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Perth Travel Guide
Last Updated: November 2020
Perth is one of the most isolated cities, not only in Australia but also in the world. Surprisingly, the closest city to Perth, Adelaide, is 2130 km (1324 miles) far. Tourism is a boosting factor for the local economy, as every year more than 2.8 million Australians and 700,000 international travelers visit Perth. A trip to Australia is not complete if you don't stop by this side of the country. For nine months the weather is your ally, the beaches are gorgeous, and the wine is of excellent quality. Explore the city on a cruise, swim with dolphins, or visit the extraordinary Pinnacles Desert that are a few hours of driving away.
How to Get There
The remote location of the city makes it more easily accessible by air either flying within the country or from overseas. If Perth is one of the stops to your extensive Australian itinerary, then you can also choose to board a train or drive to see spectacular sceneries and wildlife by the roadside.
Perth Airport (PER) serves the city and connects it with other major states of the country and the rest of the world. The airport is 20 minutes away from the city center. For your transfer from and to the airport, you can rent a car, take a taxi or rideshare service, bus, or shuttle.
Perth is the start or the last point of one of the most legendary train expeditions in the world, the Indian Pacific. This awestruck train journey, named after the two oceans, connects Sydney, Adelaide, and Perth crossing over 4352km (2704 mi). You'll get to know Australia in all its glory by traversing mountain ranges, deserts, valleys, and savannahs.
A great way to appreciate the Australian outback is to hit the road. There are distinct sign-posts and a well-maintained road network to make your journey pleasant. You can stop by small towns, watch wild animals passing you by, and camp overnight.
By Cruise Ship
Coastal cruise package tours will take you to the most beautiful coasts of the state and see Western Australia from a different perspective. The cruises are more common during summer, from November to February.
Perth Public Transportation
Free bus services in the CBD are available and make locals and tourists' transportation easy and effortless. Train services connect Perh to five other stations along with connecting bus lines. There's also a ferry service linking Perth city to South Perth, where the Perth Zoo and many restaurants are situated.
Where to Stay
In Perth, you have a host of accommodation options, from 5-star hotels across the Swan River, heritage or rustic properties, hostels, cottages in the suburbs, and lots of bed & breakfasts. If you'd like to be close to where everything happens and the tourist attractions, then the central locations would be ideal for you. There are also hip neighborhoods or others that are more laid-back. It also depends on when you're visiting Perth. For instance, if you're heading there during summer, then you'll want to be closer to the beach. Families and solo travelers will be relieved to hear that Perth has low crime rates, meaning that you can move around safely in almost all areas.
- tourist attractions: Perth CBD
- cafes and high-quality restaurants: Northbridge
- shopping: Perth CBD, West Perth, Subiaco
- nightlife: Northbridge
- beaches: Fremantle
- family-friendly: South Perth, Perth CBD
- solo travelers and backpackers: Burswood, Perth CBD, Northbridge
- on a budget: Subiaco, Perth CBD
Things to Do
A great diversity of places to visit and things to do awaits you in Perth. There are more than 19 nearby beaches, walking trails, wine valleys, and parks, and a wealth of shopping and nightlife options.
- Matilda Bay : Just 3km (1.8mi) away, Matilda Bay Reserve is another leafy parkland at Swan River's banks. It's an open space perfect for a picnic and also home to cafes, restaurants and yacht clubs. The highlight of the Bay is the Crawley Edge Boatshed, a blue boathouse built in the 1930s with a timber walkway. Many tourists flock to this landmark for selfies and landscape photography.
- Kings Park and Botanic Garden : With spectacular views of the Swan River and Perth city, Kings Park is a green paradise in the heart of the city. It's one of the biggest inner-city parks in the world. The 400-hectare park is home to the Botanic Garden, which is rich in flora with over 3,000 plant species. Kings Park is not only a natural attraction but also a cultural one. It is a scientific research center and cultural hub displaying the works and history of the Aboriginals and Europeans, who settled in Perth a century ago.
- Perth Zoo : A few-minute-drive from the CBD, Perth Zoo is a perfect day out for kids and adults alike. It is a well-designed and visitor-friendly zoo with a lot of space for a picnic and a playground area. Close encounters are allowed with many animals, some of which are coming from all the corners of the globe. Some of the endangered animals that found a haven in the zoo are the African Painted Dog, the Asian Elephant, the Golden Lion Tamarin, the Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo and many others.
If you're looking for a more detailed tourist attractions guide, read our top 10 things to do in Perth blog.
Day Trips from Perth
Many are the different sceneries in such close distance to Perth that locals and tourists tend to favor. You can make for the beach, the outback or even the desert!
- Swan Valley : A haven for foodies and wine lovers only a half-hour away from Perth CBD, is a place like no other. The list of attractions and activities to do there is extensive. You can enjoy a free tasting of local products, follow the walking trails, visit the weekend markets, artists' galleries and antique shops. You can drive to Swan Valley or hop on a ferry from Barrack Square Jetty.
- Pinnacles Desert : In the Namburg National Park, you'll feel awed by the 25,000 - 30,000 years spectacle of the natural yellow-brown limestone structures. The landscape colors change from the desert yellow to the white sand of the dunes and the blue of the Indian Ocean. Kangaroos and emus will also keep you company along with other native birds. This unique natural formation is 200km (124 mi) from Perth.
- Shoalwater Bay : Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, only an hour from Perth, is a protected park where marine life thrives. You can swim with dolphins and watch penguins and sea lions up close. Go kayaking, snorkelling and diving to explore the rocky reefs and shipwrecks. Penguin Island is the most visited among the islands as it is home to the biggest colony of little penguins in Western Australia.
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