10 Things to See and Do in Perth

Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is often described as one of the most isolated cities in the world.  It lies a 42 hour non-stop drive west of Sydney across bush and desert (Jakarta is closer), so it’s understandable where the assertion comes from.  But the city, with its gorgeous climate, never-ending beaches and relaxed pace of life, is an absolute dream.  Making the trip there is more than worth the effort, and once you’re there, who knows how long you’ll end up basking in Perth’s glorious isolation?

10. Go to the Beach

The weather in Perth from April to October, and even on the odd day through the winter months, makes trips to the beach absolutely mandatory.  Two of the more well-known spots are Scarborough, with its never ending stretch of brilliant white sand, and Cottesloe, known for its beautiful seaside green spaces, and famous Indiana Teahouse Building which has a restaurant on the top floor, perfect if you’re looking for some shade and a bite to eat.  Located close by are The Cott Hotel and Ocean Beach Hotel which are great for anyone in a livelier mood looking for a decent watering hole, and somewhere to dance while the sun sets over the Indian Ocean.  If you’re looking for somewhere a bit quieter check out Pinky beach or Rockingham south of the city to name just a couple.  There’s more than enough sand and sky to go around.

Cottesloe Beach

9. Have a Sunday Session

If you ever want to take a break from party tradition by holding off until Sunday to let loose, Perth is the place to do it.  Many pubs and bars around the city pride themselves on their late- weekend hospitality with parties that begin mid-afternoon and go on well after the summer sun has set.  The Cott Hotel in Cottesloe hosts perhaps the most well-known Sunday get together, with live music and Djs getting things going against the breathtaking beach backdrop.  Closer to the city center, on the Scarborough Beach Road, the Paddington Ale House – or simply just The Paddo, provides a healthy selection of beers to choose from, as well as a breadth of Sunday events.  If things go on into the wee hours, The Shed in Northbridge has to be the place to finish off.


8. Visit Fremantle

A short half hour drive south from the center of Perth takes you to the port town of Fremantle.  First established in the 1820s, Freo – as it’s known locally – has a rich mix of historical and cultural attractions, complemented perfectly by some great bars and eateries. One of the main draws is the now decommissioned Fremantle Prison, which has stood since the 1850s and has been transformed into a public museum. Featured on the UNESCO World Heritage List among the Australian Convict Sites, you can take a tour or explore at your own leisure.  A short walk down to the waterfront you can find Little Creatures Brewery, which has been producing its signature Pale Ale since 2001.  Tours run at 1, 2 and 3pm every day, after which you can enjoy a refreshment and delicious food in their bar or on the patio.


7. Head South on a Road Trip

West Australia is one of the world’s best places to take a round trip, and in Perth even keeping it local and heading a couple hours down the coast is an amazing experience.  Around 3 hours south from the center of Perth is the town of Margaret River, a renowned surfing location.  Previous surfing experience is not a prerequisite for your visit as there are a few places to take lessons, such as Margaret River Surf School.  If catching a wave isn’t your thing, you’ll be pleased to hear the wider ‘Margs’ area is one of Australia’s foremost wine producing regions, accounting for around 20% of Australian wine production.  Margaret River Tours offer half or full day tours of some of the area’s finest wineries, allowing you to sip away while enjoying the gorgeous Mediterranean-esq surroundings.

Near Margaret River

6. Watch Some Sports

Perth is home to 2 Aussie Rules Football teams that play in the professional AFL– The West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers.  Both teams play at the 40,000 capacity Subiaco Oval, and spending an afternoon at this magnificent venue taking in Australia’s favourite sporting spectacle is an opportunity you can’t miss.  The season runs from late March until September.  Also in Perth, in the east of the city center is the WACA stadium, named after its owners the Western Australian Cricket Association. The stadium plays host to the Australian national cricket team a few times a year so be sure to catch a game if  you’re lucky enough to be in town when they’re playing.

Neale Cousland / Shutterstock.com
Neale Cousland / Shutterstock.com

5. Explore Kings Park

Overlooking downtown Perth on the shore of the Swan River estuary is the lush urban greenery of Kings Park.   The park is one of the biggest inner-city green spaces in the world, as well as one of the most visited – about 5 million people enter the park each year.  As well as providing amazing views over the city, Kings park is home to the Western Australian Botanic Garden, The Aboriginal Art Gallery on Fraser Avenue, and many trails and memorials, including the Bali Memorial dedicated to the 16 West Australian victims of the 2002 tragedy.  Kings Park Volunteer Guides provide free guided walks of the park every day (apart from Christmas) which depart at 10am and midday.

Kings Park Perth

4. Rottnest Island

Lying 11 miles off the coast in the Indian Ocean is Rottnest Island, or Rotto for short.  The island gets its name from its native Quokkas, originally thought to be large rats by the Dutch settlers who named the island Rottnest, which translates to ‘Ratnest Island’ as a result.  The island has many beautiful bays complete with white sand and glittering turquoise water – The Basin being a favourite – and is a very poplar day trip location for those looking to sunbathe, swim, dive or fish.  Only emergency and service vehicles are permitted on the island, so renting a bicycle is the go-to mode of transportation for visitors.  If you want to stick around for more than the day, limited accommodation is available in the form of cottages, cabins and campgrounds. Sea taxi’s leave throughout the day from Hillarys, Perth and Fremantle.

