This network incorporates all ferries, trains and buses and can be accessed by buying yourself a Smartrider card, which makes the fare a lot cheaper than buying individual tickets onboard. There are four specialty Perth CAT bus routes that go to Perth’s attractions and beaches. These depart every 5-10 minutes on weekdays and every 25-30 minutes on weekends and are free.
The comprehensive local train network in Perth is pretty easy to use. There are four local Perth train lines, which are all commuter-focused and all part of the Transperth transport network.
The Fremantle train is the easiest way to get to Fremantle, or Freo as it’s called from Perth, and you can also use it to get to Rottnest Island from most city hotels in Perth. It'll take you roughly 30 minutes to reach both places, unless you get on the faster express service during peak hours.
Driving can be an easy and effective way to explore Perth and its surrounds, particularly if you are travelling with a family. Car hire is readily available and Perth traffic is not too intimidating or hectic.
To get around you’ll need a good map, which are available from most hotels. For a bus or train timetable head to the Transperth desks in the Perth City train station. Wellington Street bus station also has them and they’re always free. They’ll make your life a lot simpler.
Most people will want to know where to access their emails when they’re out and about in Perth. Perth Walkabout has kindly put together a list of all the spots where you can access free Wi-Fi in Perth.
Perth is the sunniest city in Australia. The summer months can get very hot with an average temperature of 29°C during the day and 17°C at night. It can also get very humid in the summer, especially around the end of December. Summer days are cooled in the afternoon thanks to the ‘Fremantle Doctor’, a strong sea breeze that helps Perth locals by blowing in from the ocean.
Western Australia runs on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus eight hours (compared to Sydney and Melbourne, which are on GMT plus 10 hours or plus eleven during daylight savings).
Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar fly between 10 and 15 times per day from Sydney to Perth. The flight takes a little over five hours.
Qantas, Virgin Australia, Tiger and Jetstar fly between 14 and 16 times per day from Melbourne to Perth. The flight takes approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes.
Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar fly between 6 and 8 times per day from Brisbane to Perth. The flight takes around 5 hours and 40 minutes.
The Perth airport shuttle bus is by far the cheapest way to get into town and will take you directly to your pre-booked accommodation in Perth for roughly $20.
Car hire is available at the airport, although most people book online before they arrive and just pick up the car at the Perth airport. Car hire is a good option if you’re travelling with three or more people, as prices will often work out the same as getting a taxi.
Taxis are available from both the domestic and international terminals in Perth airport. A taxi ride from the airport to Perth’s city centre will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes and will usually cost between $20 and $30. All taxis are operated by time and distance and run on a meter.
An airport–city shuttle bus runs to and from the domestic and international airport terminals with easy and convenient pick up points near most accommodation in Perth. If you’re staying in Fremantle, the Fremantle shuttle also picks up at the domestic and international airports and will drop you off anywhere from Cockburn to Cottesloe.
Couples looking for things to do in Perth will fall in love with the city by night on the popular City of Lights Dinner Cruise. You’ll head along the Swan River on a three-hour dinner cruise, enjoying the resident pianist and a DJ on Saturday nights as you dine from a scrumptious hot and cold buffet, including vegetarian dishes. Make sure you book in advance as these cruises tend to fill up quickly, especially when the weather’s nice.
Here’s your chance to get up close and personal with Australia’s underwater world without even getting wet. At this popular family attraction, 98 metres of underwater tunnels let you view hundreds of creatures, such as turtles, sharks and stingrays. You can even snorkel or dive with the sharks at 1pm or 3pm if you’re brave enough, though don’t forget to book in advance. The experience costs $159 with your own gear. To hire a snorkel/dive gear costs an additional $20/40.
Replicas of old trams that operated here from 1899 onwards are still in action in Fremantle. So once you get off the boat from Perth, hop onboard for a look around. You can stop off along the way to visit the main attractions such as the markets, the spooky Fremantle Prison, the smelly Fishing Boat Harbour and the Arts Centre. The Maritime Museum also showcases Western Australia's amazing maritime history. End your visit at the cosmopolitan South Terrace, also known as the Cappuccino Strip. Enjoy a meal and a few drinks at the area’s many restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes.
