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Perth

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Travel Guide Oceania Australia Western Australia Perth

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Introduction

Perth by Night

Perth by Night

© All Rights Reserved Degolasse

Perth is the capital of the Australian state of Western Australia. With a population of around 1.7 million (2010 estimate) Perth is the largest city in Western Australia and home to three-quarters of the state's residents. The city is also the fourth most populous urban area in Australia, and with a growth rate of 2% is currently the fastest growing major city in Australia. It's also the world's most remote biggest city and the nearest one, Adelaide, is several days of driving and thousands of kilometres east in South Australia.

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Neighbourhoods

The CBD (Central Business District) is spread along the River Swan where you’ll also find the Esplanade and Bell Tower complex. Like most cities in Australia, Perth spreads into surrounding suburbs which seem to continue forever.

To the north of the CBD, you’ll find the party and restaurant suburb Northbridge. Beyond that are the two cafe and fashion regions of Mt Lawley and Leederville. If there are no events happening, these areas are much more lively than the city centre.

Popular areas include:

  • Cannington
  • Claremont
  • Cottesloe
  • Fremantle
  • Joondalup
  • Leederville
  • Mount Lawley
  • Northbridge
  • Rockingham
  • Mandurah
  • Scarborough
  • Subiaco

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Sights and Activities

Inner City

These places are within walking distance of the CBD or accessible by public transport with in about 10-15 minutes from the CBD

  • The Bell Tower - The Bell Tower houses the "Swan Bells" from the church of St Martin-in-the-Field in undefined, which were a gift to Perth from the City of London.
  • Perth Mint - Perth Mint is Australia's oldest operating mint. Demonstration gold pours and collectors items are still produced.
  • Perth Zoo - Perth Zoo is just a ferry ride across the Swan River, departs from Barrack St Jetty near the Swan Bells.
  • Kings Park - Kings Park is 1.5 kilometres north of the city centre and covers 406 hectares, offering great views of downtown Perth. As well as the park itself and the botanic garden, there is also a tree top walk with excellent views of the Swan River. Regular bus services are available from Hay Street and many other CBD stops. Steep uphill walk if you choose that route.
  • Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts - The Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts - Located down the stairs from the Art Gallery and Museum.
  • Museum of Western Australia - The Museum of Western Australia is across the square from the Art Gallery. Entry is also by donation. Temporary exhibits spice up the regular fare.
  • Art Gallery of Western Australia - The Art Gallery of Western Australia is located just outside the main train station and entry is by donation. Good cafe is attached an can be entered from the square.

Regional areas

There are also areas of interest within a couple of hours of Perth accessible by car.

  • Mandurah - popular coastal town south of Perth.
  • Mundaring Weir
  • Swan Valley - the oldest wine growing area in Western Australia with major producers such as Sandalford Wines and Houghton Wines, as well as many smaller operators, open daily for free tastings. As well as wineries there are also many resturants and cafes, and breweries and distilleries. The area also encompasses the historical settlement of Guildford.
  • Dryandra Woodland - conservation reserve south east of Perth home to many birds and mammals, including the elusive numbat.
  • Nambung National Park - national park north of Perth that includes the Pinnacles.
  • Sunset Coast is the collection of white beaches from Cottesloe to Yanchep.
  • Yanchep National Park - on the northern edge of the metropolitan area in notable for its caves.
  • Rottnest Island

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Events and Festivals

The latest tourist event listings can be found online - visit the Perth Governmental website for a calender of events.

