Wonderful weather, pristine beaches and an easy-going character
Backpacking in Perth
A backpacking holiday in Perth offers scope for a brilliant break and is also an inexpensive way of experiencing the city’s wealth of cultural landmarks and natural beauty.
Perth has numerous cheap and efficient hostels for backpacking holidays on a budget and a host of great options for accommodation in a wide choice of locations and standards.The city centre houses the largest selection of affordable places along Hay St and Murray St, but there are also many excellent establishments found in further afield in Fremantle and along the Margaret River. The average price to expect for a reasonable dorm bed is around $17, although this will rise during the peak summer period.
For those seeking hostels in the heart of the popular nightspots and should head for the city centre. Excellent transport links make the city a useful starting point for backpackers in Perth looking to experience the diverse variety of wildlife hotspots scattered around the wider area of Victoria.
Beach in Perth
You won’t want to leave the city without checking out some of Australia’s best beaches. Cottesloe Beach is one of Perth's most popular beaches. Some 15 km from the city centre the beach is patrolled in the summer by the Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club. There are plenty of parking places and public transport stops at the beach, there are also numerous outdoor cafes, restaurants and pubs to sit in and watch the world go by.
If you have the time a visit to Rottnest Island it may well turn out to be one of the highlights of your trip to Perth. The island is reputed to have taken its name from the small indigenous marsupials known as quokkas. Early Dutch settlers thought the animals to be a species of rat and named the island ‘Rats Nest’. Early settlers also left behind some of the now best-preserved colonial streetscapes and architecture in Australia.
The island which lies about 20 kms by ferry from Fremantle has some spectacular beaches and some of the world’s southernmost coral reefs. There is little or no motorised transport on the island; walking and cycling are the main ways of getting around. Most of the island is sandy and semi arid but offers great opportunities for snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing and swimming in some of the islands stunningly beautiful, crystal clear coves and bays. Rottnest has one or two small hotels and campgrounds and is a great place to spend a couple of days away from the heat of the city.
Camping in Perth
Perth has a wide range of great spots for a camping holiday in and around the city, with many more ideal locations in the surrounding area of Victoria. The closest camping park to the city centre is found at Central Caravan Park, fantastic for holidaymakers looking to stick close to city comforts and still get an authentic bushland experience.
Other local options that offer caravan parking are Discovery tourist Park and Banksia, which both offer great and affordable camping holiday options. Away from the centre, Fremantle has a great selection of camping grounds in more secluded areas - perfect for couples looking for a sheltered camping holiday near to Perth. Further afield, the plains surrounding Perth offer a wonderful host of camping opportunities - Coogee Nature Park and Fairbridge Village two excellent sites to the west of the city, which are close to the natural wonders of the Victoria outback.
So whether you wish to stay close to the city or head out into the beautiful mountainous hinterland of Victoria, Perth caters for everything a camping holiday could want, and provides an inexpensive stay close to some of Australia’s finest natural beauty.
Culture and Arts in Perth
Perth is definitely an outdoor city, but if you need to escape the heat or a heavy downpour the city has some fine museums and indoor attractions. The West Australian Museum on Francis Street is well worth a visit, housing a fascinating range of exhibits including meteorites and local natural history.
The Katta Djinoong exhibition traces the Aboriginal origins of Western Australia’s earliest people, whilst the reconstructed Old Perth Gaol features a series of displays on the early colonial history of Western Australia. Not to be missed, in nearby Fremantle is the recently opened Western Australian Maritime Museum at Victoria Quay.
There are numerous exhibits detailing the maritime history of the region, but perhaps the most outstanding is the rebuilt 17th century Dutch ship the Batavia. Perth also has a fine centrally located zoo, housing a wide range of all the popular animals but has a strong emphasis on much of Australia’s fascinating and sometimes unusual domestic wildlife. AQWA an oceanarium, with a submerged glass tunnel is well worth visiting and features thousands of sea creatures, mostly from the waters around Western Australia. The oceanarium also has a dolphin sanctuary. One thing you won’t need to do whilst exploring Perth is drive. Perth has a clean, fast and frequent bus service called CATS (Central Area Transport Service) that will take you to just about any part of the city. But the best feature of CATS is that it is entirely free!
Another good way of exploring the city is to take one of the popular cruises along the Swan River to Fremantle. For the more energetic Perth has a great network of safe, dedicated Cycleways, many of them following and crisscrossing the Swan River.
Disabled Needs in Perth
There should be no reservations for disabled people considering a holiday in and around Perth. Most, if not all, of the major visitor attractions, hotels and transport on offer is wheelchair friendly with additional facilities for the hard of hearing and visually impaired.
Similarly, with a few exceptions in some of the older areas, most buildings are equipped with automatic entrances, wide aisle, ramps and disabled toilets. Every effort is made to ensure that holidays for disabled people in Perth are safe and enjoyable. Wheelchair hire as well as sightseeing and shopping tours for disabled holidaymakers are numerous and easy to arrange. Despite its surroundings, the Perth is a safe, welcoming and helpful holiday destination for disabled people.
