Ben and I are heading to Perth in April for his Lifesaving competitions so we’ll be spending a week or so there. I decided to knuckle down and do some research, as neither of us have been before. Perth is pretty expensive to fly to from New Zealand – costing almost as much a trip to Asia. So, we figured, while we’re there we might as well nip to Bali too. I’m really looking forward to visiting another city in Australia and i’ve heard pretty good things about Perth. Here are the things that we are planning to do while we’re there:

(1) King’s Park: Sprawling larger than Central Park, King’s Park is a mixture of grassy park, native bushland and botanical gardens with many options to explore.  Conservation work has allowed a large portion to remain as it would be without settlement’s interference, resulting in more than three hundred native plant varieties and eighty bird species making it a paradise for anyone interested in flora and fauna.  If you’re curious about indigenous culture, walking tours led by Aboriginal guides introduce plants used in the bush for food and medicine, as well as elements of the culture of the Nyoongar people.  Perched on Mount Eliza along the shores of the Swan River, King’s Park boasts impressive views, and many walks to explore, including a Tree Top Walk.  Pack a picnic for a pleasant afternoon, or for an al fresco film night at the Moonlight Cinema.

©Monica D.

©Monica D.

(2) Rottnest Island: Grab a ferry to Rottnest Island to cycle, snorkel, swim, wonder at pink salt lakes and meet the local wildlife- most notably the thousands of adorable quokka that call the island home.  If you love the ocean, Rottnest won’t disappoint: swimming and snorkeling opportunities abound in the island’s sheltered bays.  History buffs will find settlement and World War II tales to uncover, with many walking tours available.

(3) Fremantle: Technically a city in her own right, Fremantle has a slightly more laidback, unconventional vibe than her larger counterpart. Wandering the Fremantle Markets is a pleasant shopping adventure – after all, you never know what you’ll discover in the expansive mix of goods on offer.  Take a step back in time with the unusual historical experience of the Fremantle Prison, perhaps, if you dare, exploring the darkness of the prison’s history during one of the evening Torchlight Tours.  For a break in your meandering, hit one of the local breweries – Little Creatures and The Sail and Anchor both serve up award winning craft brews.

©Fernando de Sousa

©Fernando de Sousa

(4) Wine tasting: Nearby Swan Valley is full of wineries and microbreweries just waiting to be tested on your palate.  Try Ugly Duckling wineries for standout organic wines, or relax with a palate pleaser and some people watching at Lancaster Wines, just for starters.  The Margaret River Chocolate Factory is a tasting-tour must-stop for chocolate lovers (aka humanity.)

(5) Beaches: Perth is perfect for beach lovers, with stunning shorelines for sunbathing and swimming.  The clean shores of Cottesloe Beach are one very popular choice, while Scarborough Beach offers impressive conditions for surfers, as well as a lively post-beach nightlife scene.  For a quieter option, try the white sands of Floreat Beach.

Consider these ideas a starting point and take the plunge into Perth- there’s more to discover, from diverse culinary experiences to a vibrant indie music scene, all of which make far-out Perth a far-out place to visit.

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