Western Australia’s capital city of Perth lies on the banks of the picturesque Swan River. The city and its surrounding suburbs offer everything from the bustling inner city experience to relaxing coastal shores to the warm welcoming wine region.
The stunning views of the central business district alongside the Swan River can best be seen from Kings Park in West Perth. The enormous inner city park is only a short walk from the centre of town and features beautiful botanic gardens, grassy picnic areas, walking/cycling trails and remarkable views. The popular Federation Walk winds 600m through the Western Australian flora gardens and Eucalyptus Trees, offering breathtaking scenery from amongst the tree tops. The walkway entrance is marked by an impressive 750 year old Boab Tree, which travelled 3200km by road from Telegraph Creek in the Kimberley Region in 2008. This is the longest land journey for a tree this size in history and we can thank the Gija people of the East Kimberley for this incredible gift for all to appreciate in Kings Park. The tree was required to be removed due to the construction of a new bridge on the Great Northern Highway near Warmun in WA’s north. Entry to Kings Park and the Federation Walk are free of charge, however donations are appreciated. The elevated walkway is open daily between 9am and 5pm.
The city centre is a shopper’s paradise with all sorts of retail outlets and department stores located within the popular Hay St and Murray St Malls
. The city also has plenty of eateries and restaurants in the CBD as well as alongside the sparkling Swan River.
The Swan River has plenty of walking/cycling paths along its banks and is the perfect way to spend a day exploring and taking in the sights.
South Perth foreshore is a peaceful spot to relax on the grassy banks or enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants with city views across the river. A ferry service runs between South Perth (Mends Street Jetty) and the City (Barrack Street Jetty) regularly and makes an enjoyable ride.
The Perth Zoo is another attraction in South Perth and is located on Labouchere Road, just a short walk from the Mends St Jetty. There is a huge variety of different animals from Australia, Asia, Africa and South America, dwelling in bushland, rainforest, savannah, nocturnal houses, wetlands and aviaries. The zoo is open daily from 9am to 5pm and admission charges are $22 for adults and $11 for children. Everyone loves the zoo experience, it is certainly set to impress.
Perth’s stunning coastline stretches for miles along the Indian Ocean. A great way to explore it is along the Sunset Coast Tourist Drive (West Coast Drive) which follows the coast from the far northern suburbs to Cottesloe Beach. There are plenty of beautiful beaches to enjoy, many patrolled by lifeguards and some are dog friendly in the northern suburbs.
Hillarys is a popular destination in the northern suburbs. Not only does it have a lovely calm beach suitable for swimming, but the main attraction is the Hillarys Boat Harbour complex with its boat moorings, many shops, restaurants and entertainment. There’s the Naturaliste Marine Discovery Centre which is an educational facility run by the Department of Fisheries. Here you can get up close to various marine species and learn all about them in the fisheries research laboratories. The centre is open Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm and entry fees of $7 per adult and $4 per child or $15 per family apply. The AQWA Aquarium is another fabulous attraction here which takes you on an underwater journey along Western Australia’s spectacular coastline. Marvel at the magnificent marine life in the aquariums, interact with them in the touch pool and dive or snorkel with them if you dare. Boasting over 40 fantastic exhibits, the AQWA Aquarium is open daily between 10am and 5pm and entry fees of $28 per adult and $16 per child or $75 per family apply. If the kids are still keen for more action after the marine adventure then there is always The Great Escape, which is a leisure park featuring amusement park rides, trampolines, mini golf, rock climbing, waterslides and mazes. Entry to the park is free and you pay individually for the attraction you participate in, package deals are also available. Opening hours and days vary in relation to school holidays throughout the year. Hillarys Boat Harbour also hosts the Hillarys Markets each Saturday between September and May from 9am to 6pm. Here you can find plenty of bargains and indulge in a variety foods and gourmet produce. It’s all happening at the Hillarys Boat Harbour.
If you don’t get distracted all day at Hillarys, there is plenty more to explore along the Sunshine Coast Tourist Drive. The northern beaches of Trigg
are well known for the surf and City Beach
are popular swimming beaches. Cafes, restaurants and hotels line the streets and during the warmer months they are packed to the rafters.
The port city of Fremantle
is just 18km south of town on the mouth of the Swan River. The casual atmosphere is pleasant and evident in the street cafes along South St, the many pubs and restaurants around town and the famous Fremantle Markets
on South Terrace (open Friday – Sunday). Learn about the early convicts at the Roundhouse
and Fremantle Prison
and discover WA’s maritime heritage at the Maritime Museum
and Submarine Ovens
at Victoria Quay and the Shipwreck Galleries
on Cliff St. Fremantle is a great day out with plenty to keep you entertained and educational too.
Perth has two scenic wine regions which make great getaways from the inner city hustle and bustle. Swan Valley Wine Region
is 25 minutes drive from the city and features many wineries large and small, breweries, distilleries, cafes, restaurants and galleries. Take the 32km Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail and discover all that the region has to offer. The Visitor Centre is located at the beginning of the trail on West Swan Road in Guildford for further information and detailed maps and is a good starting point.
Perth Hills Wine Region is located between Bindoon and Jarrahdale along the Darling Scarp and has a number of charming wineries set amongst spectacular countryside. The region has three main wine trails being Heart of the Hills (Mundaring), Bickley-Carmel Valley, and Chittering Valley. All trails are within 1 hour drive from Perth and the best time to visit is on the weekend when all the wineries are guaranteed to be open.
Perth is a scenic city with plenty to see and do. The extension of Freeway South and the new Forrest Highway all the way to Bunbury allows easy access to the southwest and the Margaret River Wine Region. Enjoy Perth.
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Destinations in Western Australia
Cape Le Grand
Cape Range National Park
Eighty Mile Beach
Fitzgerald River National Park
Gibb River Road
Kalbarri National Park
Kennedy Range National Park
Porongurup National Park
Port Denison Dongara
Torndirrup National Park
Wellington National Park
William Bay National Park
Return from Perth to Western Australia