Perth is sometimes overshadowed by the big cities in the east of Australia. Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne are some of the main attractions on the continent, and with good reason. They’re home to major landmarks, awesome events, and famous beaches. But as the capital of Western Australia, Perth has a lot to offer as well. These are some of the highlights to fit in if you get the opportunity to spend a few days there.
This city is definitely full of surprises and there’s a lot to see ! Among those don’t miss Elizabeth Quay! Recently inaugurated and on the banks of the Swan River, you can stop by at one of the coffee shops or try the Indian restaurant “Annalakshmi on the Swan” (free – on donation). You can also visit the Bell Tower (Barrack Square), one of the largest musical instruments on earth or take a cruise along the river.
Do not miss the Northbridge district with its large library and museums. Yagan Square joins Northbridge to the city. It s a transit area with a vibrant open space with bars, cafes and entertainment. If you are keen on some shopping, head toward Murray Street to find all the big brands and shops.
This massive park is an outstanding place to explore. It’s located in the western portion of the city such that it overlooks the Swan River, though at 400 hectares it’s hard to say it sits in any one spot. The park has everything you could possibly want for a full day outside: a gigantic botanic garden, hiking and cycling trails, and playgrounds for kids. There’s also a fairly unique highlight within the park, which is glass bridge that winds its way through a little eucalyptus forest.
If you want some more standard urban entertainment, Crown Perth is a fun place to spend an evening. It’s basically a casino resort where you can enjoy a spa, fine dining restaurants, occasional shows, and of course the actual casino gaming floor. There are over 240 table games in the facility, but those aren’t even the main attraction. Pokies are believed to represent the most popular and alluring offerings for players around the world, and if you fall into that category you can enjoy upwards of 2,000 electric gaming machines as well.
Beaches of the west coast are especially famous for their massive waves. But swimmers will also enjoy the beautiful beaches easily accessible from Perth. Those not to be missed are surely Scarborough Beach (take the Joondalup Line at Perth train station then buses 990, 421 or 410) and Cottesloe Beach (take the Fremantle Line and bus 102). Allow about an hour from from the city center through public transport. In summer, don’t miss the night markets in Scarborough Beach (from November 1st to April, every Thursday evening).
Just a short scroll from the city centre, visit the Aquarium of Western Australia. Located on Hillary’s Boat Harbour, it has one of the world’s largest living coral reef exhibits. You can also jump on a 98 metre long moving walkway that takes you through an underwater tunnel ($30/adult).
If you want a sense of the city’s history as well as some seaside views, the Fremantle Port area should definitely be on your list. It’s still an active port, so you’ll find some uglier shipping areas. But you can also learn about the history of the port in the British colony days, and you can also find some interesting little bars and restaurants near the water. It’s charming place to visit just outside of Perth.
From Fremantle catch a ferry (Sealink Rottnest Island) to Rottnest Island. A slide of paradise preserved from pollution where you can only cycle or take the tourist bus. This is the perfect place to snorkel with translucide water and white sand and meet the quokkas!
You probably don’t need much more than the name to be tempted to visit Penguin Island! It’s technically outside of Perth, but it’s only a short journey to the south, in the middle of Showalter Bay. You’ll see a lot of interesting wildlife given that the island is situated within Showalter Islands Marine Park (the snorkeling is outstanding, in fact), but the tiny penguins are the main attraction. You may see them in the wild, but you can also attend a feeding to see them up close.
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