One of Australia’s most beautiful and compelling cities, Perth often gets overlooked for its flashier sister cities like Sydney and Melbourne. With its buzzing art scene and excellent cuisine, there are plenty of other reasons why Perth charms everyone who visits. Whether it is your first time in Australia or you’ve been there a few times before, this 5-day suggested itinerary will help you work out exactly what to do in and around Perth.
Things to know before traveling to Perth, Australia:
Language – English is the official language in Australia, although you will be surprised by many other different languages spoken across the country. Since the country has turned into a multi-cultural society, which is now clearly visible almost everywhere, you’ll often hear people on the street, shops and restaurants speaking just about anything from Japanese and Mandarin Chinese to Italian.
Currency exchange – The official currency of Australia is the Australian dollar. Australia is a well-developed country with a good banking and financial infrastructure. This means, exchanging money is easy and follows the same standard to elsewhere in the world. You may transact with banks, foreign exchange bureaus, international airports and hotels. You may also use debit cards and credit cards but watch out for ATM fees and foreign transaction fees, which can be very high per transaction. It is also good to know that there are plentiful of ATMs available throughout the country so you will surely have easy access to cash.
Safety and security – There is currently no nationwide security advisory in effect for Australia. Check your country’s travel advisory website to get the most up-to-date information for your personal safety abroad. Observe the same precautions with your personal safety and health as you would in any other country. For any type of emergencies, you may call 000 if you need a quick response from the fire service, police, ambulance or search and rescue.
Getting around – Getting around Australia, where major tourist attractions are thousands of miles apart, can be a bit daunting and time consuming so it is best to explore by region. Public transport in Perth is appealing to budget conscious travelers as it is served by the local buses called TransPerth. Visitors can also take advantage of the free city loop bus (CAT), which goes to some of the must-see attractions in the central areas. Biking is also an option because the town is mostly flat and has dedicated bike lanes. If you are short on time or you prefer less time walking, renting a car and driving on your own is another great option, which will give you complete control of the trip.
Where to stay – There’s a great variety of accommodation in Perth; from small guesthouses to five-star luxury hotels. In almost any town, there is something for every level of comfort and budget. If it’s your first time in the city, it is recommended to stay in Perth CBD (Central Business District) to get easy access to the city’s famous attractions and get plenty of accommodation and dining options. If you would like to be in the center of party scene, especially during summer, then the area around Northbridge is a fantastic option.
Hotels to consider in Perth:
Day-by-day Itinerary: Discover Perth, Australia in 5 days
Day 1: Perth
Take an international flight to Perth Airport. It is best to get an early morning arrival so you could fight off your jet lag before you go exploring in the afternoon. After check into your preferred accommodation, minimize your jet lag by spending a lot of time out in the sunlight so your body can adapt to its new surroundings. Grab some Eggs Benedict and enjoy a cup of delicious coffee at La Veen, one of the most popular and Instagramable cafes in Perth CBD.
In the afternoon, take advantage of Transperth’s free public transport and visit some of the most popular attractions in Perth. If you start and finish within the zone from Northbridge to West and East Perth, you can ride the bus without buying a ticket. Remember to look for red FTZ logo on bus stops to identify free travel zones. There is no better way to get acquainted with the city than visiting Perth Cultural Centre on the James Street Mall, which is home to a number of cultural attractions like the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and Blue Room Theatre (ArtsHouse).
Because the fun does not stop when the sun goes down in Perth, celebrate your first night in the city with a nightcap at Hula Hula Bar (12 Victoria Ave). This quirky and funky bar on Victoria Avenue is famed for their rum-based Tiki cocktails made using the finest ingredients.
Day 2: Perth
If you are not ready for a little road trip on your second day, then you may explore Perth’s top tourist attractions instead. Make your way to Kings Park, one of the largest inner-city parks in the world (400 hectares). Then, head to the Health Freak Café (30 Mounts Bay Rd) and enjoy some avocado on toast or their signature Keto breakfast. Afterwards, visit the most iconic attraction in Perth, which is the Perth Crawley Edge Boatshed, more commonly known as the Blue Boat House.
In the afternoon, check out one of Perth’s lovely beaches which provides great swimming, snorkeling and beach experience. Cottesloe Beach, or just Cott as the locals call it, is probably the most popular beach in the city because of its beautiful coastline and laid-back Aussie vibe. Scarborough Beach, a contender for the most popular beach in the city, is famed for its vibrant atmosphere.
Day 3: Fremantle
On day 3, rise early and embark on one of the most interesting day trips out of Perth by heading to Fremantle Prison, one of the 11 penal sites constituting the Australian Convict Sites. Bestowed the honor of being listed as a World Heritage Site in 2010, this convict-built prison can be reached in just 30 minutes by road from south of Perth. Join a guided tour so you will learn more about the once notorious prison in the British Empire in Australia. Another highlight of Fremantle is the Round House, the oldest public building in Western Australia, which was built as a jail in the 1830s. For ticket prices, please visit Fremantle Prison’s official website (http://fremantleprison.com.au/tours/convict-prison/). End the day with fish and chips or the famous Kailis’ Seafood Platter at the Kailis’ Fish Market Café on Fishing Boat Harbor.
Day 4: Swan Valley
On day 4, delve deeper into the local culture by visiting the Swan Valley, Western Australia’s oldest wine region. Just a 30-minute drive from Perth, this world-renowned wine-producing region offers an immersive and sensorial approach where wine comes to life. When you join a guided tour, you will be able to learn about the wine making process and techniques of a particular winery, the history and the family behind it and the opportunity to visit the vineyards. And of course, you can experience a few wine tastings of their renowned wine.
Day 5: Rottnest Island
On your last day, make the most of your Perth holiday by joining one of the eco-cruises to Rottnest Island, a protected nature reserve home to the Quokka – the happiest animal on earth. Be amazed with the antics of Quokkas and let them come to you for a selfie! Please remember that they are a protected wildlife, so proper precaution is required. If you’re travel date happens to be between September to April, then you may be lucky to witness an annual migration of the Humpback Whales.
Have you been to Perth or anywhere else in Australia? Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? If so, you can leave your comments below.
Featured image: Cityscape image of Perth downtown skyline, Australia during sunset (Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock)