The best of Perth on a budget: top 5 things to do
There are still plenty of ways to experience Perth’s uniqueness without breaking the bank. Here's our top 5 things to do.
- February 2018
Perth’s transformation from sleepy backwater into vibrant, exciting city has occurred without the loss of its laidback charm. Luxury hotels, exotic cuisine served in first-class restaurants by award-winning chefs, and a plethora of boutique bars have infiltrated the city. But for the budget-cautious, there are still plenty of ways to experience Perth’s uniqueness without breaking the bank.
Learn to play the didgeridoo
Just half an hour south of the city in nearby Fremantle is Didgeridoo Breath, Australia’s biggest supplier of these stunning instruments. Crafted from eucalyptus trunks or thick branches which have been hollowed out by termites, they are hand-painted by Aboriginal artists. The enthusiastic team—who have amassed 100 years of experience between them—are happy to spend time explaining and teaching curious travellers how to play the iconic didgeridoo. Top off the experience by viewing the store’s collection of indigenous artefacts, Native American flutes and African djembe drums.
Location: 6 Market Street, Fremantle
Our favourite link: The Didge Project opens in new window
Admire the view from atop Reabold Hill
Eighty-five metres above sea level sits the highest natural landform in the metropolitan area, Reabold Hill. Uninterrupted 180-degree views of the city, Indian Ocean, Rottnest Island and Kings Park give you plenty to gawk at. And if you’re up for some exercise, various walking trails lined by an abundance of wildflowers and native plants provide plenty of gradients to suit all fitness levels. Enjoy the serenity of an early morning stroll through the urban wilderness accompanied by birdsong, or encounter a bat or possum on a sunset wander. If following maps is not your style, free guided tours are available too. A huge park, equipped with gas barbecues, lush green lawns and picnic benches, offers the perfect place to relax at the base of the hill.
Location: Perry Lakes Drive, City Beach
Our favourite link: Trails: Reabold Hill Summit Boardwalk opens in new window
Dance the night away at Scarborough Beach
Perth’s sultry weather and magnificent sunsets provide the perfect backdrop for an evening of dancing on the beach. Every Sunday night, from October to June, WAZouk (a team of Perth-based dancers) provides free one-hour introductory dance lessons, accompanied by a DJ and hosted by trained instructors. Add a little spice to your life by learning different styles of dance like salsa, samba, zouk lambada and kizomba. After the lessons, the DJ continues to spin discs so you can keep grooving under a canopy of stars (a AUD $5 donation is welcomed).
The dancing pauses during the winter months but you can still get active by taking advantage of the gym equipment dotted around Scarborough Beach’s walking and cycling tracks. There are also plenty of grassed areas to practice yoga poses or simply kick back and watch the waves roll in.
Location: Scarborough Ampitheatre, The Esplanade, Scarborough
Our favourite link: WaZouk opens in new window
Spend a big day out in arty Northbridge
Start at the Perth Cultural Centre, which comprises the State Library, Art Gallery of WA, State Theatre, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and the WA Museum. All within walking distance of each other, they feature extensive exhibits and information. A three-minute walk away is the heart of diverse, buzzing Northbridge, with an array of food choices and tempting window shopping opportunities. During spring, Northbridge Piazza offers free weekly yoga sessions on Saturdays and crossfit sessions during the week. Most of the year, free movies are shown on the big screen in the Piazza at night—laze back on the beanbags provided and enjoy.
Location: Roe, Beaufort, Francis and William Streets, Northbridge
Our favourite link: Northbridge Piazza opens in new window
Snorkel with the marine life at Mettam’s Pool
A kaleidoscope of colours awaits you within the sapphire blue depths of Mettam’s Pool. Only 10 minutes from Perth, this small patch of ocean is protected by a reef which allows you to swim and snorkel with a variety of marine creatures in calm waters. You’ll discover rock pools with tiny creatures dotted along the beach and see coral reach for the sky. The tranquil environment also provides the opportunity to paddle board and kayak. Take a picnic and eat under the shady pergola or on the lush grass area. Ramps, bathrooms, showers and a drink fountain are all close by and available for public use, and there are several cafes within walking distance.
Location: 330 West Coast Drive, North Beach
Our favourite link: Snorkeling at Mettam’s Pool opens in new window