Perth is Australia’s loneliest major city and is often neglected by the tourist who spends their time in Melbourne, Sydney or the Gold Coast on the Eastern seaboard. But, what tourists don’t realize is how many fun things there are to do in Perth, Australia!
Perth is located in Western Australia and should not be underestimated as a significant tourist destination. What awaits, is a fulfilling trip visiting beautiful beaches, scenic parks and gardens, a laid-back city lifestyle and brilliant attractions which are never overcrowded.
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A Perfect Day in Perth | Western Australia
In the Central Business District, also locally known as the CBD, there’s a variety of city art, heritage buildings, excellent shopping outlets, and the mighty Swan River captures the heart of all visitors.
A perfect day in Perth is assured when holidaying in the West. There is so much to see and do, that by the end of the trip, you’ll be bragging about a truly underrated city.
Things to do in Perth, Australia
Visit Swan River
The Swan River is often the focal point when visiting Perth, it borders the southern part of the city, giving the CBD it’s beautiful appearance. It’s the ideal spot to visit for a stroll along the riverbanks, or fitness fanatics to have a jog or bike ride.
A Swan River Cruise is a common choice for tourist who wants to see the best of Perth from the vantage point from the river. Cruises are happening daily for sightseeing tours and visiting neighboring areas of Fremantle, Rottnest Island and the Swan Valley Wine Region.
A Swan River walk usually leads to Elizabeth Quay; the new foreshore built in January of 2016. It’s a beautiful area of Perth, with city skyscrapers overshadowing the Quay and the Elizabeth Quay Bridge offering further vantage points of the surrounding area.
The Ritz Carlton Hotel opens in late 2019. The magnificent Towers add to the beauty of Elizabeth Quay, and it’ll be an ideal spot tourist who is looking for luxury accommodation for their Perth trip.
For the rest of Elizabeth Quay, activities are happening daily with regular events, a miniature water park for the kids, and restaurants & cafes. It’s also the home of the Transperth Ferry Terminal where you can cruise across the Swan River to South Perth and the Zoo.
If you love the architectural designs of the Cathedrals and churches, Perth has a host of the wonderfully designed cathedrals seen during a city walk.
Many churches blend in with the city, and often found by accident while walking the streets. There are a few of the notable churches to look out for including Uniting Church in the City, Wesley Uniting and the All Saints Catholic Chapel.
Visit St Mary’s Cathedral
The St Mary’s Cathedral on Victoria Square is the most famous of its kind. The first stage of the Roman Catholic Cathedral began in the year 1865, with the third and final phase not completed until 2010. Nonetheless, the Cathedral has a beautiful, articulate design and is often open for mass throughout the week.
Northbridge is situated across the tracks of Perth Station and is a popular cultural spot known for its art galleries, Asian Supermarkets, cafés and a vibrant nightlife with clubs, lounges, and bars.
In Northbridge, there are several retail outlets of clothing brands, jewelry accessories and hairdressers found while browsing the main streets of William Street and Russel Square. It’s also the home to the State Library of Western Australia, established in the year 1889.
Wander Through Kings Park and Botanical Gardens
Kings Park and Botanical Gardens is one the Perth’s most famous attractions and is popular for stunning views of the Swan and Canning River, including the picturesque skyscrapers of Perth CBD.
Kings Park is free entry for visitors who want to wander through the gardens, explore the bushlands and hike the trails of the 400-hectare park of many plant species.
Further activities include remembering the fallen at the War Memorial, exploring the Australian native trails and walking the sky bridge at the Lottery West Federation Walkway with more stunning views.
Visit Hillarys Boat Harbour
Hillarys Boat Harbour is a 15-minute drive North of the City and is the ideal place for all seasons, especially the scorching summer months.
You can have a walk around Hillarys to view the yachts anchored in the Harbour and go shopping for expensive items of swimwear, sunglasses, hats, souvenirs and other summer style clothing.
Lunchtime at Hillarys has several restaurants for a casual sit-down meal; there is the 3 Sheets restaurant offering pizzas, burgers & beer, and the Harbour Terrace Bar & Grill for a pub lunch.
You can dine at Grill’d Hillarys for the famous flame burgers, enjoy casual dining at Overboard Cafe and a selection of other restaurants that generally come with Harbour views.
If the hot summer months, swimming is a popular activity, including jumping off the pier for a splash in the ocean or visiting Hillarys Fun Fair for thrills down the water slides and other kid-friendly amusements.
