It may be the most remote capital city in the world, but you get the feeling that the people of Perth wouldn't have it any other way. Despite the mining boom, a Perth holiday can be enjoyed relatively crowd-free, that is unless you go for a dip at Cottesloe on a hot sunny day. While the coastline is Perth's main lure, it's the tip of the sand dune for this city. On one side Perth has become a cosmopolitan hub. Big boutiques have moved in, hole-in-the-wall coffee places have popped up and a burgeoning music scene has put it on the map as the place to see a gig. On the other, Perth still happily maintains its natural beauty; Rottnest Island, Margaret River and the wine regions. It's all waiting for you. You just have to make the journey.
Top Things to Do in Perth
Most things to do in Perth revolve around the great outdoors. Begin your Perth holiday with a dip at one of the local beaches. City Beach, Cottesloe and Scarborough are all fantastic stretches of silica lined with restaurants, bars and shops so you can make a day of it. Another scenic spot with ocean views and natural splendour is Rottnest Island. Hire a boat, join a tour and take the ferry out to the rugged island, located just 11 miles from Fremantle. Though much smaller, Penguin Island is still worth a trip for its various bird inhabitants including pelicans and of course, penguins. For more wildlife action, the Perth Zoo is home to over 1,000 animals.
Where to Eat and Drink
With infrastructure on the rise and east-siders making the pilgrimage for a seachange, dining in Perth presents endless options. There are the stylish cafés and wine bars in trendy Subiaco, multicultural fare in Leederville and an impressive offering of bars and clubs throughout Northbridge. If you don't mind driving half an hour for a meal, head to Fremantle or 'Freo' as it is affectionately referred to by the locals. Once an industrial port city, the now eclectic Fremantle is beloved for its buzzing yet bohemian atmosphere and ample cafés and restaurants. Don't leave without enjoying a coffee at Gino's, a simple seafood meal at Cicerello's Fish and Chips and a boutique beer or two from the famous Little Creatures brewery.
Stay in Perth
Perth accommodation isn't just limited to the city centre. While there are a range of hotel chains such as Ridges and Sheraton located in the city, a holiday in Perth doesn't have to mean staying in the city. For a beach break, opt for one of the resorts lining the coastline or embrace the laidback vibe at Fremantle with a stay at the 4.5 star Esplanade Hotel. Further out, accommodation is also available on Rottnest Island. Stay at one of the villas and units near the beach or get a feel for the island's history with a stay in a heritage cottage. Camping and cabins are also available.
Hit the shops
An estimated 900 specialty stores call Perth home so shopaholics will be in their element in this Western Australian city. The usual chain and department stores can be found within the city's two main shopping malls on Murray and Hay Streets while cutting-edge wares are sold in the boutiques of the Perth Cultural Centre, Claremont Quarter and in William Street. Shoppers with deep pockets can splurge on designers like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada on King Street. If your budget doesn't quite stretch that far, try the second-hand stores in Williamsburg Street.
See Perth Like a Local
The inner western suburb of Subiaco, or 'Subi' as its nicknamed, is a great area to spend a day exploring Perth's cosmopolitan side. In addition to its numerous restaurants, the area is home to boutiques and a wide range of entertainment. Catch a comedy show at the Regal Theatre, see a dance performance at the Juan Rando dance academy on Churchill Avenue, or if you find yourself in Perth during the Australian Football League season, catch a game at the famous Subiaco Oval. On the weekend, make your way to Station Street for the markets where locals come out to purchase fresh produce as well as flowers, giftware and more.