
More experienced swimmers usually head for Coogee Beach or Fremantle Port Beach to catch a wave.
Perth Australia Map
Whether you are visiting Perth, Australia for a short or long trip there are plenty of things to do in this clean, beachside city.
My personal choice would be to prioritize the gorgeous beaches if only visiting for a couple of days.
I’d love to hear your top experiences when visiting Perth!