Honeymoon in Perth
Perth provides the ideal setting for a romantic and unforgettable honeymoon. The natural beauty of the city lake; the national parks, the forest parks and wonderful bushland all add up to the perfect getaway for honeymooners.
Alongside the fantastic food and drink, there are many activities for honeymoon couples in Perth; from adrenaline-rush activities like surfing, sailing and cycling to visiting the picturesque parks and cultural landmarks or simply relax and enjoy some of the best settings in Australia. With many guest houses, hotels and apartments in Perth you’re sure to find something to suit your budget and many of these places provide romantic suites for couples on honeymoon.
Naturism in Perth
There is only one beach in Perth that permits nude bathing: Swanbourne. Males sunbathing topless at other beaches is the norm, however females will not usually get a police fine but will get stared at. The atmosphere at Swanbourne Clothing Optional Beach (about 100m north of Swanbourne Beach) is friendly and relaxing.
It is more of a sunbathing beach than a swimming beach, with a steep sandy descent into water which gets deep quickly. There are no lifeguards or red-and-yellow flags at this beach and so it is essential to keep a close eye on children near the water. The nude beach is frequented by a variety of sun-seekers of all ages; couples, families, groups. The easiest way to get there is by car, however there is a train station about 1km away.
Couples Holiday in Perth
Whether you are planning a week-long break or a short vacation for you and your partner, Canberra is an ideal holiday destination for couples. On a couples holiday in Perth, expect plenty of holiday activities: sights to see, wonderful forest parks, romantic hinterland and lots of great food. Couples can choose from adrenaline-rush activities like surfing and water-skiing around to more relaxing activities like sailing, cycling or taking a leisurely stroll through a city rich with cultural landmarks and attractions. Perth also had a fantastic range of restaurants and cafes, packing everything you would need in a great destination perfect for any couple’s holiday.
And the fun is not confined to Perth’s city limits: and a kaleidoscope of attractions lie comfortably within easy reach across Victoria. From the excitement of the many surf beaches, rolling hills, wineries and national parks of the Mornington Peninsula, the wildlife reserves of Phillip Island, the dramatically photogenic scenery of the Great Ocean Road and the mountain vistas and cosy romance of the Dandenongs, Yarra Valley and beyond, there’s a holiday to suit all ages, tastes and budget. Victoria’s stunning landscape provides the perfect backdrop for long and lazy days where taking your pick-of the very best in B&B, hotel and resort accommodation is the hardest part of any stay.
Golf Activity Holiday in Perth
Golf has been a favourite pastime of royalty as well as us lesser mortals for centuries, and there are few cities in the world where you can find playing a round or two of golf as pleasant and invigorating as in Perth. Certainly our Mediterranean climate is conducive to playing this popular sport all year round. With space to spare, golf courses here in WA are, more usually than not, set in magnificent, undulating countryside, offering the visitor an ideal opportunity for scenic discovery.
Their proximity to native bushland could well mean a close encounter of the Australian kind if an emu or kangaroo decides to share the fairway with you, and if you're here during spring, you will also experience the beauty of our wildflowers. For the ultimate in golfing luxury, try The Vines Resort, 30 minutes drive from Perth in the heart of the Swan Valley. Incorporating an international class hotel complex, The Vines offers a range of other sporting facilities and several fine restaurants. Neat casual golf attire is required. Glen Iris Country Club is located 15 minutes south of the city at Jandakot.
The magnificent course was designed by Michael Coates, WA's leading golf architect, making a round definitely worth while. An easy 25-minute drive along Freeway North, the beautiful Joondalup Country Club was designed by Robert Trent Jones Junior and is WA's highest ranked golf estate. Featuring a bar, restaurant and tennis courts, Joondalup's fees are on par (no pun intended!) with The Vines. Strict dress requirements apply. There are several grounds located very close to Perth City, including Collier Park Golf Course which is set in a picturesque pine plantation five minutes from the city, in Como. Located alongside the Burswood Resort Complex, the Burswood Park Public Golf Course is also convenient for city visitors. The suburbs are home to many very attractive courses, just as painstakingly maintained but less expensive than their city and country cousins. One is the City of Perth Golf Complex in Floreat. Then there is Lake Claremont Public Golf Course which offers day and night playing, barbecue facilities and low fees.
For those staying at Rendezvous Observation City, the Hamersley Public Golf Course is a 5 minute drive away in Karrinyup, and features a par 72, 18 hole green, a tavern and reasonable rates. If you are visiting Fremantle, the Fremantle Municipal Golf Course is another bargain. Just 2km from central Fremantle, the pleasantly undulating 9-hole course offers views of the ocean all year round, with cooling breezes in summer. Known as Home of the WA Open, Meadow Springs is a championship golf course rated amongst the top three courses in WA. Located 75km south of Perth near Mandurah, Meadow Springs boasts several restaurants and bars. Motorised carts are available for hire at the more upmarket clubs, although you may need proof of membership of another golf club to hire them.
