Vibrant Perth: the city that keeps surprising

Perth is the capital of Western Australia. Situated on the banks of the beautiful Swan River, this vibrant city is quite literally built on the great outdoors and offers plenty of activities to keep you busy. Cycle around the Swan River, shop on King Street, catch a show at the State Theatre in Northbridge, experience a river cruise from Barrack Square, catch a beautiful sunset on Cottesloe Beach and more. When the sun sets, jump on a ferry to South Perth and take in the glittering skyline.

Just a 30-minute drive or train ride from the city is the neighbouring port town of Fremantle. Explore the town’s rich culture and history at the Western Australian Maritime Museum, Fremantle Prison and the Roundhouse.

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Things to do

  • Cott in a moment

    Just a quick hop from Perth's city centre are the inviting clear waters of Cottesloe Beach. ‘Cott’ is perfect for swimming, snorkelling, surfing and taking in spectacular ocean sunsets. Get to Cottesloe by car, bus or train –  it's a 15-minute drive from the city, or catch a Transperth bus or the Fremantle train line, where the beach is a lovely 600m walk from Cottesloe station.

  • Isle of right

    Rottnest Island opens in new window is famed for its tranquil waters, secluded bays and of course, its quokkas – the ridiculously cute marsupial found almost nowhere else. It’s easy to reach, at just just 19km from Perth city centre: you can catch a ferry from Perth, Fremantle or Hillarys. When you get there, hire a bike (no cars allowed) and take your time discovering the island, taking in the spectacular ocean views, and enjoying the beautiful crystal bays. Rottnest is the perfect place for swimming, snorkelling, fishing or just relaxing.

  • Live it up

    For the city's best food and wine, a splash of arts and culture and some great nightlife, head to Northbridge opens in new window. Just a five-minute walk from Perth's city centre, it’s known for its vast array of bars, clubs, restaurants and cool places to shop. Here you'll find the Art Gallery Of Western Australia and WA Museum Perth, and the WA Opera and WA Ballet. Al fresco dining is a specialty: choose from world cuisines including Thai, Chinese, Greek, Egyptian, Italian, Vietnamese and Japanese.

  • Roll into Rock

    Head 47km down the coast and you’ll hit Rockingham, home to a vast array of marine life, including wild dolphins. Drive for around an hour further south, and you'll reach Mandurah, on the shores of Mandjar Bay. Once a small fishing village, it's now a modern seaside hub with boardwalk cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. It's also the home of the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre opens in new window, where you might find circus, theatre or comedy, and enjoy the views of the cityscape.

     

  • The valley road

    Just 20 minutes east of Perth and a world away from the city's buzz is Swan Valley opens in new window and Darling Range. You can drive here, or take the scenic route aboard a Swan River cruise from Perth's Barrack Street Jetty. It’s WA’s oldest wine region – winery-hop by horse-drawn wagon or chauffeured classic car, and enjoy fine food at one of the 70 restaurants and cafés here. Closeby, Caversham Wildlife Park opens in new window, home to one of Western Australia's largest collections of native Australian wildlife, including koalas, wombats and kangaroos, is a great stop for families.

     

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Airport information

CBD 12km (domestic terminal), 19km (international terminal)

Travel time 30 minutes

Taxi Approx AUD $38

Bus Perth Airport Connect available every hour. One-way AUD $15 (adult); return AUD $30 (adult). Journey takes 35 minutes.

Transperth Bus 37 From T3/T4 to Kings Park via the city. One-way AUD $4.40; journey takes 55 minutes. 

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When to go

Perth has a temperate Mediterranean-type climate; summers are hot and dry, winters are wet and mild. Summer temperatures average 30°C from November - April. Maximum temperatures in summer reach and can exceed 40°C, though very hot days tend to have very low humidity making conditions more bearable. Choose your preferred time of year depending on your hot/cold thresholds. If your heart is set on pleasant, comfortable weather, with flora blooming around you and typically clear skies, the months between spring and summer (which is the beginning of September to the end of February) are the most desirable.

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Getting around

The Perth airport shuttle bus is the cheapest way into town and will take you direct to your accommodation in Perth for around $20. Of course, you can hire cars and or hop in a taxi.

Get around Perth via the Transperth network. A Smartrider card can be pre-purchased, which means a discounted trip on Perth buses, trains and some Perth ferries. Some limited Perth tram services are also available. Also, the CAT buses in Perth stop off at major spots around town and are free.

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