Image by Perth-based illustrator Lachlan Conn

The Insider Guide to Perth

Perth has more sunny hours than any other Australian capital. The city is a beautiful mix of metropolis and nature. Walk barefoot on Cottesloe Beach or Coogee Beach in the morning, visit wineries, or cultural hotspots in the afternoon - the Western Australian Museum or Art Gallery of Western Australia - and grab a cocktail in the city at night. Here’s our insider’s guide to Perth.

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The Main Attractions

Perth doesn’t get quite the same attention as Melbourne or Sydney, but those who know it love it, and the city has no lack of pulls. The Elizabeth Quay is a beautiful piece of urban planning and architecture and has revitalised the waterfront by the Swan River. It’s only a short walk from the 400-hectare Kings Park & Botanic Gardens, one of the world's largest and most beautiful inner-city parks, which showcases over 3,000 species of the State’s unique flora. It’s well worth setting a day aside to explore the park properly. Back in Elizabeth Quay, you can grab a cruise to the nearby city of Fremantle - a bohemian area, where you’ll find beautiful little bookshops, coffee shops and breweries. In stark contrast to all that, you’ll also find the Unesco World Heritage-protected Fremantle Prison - a real spot of history for the region. The first convict transport sailed into Fremantle Harbour way back in 1850, and the prison remained in use until 1991. Stop by the Fremantle Arts Centre before leaving. It’s a Gothic site built by convicts in the 1860s which now displays live music and art. The Western Australian Museum officially re-opened in late 2020 in the Perth Cultural Centre (also home to the Art Gallery of Western Australia), but it's also well worth taking the time to explore other museums in Perth. In particular, the WA Shipwrecks Museum is impressive. It’s the leading maritime archaeology museum in the southern hemisphere, and it’s also worth noting the Museum of the Goldfields, a museum that showcases the mining heritage of the city. The rolling hills and soil around Perth make the outskirts perfect for vineyards, so if you like a glass of vino you’ll have no lack of day trip options. For beaches, the iconic Cottesloe Beach is halfway between Perth and Fremantle, while Coogee Beach is another popular option. For a bigger day out, head 12km off the coast to Rottnest Island. It’s a haven of soft sand beaches, abundant marine life and home to quokkas, the happiest little animals on Earth.

Neighborhoods in Perth