Activities - Explore
- Public Transport
- Australian Rules Football
- Live Music and Theater
- Events and Festivals
- Kings Park and Botanic Gardens
- Whiteman Park
- Perth Zoo
- Swan Valley
Perth’s public transport, including trains, buses and ferries, are provided by Transperth, with links to rural areas provided by Transwa. There are 70 railway stations and 15 bus stations in the metropolitan area, as well as a free colour-coded bus service called CATS which operates in high use areas. Information about timetables, fares and the CAT buses can be found on the Transperth website (in the link above), by calling +61 13 62 13 or by visiting one of the Transperth Infocentres. They're located at the Esplanade Busport, the Wellington St Bus Station and two at Perth Train Station (one underground at the Murry St entrance).
Perth boasts some of the country's best beaches, ideal for swimming during the warmer months. Sunscreen is essential and insect repellent may come in handy during the evening. As the beaches are on the open ocean it is strongly advised that you only 'swim between the flags' at lifeguard patrolled beaches to avoid dangerous currents.
- Cottesloe Beach is one of the most popular with nice pine-lined lawns and plenty of bathing beauties.
- Scarborough Beach is the easiest to get to by public transport. Catch the Clarkson line from Platform One at either Perth Underground or Esplanade stations, getting off at Glendalough station before catching the 400 Bus.
- Trigg Beach is the surf beach with the best breaks due to its offshore reef. Inshore, there are plenty of swimmers who enjoy the blue waters and white sands. It's a few kilometres north of Scarborough Beach on the same stretch of sand.
Australian Rules Football
Perth, like Melbourne, is mad for its footy! Every weekend between March and August, Subiaco Oval fills to near-capacity with local team supporters of either West Coast Eagles or Fremantle Dockers. Why not choose whose colours you like best and join in the fun? As the Eagles are quite popular many of their games are already sold to capacity and may sell out, so it is best to buy your tickets a couple of weeks before the scheduled game through Ticketek. Aussie rules football might be hard to understand at first, but nevertheless it is quite exciting. Go with a local!
Live Music and Theater
Because of Perth's relative isolation from other Australian cities, overseas artists often exclude it from their Australian tour schedules. This isolation, however, has led to the evolution of a strong local music scene, leading some to dub Perth the "New Seattle." Perth has been a hotbed of local rock music producing such nationally and internationally respected acts as Pendulum, John Butler Trio, Eskimo Joe, End of Fashion, Little Birdy, Jebediah, The Sleepy Jackson, The Panics, Karnivool and Birds of Tokyo. Check out the Perth indie music scene at established venues such as Amplifier Bar, the Rosemount Hotel, Fly By Night, Rocket Room and Mojos. Visit YourGigs for upcoming gig lists.
If you’re after something a little more highbrow, the Perth Concert Hall is the city's main concert venue and hosts theatre, ballet, opera and orchestral performances.
Events and Festivals
- Big Day Out Festival is a massive music festival held in early February every year and features the best line-up of international, national and local acts Australia has to offer.
- Perth International Arts Festival runs from January to March and was created in 1953, making it the oldest international arts festival in Australia. Activities include theatre, dance, music, film, visual arts and literature, occurring right across the state.
- Future Music Festival Held in March, another large festival with huge international acts.
- "A Toast to the Coast!" Food and Wine Festival Held along the Mindarie Marina Boardwalk on a weekend in March, this is a celebration of food to tantalise the taste buds and enjoy gourmet tastings of local produce, chocolates, olives, wine and more. There’s live entertainment throughout the day, including wandering children’s performers, and celebrity chef cooking demonstrations.
- Fremantle Street Arts Festival is held over the Easter long weekend every year. It’s a collection of buskers and street performers from across the nation, and even the world, strutting their stuff on the Freo streets in a frenzy of mysteriously linking rings, interesting instruments, hula hoops and card tricks.
- Sculpture by the Sea is held in March over 20 days on the shores of Cottesloe Beach. As the name suggests it’s a giant sculpture exhibition.
Kings Park and Botanic Gardens
Kings Park and Botanic Gardens is a popular 400 ha parkland lies next to the Swan River only 1.5 km from the CBD. It is the most visited attraction in Western Australia with six million people calling-in annually. These beautiful gardens hold displays of unique bushland, botanic gardens and great expanses of lawns and parkland, supplying ample space for long walks, picnics, meandering strolls, playgrounds, cafes and even a craft shop, Aspect of Kings Park.
Nearly two thirds of the Park is natural bushland containing 319 species of native plants and around 80 bird species, showcasing an outstanding collection of Western Australia flora. On a clear day the park provides expansive views of the river, the Darling Ranges and the city, particularly fantastic at night it’s a popular romantic spot for couples. Events are held throughout the year, but culminate in the month-long Kings Park Festival in September when spring has sprung and millions of wildflowers are in full bloom. This is an excellent time to visit, and will assure your stay isn’t too hot.
Whiteman Park is just outside the city and hosts a range of lovely picnic areas and walks throughout in an area 10 times the size of Kings Park. Most people visit for the attractions within the park, including the Birds of Prey Flying Display, the Children's Forest, the Motor and Tractor Museums of WA, tram and train rides, an art gallery, print shop, pottery centre and, most popularly, the Caversham Wildlife Park. Located within the park, this wonderful wildlife park allows you to get up close to the animals and hand feed kangaroos.