Rottnest Island

3. Aquarium of Western Australia

If you don’t manage to see enough of the Indian Ocean’s inhabitants while snorkeling, or if you’re apprehensive about coming face to face with some if its more infamous species in open water, then the AQWA, located in the northern suburb of Hillarys, is definitely worth a look.  The aquarium boasts Australia’s largest underwater walking tunnel as well as a multitude of areas showing marine life from specific oceanic regions on Perth’s doorstep, from the tropical north to the cold and rugged Southern Ocean.  If you’re unable to dive in open ocean but want to get an up-close experience of West Australian sea life then submerge yourself and take a ‘Reefwalk’ through an amazing coral reef, no diving experience required!


2. Spend a Night in Northbridge

Perth is a fixture on the Australian backpacker trail, and is the starting point as well as the destination for many a traveler’s road trip.  Most of the city’s hostels are located in Northbridge, and as such you can find a crowd to have a good time with seven nights a week. The western themed Mustang’s Bar is great for live music and a few beers, and The Deen is right round the corner on Aberdeen Street if you want to take it to a club.  Before all this however, many of the hostels have great bars to get things kicked off, The Bamb’u is right in the thick of it all and has a relaxed atmosphere and reasonable rates.

Perth at night

1. Perth Cultural Centre

The Cultural Centre is an area of the city center just north of Perth Station containing, among other things, the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Perth campus of the Western Australian Museum – which were established in the late 19th century.  Wandering through some of the museum’s permanent exhibits you can learn about prehistoric and indigenous West Australia, as well as the city of Perth’s recent history.  The Art Gallery, due to its geographical location, places an emphasis on artwork from the rim of the Indian Ocean, and is also home to the State Art Collection, which was first started in 1895 and has grown into one of the finest collections of both indigenous and non-indigenous art in Australia.

Australian Aboriginal Art

The 7 Best Festivals in Perth

With sunshine guaranteed most days of the year, there aren’t many places better to plan a festival than Perth, Australia.  From century old arts celebrations to delicious wine samplings, the city and surrounding areas come alive with people, animals, food and music throughout the year.  Whatever your taste, and whenever you’re in town, there will surely be something for you to jump right into.

7. Doggies Day Out

Have you ever thought, why does everything always have to be about us humans?  Well the organizer of this day festival held in the name of our furry four-legged friends certainly did, and so Doggies Day Out was born.  Into its fourth year this October, the event held at Whitman Park in the Northeast of the city, is a bonanza of doggie treats, accessories and fun for the family with face painting and bouncy castles.  Proceeds from the event go to a great cause and support the RSPCA WA charity.

Dogs in the park

6. Fremantle Seafood Festival

Held as part of the wider Fremantle Festival in the southern hemisphere springtime, the day event takes place on the Fremantle boardwalk in the southern region of Perth.  Things to do include taking in live cooking shows, learning about the history of the Fremantle – including the Blessing of the Fleet – and its delicious oceanic offerings, and most importantly, stuffing yourself with some truly world class seafood while the sun glints off the shimmering waters close by.  The festival runs from 10am to 6pm, with a fireworks show closing it out after the sun sets.

Freemantle Seafood Festival

5. Rottofest

Still in its relative infancy Rottofest was started in 2009 and aims to promote the best up-and-coming and recently established names in Australian film, comedy and music.  Held on several stages among the idyllic surroundings of Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth, you can cycle between shows, perhaps via the beach.  The festival usually takes place in late September from Friday to Sunday.  There are no vehicles on the island and crowds aren’t overwhelming, giving Rottofest a relaxed and unique atmosphere.

Rottnest Island

4. Perth International Arts Festival

First kicked off in 1953 by the University of Western Australia, Perth Festival is Australia’s longest established arts festival, and runs annually between February and March.  Events are held at multiple venues throughout the city, from Cottesloe beach to the Festival Gardens set up in Northbridge in the city center.  The festival is growing, attracting upwards of half a million attendees each year, who can watch music, theater and spoken word performed by both grassroots artists and household names.

Perth Fest

3. Stereosonic

If major music festivals are what you’re looking for, they don’t come much bigger than Stereosonic.  The festival is held in most of Australia’s major cities and rolls into Perth usually in late November or early December, and hosts some of the biggest names in dance music; previous acts include Tiesto, Carl Cox and Calvin Harris.  2014 marks the events fifth outing in Perth and will be held over 2 days at Claremont Showgrounds.


2. Kings Park Festival

Each September, when wildflowers are in bloom, Kings Park plays host to this fabulous annual festival.  Around half a million visitors arrive throughout the month to join the celebration of springtime and of West Australia’s rich natural flora.  Guided tours and talks educating about the history of the park and the horticultural efforts sustaining it are put on in addition to live music concerts and stunning art exhibits.  The park is worth visiting all year round, but in September it’s truly special.

Kings Park Perth

1. Future Music Festival

Since 2007, this world class dance festival has visited Perth in late February or early March along its tour of Australia.  Recently held in Arena Joondalup in the northern suburb of the same name, thousands of revelers flock to the event to let loose to home-grown Djs as well as some of the biggest names in dance music.  Previous acts include Swedish House Mafia, Fatboy Slim and Steve Aoki, the festival has expanded into Asia with its growing popularity, and is an epic time if you’re in town at the time.  Try to plan ahead as tickets are snapped up quickly.

Future Music Festival

8 Awesome Markets in Australia

In a country/continent as big and diverse as Australia they’re able to grow, produce and make many products themselves year round. The best place to find fresh home grown produce and unique local products is by visiting one of the many markets that take place all around the country in cities big and small. No matter where you are in the country there’s bound to be a market held close by. To help get you exploring here are 8 awesome markets in some of the major cities around Australia:

8. Capital Region Farmers Markets –Canberra, ACT

Held every Saturday from 7:30-11:30am at EPIC (Exhibition Park in Canberra), it’s worth the drive out to these markets which feature the freshest produce in the capital sold by local producers. You’ll find fruits, vegetables, baked goods, meat and seafood, nuts, gourmet foods, flowers and plants all from local area growers. Come for breakfast and be sure to grab a flat white from the coffee stand and a sizzling sausage from The Brathaus.

EPIC Canberra resized

7. Cairns Night Markets –Cairns, QLD

The Cairns Night Markets and Food Court is world famous and a must do if you’re in northern Queensland. There are 130 stalls selling a wide variety of items but the focus is mostly on souvenirs and other aussie-made goods. Bring your appetite to these markets because the food court has a lot to offer including a few Chinese buffets where you pay for a plate and load up as much as you can. These markets are located on The Esplanade in the city center and are open 7 days a week from 5pm-11pm.


6. Adelaide Central Markets –Adelaide, SA

The Adelaide Central Markets are located in the heart of Adelaide city center and are conveniently open Tues-Sat. This place is a foodies dream with bakeries, delis, fresh foods, meat and seafood, cafes and more. You can have a meal and then shop for the rest of your week and you’re pretty much guaranteed to find whatever you’re looking for at one of the 80+ stalls. This market is an Adelaide institution and is South Australia’s most visited tourist attraction so make sure you check it out.


5. Brisbane MarketPlace –Brisbane, QLD

The Brisbane MarketPlace in Rocklea is a unique venue with 2 distinct weekend markets: The Saturday Fresh Market and the Sunday Discovery Market. On Saturdays from 6am—noon you’ll find over 190 stalls selling everything fresh including fruits and veg, meats and seafood, bread and baked goods, gourmet products and deli items plus much more. Then, on Sundays from 6am-noon you can come to the Discovery Market to explore new and second hand items, collectibles, books and more…come early and be prepared to haggle!

brisbane marketplace

4. Perth Home Grown Markets –Perth, WA

Perth City Center is home to many fantastic markets but one that stands out in front is the Perth Home Grown Market happening every Sunday from 11am-4pm in Forrest Place at the Murray Street Mall. The aim of this newer market is to provide the best quality local produce and local made products to the people of Perth. You can expect to find tasty home baked goods, organic teas, oils, pickles, hand crated goods in addition to fresh local produce.

perth home grown

3. The Night Market (Queen Vic Market) –Melbourne, VIC

Never wonder what to do on a Wednesday night again because the Night Market at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne is the place to see and be seen. These eclectic markets run every Wednesday night during the summer (Nov-Mar) from 5-10pm. It’s the perfect place for food, fashion, bars, music, shopping and more. While at these markets make sure you grab a glass of sangria, it’s legendary.

Photo by Jonathan Khee
Photo by Jonathan Khee

2. The Rocks Markets –Sydney, NSW

The Rocks Markets are nestled in the charming historic area of Sydney’s city center known as The Rocks and run every Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm. This quaint open air market consists of vendors lining the streets selling their wares in a very relaxed environment. The main highlights of these markets are the many artisan crafts including one of a kind clothing, handmade jewellery and original art. If you’re looking for souvenirs in Sydney, we suggest skipping the junky magnets and checking out these markets instead as you’re sure to find a timeless treasure.

The Rocks Markets

1. Mindil Beach Sunset Market –Darwin, NT

From the last Thursday in April to the last Thursday in October Mindil Beach is taken over by stalls and pedestrians all checking out the many offerings these markets have. Every Thursday night from 5-10pm and Sunday nights from 4-9pm most of Darwin heads to these unique evening markets which take advantage of the beautiful sunsets of the Northern Territories. Food is the biggest attraction here and you can find colorful cuisine like Thai, Indian, Chinese, Malaysian and more. This market also allows BYO so bring your cooler full of cold ones, grab some food and park yourself to watch the colors as the sun goes down.

sunset market