Perth city has so much on offer when you dive right in! The City of Perth host numerous free events throughout the year. Thousands of people come from distant suburbs to enjoy the spectaculars put on display. My Personal favourite is Symphony in the City. It is the local way to bring a picnic rug, a bottle of vino, nibbles and some camping chairs to enjoy an evening on the grass. The West Australian Symphony Orchestra plays music to suit all tastes!
Of course there is more than music. Rooftop Cinemas. Outdoor Cinemas. Fringe Festival. Markets. Octoberfest. Buddah’s Birthday. The list goes on! The neighbouring suburbs host their own fair share of events as well. You also have access to major sporting events and concerts if you’re into the big stuff.
Perth is great if you love a beverage – and not necessarily an alcoholic one! The city and surrounding suburbs are home to many amazing coffee shops with seasoned Baristas. Often accompanied by healthy displays of breakfast options. Claisebrook Cove offers water side al fresco dining venues perfect for a Saturday brunch. Once your belly is filled walk the pup, or the kids, along the promenade over to the new stadium and surrounding gardens. If you’re in the city centre Bubble Tea shops are rampant and the small bar scene changes rapidly enough to rival the eastern states! There is no shortage of new venues to venture into.
As a person who can’t get enough of the outside air I can easily say Perth did not forget about the green spaces in their planning. There are parks and gardens in every neighbourhood. Some manicured for a picturesque stroll whilst some remain natural, wild, and offer an ‘escape’ from the bustle. Perth is situated right on the Swan River and is making better use of it all the time. Ferry across to South Perth or just walk along the shore (either side) for a bit of exercise and beautiful views. Dolphins, jelly fish, swans, and ducks make the Swan River their home so keep your eyes open on on your way around. Also look for this one type of bird that sits on the pavement and spreads its wings to let them air dry. I’m still not sure what they actually are! When you go over the Causeway separating Perth from South Perth venture onto Heirisson Island. It is open to foot traffic and you can pay a visit to the resident kangaroos.
Aside from all there is to do in the city, Perth is easily navigated on public transport. I’ve done my fair share of commuting and it is really no bother at all. The city centre offers the City Cat service. This is essentially free busses to move people around and they run very regularly throughout the day. Used by locals and tourists alike. The city offers recycling services which very much appeals to the green side of me.
When you fancy a break from the city you really don’t need to go far! Many of the suburbs have much to offer and many of them are accessible via bus or train. Or cycle if you’re feeling particularly motivated. The Swan Valley not only has numerous beautiful and delectable wineries on offer but also chocolate, cheese, road side fruit stalls, tea and the like. You can drive around in one afternoon to pick up everything you need for a decadent picnic. I’ve heard stories of attempts at the cycling winery tour but that’s not yet in my story book.
If you’re after something a bit more active and fast paced Bells Rapids is easily one of my favourite hikes in the area. Gorgeous red dirt, a raging river, wild flowers, hidden reservoirs, views from the top, whats not to love? You can come for a picnic, swim, there’s often an ice cream truck, and the further up the hill you go the fewer people there are if you’re after some seclusion. The day can be as strenuous or relaxing as you so choose! If you go in the rainy season, be sure to take a before and after picture!
Towards the northwest Scarborough Beach has a newly developed waterfront area great for a family day out, or a friends day out! The beach itself is gorgeous, white, smooth sand. The foreshore offers cafes, restaurants, pop-up activities like dance lessons, and surf life savers. You’ll find loads of bbq and picnic areas, play structures for kiddies, climbing wall, the pool, basketball, skate park, and a big grassy hill perfect for sitting and staring into the surf. You’ll see there is never shortage of entertainment as the kite surfers often congregate around this area for a play in the waves. You can walk up and down the coast on a proper footpath or along the sand to find endless beaches all with varying degrees of popularity. These beaches always have enough room for everyone!
To the southwest lies Fremantle only a short drive or train ride away with something to suit every mood. Permanent markets and local buskers set a chirpy mood in the streets on any given day. You can get your history fix at the old prison or the Maritime Museum. Stop by Little Creatures Brewery right on the water or visit any of the independently owned cafes and restaurants. Bathers Beach is great for a summer day or if you don’t like the sand between your toes stay on the wharf for some fish and chips.
Further afield, and only a few short hours further, you run into abundance of picturesque landscapes. The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park (as pictured above) are only a few short hours North of the City. Its a gorgeous drive whether you take the coastal or in the inland route. Bring a picnic and spend the day amidst the yellow granules of wonder.
When desert vibes aren’t suiting your mood grab a boat over to Rottnest Island, Rotto, and spend a day or two. Play with Quokkas, ride push bikes, hunt for shells, snorkel, swim, sail, or learn about the history of this tiny island. Whilst you can see the city from the Island it really does feel like you’re a world away. Everything seems just that little bit slower and more relaxed. I spent an entire day walking around the sand without even realising where my day had gone. The ferry ride over allows for some spectacular views as well!
Margaret River will forever be one of my favourite Western Australia weekend spots. The wineries offer world class wines and personal tasting experiences. You’d be the first to find something you don’t like in this region. There is ample locally grown and hand made produce will have you drooling. The earthly surroundings add to the experience in every way. Trees in the breeze, the wild flowers, the sea air, the caves all hidden from plain sight all contribute to the allure. I’ve spent numerous weekends in hotels or Air B&Bs and every time leave feeling re-energised and perfectly content with the time I’ve spent.
On your way back to Perth City from Margaret River go through Busselton. My favourite tradition is to stop here on the way home. I go to Mono for a coffee, LeafLove for a plant, and walk along the Busselton Jetty. Busselton always seems to have a friendliness that fills the air and is the perfect cherry on top of a tasty weekend away.
Perth and its surrounding suburbs are filled with migrants from all over the world which means cultural events are robust and authentic. It is not uncommon for multiple countries to be represented at any given dinner party. To top it all off, Western Australian’s are incredibly kind and many would drop anything to help a mate in a moment of need. This region of the world has so much to offer those who call it home. How would you like to be a Perth local?