In Australia, the biggest cities can be found along the east and south coasts. Then way on the other side of the outback there is Perth, with a population of more than two million people. Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, is the most isolated capital city in the world. It’s also one of the sunniest capital city in the world. You can say that Perth has a lot of remarkable qualities. This is the place where we spent our final month in Australia, before we head over to Nepal for our Asian adventure. In this blogpost, we share the things to do in Perth, where to eat, where to drink and where to sleep. Planning on visiting this vibrant city? Or are you just interested in seeing some photos for inspiration? Keep on reading.
Perth: The Most Isolated Capital City
The beautiful city of Perth, a cosmopolitan city with an impressive skyline, surrounded by the Swan River and Kings Park. Western Australia is the largest state of Australia, and Perth is the capital city in this state. It is claimed that Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world. If we compare our experience of staying in one of the most remote towns (Halls Creek) we’ve ever been, to staying in one of the most remote cities (Perth), then there is one big difference. In a remote town, you actually notice that it’s remote. In a remote city, not so much. Mostly because it’s still like any other city, and there is still a lot to do.
Things to do in Perth
Perth offers a lot of shopping options. Not only can you buy the latest fashion, but also unique Aboriginal art, antiques and more. There are malls, weekend markets and summer night markets. Some of the highlights are: King Street, Fremantle Markets, Perth Laneways, Subiaco, Mount Lawley, Claremont and Leederville. The city centre of Perth is open seven days a week.
If you are a bargain hunter like us, you’ll love Watertown Brand Outlet Centre on Wellington Street. Here you can find discounted products and factory seconds from big name retailers.
Perth is home to 19 beaches with a total of 12,500 kilometers of coastline. One of the most iconic beaches in Perth is Cottesloe Beach. Swim, surf, snorkel, picnic or a drink by the sea – it’s all possible at Cottesloe.
Another popular beach in Perth is City Beach. An uncrowded, rather small and clean place, where beach goers come to enjoy the sun. It’s a 20 minute drive west of Perth city. Go for a boardwalk, make a seaside stroll, or have a lovely picnic.
Scarborough Beach is another popular beach in Perth, with beautiful white sand and big waves, making it a good place for a surf. Brighton Beach, a short walk from Scarborough, is a spacious beach where you can expect big waves. It’s less crowded than Scarborough Beach, making it a more peaceful place.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden is one of the biggest inner city parks in the world. It’s a great place to go for a picnic and enjoy the skyline of the city, as the park overlooks Perth City and Swan River. The park also has a large collection of Western Australia flora, and it’s great to have a walk around the park, or visit one of the events that take place. The total area of Kings Park is 400.6 hectares and features both cultivated gardens and untamed bushland.
Opened in 1965, the park features a scientific collection mainly of Western Australian plants. The Botanic Garden is unique from those around the world by maintaining its focus on local flora, primarily because of the extraordinary diversity of Western Australian wildflowers found nowhere else on earth.
In the park you can enjoy free guided walks that are led by volunteer guides. They depart every day from outside Aspects of Kings Park at 10am, 12pm and 2pm. Self-guided walks are also possible, as there are walking trails you can follow. Brochures are available from the Visitors Information Centre.
Rottnest Island is located just 19 kilometers off the coast of Perth. It truly has one of the most beautiful coastline you can find, pristine bays and some very interesting local wildlife. To get there you can take a ferry ride from Perth or Fremantle, or you can even choose to fly with Kookaburra Air, Rottnest Air Taxi, or Rotorvation Helicopters.
On Rottnest Island there are plenty activities. It is possible to go on a guided walk, go snorkeling, rent a bike , or swim and relax by the gorgeous stunning waters. One of the most popular activities is probably encountering the local quokkas and taking a selfie with them. Just be sure you don’t feed or touch the quokkas when doing so.
We wrote a blogpost about our day trip to Rottnest Island, so be sure to check it out.
