So obviously I did a little research before I arrived and chatted to my travel friends who’d already been there, but actually I received a lot of great tips from some lovely locals. So this is my list of some planned and some suprise things to see and do in Perth that I’d definitely recommend.
Planned: Meet a quokka
This was absolutely at the top of my list, and it’s become all the rage to get a quokka selfi amongst the backpacking community.
Tuesdays are cheaper so come Tuesday I was up early, on a train to Freo to catch the ferry to Rottnest Island, home of the quokkas. It’s a pretty quick ferry and as I’d booked bike hire as soon as I got off the ferry I was handed a bike and I was on my way.
Don’t be deceived, the island is quite large so there is a lot of cycling involved! On the bright side, quokkas are everywhere and they are as cute as they look in the pictures. Only thing is, they are sneaky food their way so make sure you guard your snacks well!
Near the jetty is a bunch of shops and eateries so you can get some snacks, it is expensive though so I was glad I bought my own good.
Spent pretty much the whole day there getting the penultimate ferry home, it was a great day, although I had sore legs the next day.
Surprise: eating in Leederville
This suburb was not on my radar but was a place I went to several times during my stay. It has a variety of food options but the best place is Greens & Co, open late serving coffee and cake with comfy sofas to relax in. Has a great atmosphere and the cake is so tempting I went back twice.
Planned: visit Kings Park
This is a massive park home to bush land (bit of a surprise to stumble across that bit) and the Botanical gardens. It’s a lovely place to walk, sit and read or meet friends. It also has awesome views of the city.
Planned: visit the Perth Mint
Located in a beautiful Georgian building, this is an interesting place to visit to learn more about minting in WA. I was lucky enough to get a free tour which made it all the better!
Suprise: Lake Monger
I didn’t know this existed before I arrived but I ended up staying nearby. Needless to say when the sun came out I decided to take a walk around the lake. It’s beautiful and obviously a popular running track!
Planned: Cottesloe Beach
I’d heard Perth was know for its beautiful beaches and this one was the most mentioned. As soon as the weather looked semi decent I was off to the beach.
Cottesloe is only a short train ride for the CBD so pretty easy to get to.
First was a recommended stop at Il Lido for coffee from a Perthite I met in Tassie. The coffee lived up to their recommendation and was a great start to the day.
The water was again a tad cold but it looked like a lovely safe swimming area. I took up residence on the beach and was grateful for the beach huts that provided a bit of shade. Was a lovely way to spend a day.
Planned: Visit Fremantle
Another train ride away lies Fremantle, or Freo as the locals call it.
Full of old architecture this is a great place to wander around. I didn’t go on market day so wasn’t completey sold on how great Freo is meant to be, but I thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Fremantle Prison. Convict built and in use to fairly recently, the prison is accessible by a fascinating tour. You can do different tours but the basic $20 was brilliant and gave a great history of the place.
Suprise: Penguin Island
A tour with Rockingham Wild Encounters took me on a boat cruise to see sea lions and then dropped us off at Penguin Island to see the Little Penguin. It’s a small island but is worth the visit to see the penguins so close! I missed feeding time but even so I got to see the penguins pretty active and close. If the weather was warmer you could definitely spend the day and snorkel in the water and chill on the beach, but it was a tad cold for my visit.
Suprise: Swan Valley wine tour
So as I’m discovering, Australia has way more wine regions that I thought! The Swan Valley is about half an hour from the CBD and has some lovely wineries. We had a stop in Guildford which is a National Trust listed town, and then it was on to sample the fine wines of the region as well as the chocolate at the Margaret River Chocolate Company and a stop at the Providore – yum!
Suprise: South Perth
One day I caught the ferry over to South Peth. It’s nice to walk along the Esplanade and there is a great view looking back over the city, but otherwise there isn’t a whole lot there.
I did go back to South Perth later with someone who knew the area better and can say there are some hidden gems there. Mainly in the cafe department, there are some fantastic brunch options there!
Suprise: Hillarys Boat Harbour
A train and bus ride away from the CBD this place is still reachable pretty easily. It’s a nice place to while away a few hours with lots of restaurants, some boutique shops, places to sit in the sun and an aquarium to keep you occupied.
Nice to see but not a whole lot there. Free wifi and a good view is the main draw!
So that’s it. Perth isn’t massive so I’d say a week there is fine. However, it is a lovely city to be in, especially with the warmer weather it seems to attract. You can definitely spend longer there too and there is heaps more to explore south of Perth if you have the transport! All in all, I’m looking forward to heading back there before I leave Australia.