Take a Dip in the Indian Ocean
A perfect day in Perth is not complete without a visit to the most beautiful beaches for a swim in the ocean, enjoying a beachside walk and watching a magnificent sunset over the Indian Ocean.
There are several popular beaches to visit when staying in Perth. However, the best beaches include the iconic Scarborough and Cottesloe Beach, which is not only famous for beach activities but contain accommodation, restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Best places to Eat in Perth
Perth offers a variety of dining options where you could easily taste various international Cuisines while roaming the city streets.
Carillon City Mall
While your favorite franchises of McDonalds and KFC are readily available for convenience. The food court at Carillon City Mall is ideal for lunch with a vast range of Chinese, Indian and other fast food options of varying cuisines.
Top restaurants in Perth
Elegant dining is available too, with top hotels offering five-star dining experiences of international cuisines. If you want a low-key dinner, you’ll find the Brasserie at Mercure, the Firewater Grille at the Duxton and the Gusti Restaurant at Crowne Plaza to offer a fantastic menu option.
Top restaurants in Perth CBD include Miss Maud’s, a buffet dining experience with a great selection of seafood, roasting meats, casseroles, salads and desserts.
The Wildflower at the Como the Treasury is a sure-fire way to enjoy an evening of fine food and excellent service, at a reasonably priced restaurant.
Perth’s only Rotating Restaurant
Finally, there is Perth’s only rotating restaurant, The C Restaurant in the Sky. The iconic restaurant sits at 33-stories high, and you can enjoy gorgeous city views while enjoying a delicious evening dinner and drinks at great heights.
Perth Hotels: Where to Stay
Much like the rest of Australia, Perth is not a cheap place to stay when it comes to accommodation. However, there are several choices throughout the city of various budgets, and many hotels overlook the Swan River.
For backpackers who need to find a budget-friendly place to stay for a night or two, you can find budget accommodation in the CBD area from around AUD$15-30 a night. The most popular Backpacker joints are the Perth City YHA, Kangaroo Inn, and Hostel G Perth.
Your low range hotel choices start from around AUD$90-100 per night. However, you’ll get a room with a queen-size bed, a private bathroom, television and tea & coffee facilities. The best rating Budget hotels to choose from include Travelodge Hotel Perth, Pensione Hotel and Ibis Perth.
If you’re seeking luxury, you’ll find many five-star hotels offering high-class facilities and services, making your stay more inviting. The popular choices of luxury hotels include, but not limited to, the Crown Towers, The Hyatt Regency, The Duxton Hotel and Crowne Plaza.
The best time to Visit Perth
Perth is a fabulous city to visit all year round, no matter which month of the year you plan to have a holiday. Perth is known to be one of the sunniest cities in the world, and even in the colder winter days, the weather is never too unbearable.
The Best time to visit Perth, to make your trip worthwhile, is in November through to March. These are the typically hot months, with limited rainfall and you can make the most of the outdoor attractions, including the famous beaches.
Fun Facts About Perth
- Perth was founded on June 12 in 1829 by British Captain James Stirling, who thought the Natural Environment was simply beautiful.
- Australian Rules Football is the number one sport in Perth and is represented by two teams in the Australian Football League, the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers.
- In 2018, the Western Australian government started a new slogan for the tourism industry, “Western Australia: The road trip state,” truer words never spoken.
- Did you know, that Perth is situated closer to Singapore than it is to Sydney? That’s how isolated the city really is!
- The population of Perth is approximately two million people, making it the fourth biggest city in Australia.
- The main sports stadium in Perth is Optus Stadium and was only established in January of 2018, hosting sports of AFL, cricket and soccer. In 2019 it was awarded the most beautiful sporting stadium in the world.
- Western Australia covers more than one-third of mainland Australia, boasts over 12500km of coastline, and is the second-biggest state in the world.
- All buses in the Perth CBD are free.
Perth Day Trips & Tours
I love to do a combination of exploring on my own as well as a few organized tours when I travel. I love to learn about the history and culture in a new location and tours with local experts is a great way to do this. I recommend Get Your Guide because you can cancel most bookings for free up to 24 hours before they start and their customer service is available 24/7 in multiple languages.
A few Top Tours in Perth, Australia
Recommended Travel Resources
- Travel Insurance: World Nomads.
- Transport: AirfareWatchDog and Skyscanner (Best Sites to Research Flight Prices)
- Accommodation: Hotels.com and Orbitz
- Airbnb, Sign up here for a $40 credit.
- Top Perth Hotel Reviews: TripAdvisor
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Anthony Jury is an Australian based travel blogger at Fair Dinkum Traveller, who writes prominently about Asia and Australia.