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, which boasts the best-preserved 19th century port streetscape in the world. 'Freo' is known for its lively music, arts and festival scene, artisanal food, fantastic craft beer, great coffee and quirky boutiques. Get a glimpse of the city's fascinating past at the Western Australian Maritime Museum, Fremantle Prison and the Roundhouse.
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.
CBD 12km (domestic terminal), 19km (international terminal)
Travel time 30 minutes
Taxi Approx A$38
Bus Perth Airport Connect available every hour. One-way A$15 (adult); return A$30 (adult). Journey takes 35 minutes.
Transperth Bus 37 From T3/T4 to Kings Park via the city. One-way A$4.40; journey takes 55 minutes.Back to top
When to go
Perth has a temperate Mediterranean-type climate; summers are hot and dry, winters wet and mild. Summer temperatures average 30°C 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.
If your heart is set on pleasant, comfortable weather, with flora blooming around you and clear skies, the best time to visit is spring (September–November). Perth's International Arts Festival is held in February–March, and the Fremantle Festival October–November.Back to top
Get around Perth on Transperth opens in new window buses, trains and ferries. Purchase a Smartrider opens in new window that lets you load up value and touch on to travel, and gives you discounts on your trips. Free CAT buses opens in new window stop off at major spots around Perth.Back to top