Perth Travel Guide
Before reading a Perth Travel Guide, what do you think about when you talk about Perth?
The heart of Western Australia, Perth, is often overlooked by visitors as they pack their bags for its other cousins like Sydney and Melbourne.
However, Perth is equally fascinating as them. For us, 3 words comes to mind: Nature, Beautiful and Friendly.
In this Perth Travel Guide, here is where you get a better understanding of this gem in the west of Aussieland!
When is the best time to visit Perth?
Perth is the sunniest city in Australia, with an average summer temperature of 29 degrees Celsius, with winter temperature rarely going below 10 degrees Celsius.
What does this mean? Almost any time is a good time to visit Perth!
For those of you who didn’t know, Australia’s seasons run opposite to what the Northern Hemisphere experiences. That means that when it is winter for others, it is summer time for Australians. How convenient is that? Escaping the cold of winter to Australia is perfect! Carry on reading this Perth Travel Guide to learn more about the best time to visit.
During the months of December to February, this is when summertime abounds. In Perth, that means that the weather can get pretty hot and dry, and there is very little rainfall during this time. For holiday seekers like yourself, this represents long daylight hours and more time for activities. Be warned though, the heat can sometimes be unbearable for some, reaching up to 38 degrees Celsius, while the average stays at 30 degrees Celsius.
From March to May, autumn comes around and you will enjoy much milder weather. We think this is the best time to visit Perth as the tourists numbers dwindle and you can still enjoy lots of sunshine without the crowds. The average temperature during this time is at a comfortable 19 degrees Celsius, good enough to be in berms and flip flops!
Between June and August is when winter sets in.
But the cool thing (no pun intended) is that it never gets too cold that you need to be dressed in layers upon layers of clothing.
Most activities are still available during this time and this is the best time to go for a whale watching cruise.
Humpbacks, Minkes and Blue Whales all pass through the coast of Western Australia for their migration to the north to give birth.
Average temperature is 14 degrees Celsius while you should expect rain on every other day.
And finally, from September to November, spring comes around and this is the time with warm sunny days and is the best time of the year to see the flowers bloom, over 12000 species!
It never gets too hot during this season, with averages ranging from 12 to 23 degrees Celsius, and rainfall at a minimum.
Showers come and go and they are not going to spoil your plans.
Check out the weather forecast from the official site here.
Some facts about Perth
- Perth is the capital of Western Australia, the largest state in Australia
- Its reputation as the most isolated city in the world is actually not accurate, although it’s quite close
- Perth is further away from the Australia capital, Cairns, than a foreign country, in this case our homeland Singapore
- Quokkas, the furry little marsupials that kicked up a social media storm not too long ago, is found only in Western Australia
- Perth has the largest inner city park in the world – Kings Park
Getting to Perth
Since Australia is a big ass island, most of the time it will be likely that you fly into this country.
There are of course a few options which we will explore here in this Perth Travel Guide.
While Perth is certainly not as well connected as the capital or popular spots such as Sydney or Melbourne, there are quite a number of international flights that fly into this city.
The great thing is that the main part of the city is easily accessible from the Perth airport, just 20 minutes away.
There are 4 terminals, with 1 and 4 serving international flights, while 2 and 3 serves domestic routes.
Tip: if you are moving from the area of Terminal 1 and 2 to the area of Terminal 3 and 4, there is a free shuttle that runs 24 hours. BUT, make sure you buffer enough time to get from one to the other. Check schedules here at the official site.
For some reason unknown to us, we have never truly considered going on train rides in Australia, maybe because we are terrified of the long distances we need to cover to get from the eastern part to the western part.
However, train travel is actually one of the most special ways to experience Australia and the Indian Pacific has a legendary status of providing such a service.
To get to Perth by train, you will need to set off from one of the following major cities: Adelaide or Sydney. Journey time is…. Wait for it…… more than 2 days!
So yes, maybe this is the main reason stopping us, but hey, what’s stopping you if you have the time and budget right?
We love to drive around in Australia.
The roads are wide and well maintained.
In the suburban areas, the traffic is light and many times, greenery is the only thing you see for miles.
However, did we mention that Australia is huge?
While it is perfect to drive in one city or to its outskirts, it is another thing to drive interstate.
To put things into perspective, the distance from Sydney to Perth is roughly 4000 kilometres, which means that if you drove at a hundred kilometres per hour, it will take you 40 HOURS to reach.
Hence, most of the decision around driving from one state to the other often relates to days long road trips.
The good news? Car rental in Australia is plentiful and the price is reasonable.
Our advice: if you plan to get out of the city for day trips, pick up the car from the airport. It’s fuss free.
If you are one of the thousands who is visiting Perth from a cruise ship, the most likely disembarkation point is at Western Quay, which is located in Fremantle, which is a lovely port city that is part of Perth metropolitan area.
From here, we encourage you to stay and visit Fremantle before making your way to Perth, which is a short 25 minute train ride.
Check timetables here.
Getting around Perth
There are a number of ways of getting around Perth, and they city is well connected by an effective public transport network.
Whether you are trying to move around the city itself or to its many attractive suburbs, there is always an option to do so easily.
Bus and Train
Getting around Perth city center is a breeze, thanks to the efficient public transport (Transperth) that is the CAT bus service.
You know what’s even better than efficient? It’s FREE!
So how do you get around using it?
Using the CAT Bus website as a guide, look out for bus stops that are clearly signposted and very easy to find in the city center.
Depending on where you wish to go, just hop on to the corresponding colour service.
No difference from anywhere in the world, simply stretch out your hand and flag it down.
The same free service is also available in the neighbouring towns of Fremantle and Joondaluop!
How do they look like?
Most of them are grey in colour and has a really scrawny cat design on its sides.
Besides the free CAT Bus services, there are also regular buses available in case you need to reach somewhere outside of the coverage.
If you are within the Free Transit Zone, you don’t need to pay for its services.
Once outside of that, there will be fares starting from $2.20.
Trains are covered under the Free Transit Zone too, but frankly, there isn’t much use for the train system within the city unless you are heading out of it.
If you had picked up a car rental at the airport, then you would need to know where are the right places to park? Perth offers sheltered car parks as well as on street parking.
Check out the official site of the City of Perth Parking or download the app to find the nearest available parking lots.
For on street parking, look out for signposts indicating the duration allowed for parking and the fees.
Be warned though, the rates in the city center are $5 per hour!
The beautiful Swan River runs right through the middle of Perth and thus offers tons of activities surrounding it.
This also means that you may wish to cross the river, and you may do so at Elizabeth Quay.
Ferries run frequently and takes about 10 minutes to cross the river while you can enjoy the scenic views.
Prices are similar to those of the bus as they are also operated by Transperth.
Well of course there are the usual suspects of taxi or Uber or Ola (common in Perth), we don’t usually recommend these as the costs are quite high.
Perth is extremely suitable for walking, or you may also consider biking around too.
By walking and cycling, there are many opportunities to see sights that are easily missed if you are commuting on a car or bus or train.
Plus, you can get to lose some of those calories from the yummy local food.
Wifi in Perth
Keep your wallets people, because the City of Perth gives away free WiFi!
But don’t get too excited folks.
If you didn’t know, Australia doesn’t enjoy the fastest internet speeds compared to some of the other developed countries.
Although it has been improving, do not expect to have blazing fast internet that will let you stream movies or download large files.
The coverage of the free internet is in the CBD area, East Perth and Northbridge.
Beyond that, the likely options will be to visit cafes or restaurants to be hooked up to the internet, but of course that will mean paying for a meal or drink that you might not need.
The best option, especially if you intend to drive, is to get a mobile router.
Check online for ongoing promotions from the different vendors out there, and make sure to compare the cost with signing up for data roaming from your mobile phone operator.
Best food to eat in Perth
Foodie lovers, gather!
Whenever we travel, we try to look out for the local cuisine and any traditional food that a place might offer.
While Perth does not come across as a food destination like Singapore or Bangkok, it does boast quite a rich and diverse food scene.
If you are visiting during the February to April period, remember to check out the schedule of the Eat Drink Perth festival.
Any self respecting Perth Travel Guide is gonna tell you the best things to fill your tummy with. Here are some of the them we think you should not miss.
Although this cheesy dish has its roots and name from Italy, it has been adopted by Australia and Perth is one of the earliest cities to lay claim to the recipe being used in Australia today.
Our guess is that this fried chicken covered with cheese dish is no stranger to most of you here. But try out the Aussie version too.
A real icon of the food scene in Australia, this is as unique an Australian dish as it gets. And don’t forget to call it in its native name, lammo.
Typically made with chocolate as the outer layer, this is a cubic sponge cake that is covered with finely shredded coconut. Look out for those with jam and cream in the middle!
Besides the Aussie accent, meat pies are probably the next best well known thing in Australia to the world.
We’re kidding of course, Chris Hemsworth is higher up the list we know.
But talking about meat pies, it is one of those things that you just can’t miss in Perth.
It must be larger or about the same size of your hands to qualify for a good one!
Tim Tams Biscuits
The popularity of this simple biscuit is far and wide, having been exported to numerous countries around the world.
Unfortunately, in most places you can only get a limited range of its flavors, but not in Perth!
There are so many different types to choose from.