Wine Cellar

Wine Cellar

© All Rights Reserved gnangarra

  • Outdoor Music Festivals - Summer in Perth is all about Outdoor Music Festivals. Single day events, camping festivals, and week-long festivals occur all throughout the city and offering a diverse selection of recording artists. See the web-site for the latest venue and concert schedule information.
  • Outdoor Cinemas - Summer in Perth is all about the outdoor cinemas (December-March). The are over a dozen locations to view movies outdoors around town. Notable locations are the Burswood Entertainment complex which shows mainly new releases; Freemantle Film Festival which showcases short local films and foreign-language features; The Pines in the University of WA campus which has popular arthouse and foreign language offerings.
  • Australia Day (26 Jan 2014) - Australia Day is celebrated on the 26th of January, and Perth hosts one of the larger celebrations. The event features a marathon, musical entertainment, and very popular airshow with fireworks that can been seen from various points in the city. Most people congregate at the Swan River or the South Perth foreshore.
  • City to Surf - Perth is a very active city, and the annual City to Surf race (categories range from 4 - 42 kilometres in length) attract upwards of 40,000 competitors. Busselton (down south) also hosts a yearly Half and Full Ironman race.
  • 2012 Fremantle Street Arts Festival - One of Australia's largest street arts festival is held on Fermantile Street every year at the end of the Easter holiday. International performers come to Perth for this event - where the streets are turned into multiple stages, where a variety of entertainment is offered. The 2012 Fremantle Street Arts Festival will feature busking, street theatre, comedy, circus, a cabaret and lots more. Hours: 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Revalation Filmfest - One of Australia's most popular film festival comes to Perth every year in July. This festival draws talented filmmakers from around the world, and it also showcases some of Australia's best in the industry. This event is known to feature progressive cinema, so event-goers can expect to feel a combination of discomfort and awe.

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Weather

Perth has a Mediterranean climate with day time temperatures ranging from 10 °C in winter to 45 °C in summer. Rainfall is greater during the winter months of May to July when Perth experiences between 100-150 mm per month. Summer rainfall is infrequent, occurring only on approximately 3-5 days between January and March this is normally associated with a cyclone in northern regions of the state.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max30.8 °C31.3 °C29.5 °C25.6 °C22.4 °C19.3 °C18.3 °C18.8 °C20.1 °C23 °C26.4 °C28.8 °C
Avg Min17.8 °C18 °C16.5 °C13.5 °C10.5 °C8.4 °C7.7 °C8 °C9.4 °C11.2 °C14.1 °C16.2 °C
Rainfall17.6 mm9.1 mm20.7 mm38.8 mm89.5 mm134.7 mm153.1 mm134.9 mm90.1 mm43.4 mm19.7 mm6.1 mm
Rain Days2.32.14.66.912.315.417.616.515.19.35.93.9

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Getting There

By Plane

International
Qantas has international flight to and from Perth Airport (PER). Destinations include Johannesburg (also by South African Airways), Hong Kong (also by Cathay Pacific), Singapore, Denpasar (Bali), Tokyo and Jakarta. Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways are other airlines connecting Perth with destinations in South East Asia.
Air Asia now services Perth from Kuala Lumpur and Bali as well, offering low cost flights.

National
Qantas and Virgin Blue fly from from most major centres into Perth, the state capital. Jetstar also flies into Perth from Melbourne, Adelaide and Cairns.

Regional
Qantas has regular flights between Perth and both Broome and Kalgoorlie. Virgin Blue flies between Perth and Broome as well. Skywest has flights to many smaller towns, including Albany, Esperance, Exmouth, Carnarvon and Kalgoorlie. A few smaller airlines fly to places like Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek, Port Hedland, Kalbarri and Shark Bay.

To/from the airport
Road access to the domestic terminals from downton Perth is via Great Eastern Highway and Brearley Avenue. The International terminal access is via Tonkin Highway and Horrie Miller Drive. Both the domestic and international terminals are serviced by a number of private charter bus operators that can be normally accessed through most major CBD hotels. The domestic terminal can be accessed by multiple regular public bus services operated by Transperth. There are many options of car rental on the airport as well and taxis are available at both the domestic as well as the international terminal.

By Train

The The Indian Pacific train crosses the Nullabor Plain connecting Perth to Adelaide and Sydney. The journey takes 3 nights in either direction, with trains running twice weekly in both directions.
Other trains to and from Perth, but within Western Australia are:

By Bus

Greyhound is the main operator but buses between Perth and Adelaide are history due to the cheap flights. There are still even buses from Darwin to Perth, but it's a long way and most travellers won't do this marathon in one go. Buses also stop in many cities and towns along this route, including Port Hedland and Broome.

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Getting Around

By Car

There are no toll roads in Perth and parking is plentiful in council-run parking areas. Some highway and motorway entrances are poorly designed so double check you are entering with the flow of traffic. There are plenty of companies you could choose to hire a car from (both downtown and at the airport), including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty. Car hire is often not available to drivers under 25, or if it is, it's more expensive for younger drivers.

