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.
Hawaii’s scenery is some of the most stunning on the planet. Dramatic volcanic ranges, soaring ocean cliffs, and postcard perfect beaches meet teeming jungles. Enjoy the incredible natural wonders on a day tour or any of the many Hawaii activities available. Driving tours are a breeze on Hawaii’s well maintained roads. Plus, when you’re ready to relax, there are plenty of fabulous dining, shopping and resort experiences to choose from.
Nature loving Hawaii activities
Ride a mule along the world’s tallest sea cliffs to Kalaupapa National Historic Park on Molokai. The path leads to the historic St Damien’s colony and makes an unforgettable encounter.
If you love hiking, the islands have incredible national parks and scenic trails. For instance, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Big Island with its moon landscape around Kilauea volcano’s active crater. Or climb to the top of Diamond Head near Waikiki Beach. Perhaps take in sunrise and the panoramic views from the from the summit of dormant volcano, Haleakala on Maui.
Hanauma Bay, Oahu (pictured top) is a snorkelling paradise. Or try a snorkelling and sailing tour on the spectacular Na Pali coast of Kauai. Adventurous visitors can get up close to the dolphins and explore sea caves on an ocean kayak tour.
Big Dave’s outrigger canoe tours to the reef off Waikiki Beach might become one of your favourite Hawaii activities. The canoes are big enough to take whole families. Guests have the thrill of paddling and catching waves with an instructor on board.
The birth place of surfing is a great place to take your first surfing lesson. Sunset Suzy on the Oahu North Shore offers family friendly surfing lessons in a cove that’s home to sea turtles. Surf shops across Hawaii offer boards for hire.
What’s more, the islands are famous for their surf spots. Oahu alone offers 30 different surf breaks within a few kilometres of Waikiki, and the North Ahore has 100 different breaks within 12 km. Not to mention the big name competitions. If you’re a fan of tow-in surfing, pencil in a visit between October and December. That’s when professional big wave competitions happen on the Oahu North Shore. Otherwise, try the island of Maui at Peahi, aka ‘Jaws’.
Living it up Hawaiian style
Honolulu city holds a one hour authentic hula concert at at the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound four evenings a week. Find a spot on the grass to enjoy the show. Visitors say the best and most authentic Hawaiian feast, or ‘luau’ is the one at the Polynesian Cultural Centre on the Oahu North Shore. In addition, the centre offers fun day time activities for learning about traditional Polynesian skills that are suitable for all ages.
For more urban style fun, Waikiki has a number of super sized shopping malls and cinemas, as well as the Waikiki Aquarium and Honolulu Zoo.