When you’re in Perth, we recommend visiting the beautiful wine region that is Margaret River. The Margaret River Region is an easy three hour drive south of Perth. Here you can kayak, stand-up-paddle board, surf, explore some of the caves, climb the lighthouses, walk along the largest jetty in the southern hemisphere. But also go for a tasting; eat and drink in one of the wineries, breweries, restaurants, chocolatiers, farmer’s markets and confectionary producers.
We took a three day trip to this region, and explored the beaches and went to the wineries for some tastings. There are multiple wine tours to choose from, but we advice you to just visit some of the wineries. We just walked in and you could do a free tasting.
Hamelin Bay is one of the best places in Australia to spot wild sting rays. We went there, but unfortunately we couldn’t see any. Probably, because it was too cold. We would therefore recommend going to Margaret River in the summertime to have a bigger chance to encounter these incredible animals on the coast.
Food and Drinks in Perth
Breakfast in Perth
When we were in Melbourne, we used Breakfast in Melbourne for great places to visit for breakfast. Now, we did the same for Perth, as there is also an amazing account for Breakfast in Perth. It is hard to choose where to go for a good breakfast, because there are really a lot of great places to choose from!
Eventually, we decided to go to Harvest Espresso in Victoria Park. Here Jeffrey had the lovely Doughnut with foie gras ganache, fairy gloss and seasonal berries and Lisanne the tasty mushroom omelette. Last week we also went to Kava Cafe Bicton. Here we both had incredibly delicious matcha pancakes, Jeffrey with pistachio and Lisanne with Oreo.
Dinner in Perth
Not only can you find great places for breakfast, Perth is also great for lunch and dinner. We were lucky enough that our friends, who lived in Perth for a few months, showed us some great (and cheap!) places to eat in Perth.
Do you like sushi? We do. We love it and it’s one of the dishes we missed most while we lived in the outback. Luckily, in Perth you can easily find a lot of sushi restaurants. One of those is Taka’s Kitchen, and it’s even very cheap too. For approximately $30 you can have a big meal for two people.
If you like Indian and vegetarian food, we know another cheap, and quite special place to go. Annalakshmi, located on the banks of the Swan, is open seven days a week. What makes this place special is not only it’s food, but also that you pay as you feel, instead of fixed prices on a menu. On their website you can find why:
Food is meant for sustenance of life and nobody is to be deprived. Annalakshmi is not a soup kitchen, or a place to feed socially deprived. Instead it is a place that supports the act of giving, from the heart. For example, a mother prepares and cooks a meal with love, selflessly for nourishment and well-being. At Annalakshmi, food is cooked with selfless love and positive energy. This food infused with love and positive energy, when consumed becomes a healing nectar and food for the soul.
We thought it was a great idea, and we went there to experience it. The food was simple, but tasty. It’s just like a small buffet with rice, curries and vegetables.
For more places to eat in Perth, check out The Urban List with their 25 Of Perth’s Best Cheap Eats.
Drinks in Perth
Our first night in Perth and our friends took us to Carnegie’s for cocktails and dinner. Every wednesday the cocktails and food are half price. That really makes a big difference. They have some great cocktails there, the food is nothing special.
For more places to have drinks in Perth, check out The Urban List with their 25 Of Perth’s Best Cocktails.
Accommodation in Perth
We always recommend checking airbnb for a good accommodation, wherever you are going. Sometimes you can really find awesome and cheap places to stay.
If you are looking for one of the cheaper accommodation, we would recommend City Stay Apartment Hotel, Lakeside Bed & Breakfast or Kings Park Motel. Unfortunately for backpackers, these are probably not really the prices you are hoping for, but accommodation in Perth is quite expensive. Otherwise, it’s also possible to go to one of the hostels and sleep in a dorm. Options for these are The Hive Hostel, Downtown Backpackers Hostel and City Perth Backpackers Hostel.
Another recommendation we have is contacting All Pets Housesitters, where you can apply to become a house sitter. We are currently doing exactly that; housesitting in a gorgeous house in East Fremantle. This is completely free. It is required that you have experience with housesitting, and that you actually like pets. Because you will have to take care of a pet while you are staying there. Soon we will write a blogpost about housesitting to give more information and tips.
Thanks for visiting again! Any questions or tips about Perth, let us know in the comments.