Perth is the most isolated major city in the world. It is literally about as far away from New York City as you can possibly get on the planet and it is a great place. Perth has a totally different feel than cosmopolitan Sydney or multicultural Melbourne. It is a quirky town that has morphed into a major city with the help of big mining dollars and major foreign investment. There is a lot of money in Perth. There is beautiful scenery, coastline and there are a lot of things to do in Perth and the surrounding suburbs. Here are five awesome things to do in Perth!
Kings Park is one of the great urban parks of the world. It is actually larger than Central Park in New York and the views are second to none. You get the best panoramic views of Perth from up in Kings Park. They are simply breathtaking.
Kings Park is definitely one of the best things to do in Perth. It is very popular with locals as well as tourists. The grounds are immaculately kept. It literally looks like golf fairways at some parts of the park. There are good cafes, galleries and botanical gardens within Kings Park itself but for me, the coolest thing is the war memorial.
It’s no secret that I am a history buff, especially about the World Wars. The World War I memorial they’ve erected in Kings Park is both beautiful and perfect for the landscape but powerful in its message and point of remembrance.
If you’ve ever seen the Mel Gibson movie “Gallipoli”, you know about the massacres and sacrifices of the Australian soldiers during the Great War. This memorial immortalizes that war plus many others including the battle in Tobruk, Libya; which is where I stayed after I snuck into Libya for my final country.
Kings Park is the perfect place in Perth for a picnic or a stroll or just to take in the views. This is the best of the many things to do in Perth, in my opinion, and on a clear day-it is perfect!
One more little piece of advice: when you walk up to Kings Park, take Jacob’s Ladder. It is some 242 steep steps that will give you a nice lather before you even get up there!
Cottesloe Beach is one of my favorite beaches in the world. It is a very nice beach. It isn’t even the prettiest beach in the Perth area but it is the most fun and certainly a cool place to hang out.
I first visited Cottesloe Beach and the Cottesloe Beach Hotel for their infamous Sunday Session back in 2003. My friend and I had a blast. So I will always remember it for that and sadly, I wasn’t there for a Sunday this time around but it is still cool.
Head into the Cottesloe Beach Hotel for a pint or a cocktail overlooking the Indian Ocean or stroll the beach out to the point for great views.
North Cottesloe also has some great beaches as well if you drive or walk up the scenic coastal road. If you have a car, it is best to drive back to Perth along this road as it takes you through all the coastal, wealthy suburbs where you see some of the most amazing houses you can imagine. Like I said, there’s a lot of money in Perth!
Fremantle is a cool, bohemian port town about 20 minutes south of Perth. You can drive or get there easily by train from Perth. Fremantle is beautiful, strange and quirky kind of like Perth itself.
Strolling the tree lined streets with New Orleans style architecture at times and beautiful old churches will leave you staring. There is also a famous prison in Fremantle and of course a football oval.
Fremantle is best explored on foot. Just walk around, take it in, sit at a café and watch the world go by. It is also a popular place for budget travelers and for booking onward travel. Also, don’t miss some of the cool breweries like Little Creatures; my favorite beer in Western Australia.
Perth is a quirky city like I keep saying and Northbridge is the quirkiest part of town. Perth is basically divided in half between the brand new, beautiful, rich Central Business District (CBD) and Northbridge by some train tracks.
Northbridge is literally on the other side of the tracks and that is what makes it so cool. It’s funny, when I asked at the Adina Apartment Hotel I was staying at in the CBD about Northbridge they said don’t go there; it’s full of weirdos. I said I like weirdos and of course I went.
This was my fourth trip to Perth and the first three times I actually stayed in Northbridge so I like it because it’s weird, it’s different and it’s fun. It is a world away from the Prada lined streets of the CBD.
It is funky, full of tattoo parlors, porn shops, backpacker haunts and festivals such as the Fringe Festival that I happened to stumble upon accidentally. I ended up having an experience, to say the least.
That all said, Northbridge is where the budget travelers stay generally and is worth checking out. It is a fun place to be and you never know whom you might run into!
I did not go to Rottnest Island on my trip to Perth this time around but I have been before and it is certainly worth mentioning. Rottnest Island is a ferry from Perth and makes for a great day trip or overnight.
The island itself is gorgeous with beautiful beaches and great wildlife. Rottnest is home to the adorable quokka. They are so cute and they actually eat right out of your hand. I have some great pictures of me feeding them from 2003 that I have no idea where they are, sadly.
The best thing to do in Rottnest, is to rent or hire a bike. This gives you freedom to go wherever you want. You can get them when you arrive at the port. This avoids taking the old people tours and you can be on your own schedule. Bring a towel and definitely sunscreen as there’s not much shade and it gets really hot on the island.
So here are five of my favorite things to do in Perth. I also recommend just checking out the CBD. It is big and beautiful and full of cool little shops and restaurants. Also, if you like sports, check out Subiaco. It is a Perth suburb that has world-class sporting venues for Rugby, AFL and Cricket. Other than that, just enjoy the amazing weather and the nice people; just be prepared for some high price tags. Perth is great but it isn’t cheap. Just remember when it gets hot to just jump in the pool!
Disclaimer: I received financial compensation from Tourism Australia for my trip to Perth and the majority of my expenses were covered. Everything written in this post is my words and has not been influenced in any way.