Whiteman Park is 18 km north-east of the city and should take about 25 minutes to drive there; entry to the park is off Lord Street or Beechboro Road in Whiteman. Entry is free, it’s open from 8.30am-6pm and there is a Visitors Centre within the park.
Perth Zoo is a worthwhile deviation from all that beach lounging, set amongst landscaped gardens and not so massive you’re exhausted by the end of the day. The exhibits are very well maintained and you’re able to get quite close to the 230 animal species housed there. The displays are laid out in international regions such as African Savannah, Australian bush and wetlands, and Asian Rainforest, with aviaries, nocturnal and reptile exhibits a perticular highlight. It’s open from 9am-5pm every day, only a five minute drive from the CBD on the banks of the Swan River, and entry is quite cheap at $21 for adults and $10.50 for children.
Well renowned amongst locals and tourists alike, the Swan Valley in the hills boasts some of the country's great wineries and micro-breweries, especially along West Swan Road with its various quality restaurants and tranquil vineyards offering stunning views. Particularly good are the Black Swan Cafe, Duckstein Brewery, Elmar's and the Mallard Duck Cafe.
Although the wine is perhaps not as well known as that produced in more famous local regions such as Margaret River (check out the Appy Travels Margaret River app for all the details!) the Swan Vally area is close to the city - just a 25 minute drive from the city centre and less than 10 minutes from the airport.
If you'd like to take a tour of the Swan Valley check out the Swan Valley Wine Cruise from Perth, a seven hour day-trip including a cruise, complementary wine tastings, a three course lunch and visits to Sandalford Estate the Waters Edge Winery for around $150 per person. if boats aren't your thing, the Swan Valley, Wildlife and Wine Tasting Afternoon Tour is a half day bus tour to the region, stopping at the Caversham Wildlife Park and Margaret River Chocolate Factory along the way for $90-$100 per person.
ToursTours are plentiful in Perth, and they can considerably enhance your enjoyment of the city, as well as add some bite to your holiday adventures. They are particularly convenient if you're short on time or transport, but who needs an excuse to take a leisurely sunset cruise or a thrilling helicopter ride?! The following attraction passes, tours and cruises can help you get the most out of your stay, and experience something a little different on the way. Enjoy!
- Perth Helicopter Tour See Perth and its surrounds like never before on this 15 minute helicopter ride over the city starting from $180.
- Perth Beaches Helicopter Tour If 15 minutes just isn't enough, try this half hour flight for $300 per person.
- Swan River Scenic Cruise Whilst you are visiting Perth, it is a must to take a cruise along the Swan River, and this 2.5 hour cruise to Fremantle and back allows you to do just that for $35 per person.
- Perth Lunch Cruise including Fremantle Sightseeing Tram Tour A combined cruise and tram sightseeing tour with live commentary and a buffet lunch for around $75 per person.
- Perth Hop-on Hop-off Tour A two day pass aboard an open-top double-decker sightseeing bus with onboard commentary for $30.
- Perth Zoo General Entry Ticket and Sightseeing Cruise Cruise down the Swan River to the zoo for $50 per person, plus you get 10% off at the zoo cafe and gift shop!
- Perth City of Lights Dinner Cruise A three hour cruise down the river to Freo and back enjoying dinner, drinks and entertainment for around $110 per person. It's a really romantic evening, and if you're thinking "Oh-oh, cruise food!", you'll be very pleasantly surprised!
- Fremantle Lunch Cruise Boy Perth loves a good cruise, but considering the coastline it has to display, it's no wonder. This one will take you to Fremantle and back including lunch for around $60.
- Whale-Watching Cruise and Fremantle Day Trip from Perth This cruise is only offered in September and October during the whale migration season, and at $70 it's good value.
- Swim with Dolphins Day Trip from Perth Swim with wild dolphins in the sheltered bays and islands off Rockingham, only 40 minutes drive from Perth. It costs $205 and snorkelling gear and lunch are included.
- Pinnacles Desert, Koalas and Sandboarding 4WD Day Tour A super tour out to enjoy some activities in the Pinnacles Desert, with a trip to the Caversham Wildlife Park on-route. It's $215 per person and a really fun diversion from the city.
- 3-Day Monkey Mia Dolphins, Pinnacles Desert and Kalbarri National Park Tour Encounter wild dolphins in Monkey Mia, see Shell Beach and the limestone pillars of the Pinnacles Desert and explore the red river gorges of the Kalbarri NP including hotel/motel accommodation and meals for around $970.
- 4-Day Monkey Mia Dolphins and Sand Boarding 4WD Adventure See the famous wild dolphins of Monkey Mia on a four-day 4WD adventure from Perth. Along the way, you'll go sandboarding at Lancelin, stay the night at a wheat and sheep station, see the stromatolites at Shark Bay and visit Yanchep National Park.
- 7-Day 4WD Ningaloo Reef Adventure A week adventure to Ningaloo Reef, Shark Bay, the dolphins at Monkey Mia, Coral Bay, Kalbarri NP and the Pinnacles. Swim, snorkel, scuba, ride a quad bike or take a boat cruise, with meals and dorm accommodation included starting from $910.