Sailing Activity Holiday in Perth
Perth is the great destination for a sailing holiday. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced sailor, there are several fine opportunities to sail in Perth. Beginners can learn to sail dinghies in the enchanting surroundings of Narrows Bridge on the South Perth shore or Swan River whilst experienced sailors can explore Perth’s fabulous man-made lake and drink in all the fantastic scenery. Organised tours also allow you to experience the thrill of real sailing and are freely available from near to Narrows Bridge.
Sailing holidays in Perth are available all year round and the prices vary depending on the time of year and the length of time you wish to sail. So while there are not a huge amount of sailing locations in Perth, those available are close to the city centre, well serviced with many competitively-priced sailing companies and very safe.
Scuba Diving Activity Holiday in Perth
Western Australia attracts many scuba divers from all over the world as there are many popular diving spots around Western Australia. Around Perth, go scuba diving to Rottnest Island, Swan River, Rockingham and Marmion Beach. In North West, scuba diving with wild seals, manta rays, turtles and tropical fish is very popular. South West is well known as unique diving spot, for example Dunsborough Swan Ship Wreck Diving and Busselton Jetty Diving is popular amongst advance divers. Do not miss out the awesome scuba diving spots while you are in Western Australia.
Hiking Activity Holiday in Perth
Perth has a number of walking trails in the surrounding region with the more spectacular ones embracing wonderful scenery located in the Margaret area. One of the more popular treks is the 15km trip which begins at 10 Miles Brook Dam and meanders along the Margaret river.
Many walking tours are available, with or without guides, at the national parks. One of the more exciting trails, found at the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park, takes walkers through forests, beautiful beaches, past rock formations and caves, whale watching spots and light houses.
Cycling Activity Holiday in Perth
Perth and Fremantle can be comfortably explored on foot or by bicycle as Perth has some of the best cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in Australia. The Perth bicycle network features an ever growing, metro-wide system of bicycle/pedestrian paths. Cycle maps are available from most bike shops, and at Planners Map. The Department for Planning and Infrastructure provides a range of guides, maps and brochures for bike riders.
If you have a scenic route in mind, these brochures can take you to the coast, Kings Park, Armadale and the Hills or around the Swan River. A favourite amongst seasoned local cyclists is the ride along the North side of the Swan River between the City and Nedlands. Allow sixty minutes for a round trip along this route, as you might encounter a strong headwind!
Bicycles are allowed on board Transperth trains but not during peak hour. Cycling at full pelt in the fully pedestrianised Hay and Murray St malls in the city centre is generally tolerated by the police. Doing this, however, is an easy way to cheese off local pedestrians if you are going too fast.
Shopping Holiday in Perth
Shopping in Perth, with its pedestrian-friendly central business district, vehicle-free malls, and many covered arcades, is a delight. Hay Street Mall and Murray Street Mall are the main city shopping areas, linked by numerous arcades with small shops. In the suburbs, top retail strips include Napoleon Street in Cottesloe (for clothing and cooking items), Hampden Road in Nedlands (for crafts), and Beaufort Street in Mount Lawley (for antiques). Perth also has some great markets, The Subiaco Pavilion near the railway station is a lively bustling affair open daily from Thursday to Sunday. Wangara in Perth’s northern suburbs is home to The Wanneroo Markets locally renowned for its international Food Hall. Also worth checking out is Fremantle’s famous, historic market.
Wine Tasting Holiday in Perth
Well renowned amongst locals and tourists alike, the Swan Valley boasts some of the country's best wineries and brewpubs. Although the wine is perhaps not as highly regarded as seasoned wine buffs as that produced in regions such as Margaret River, the Swan Valley features the advantage of being relatively close to the city.
A combined river cruise and organised bicycle tour with Pedal OZ is a pleasant way to visit the area or if you have a 'designated driver' you can do it yourself. The easiest way to get there is to drive from the city along Lord Street, which then becomes Guildford Road, which will take you to Guildford (25 minutes) then follow the brown tourist information signs. For many people, the Swan Valley is synonymous with Houghtons Wines.
This winery provides a popular spot for a picnic. Visits to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory and Oggies Ice Cream shop (both on West Swan Road) are obligatory!
Winter Sun in Perth
Perth enjoys a temperate climate year-round and is a perfect destination for holidaymakers who fancy a spot of winter sun. Australian summer runs from December to February while their winter extends from June into August. Perth’s sub-tropical climate gives an average temperature of roughly 20°C during December, meaning plenty of winter sun so you won’t have to bring scarves and sweaters if you are looking to spend a Christmas in Perth. Also be sure to stick out the winter sun and enjoy the spectacular new year’s eve celebrations, a giant street party in the heart of the city.