If you’re in Australia to look at the world’s deadliest animals without actually putting yourself at risk in the outback, Perth Zoo could be your best bet. You’ll find snakes, spiders, scorpions and even not-so-dangerous orangutans. It’s also a unique wedding venue and hosts a number of regular experiences for visitors such as free guided walks and a teddy bears picnic for the children.
As a top five Perth restaurant and Gourmet Traveller 'Wine List of the Year' 2009 winner, Balthazar is one not to miss when you're dining out in Perth. With intimate lighting and a home inside the historic Lawson building, Balthazar serves up modern European cuisine and unbeatable desserts. There's also an award-winning wine list featuring over 400 bottles.
Affectionately known by locals as the 'Duck', this lovely beachside restaurant offers casual dining with stunning views. The menu fuses Middle Eastern, European and modern Australian flavours, with a focus on simple flavours and fresh, seasonal produce. Book ahead to ensure you snag a window or balcony table for a late lunch by sunset.
Head to the Naked Fig for a feel-good feed by the beach. Serving up Fairtrade coffee, fresh juices and healthy gourmet fare from breakfast through to dinner. Vegetarians and vegans are well catered for at this cafe; there's even Vego Feast nights every Tuesday. Try the tapas and cocktails for a lazy start to an evening out.
Boasting stunning ocean views and a beachside location, the Indiana is a much loved local favourite. Originally known as the Indiana Tea Rooms, this bistro/bar/kiosk is the perfect post-beach pick for lunch or dinner (and brunch on weekends). Head to the Terrace for oysters and drinks al fresco or the bistro for relaxed dining with a menu that showcases the best of Western Australian produce.
The Queens is one of the long-standing players of Perth's pub scene. Opened in 1889, days of old can still be seen in its majestic frontage, long bar, open stone fireplace and exposed wood floors. Though today The Queen is a buzzy pub that draws the trendy inner city locals looking to enjoy a few rounds.
A visit to the iconic Little Creatures brewery in Fremantle is a must for every beer lover. After exploring the huge inner workings of the brewery, nosh on some pizza and mussels at its in-house restaurant before settling into the comfy couches of the upstairs Creatures Loft for some freshly brewed beers with a view. You'll easily while an evening away here.
Those looking to get in on some local action should head to the Brass Monkey. This sprawling hotel bar/restaurant is the place to head for beers, pub grub and a good time. There's a sports bar, poker nights, karaoke events and comedy night on Wednesdays – and it's open till midnight during the week and 2am Friday and Saturday.
If class and sophistication are in order, prop up the bar at Sentinel, where you'll find New York glamour, French class and Perth cool mixed in with the stylish decor. Think black glass, dark wooden panels, dim and sexy lighting plus a tempting spirit list that will take all night just to skim the surface. All you need is something to wear.
Take in some river views with a walk along Fraser Avenue to Kings Park and spend some time with nature in the gardens. Take a trip back in time in the water garden as you snap a photo by the Pioneer Women's Memorial water fountain. For lunch, watch the world go by at the Old Swan Brewery, with some scrumptious pub food. In the afternoon explore the malls of Hay and Murray streets and London Court, not forgetting the boutiques and bars on King Street.
Pay a visit to the WA Museum and take in the contemporary, historical and cultural exhibits at the impressive Art Gallery of WA. If gold interests you head eastwards on Hay Street to the Perth Mint and watch the gold pour – when molten gold becomes a solid gold bar in seconds. After lunch, take a sightseeing tour on the fun double-decker bus or the trolley tram and spend the evening at the Regent Theatre or Ace Cinemas to finally put your feet up.
No trip to Perth is complete without a side adventure to Fremantle. Head to South Terrace for a coffee and people watch or if it's a weekend, check out Fremantle Markets. Michele's Crepe Suzette is a popular spot for a snack or late breakfast. For lunch, Little Creatures Brewery offers great food and is also a nice way to spend the afternoon as there's a special play area for the kids. Alternatively, Fremantle Prison is a creepy yet intriguing option. Stick around for the nightly ghost tour and something will definitely go bump in your night.
Catch the ferry over to what the Dutch explorers called the rat's nest and hire a bike for some of the country's most spectacular scenery. At just 11 kilometres long Rottnest Island is a cyclist's dream with perfect options for swimming on secluded beaches, surfing or even fishing and scuba diving. With no motorised transport allowed on the island you're guaranteed peace and quiet, plus some excellent fish and chips.
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