Gateway to the wonders of Western Australia, Perth is a relaxed city with an inviting Mediterranean climate. Graced with beautiful beaches and the glorious Swan River running through its heart, it’s heaven for those who love the outdoors – and especially those who love being on or in the water. Its great sights and dining also make it a wonderful city to explore before venturing further afield.
Getting to know Perth
Central Perth has a number of attractions, including the Art Gallery of West Australia and the Crown Casino at Burswood. The Perth Mint is worth a visit for its gold museum and live gold pouring demonstrations. Adjacent to the CBD, the expansive King’s Park is a great place to wander and linger for a relaxing lunch or dinner. The park’s restaurant and café also have magnificent views over the city and Swan River.
Perth is certainly blessed with immaculate beaches. Popular Cottesloe (pictured at top) is just 15 minutes from the CBD and makes the perfect vantage point for sunset views after a swim or surf. Enjoy some ice-cream or fish and chips by the beach, or check out the stylish eateries and shops. Serious beach lovers might also head to Scarborough Beach or City Beach to the north. At any rate, there are countless spots to take a stroll or a refreshing dip.
The charming port of Fremantle is definitely worth a visit for its heritage listed buildings, historic attractions and excellent dining. The community is at its liveliest on weekends with the hum of the Fremantle markets and street performers competing for attention.
For a great range of dining choices around the CBD, head to the inner suburbs of Northbridge, Subiaco and Leederville. Northbridge is also the city’s premier bar and nightlife district.
Day tripping from Perth
Rottnest Island is a must do day trip in summer for amazing swimming, photography and to meet the native wildlife. Ferries depart from the City or Fremantle, or try a sailing tour.
The Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail is an easy day trip beginning only half an hour’s drive from the CBD. Relax and enjoy the many boutique wineries, gourmet eateries and art galleries along the way.
A number of National Parks are also within easy driving distance of the CBD including Yanchep National Park to the north .
Perth travel tips
Summer is the best time to visit. Summer days are warm to hot and dry, with day after day of blue sky.
Perth International Airport includes the domestic terminal and is 20-30 minutes drive from the CBD. Transport to and from the airport is available by airport bus, shuttle or taxi.
Travellers also arrive by the Indian Pacific train, which travels through Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. From Sydney the journey takes 3 days. The train crosses the vast Nullabor plain between Adelaide and Perth.
Perth has great public transport that includes buses, trains and ferries. Ferry services run from the city to Fremantle, and also to Rottnest Island. The CAT bus is a free service that runs during the day time and some early evenings in the city centre, Fremantle and Joondalup.
Western Australia’s capital is one of Australia’s most beautiful cities. With the best in dining, urban street-life, stunning scenery and incredible range of outdoor attractions, there are so many ways to enjoy Perth. It’s the kind of city you might not want to leave.
In the CBD, check out the extensive collection at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Otherwise, the Perth Mint has a brilliant exhibition of gold nuggets, coins and fossicking history. Join one of its hourly tours to see live demonstrations of gold pouring. The inner suburbs of Northbridge, Subiaco and Mt Lawley are great to explore for the dining and nightlife.
The port of Fremantle, about 30 minutes drive to the south of the city is popular for its markets, dining and historic attractions. Perhaps try some local seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf.
Enjoy Perth’s great outdoors
With the Swan River running through the city and an abundance of beautiful parks and trails, enjoy Perth on foot, by bicycle or from the water. There are also countless eateries offering outdoor dining. King’s Park overlooks the city and Swan River and its popular café and restaurant make the most of the magnificent views.
Mitchell Park, Perth
Perth also boasts 19 beautiful beaches. Swim or snorkel in the crystalline calm waters or surf the breaks. Cottesloe is one of the most popular beaches, only 15 minutes drive from the CBD, and with a selection of chic boutique shopping and dining nearby. Not to mention the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition every March.
Perth is a wonderful place to encounter all kinds of marine life, with numerous vantage points for whale watching during migration season from September to December. In addition, there are plenty of excellent dive and snorkelling spots, such as Marmion Marine Park off Trigg Beach.
Enjoy Perth’s surrounds
Quokkas, Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island (pictured top) on a cloudless summer day is absolutely unforgettable. No vehicles are allowed on the island, but visitors can walk to the numerous little beaches or hire a bike. The clear, pristine waters are excellent for swimming, while the incredible contrasts of white beaches, granite boulders and azure sea and sky make for incredible photographs. Visitors will definitely meet quokkas, the adorable resident marsupials, as well as other wildlife. The west coast of the island is the best spot for whale watching. To get to Rottnest, take a ferry from the City or Fremantle, or try a sailing tour.
The Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail is an easy day trip beginning only half an hour’s drive from the CBD. Follow the trail through idyllic farms and vineyards and make time to visit the microbreweries, galleries and shops. The restaurants and cafés are amazing showcases for the region’s produce. Otherwise, let someone else do the driving and take a winery tour. Travellers with children will especially love the Caversham Wildlife Park and Zoo.
A number of National Parks are also within easy driving distance of the CBD. Yanchep National Park to the north of the city is popular for its koalas and scenic walks. Not to mention over 400 caves.
About an hour’s drive south of Perth is the seaside city of Mandurah – another great spot for boating and fishing. The renowned surfing and winery region of Margaret River is another two hours drive south from there.
Fresh, delicious, and cooked with famous Thai hospitality, food is a highlight of any Phuket holiday. Whether its spicy street snacks or a la carte cuisine, your Phuket dining experience is bound to give you many happy memories.
While central Bangkok has plenty of sights and things to do, visitors can make the most of their stay by exploring the incredible attractions in the surrounding regions. Try these Bangkok day trips to some of the best.
Mystical Ubud has long been a focal point of Balinese culture. Nowadays it’s a vibrant artisanal hub with countless workshops, specialty shops and a renowned art market. Ubud shopping is an undeniable attraction for Bali holiday makers with a love of unique handcrafted jewellery, homewares and fashion.
Unforgettable is what Hawaii is. Astonishing volcanic mountains, teeming emerald jungles, and glorious coloured sand beaches come together in the birthplace of surfing. The group of islands combines an awe-inspiring experience of nature with top notch standards in accommodation, cuisine, shopping and entertainment.
Getting to know the Hawaiian islands
Visitors to any of Hawaii’s six main islands are spoiled for choice. Visit two islands? More? Which active volcano to tour? Hike or mountain bike? Track down exotic birds or migrating whales? View the towering mountains and coastal cliff faces from the water or from the air? Relax on the beach and deepen the tan, paddle a kayak or play golf? Whether it’s deciding between tackling the surf or joining the spectators to watch the big wave competitions, or choosing between sushi or barbecue, mocktail or Mai Tai, the choices are as exciting as they are endless.
Most travellers land on the island of Oahu, location of capital Honolulu and the fabulous hotel and resort city of Waikiki beach. The Aquarium and Zoo are popular with families, while surfers can ride Waikiki waves or visit the islands many famous breaks. Every kind of outdoor adventure is available to make the most of the incredible scenery.
Adventure lovers fly to Hawaii Island for the hot lava action at Kilauea Volcano. As ‘Big Island’ of the group, it has the most diverse landscape, with exotic tropical jungles, Hawaiian cowboy country, snow dusted mountains and luxury beach resorts.
Maui is a mecca for hikers, divers, surfers, beach lovers and whale watchers. Visit the sleeping giant, Haleakala Volcano, and island hop by ferry to mysterious Molokai and Lanai.
Breathtaking Kauai is home to the stunning Waimea Canyon with its laid back paddling tours on Wailua River. Or marvel at the spectacular Na Pali coast pictured at the top of the page.
Hawaii travel facts
Australian tourists can travel to Hawaii for up to 90 days without a visa, however requirements are changeable so check the US Department of State website.
Hawaii is warm to hot year round. Low season through October & November has lowest rates and fewer tourists, but can be dry and hot.
The best time to visit are shoulder months, May & September, when rates are reasonable and temperatures are mildest.
Peak season sees highest rates and biggest tourist numbers, especially around Christmas and Easter. December through February are the wettest but the best months for surfing and whale watching. June through August are hottest with an average high of 31°C.
Qantas, Hawaiian Airlines, Jetstar and American Airlines fly direct to Honolulu International Airport from Sydney, with connecting flights to the other islands.
Oahu’s Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is just over 30 minutes from Waikiki Beach, and connecting flights to the other islands take less than an hour. Hawaii Big Island has two airports, – Kona (KOA) and Hilo (ITO), and a lot of travellers who tour the island land at one and depart from the other.
Your holiday package may include airport transfers. Otherwise, local operators provide convenient shuttle services to resort areas. Car hire is available all over Hawaii, and the roads are good and relatively uncrowded.
Local currency is the US dollar. The Australian dollar currently buys approx. 0.76 USD, but check for the latest rates.