Perth’s main claim to fame is that it is the most isolated capital city in the world – some 2,000km from the next major city of Adelaide. Perhaps the isolation has contributed to Perth’s slightly rebellious streak, having threatened to cut itself off from the Australian mainland on numerous occasions. Nonetheless, Perth still retains that laid back Aussie vibe with plenty to do. Here is our guide to the top 5 most unmissable things to do in Perth.
1. Visit Fremantle Prison
Australians are strangely proud of their convict heritage, and there’s no better place to learn about it than at Fremantle Prison. This historic prison was the “dropping off point” for many of those banished to Australia from England, but it remained in use until 1991. Today, it has many interactive exhibits and is really well kept up. Plus, it’s just a short stroll from the rest of Fremantle, which is a buzzing coastal city with great cafes and microbreweries.
2. Kings Park
Western Australians don’t generally like to brag, but they will about this mammoth park – the biggest inner city park in the world, bigger than both Central Park in New York, and Hyde Park in London. The park is committed to fostering native vegetation, and so it is a great place to see and learn about Australia’s native plants – you may even see some animals! Plus, the park has truly spectacular views of the city. From the main lookout, there’s also a nice Aboriginal art gallery selling genuine and hand-painted works.
3. quokka selfie on Rottnest Island
One of the best possible day trips from Perth is to the instafamous Rottnest Island. The name comes from the Dutch description of the island – that it was a “rats nest”. Little did they know that several centuries later, tourists would be going crazy over these adorable little creatures – quokkas, not rats. There’s also brilliant snorkelling and interesting history to see on this charming island. There’s no cars, so rent a bike and do a lap around the picturesque island. Warning: quokka selfies are harder to get than they appear on Instagram!
4. Go to the beach
Like many Australian cities, the beach is an important part of the local identity in Perth. Luckily, locals and foreigners alike are spoiled for choice when it comes to Perth’s beaches. Perhaps the most famous is Cottesloe, which is also a great surfing spot if you’ve done it before or don’t mind drinking a lot of salt water while you learn. City Beach or Scarborough Beach are also popular.
5. Go on a Swan River cruise
The entire state of Western Australia is filled to the brim with amazing natural sights, from rugged and isolated deserts to sprawling cities. A Swan River cruise will give you a small taste of the variety, all from the comfort of your boat. Best of all, a lot of the cruises provide a tasting platter and drinks so you can indulge your foodie side while enjoying the view. This is a great way to top off your visit to Perth – cheers!