Perth is Australia’s only capital city where you can enjoy the beach lifestyle, relax in natural bushland, sample world-class local wines and watch an ocean sunset within 30 minutes of the city. It’s also the sunniest state capital, averaging 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and boasting a string of 19 beautifully clean and uncrowded beaches, from iconic Cottesloe to the surf hotspot of Scarborough.
Situated beside the Swan River, Perth is a living picture postcard, with the best views of all from Kings Park and Botanic Garden – one of the biggest inner-city parks in the world. Larger than New York’s Central Park, there are so many ways to enjoy its 400-plus hectares of sculpted gardens and natural bushland. Stroll the treetop walk, take an indigenous cultural tour or picnic among the gum trees.
Another city icon is the Swan Bells, which fills the air with sounds from one of the largest musical instruments on earth. From there, you can hop on the free bus to museums, art galleries and the Perth Mint – home to the world’s greatest collection of gold bars.
For more information, please visit http://www.westernaustralia.com
Top things to do in Perth
Visit Kings Park
In the very heart of Perth, just a short stroll from the City centre, you’ll find 400 hectares of tall trees, stunning bushland, lakes, sculpted gardens and picnic areas.
Kings Park is popular with both locals and tourists; it’s the best spot in town to watch a glorious sunrise over the City and the Swan River and has a host of restaurant and café options including Frasers, Zamia Café and Stickybeaks.
Kings Park is a natural wonderland which contains the spectacular Western Australian Botanic Garden and is full of walking trails and running tracks surrounded by native plants, seasonal wildflowers and rich Aboriginal heritage.
It’s also home to the States War Memorial and the Flame of Remembrance which hosts Perth’s biggest ANZAC Day dawn service every year.
Magnificent views of the Swan River and City below also make Kings Park a popular place for taking photos
Fremantle Arts Centre
Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC), one of Western Australia’s major arts organisations and best-loved local facilities, offers a rich program of exhibitions, residencies, courses, music and events.
FAC is an ambitious organisation with high quality programming recognised on a local, national and international level. Housed in a convict build neo-Gothic style building from 1860, and set in beautiful gardens, FAC is also a fascinating heritage site. FAC’s shop, FOUND at Fremantle Arts Centre, specialises in WA designed gifts and there is a café onsite.
Blessed with white sandy beaches and surrounded by crystal clear waters, Penguin Island is just 45 minutes south of Perth and lies a 5-minute ferry ride away in the heart of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. The wildlife is the star attraction. Join a cruise to see wild dolphins and rare Australian sea lions before getting up close with the world’s smallest penguins! Island rangers present penguin feedings at 10.15am, 12.30 and 2.30pm daily. Getting here is easy with ferries departing hourly from 9am to 3pm. Spend as long or as little as you like to swim, snorkel, picnic and explore the nature trails and beaches before catching a return ferry at your leisure.
Penguin Island is open daily from September 15 to early June. The Island closes for the winter penguin nesting season the day after the WA public holiday. Limited access is still available during this time through local cruise operator Rockingham Wild Encounters who are licensed to take visitors on guided walks as part of their winter cruise program.
45 minute drive south of Perth.
5 minute ferry ride across Shoalwater Islands Marine Park.
Rockingham Wild Encounters is located at:
153 Arcadia Drive (corner Penguin Rd),
Public transport: Catch the train from Perth city to Rockingham Train Station and then a bus from Rockingham train station to Penguin Rd which is less than a 5 minute walk to Rockingham Wild Encounters. Visit www.transperth.wa.gov.au for public transport options.
The Swan Valley
Located just 25 minutes from Perth, the Swan Valley is home to an ever-growing list of chefs, winemakers, brewers and producers of artisan wares.
There’s a bursting list of gourmet goods, from extra virgin olive oils, specialty cheese, marinated olives, tapenades, dried fruits, pickles and preserves to handmade chocolate, fudge, truffles, nuts and nougat.
Of course, the Swan Valley, the first and only Humane Food Region in Australia, is also home to some of the oldest vines in the state and award winning wineries such as Sandalford, Houghtons and Mandoon Estate, as well as a burgeoning number of breweries and distilleries.
The award-winning Swan Valley Visitor Centre in Guildford can help visitors get the most out of their Swan Valley visit. The centre’s passionate staff members know the Swan Valley inside and out, are there to answer any questions and provide helpful advice.
A 32km loop comprising more than 150 wineries, restaurants, cafes, breweries, distilleries, art galleries, farm gates and a host of other attractions, the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail is a great way to start exploring.
Rottnest Island, a protected A Class Reserve, is the place where Perth comes to unwind and reconnect with nature, family and friends.
The Island boasts some of the most picturesque beaches in Western Australia. Follow the snorkel and reef trails and experience beautiful Parker Point, Little Armstrong, Parakeet and Salmon Bays to name a few.
Pedal power is the best way to explore Rottnest and meet its famous furry residents the Quokkas. Rottnest Island Bike & Hire offer a complete range of bikes, beach cricket, tennis and soccer gear, basketballs and snorkel sets, paddle, surf and body boards, wetsuits and lifejackets. Enjoy a game of tennis or basketball or visit the Fun Park for a game of mini putt-putt, trampolines, pinball machines, pool tables and even the classic Pacman. You can play a game of lawn bowls or a round of golf by calling the Rottnest Island Pro-Shop on 0409 753 959 to hire all your golf and bowls equipment.
Accommodation ranges from premium villas, some with superb ocean views, to charming heritage cottages and comfortable, reasonably priced cabins and hostel. Rottnest Island has something to suit all tastes and budgets. Book online or contact the friendly Reservation’s team on +618 9432 9111.
Gain insight into the cultural and historical significance this iconic destination holds for all Western Australians on one of the many coach, train or walking tours. Hop on the Grand Island or Discovery Tour to explore the Island’s many attractions. Climb Wadjemup Lighthouse or jump aboard the Captain Hussey train to Oliver Hill and view the WWII guns and investigate the maze of underground tunnels beneath.