By Motorbike

Perth's climate and good roads ensure that you will see many motorcyclists on the road. In fact, the number of motorbike ownership is greater than anywhere else in the country.

By Public Transport

Perth has a fairly extensive public transport system incorporating buses, trains and ferries, operated by Transperth. There are currently five train lines, terminating at Armadale, Midland, Fremantle, Clarkson (near Joondalup) and Mandurah. In smaller stations you will have to buy your ticket from a machine which will not accept larger notes. Make sure you have smaller denominations or you may be stranded. A series of concentric zones define the fares charged on public transport. There are nine zones in total, but most visitors don't have a need to travel beyond zone 2. There is also a free transit zone within the city limits, where several bus lines operate. The CAT (Central Area Transit) buses run circle routes every 5 to 15 minutes, until 5:00 or 6:00pm. But any bus within this zone is free of charge. A ferry system also runs between the CBD and South Perth (the jetty is a short walk from the Perth Zoo). You can purchase tickets on the buses or at the train/ferry stations, or buy a SmartRider which is an electronic card that you top up with funds. You use this card to "tag on" when you get on the bus/train/ferry and then "tag off" when you have finished your journey, with the cost of the trip deducted from the card.

By Foot

The Perth CBD slopes down towards the river so you are constantly walking up or downhill in the city centre. Popular nightlife suburb Northbridge is easily accessible by an overpass from the main train station and it takes around 20 minutes to walk from there directly to Hyde Park. From Hyde Park, Mt Lawley is around 20 minutes to your right; Leederville 25 minutes walk to your left.

By Bike

Perth does not have many bike lanes. Cyclists share the road with motorised traffic and park walkways with pedestrians.

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Eat

Perth has a great range of restaurants, however you really should ask a local for their recommendations. While food is usually good, service and atmosphere can be hit and miss - you certainly shouldn't tip bad service. Many restaurants are located in the city and the other popular areas stated above. Cheap eats are usually $10-15 pp and for a pub meal expect to pay $20-30. A nice restaurant will charge $7-15 for an entree and $30-50 for main courses. Here are some recommendations.

Cafes

  • Cafe 130 in Leederville has some of the best coffee hands down. Greens is also very good, since they share the same owner.
  • Atomic Cafe in South Perth is great for breakfast and coffee, but they are cash only.
  • Chocolateria San Churros in Leederville, Subiaco and Fremantle is a choc lovers paradise.

Burgers

Burger joints have gained massive popularity in Perth, with Jus Burgers in both Leederville and Subiaco are the beez neez. $10-15 for a great filling gourmet burger, with a great atmosphere. They have been known to sell out of buns on a popular night.

Pizza

  • Little Caesar's in Leederville or Mundaring (45 kilometres east of Perth) are award winning pizzerias that do not disappoint. Both locations are usually packed so that at times there can be a 45 minutes delay.
  • Stones Pizza in North Perth is also world class, with an exciting variety and real attempt to cater for vegetarians.

Restaurants

Asian and Indian cuisine is plentiful in Northbridge, with Lido (Vietnamese) worthy of note. In Fremantle, Little Creatures Microbrewery is a must. Cream (East Perth), C Restaurant (Perth), Divido (Mt Hawthorn) and Star Anise (Shenton Park) are much more upmarket, and priced accordingly.

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Drink

Perth has many places to quench your thirst, however it is not uncommon to pay $10 for a pint of beer or $8-11 for a glass of house wine. Recently, Perth has allowed a series of "small bars" to open, and these are usually themed affairs that are more intimate than the usual beer barn types in Northbridge.

Local liquor outlets are plentiful and can provide alcohol at a much cheaper price. Supermarkets do not sell any alcohol at all.

Many hotels near the beach are well known for their iconic Sunday sessions (4:00pm - 10:00pm), although the crowd can be a little young for some peoples tastes.

Small Bars

Popping up all over the place, some worthy of note include Ezra Pound and Deville's Pad (over 25) in Northbridge, The Must Wine Bar and Clarence's in Mount Lawley, and Kitsch in Leederville.

