Perth: Local Travel Info
Wonderful weather, pristine beaches and an easy-going character
Internal Flights and Major International Airports in Perth
Practically all scheduled flights arrive and depart from Perth Airport, with domestic and international flights operating daily. Terminal 1 is in the international terminal and it is in a completely separate area from the domestic terminal and you cannot walk to the other terminals (around 10km by road). A shuttle bus runs between the terminals to coincide with flights. Terminals 2 and 3 cater for domestic flights and are literally next to each other (less than one minute's walking distance).
Getting to and from the Airport in Perth
The city and major hotels can be easily accessed by taxi or commercial shuttle buses from all terminals. Courtesy phones are located inside the terminals (for the domestic terminal, the courtesy phone is surrounded by a large board advertising accommodation past the baggage conveyor belt as you leave the arrivals area). For more than two people it is often cheaper and faster to take a taxi into the city (waiting time and drop off other passengers can make a shuttle bus service to the city very long!). Transperth buses serve the domestic terminals (Route 37, every 20 minutes, not Sunday night), but there is no public transport to the international terminal.
Travel Costs in Perth
Perth has a fairly reliable and inexpensive public transport system that is operated by Transperth. Information with regards to journey planning, timetables, disruptions or service alterations can be obtained from their website, by calling 13 62 13 (until 10PM) or at 'Transperth Infocentres' located at Perth central train station, Wellington Street bus station, the Esplanade Busport (which is located to the south of St. Georges Tce near the bell tower and Ferris wheel) and Plaza Arcade, which is located within the city centre (the Plaza Arcade can be found between the Hay and Murray St malls - if walking from St. Georges Tce, walk up London Court and across the Hay St mall, the Plaza Arcade is located directly opposite the exit to London Court). The Transperth system is divided into 9 concentric zones, as well as the Free Transit Zone (city centre and surrounds). The Free Transit Zone on the trains is only available to SmartRider (transport card) holders. Zone 2 extends as far as Fremantle and for most visitors a two zone ticket will suffice. Two main categories of tickets are available: "single trip" tickets, which can be purchased from bus drivers or coin-operated ticket machines which are located at train stations and "SmartRider" tickets which are a pre-paid smart card which will automatically calculate your fare and deduct it from your account balance (patrons must "tag" on and off upon boarding and alighting bus services, however patrons must tag on/off at fare gates at train stations. SmartRiders can be bought or recharged at Transperth Information Centres, major train and bus stations and/or from most Newsagents. Bus drivers can also charge your SmartCard for you, however they will not provide change. SmartRider cards carry a 15% discount over cash fares which discourages time consuming cash-for-ticket exchanges between bus driver and passenger. With the advent of the new SmartRider system those passengers not holding SmartRider cards will need to present their paper ticket to the transit guard upon entering and leaving Perth Station and selected suburban stations. This is because gates have been installed to prevent those not holding a SmartRider card to see a transit guard before entering due to problems with non-paying passengers.
Renting Cars in Perth
Car hire in Perth is easily arranged and, due to large amounts of competing companies, very good value. Visitors must hold a valid driving licence with no infringements for dangerous or drunken driving in the last 5 years. You must be aged 18 or over to rent a car in Perth. For Car Hire in Perth expect to pay approx $25-40 per day but do watch out for bargains and shop around.
To book car rental in Perth online, view our Car Hire section for Perth . We offer Ok Alpha users the latest special offers and best rates available for car hire in Perth . We advise you book your Perth hire car in advance so you can pick it up and drop it off directly at the airport.
Drivers License Requirements in Perth
Visitors wishing to drive must possess a Certificate of Insurance or an International Green Card, a valid Driving Licence or International Driving Permit.
Driving Rules in Perth
Renting a car is the ideal means of transportation for travelling to outlying attractions. Perth's major freeways and highways are free from any tolls, as is not the case in Sydney and Melbourne and from either of these major arterial roads, it is possible to be surrounded by beautiful countryside within minutes. Rent-a-car providers are located adjacent to the airport and there are quite a few scattered around the city and the suburbs. The general speed limit within built-up areas is 50 km/h unless otherwise stated. Note that traffic in Perth (as elsewhere in Australia) travels in the left-hand lane(s). It is advisable to travel on the left hand lane even in dual carriageways for tourist drivers. This might take a bit of getting used to if you drive on the right-hand side back home. Drivers from left hand side of the road countries should fit right in.
Buses in Perth
All buses operating within 'Free Transit Zone' (city centre), including the CAT (Central Area Transit) buses, are free of charge. The Free Transit Zone extends to Newcastle Street when going north, and to the end of Kings Park when going west. CAT bus services stop 5-6PM. CAT buses run circle routes every 5 to 15 minutes, but depending on the traffic and the volume of boardings, you might find walking to be less time consuming. City CAT services are geared towards both tourists and locals. The red CAT service runs East-West and stops at Royal Perth hospital, the WACA (Perth's home ground for cricket), the historic Perth Mint, Wellington Square, the Murray St Mall/Perth Underground train station, His Majesty's Theatre, Parliament House, King St (after its return to the city via West Perth) and the Wellington St bus station/central train station. The yellow CAT runs a similar route to that of the red CAT. The blue CAT runs North-South and stops at; the Bell Tower, London Court, James St (Northbridge), Central TAFE and William St. The vast majority of stops along each route have a map and an ETA (which can either be read or dictated by pressing a large button below the route map). Transperth also operates a CAT service in Fremantle which runs every 10 minutes and a newly-operated CAT service in Joondalup. This service provides a great way of getting around the towns as it connects both facilities and tourist attractions. Most buses are clean, modern and air-conditioned. Most suburban services run from the city, major suburban towns such as Fremantle and from major train stations.
Taxis in Perth
Perth's taxi services, as with anywhere in Australia, are at times unreliable, expensive and are best avoided. If you do insist on catching a taxi, make sure that you are waiting at a spot that is as close to a taxi rank as possible, as this might increase your chances of getting a taxi quickly. Drivers are known to avoid picking up drunken patrons from outside of pubs, clubs or from the entrance to Perth central station. It is worth pointing out that the West Australian government has committed to improving the city's taxi service, however whether or not this will make a difference remains to be seen. If you are out partying in Perth/Northbridge or Fremantle and you do not need to travel too far, it is probably best to hop on a Transperth Nightrider bus. Transperth also have trains operating until 2AM on Friday and Saturday night servicing all lines. On arrival into Perth Airport, be prepared for the possibility of lengthy waits for a taxi, particularly at the international terminal and late at night. Unfortunately, other transport options into the city are severely limited; especially at night; and incoming passengers are left with little choice but to take a taxi. Two major taxi companies are Swan Taxis, who dispatch both Swan and TriColor taxis, and Black and White Taxis.
Cycling 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.
Water Transport in Perth
Transperth (the company who operate Perth’s public transport system) provides a ferry service that travels across the Swan River. This service departs from Barrack St Jetty and arrives at Mends St Jetty, South Perth. The ferry provides a great link to the cafe strip of South Perth, however it is best for tourists (especially those who do not like walking) to catch a bus if they wish to visit the nearby Perth zoo, as it is a sizable walk from Mends St (most of it being uphill).
Hitchhiking in Perth
Although hitchhiking is a popular method of transport for travellers in Australia, the potential dangers are huge and cases of violence and abduction not unheard of so it is not a recommended form of travel.