The capital city of Western Australia and my personal favourite capital city in Australia… Perth is definitely best visited in summer time, its an outdoor city and all of its best features that make it unique are best enjoyed in the sun when its warm. The three things that make Perth great are its Beaches, Parks and Nightlife and a lot of the time these three things are combined. But seriously visiting in summer and not winter is a must! All of Perth’s great attractions can be easily accessed by train or bus, you can check out the Transperth websitefor more information and to see their trip planner.
Cottesloe beach cant be beat for that typical Australian city beach vibe. Cottesloe is huge and there is plenty of room for everyone here, theres grassed areas, beautiful sand, the waves aren’t too big and the beach-side road is full of great cafes and pubs. I’ve spent many days here at the beach swimming all morning then cruising up to the OBH in my bordies for some beers and a game of pool. Sundays were the best as they would have live music for the Sunday Session, a West Australian tradition of having a few drinks and watching the final sunset of the weekend over the water. The other great thing about Cottesloe that not many people know about is the snorkelling, just on the south side of the groin (the big rock jetty) you can snorkel or dive and see nudibranchs, fish, rays and seaweed. For other decent snorkelling try Point Peron in Rockingham or Rottnest Island.
For those who prefer surfing of any kind, traditional, stand up paddle, body-surfing or body-boarding Scarborough beach is the go. Here the waves are generally alright and its a moderately shallow beach break with a bit of distance so you can walk out and stand if your body-surfing. Scarborough also has grassy areas, plenty of space and the usual restaurants and shops close by. Further north from Scarborough is Hillaries boat harbour which has a swimming area in the harbour with no waves so great for those used to swimming in the med. The harbour is a cool place for lunch or a drink. Right next door is an activities park for kids and the Aquarium of Western Australia called Aqwa. There you can see a lot of the different aquatic environments of WA in a glance but its much more fulfilling to take a road trip up the coast and see these animals in the wild.
Rottnest Island is a great destination for a day trip from Perth, you can take one of the many ferries over to the island like Rottnest Express, or take your own boat if you have one. Every year there is even a swimming race to rottenest island, its over 20 kms of open ocean out there. Rotnest is famous for its Quokka’s they are cute little animals that only live on the island and always look like they’re smiling. If you plan to get yourself a Quokka selfie please remember to be nice and that they are wild animals too. Also on rottenest is probably the best snorkelling and diving in Perth, there’s caves to swim through, lots of beautiful fish, and all sorts of other marine life like octopus and starfish. There’s no cars on rottenest so a lot of people choose to hire a bike so they can get around, this is good fun and can help you see more of the island.
Kings Park is Perth’s best and biggest park, intact its the biggest inner city park in the world, bigger than central park in NY. There are all sorts of walks to do through different areas of bushland and botanical gardens, there’s small creeks and ponds, beautiful lookouts and grassy areas to sit and watch the city view. You can walk to Kings park from the city or catch a bus but the walk is pretty steep uphill. Kings park is a great place to view the city lights after dark and some of the buildings even have a light show.
Below Kings park is the new Elisabeth Quay which is brand new and has cool “pop up” bars in the summer. from there you can walk to the city which has more interesting restaurants and bars through to Northbrige, Perth’s main night spot. Nothbridge is full of bars and clubs and restaurants and changing all the time. If you’re after a real Australian experience though check out The Shed on Aberdean street. This bar is so Aussie they even have their own windmill inside. Another great night out to be had is to go watch the footy in Subiacco. The Dockers games seem to draw more of a crowd as they seem to have the most enthusiastic fans even though they’ve never won a grand final. Whether you go watch the game at the stadium and head out after or you just watch it from the best seats in the house, on TV in one of the bars in Subi, its sure to be a great night. If your ever in town when there’s a derby, (Eagles v Dockers, the only two WA sides) make sure you get out there and watch it.
The Fremantle Dockers cop a lot of flack for never having won a premiership, this could have something to do with the fact that they have their own bar down in Fremantle so if you’d like to go meet one of the players and ask them why they’ve never won a premiership you know where to find them. Fremantle is a great place to head out, one of my favourite places to start is at the Freo Markets on the cafe strip. The Markets have lots of interesting stalls and food and also their own bar inside which usually has great music, the markets aren’t on every day though normally its just the weekends so check before you go. Also on the cafe strip are a lot of other cool pubs like the Newport which have cool live music and the Sail and Anchor which brew their own beer. Further down on the waterfront is the Little Creatures brewery another great place for a beer and a feed and if you plan on staying out late Metros nightclub is open the latest and probably the biggest club in Freo.
Perth is a cool city, especially in summer but all in all its just a city, for me the real Australia starts when you get out there and see some of the amazing natural landscapes we have, when you see the native animals in the wild and when you have experiences and meet the locals in some of our colourful country towns. So don’t get stuck in the city, get out there and get started on your Aussie road trip. And if you need any ideas to help get you on your way check out the rest of our blog.