Pubs and Hotels

The Royal in East Perth, The Flying Scotsman in Mount Lawley, The Brisbane Hotel in Highgate and the Paddington Ale House in Mount Hawthorn are not bad if you're looking for bigger places.

Cottesloe Beach Hotel and Ocean Beach Hotel are well known for their Sunday sessions. The Mullaloo Beach Hotel is the place to go if you're around the Joondalup area.

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Sleep

Budget

Being the gateway to WA, Perth is a backpacking mecca with many hostels available.

  • Billabong - older building, but pool and beach volleyball court. Bus stop right outside. Big kitchen, fridges, small shop with drinks and hot food, good amount of computers, DVD library. Also hosts local language students, so always very social and active.
  • Witch's Hat - near Hyde Park, north of Northbridge. All on one floor with cramped shared rooms and facilities. Comfortable and great people in charge; always very highly ranked by guests.
  • Emporer's Crown - Modern and close to CBD. Good sized rooms on a few floors, excellent modern kitchen and lots of laundry facilities; several indoor and outdoor spaces (including two TV rooms) and several computers available.

For more information about these three and more, here is a complete list in Perth:

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
1201 East Backpackers195 Hay Street EastHOSTEL71
Beatty LodgeBeatty Lodge 235 Vincent StreetHostel76
Billabong Backpackers Resort381 Beaufort St NorthbridgeHostel70
Britannia on William253 William Street Northbridge 6003HOSTEL71
Coolibah Lodge194 Brisbane Street NorthbridgeHostel67
Easy Perth Backpackers44 Francis Street NorthbridgeHOSTEL-
Exclusive Backpackers158 Adelaide TerraceHostel68
Fern Cove Bed & Breakfast12 Hyland WayGuesthouse-
Hotel Bambu Backpackers75 - 77 Aberdeen St, Northbridge WA 6003Hostel68
Ocean Beach Backpackers2 Eric street Cottesloe BeachHOSTEL70
Ozi Inn Backpackers282 Newcastle st NorthbridgeHostel69
Palms Bed & Breakfast24 Dorchester Avenue WarwickGUESTHOUSE-
Perth Beach Hostel (Indigo)256 West Coast Highway ScarboroughHostel-
Planet Inn Backpackers496 Newcastle Street West PerthHostel69
Rainbow Lodge Backpackers133 Summers St.hostel-
Spinner's Backpackers342 Newcastle Street Northbridge, Perth, Western AustraliaHostel75
The Emperors Crown Backpackers85 Stirling Street NorthbridgeHOSTEL77
The Old Swan Barracks6 Francis St NorthbridgeHOSTEL73
The Shiralee Hostel107 Brisbane St, NorthbridgeHOSTEL-
The Witchs Hat Backpacker Hostel148 Palmerston Street Northbridge 6000HOSTEL76
Underground Backpackers268 Newcastle St, Northbridge , Perth WA6003HOSTEL-
Western Beach Lodge6 Westborough St ScarboroughHOSTEL77
YMCA Jewell House180 Goderich StHOSTEL72
Backpack City and Surf41-43 Money StHostel68
Hay Street Backpackers266-268 Hay StreetHOSTEL73
Scarborough Observation Resort200 West Coast Hwy Scarborough, PerthHOTEL71
Perth City YHA300 Wellington StreetHostel-
Crestview Accommodation28 Crest View Lennard BrookGuesthouse-
Grand Central Hotel Backpackers379 Wellington StreetHostel67
Globe Backpackers and City Oasis Resort561 Wellington StreetHOSTEL68
Wickham Retreat Backpackers25-27 Wickham st East PerthHOSTEL83
Backpackers International Ladies Hostel116 Aberdeen St Northbridge WAHostel68
Rainbow Lodge150 Claisebrook RoadHostel-
Mary's Bed and Breakfast PerthMount ClaremontGUESTHOUSE-
North Lodge Accommodation225 Beaufort Street WA 6000HOSTEL75
Victoria Park Lodge65 Leonard StreetHostel-
The Hive Hostel55 Stirling StreetHOSTEL71
Kangaroo Inn123 Murray StreetGUESTHOUSE-
Malibu Apartments30 Cleaver St West PerthApartment-
Guildfords Rosedale Lodge22 East Street GuildfordHostel-
Banjos Backpackers150 Claisebrook RdHostel77
Banjos Backpackers150 Claisebrook RoadHOSTEL-

Mid-Range

Please note the word “hotel” on the side of a building is not a guarantee of accommodation. Throughout Australia, but particularly noticeable here, a hotel is actually a pub. There are a lot of B&Bs to choose from, but make sure you look into transport options before you book one, as it might be far removed from the city centre.

