While most visitors head to Sydney and the East Coast, more isolated Western Australia is often overlooked by travellers. Quieter and arguably with just as much to offer –possibly even more – Australia’s Western state is home to gorgeous coastline, ruggedly beautiful national parks and some vibrant, cosmopolitan cities. One of the best places to visit in Australia, its capital Perth, ranks very highly in a survey of the world’s most liveable cities and is a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city, with plenty of excellent bars, restaurants and cultural attractions which would please even the most hardened travel snobs out there. Our guest blogger Amanda Kendle from Not a Ballerina, a Perth native herself, tells us how you should make the most out of your time there…
Dine in a cool cafe in up-and-coming Northbridge
Just a short walk from downtown Perth, the Northbridge is an increasingly lively enclave chock full of cafes, restaurants and bars, and in the last few years numerous small eateries of all kinds have sprung up. It also has a cutting-edge art and a bar culture that could even rival that of Melbourne and Sydney. Sit out in the garden at The Standard on Roe Street for some great drinks and eats with friends, or head to the more intimate Bivouac Canteen and Bar on William Street. At the end of the night you definitely need to try the amazing Chico Gelato nearby on William Street, with fresh flavours of gelato you have probably never tried before.
Circumnavigate Rottnest Island by bicycle
Rottnest Island is just a short ferry ride from Fremantle and is a holiday island for locals. It’s a beautiful, unspoiled place where no cars are allowed and you can hire a bicycle to ride all around the island in half a day – but you’re better off packing a picnic and spending the whole day there. You’ll see so many gorgeous beaches to stop off at and you’ll also encounter a few quokkas, the small and very cute marsupial found only on Rottnest.
Get cultural on a ‘Go Cultural’ tour
This is a very cool thing to do in Perth! Get an Aboriginal perspective on Perth’s history and development by joining charismatic Walter McGuire for a walking tour around Elizabeth Quay at Perth’s foreshore. Walter hails the Whadjuk tribe and on his popular Go Cultural tour he tells stories of how his ancestors lived in and around Perth thousands of years before the new settlers arrived from Europe.
Stroll around trendy Fremantle
At the southern end of the Perth metro area, the port city of Fremantle is a very special place to spend some time. It’s much quirkier than downtown Perth and is filled with multicultural restaurants, cafes and bars, cultural experiences, galleries and museums. Go for brunch at The Attic on Bannister Street for a special treat or when evening falls The Odd Fellow serves a pint of beer, a well-made cocktail, or a hard-to-get whiskey. Fremantle is also a great spot to hit the beach with long white sand stretches and the bonus of some of Freo’s abundant art.
Relax on Cottesloe Beach
Cottesloe is a western suburb of Perth which happens to be blessed with a beautiful beach. Cottesloe has been a popular destination since the late 19th century and it has been a favoured haunt for locals and holidaymakers ever since. Its known for its consistent surf and warm water temperature making it an ideal spot for swimming, surfing, or just lounging on the beach all day long.
Sample fine craft beer at Little Creatures Brewery
This place is based in Fremantle but definitely deserves a mention of its own. Originally established in 2000 by the original brewers of the Matilda Bay Brewing Company, it was once cited (by David Gower) as one of the best places to go in the city. It’s set inside a massive converted boat shed right on Fishing Boat Harbour and on the inside the decor is ultra-trendy. Craft beer geeks will also love the free tours of the brewery which take place throughout the afternoon.
Explore the State Buildings turned funky eateries
Perth’s old State government buildings sat empty for twenty years, but recently had the renovation they deserve and now house a number of trendy restaurants and bars. Famously, this includes Michelen-star chef David Thompson’s take on Thai street food, Long Chim, along with Wildflower, Petition Kitchen and Post. If you’re only after a drink then the Petition Wine Bar and Petition Beer are great places to try.
Cool things to do in Perth for Travel Snobs was written by Amanda Kendle from Not a Ballerina.