A Guide to Perth: Australia's Best-Kept Secret

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Advisor - Ashtin Robison
Curated By

Ashtin Robison

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Beaches

  • Australia

  • Nature Escapes

  • Outdoors

  • Hidden Gems

  • Wildlife

  • Coastal

  • Laidback

Bell Tower against the sky in Perth, Australia.
Curator’s statement

When I tell Australians that my first trip in Australia was to Perth, the typical response is “why?” Perth may be the most overlooked destination on mainland Australia, but don’t let the distance and vast desert that separate Australia’s east coast from its west coast deter you from working Perth into your next trip to Australia. Amazing beaches, diverse and remote landscapes, unique critters and an ultra-chill vacation await in Western Australia’s capital city.

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Where to stay in Perth, Australia

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Things to do in Perth, Australia

Aerial view of a beach in Perth.

Spend the day at Fremantle

Fremantle is Perth’s Old Town and is perfect for a day out. Shop, drink and dine to your heart’s content. Make sure to visit Fremantle Markets, take the Fremantle Prison tour and enjoy coffee on the Cappuccino Strip.

Rottnest Island

Stop what you are doing and search quokkas right now. These fuzzy, smiley, care-free little critters are only a ferry ride away from Elizabeth Quay or Fremantle. Rent a bike and explore the island for the day. Make sure to snag that iconic quokka selfie. Pro tip: put your phone on the ground and angle up for the best photo. Don’t be afraid to get close to them, but don’t touch them!

Tour the Royal Perth Mint and watch a live gold pour.

Linger at Elizabeth Quay

Open green spaces, promenades, bars and restaurants and great city views. You can rent Segways or book a river ferry cruise.

Kings Park and Botanic Garden

One of the largest inner city parks in the world and home to 70 bird species and over 3000 species of plants. The park and gardens are huge and very kid-friendly if you're traveling with little ones.

Go to the beach

Western Australia has pristine beaches. Perth is no exception. Cottesloe Beach and Coogee Beach are fabulous. Mettams Pool is great for snorkeling. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Watch a Western Force Rugby Match

If you’re lucky enough to be in town when Western Force rugby team has a match — go! Rugby is the most watched sport in Australia and you’re almost guaranteed to make a new Aussie friend as you cheer on the Western Force together.

John Forrest National Park

Waterfalls, hiking, forests and chilled out kangaroos will make for a nice escape from the city for a day.

Tour and taste at McRobert Distillery

Book a tour and tasting at McRobert Distillery, a small batch distillery in Armadale.

Places to eat & drink in Perth, Australia

Clinging red wine glasses.

EAT

The Mint Asian - This family owned Asian restaurant is the perfect lunch spot after your tour of the Perth Royal Mint. The food is great and the portions are generous.

Balthazar - Balthazar serves refined Australian food and has a killer wine cellar. Be sure to make a reservation online.

UMA - Modern Peruvian food shines at UMA. Try the Journey Through Peru menu for ultimate experience from Executive Chef Xerxes Bodhanwala.

What the Bao! - Nestled in the center of the busy Fremantle Markets is What the Bao!, an Asian-fusion bao bun joint. The Korean bulgogi is extra delish.

Sugar Artist - Have you ever had an ensaymada? I hadn’t either until I literally couldn’t resist what I saw in their pastry case at the Fremantle Markets — big, fluffy, colorful, met-in-your-mouth Filipino sweet or savory buns. Try the Ube Halaya bun (the purple one!)

Canteen Pizza - Neapolitan style pizza is king at Canteen, located on Cottesloe Beach. Go on Monday night for 50% pinots!

Maison Saint-Honoré - French inspired breakfast, lunch, desserts and crepes? Yes, please. Try the Sweet Board for a mix of danishes, cakes, macarons and other French sweets!

Post Osteria + Bar - A renovated post office is home to Post, a fabulous Italian restaurant located just a few blocks from Elizabeth Quay.

DRINK

Offshoot Coffee - The coffee culture is strong in Perth and Offshoot Coffee is roasting their own beans and making really, really good coffee.

Vinotto - Vinotto is an intimate wine bar with fabulous food and a great ambiance. Walk-ins only.

Gage Roads Freo Brewery - Sit by the water with a pint and watch shipping containers go in and out of Fremantle’s port.

Sweetwater Rooftop Bar - East Perth’s cutest rooftop bar. Happy hour is from 5-6pm Wednesday to Sunday.

Plume Estate Vineyard Wine and Tapas - A 30 minute drive southeast of Perth on the 8 and you’ll arrive at Plume Estate, an absolutely gorgeous winery with incredible views of the Bickley Valley. Save a whole afternoon for your visit!

Tom's Providore + Wine Bar - Europe has made it to Perth at Tom’s. Take your crew for morning coffee or late night drinks.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out this Complete Guide to Hotels & Things to Do in Perth, Australia.



Advisor - Ashtin Robison

Travel Advisor

Ashtin Robison

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Australia.