Where to stay, what to do and how to get around one of the most remote cities in the world.
With near-perpetual sunshine and some of the most amazing sunsets in Australia, a trip to Perth is a no-brainer really. You don't need to go far from the city to experience the beauty of the Western Australian landscape. Within hours you can find yourself on some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, riding massive sand dunes, having an unforgettable marine adventure or unwinding in one of the most well-regarded wine regions in the country.
Travel writer Bill Bryson might have called it "the most remote city on earth", but Perth and its surrounds are far from inaccessible. With departures daily from major Australian cities and the Indian Pacific rail service to take you from the other side of the country to this very spot, getting here is a cinch.
Despite being remote, the city itself is definitely not quaint. Boasting a population of 1.8 million people, it’s considered to be one of the fastest growing cities in Australia. The CBD is a mix of business and heritage buildings filled with a roaring nightlife and lauded restaurants, while its suburbs offer a relaxing respite of inviting beaches and sun-soaked parks.
Main airport: Perth Airport (PER).
Ground transport: Train, bus and ferry.
Weather: Perth experiences all four season. Its summers are hot and dry with maximum temperatures above 30℃ and its winters are mild with maximum temperatures of 18℃.
Top 10 must see destinations: Cottesloe Beach, Swan Valley, Kings Park, the WACA Ground, Perth Mint, Scitech, Rottnest Island, Penguin Island, Fremantle and Wave Rock.
Best places to stay in Perth
- Scarborough: Another beachside suburb, Scarborough is less frequented than Cottesloe and is ideal for those seeking a quieter resort getaway.
- Swan Valley: For drinking connoisseurs, there’s no better locale than Swan Valley. On the fringe of the Perth metropolitan area, it’s a melting pot of wineries, breweries and distilleries amongst a landscape of historical buildings and native wildlife.
Check out what accommodation is like in these areas:
Top things to do in Perth
- Waddle with penguins on Penguin Island: Ooh and aah over some of Western Australia’s cutest little creatures in their natural habitat. Go on. You know you want to.
- Hop over to Rottnest Island: Minutes away from Perth by boat lies this alluring island paradise. Walk it or bike it, however you choose to do it, you’ve got to see it.
- Wonder at Wave Rock: This unusual rock formation is made of granite that’s been carved into the shape of a wave by erosion over time. It’s also one of the most remote places that you can still Instagram from.
- Sip wine in Margaret River: If there’s only one winery you manage to hit up while in Perth, it’s got to be Margaret River.
- Swim with dolphins: Rockingham is one of the most ideal locations to have a close encounter with these cheeky mammals in the wild.
- Explore Swan Valley: If you can’t make it to Margaret River to wine and dine the night away, the next best thing is Swan Valley. Easily accessible from Perth, if features wineries, breweries and distilleries.
Best events to attend in the year:
- Sculpture by the Sea: This annual arts exhibition travels between Cottesloe Beach in Perth and Bondi Beach in Sydney. In Cottesloe, artworks hug the coast from the sea wall to North Cottesloe. Cottesloe Beach, 3-19 March 2017
- Perth International Arts Festival: Featuring theatrical and musical works from local and international artists, as well as family events and workshops, Perth International Arts Festival is a celebration of culture and talent. Various locations, 10 February - 5 March 2017
- Night Noodle Markets: Featuring mouthwatering dishes served from hawker stalls, the Night Noodle Markets is a popular sensory journey through the Asian continent. On top of delectable dishes, the festival features live music sets, lion dances and a lantern garden installation for that must-have Instagram pic. Elizabeth Quay, March - April 2017
- Eat Drink Perth: Perth’s gastronomic food festival hosts over 90 events over six weeks. Expect everything from long-table degustations to yum cha picnics in the park. Various locations, March - April 2017
- Fringe World: This the largest summer arts and cultural event on the Perth calendar. Held over 31 days, it’s a dynamic display of circus performances, theatrics, dance, music and amusement park rides. Various locations, 20 January - 19 February 2017
- Perth Science Festival: Being the home of Scitech (from The Terminator, geddit?), Perth wouldn’t be complete without a jaw-dropping science festival. Over 50 interactive stalls will amuse and amaze both young and old. Perth Cultural Centre, August 2017
How much will a trip to Perth cost?
- Budget: Hostel beds from AUD$16 per person/per night.
- Moderate: Moderate hotels and serviced apartments from AUD$79 per room/per night.
- Luxury: 4-5 star hotels and resorts from AUD$126 per room/per night.
- Main: $20 for a roast and a pint at the local pub.
- Beer: $7.10 for a small bottle of Eagle Bay ESB.
- Coffee: Average of $3.90 for a cappuccino in a cafe.
- Uber: Ubers are an inexpensive means of private transportation in Perth. A trip from the airport to Perth CBD in an UberX costs $27-$37.
- Taxis from the airport: Approximately $43 to Perth CBD and more for locations such as Fremantle and Scarborough.
- Local transport from the airport: Shuttles and public buses operate between Perth Airport and the city. Shuttles are $15 one way and drop you off at certain hotels and hostels in the city. The public bus costs $4.60 one way (the airport is in zone 2 of the transport system) and travels through the city to Elizabeth Quay.
- Local transport throughout Perth: Perth is well connected with trains, buses and ferries and charges by zone. Most of Perth CBD is in zone 1 and a single ticket in this area costs $3. An electronic SmartRider travel card can be purchased, which automatically deducts your fare amount and is 15% cheaper than purchasing individual paper tickets.