Top 8 things to do in Perth, Australia

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Top 8 things to do in Perth

While Perth may well be the world’s most isolated city, it’s well worth making the trip if spectacular beaches, picture perfect natural bushland and a cosmopolitan city are what you’re looking for. There are few cities in the world that blend all three so perfectly. Nestled on the banks of the picturesque Swan River, and with a decade or so of mining money flooding into the city, Perth has transformed into a thriving city filled with a wide array of sites and experiences to enjoy. To help pull your itinerary together, here are 10 things to do in Perth that will ensure your visit is extra special.

1. Kings Park and the Perth Botanic Gardens

Perth Botanic Gardens
Perth Botanic Gardens

No trip to Perth is complete without a visit to King’s Park, one of the world’s biggest city parks. From here you’ll enjoy magnificent views across the Swan and Canning Rivers, as well as the ever-growing Perth skyline; perfectly manicured gardens; Federation Treetop Walkway and bushland trails that show off the Darling Ranges; and a selection of superb cafés for when you need to quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger. If you visit at just the right time, you may get to enjoy one of the many outdoor concerts that take place here as well.

2. The Bell Tower

Believe it or not, but The Bell Tower is, in fact, one of the world’s largest musical instruments! It is now home to the 14th century bells of St Martin from the Fields Church, the parish church of Buckingham Palace in London. You can observe bell ringing demonstrations, and even have a go yourself!

The Bell Tower
The Bell Tower By SeanMack – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=514560

Located in Barrack Square, the place where the Swan River and Perth meet, you’ll enjoy 360 degree views for as far as the high can see. Make your way to the sixth floor open air observation deck and witness Perth and the Swan River at their finest.

3. Explore the Swan River by boat

Swan River
Swan River By Nachoman-au – A digital photograph taken by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=426427

The Swan River plays such an important role in the character of the city that you just have to take a boat ride to fully appreciate its beauty. There are plenty of operators taking tourists from the vibrant seaside port of Fremantle, all the way deep into the Swan Valley. With small cruise ships serving delicious food and drink, paddle steamers transporting you back to a bygone era, and electric ferries shuttling people around the city’s waterways, there’s an option to suit every taste and budget. A quick tip, make sure you give yourself at least a few hours to explore Fremantle. Its artsy vibe means you’ll see talented buskers on the streets, exceptional artworks in the local galleries, and outstanding music in the many bars and clubs that line the main streets.

4. Perth Mint

If you love gold, you’re going to love the Perth Mint. You’ll see the $50million Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Gold Coin (the largest in the world), the 25.5kg Normandy Nugget, and watch molten gold being poured to form a solid gold bar. You can even hold more than $500,000 worth of gold in your hands…seriously!

Perth Mint
Perth Mint By Moondyne – Own work by the original uploader, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2616636

If you love your history you won’t be disappointed. The latest technology helps to bring the historic search for gold in Western Australia to life in a range of attractions exhibits and demonstrations. And if you’ve got a few dollars to spend, you can take home a memento of your visit. Fine jewelry, collectible coins, and gold nuggets are just some of the items available to take with you.

5. Cottesloe Beach

Cottesloe Beach
Cottesloe Beach By Bram Souffreau – http://www.flickr.com/photos/bram_souffreau/400748977/in/set-72157594555852446/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1763821

There are plenty of spectacular beaches in and around Perth to visit, such as Scarborough (the favorite of the locals), City Beach, Trigg, and Hillarys. But the most well-known to visitors would have to be Cottesloe Beach. Enjoy great views from the grassed areas underneath the shade of the Norfolk Pines, an outstanding swimming experience in the safe waters, a bite to eat in the many restaurants and cafés that line the streets, or a few drinks in the famous Cottesloe Beach Hotel. Given Perth’s amazing weather, make sure you pack your swimmers because you’re definitely going to need them.

6. Crown Casino

Crown Casino
Crown Casino By Nachoman-au – A digital photograph taken by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=480810

On the banks of the Swan River and just a short trip from the Perth CBD, Crown Casino is a great option if entertainment and excitement is on your itinerary. Not only is there the obvious gaming features of the casino, but there are also 32 restaurants and bars, nightclub, 2,300 seat theatre, pools, day spa, and retail outlets. Given all staff have RSA WA/RSG WA certifications, you can rest assured that you’ll be well looked after, whether you’re in one of the many bars or on the gaming room floor.

7. Unique Perth suburbs

things to do in Perth
Shops in Perth- things to do in Perth

Check out the cool bars, cafés, and boutique retail outlets along Wolf Lane in the Perth CBD, satisfy that urge to buy something antique or vintage along Oxford Street in Leederville or relax in a cozy café taking in the foreshore and city views in the quieter suburb of South Perth. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more upmarket, check out designer fashion outlets, fine dining restaurants, and trendy cafés in Northbridge instead.

8. Perth Zoo

A numbat, one of the many species to benefit from Perth Zoo's involvement.
A numbat, one of the many species to benefit from Perth Zoo’s involvement. By Martin Pot (Martybugs at en.wikipedia), CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4330077

With everyone’s favorite animals from right around the world all located in the one place, a visit to Perth Zoo is a fantastic day out for the whole family. Take in the beautiful Swan River as you catch a ferry from the Elizabeth Quay Jetty to Mends Street Jetty. Alternatively, catch a cab or drive your hire car from the CBD and you’ll be there in just five minutes. Once inside you’ll see Africa’s finest including rhinos, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and lions, and many of Asia’s best as well including elephants, tigers, sun bears, and orangutans. And let’s not forget our own home-grown wildlife with kangaroos, emus, koalas, and dingoes all well represented. You can check out the zookeepers give talks about the various animals and enclosures throughout the venue and watch as they feed the animals in their natural environment.

Time to plan your trip to Perth

To be honest, this list could have been 80 destinations long, not just the eight we’ve highlighted here. There is so much to see and do in Perth that highlighting them all would be taking way too long to both create and read. Instead, your best bet is to head across to Perth, start with the eight listed here then go with the flow once you’re there. That’s the beauty of Perth, it’s a city where you can just go with the flow and never be bored or run out of things to do.

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