Upscale

Chains like Hilton, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, Mercure all have 4.5 and 5-star hotels in Perth. They’re mainly situated in the CBD or the Burswood casino and entertainment complex which is home to many of Perth’s big events.

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Shop

  • Retail centres have recently been allowed to stay open until 9:00pm, however most people are still used to shops closing by 6:00pm, and shopkeepers have the choice to open or shut. As a general rule, major shops are open between 8:00am and 9:00pm Monday to Friday; and 8am to 5:00pm Saturdays. On Sundays, retail outlets in the CBD, Fremantle and some special precincts / regional towns are open 11:00am to 5:00pm.
  • On Wednesday, it is late night car shopping. On Thursday, is it late night suburb shopping where all retailers will be open; and on Friday it is late night city shopping.
  • Some of the bigger shopping centres located in the suburbs include cinema complexes; Belmont Forum, Carousel, Galleria, Garden City, Joondalup, Midland Gate, Warwick Grove.

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Work

A large percentage of the workforce works in the mining or related industries. Many employees are either fly-in fly-out (FIFO) types or are based in the city. Handsome salaries are paid to those with in-demand skills, although this is often blamed for creating a two-tier economy in Perth and has seen the price of housing increase rapidly.
Healthcare, tourism and retail are other major employment sectors. Unskilled adult workers in hospitality can usually earn $20 ph for bar/restaurant work, provided they have an RSA certificate. The general view in Perth is that work is easy to find.

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Learn

Perth has 5 major universities; The University of Western Australia (UWA), Curtin University of Technology, Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University and Notre Dame University. Each offer many chances for exchange and foreign students to study in Western Australia.

Vocational training and short courses are offered through TAFE.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are easily accessible across the CBD with walk up access, all have USB connections for camera etc.
Many cafes have unadvertised WIFI connections. Dome is a cafe chain which often has hotspots; ask for a password when you order.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Australia is on a GSM 900/1800 network, so if you have an unlocked phone that works on those frequencies, you will be able to buy a prepaid SIM-card and stick into your phone when you're in Australia. You will receive a new Australian phone number with the SIM-card.

To dial out of Australia use the prefix 0011, followed by the calling code of the country you are trying to reach, followed by the area code of the city/town (without the 0!) and finally the phone number.

Within Australia, it is necessary to add an area code to the phone numbers if you are calling from outside the area. Below are Australia's area codes:

  • 02 - New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory (Sydney, Canberra)
  • 03 - Victoria & Tasmania (Melbourne, Hobart)
  • 07 - Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 08 - Western Australia, South Australia & Northern Territory (Perth, Adelaide, Darwin)

000 is the emergency telephone number in Australia, but the international GSM mobile emergency telephone number 112 also works on mobile phones.

Post

Australia Post is the government's postal service. Most suburbs will have at least one post office. Opening times are mostly from around 8:00 or 9:00am to 5:00pm though larger ones keep longer hours sometimes. A standard letter or postcard sent within Australia will cost $0.60. Internationally, it costs $1.70 to send postcards anywhere in the world. Letters cost $1.85 to send within the Asia Pacific region and $2.60 to anywhere else in the world.[1]. It is also possible to send things as parcels or by express mail. You can also use use private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL as they are competitive and reliable.

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References

  1. 1 Australia Post. Sourced 10 May 2013

Quick Facts

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Population
1,500,000
Density
280/km²
Established
1829
Area
5,386 km²
Location
4144 km from Sydney
Coordinates
  • Latitude: -31.952222
  • Longitude: 115.858889

Contributors

as well as mars-hill (14%), activeman (11%), gnangarra (6%), chandie702 (5%), soliqa (3%), clemondo (2%), dr.pepper (<1%), QantasTeam (<1%)

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Perth Travel Helpers

This is version 125. Last edited at 6:36 on Sep 9, 14 by QantasTeam. 64 articles link to this page.

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