Make sure you visit one of the supermarkets when you are here!
Best places to hang out and have a drink in Perth
We all need to wind down after a hard day of exploring and having fun in the sun. In Perth, there is no shortage of places to hang out and enjoy a drink.
You might actually be spoilt for choice since drinking is deeply ingrained in Aussie culture and it is not uncommon to see the local folks to sit around a nice pub making the most of happy hours.
Why is that so?
Drinks out in town are not exactly the cheapest in the world and makes a huge difference to your spending kitty whether you are having one beer or five.
So we have chosen for you 5 of the best and reasonable places to spend your evenings!
Located below street level in a basement is this pizzeria that has local charm and good rock and roll music.
They style themselves like the time of Prohibition (no idea why) and serves up delicious food and a huge variety of drinks on the menu.
They don’t take reservations (no telephone number at all) so be there early to snag your spot.
37 Barrack Street, Perth, WA, 6000
Unlike like its name, this outlet does not look that strange, but it does have a pretty strange-ish website.
It serves up lots of yummy platters for sharing and offers 6 different beers on tap, with one rotating keg by a guest brew.
Prices are pretty reasonable but since it is quite low key, try your best not to miss it.
Take note that this is actually in Fremantle.
5 Nairn Street, Fremantle , 6160 WA
Fremantle’s own pride and joy, Little Creatures is a really upbeat establishment with its own huge brewery onsite.
This is its birthplace and you can also go on a short tour to understand the brewery, how they made the beer and trivia about the history of its location now.
Simple yet tasty food, great beer.
What else can you ask for?
40 Mews Rd, Fremantle WA 6160
Stirling Arms Hotel
They have a really nice outdoor sitting area, very much like being in a secret garden of sorts.
Best part? They serve up some of the cheapest beers in Perth.
If you are staying in this hotel, you’ve got your daily watering hole all sorted out for you.
Not only that, you will be sitting in a piece of history that dates back all the way to the 1800s.
117 James St, Guildford WA 6055
Chelsea Pizza Co
We would liken this joint to be something like an American diner in the middle of a highway, but over here, the folks in charge brings you fresh pizza and a lively atmosphere.
Go on Mondays for half price pizza.
Let you in on a secret but please don’t tell the others: beer is only $4 here!
145 Stirling Hwy, Nedlands WA 6009
Best nature places in Perth
One of the reasons we love Australia is the ability to seamlessly transition from the city to the outdoors in a matter of minutes and also the wide variety of activities on offer.
Australia is a huge country, and most of the population are concentrated in the southeastern coast, and along the west coast, leaving swathes of land behind for wildlife to flourish and nature untouched.
Here we will talk about a few of our favourite spots to take in Mother Nature.
Caversham Wildlife Park
We really feel in love with Caversham and came out better informed about wildlife in Australia and in general.
The place is simple and well run by a team of passionate staff, and you can tell that the animals are kept in great condition.
It is very different from the typical zoo where you can feel the effects of commercialisation but over here things are kept more realistic.
Fall in love with the residents here, many of which are endemic to Australia.
Don’t miss out the photo op with a wombat and the quokka too if you are not able to visit Rottnest.
Check out the surroundings too such as the Motor Museum and Bennett Brook Railway if you have the time.
Tip: Hey, check out our list of Travel Bucket List Ideas to inspire you and also find out another great location to see wombats in the wild!
Over 7000 years ago, Rottnest island was actually part of the mainland, until rising sea levels turned it into an island.
The tiny island is home to 6 different habitats as well as salt lakes and a thriving coral reef in the seas surrounding it.
This chicken shaped island is filled with activities, suitable for anyone looking for a relaxed day out to hiking and diving for the more adventurous inclined.
Take the ferry from either Perth City, North Fremantle (Rous Head), Fremantle (Victoria Quay) and Hillarys Boat Harbour in Perth’s north.
We prefer to take one from Fremantle since it is the closest and waters can get pretty choppy.
No one likes a vomiting passenger and we are not gonna be one.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden
The largest inner city park in the world, Kings Park sits right smack in the middle of Perth and has beautiful views overlooking the Swan River and the CBD area.
Perfect for a family day out or just relaxing with your travel companions in the sun, the park contains a rich history and a diverse species of flora.
Remember to pack your picnic basket and bring along a ball to kick about while appreciating the gorgeous views especially during sunset.
Lots of walking tracks that even brings you among the treetops through its treetop walk.
If you like to take part in festivals, this is the best venue and you can check out the schedule here.
In this Perth Travel Guide, we go through things like getting to Perth, getting around Perth, how to get WiFi, best places to get food and wasted, plus the best nature spots.
What do you think of the suggestions here?
Any activity or category you would like to see added?
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