Have you ever experienced the challenge of fitting all the sightseeing that you want to do into your tight vacation schedule? This is something all of us face every time we take a vacation, it always seems like there is not enough time, especially when it comes to the state of Western Australia and Australia’s sunniest capital city – Perth. This article is to help you understand what are the best things to do in Perth and what Perth tours you should join when visiting.
Perth is a city that has it all, including ocean sunsets, great beaches, wineries, deserts, bushlands and wildlife. The best time to come to Perth is from September to March, so that you are in time to enjoy great beach weather, wildflowers blooming, and festivals. Sounds more interesting now? Let’s dive into the things to do in Perth.
The best way to maximise your time in Perth and make sure you don’t miss any of the important sights in and around the city is to take a tour.
Here is the list of the best Perth tours in and around the city:
Perth Beaches and Fremantle Coast Helicopter Tour
Perth Segway Tour
Wave Rock, York, Wildflowers and Aboriginal Cultural Tour from Perth
Perth City of Lights Dinner Cruise
Deep Sea Fishing Charter from Perth
Perth and Fremantle Tour Including Fremantle Prison and Dinner
Penguin and Seal Island Kayak Tour
Whale-Watching Perth tours
Spending more time in Margaret river is a good idea. These are our Perth tours recommendations:
Among the things to do in Perth and its surroundings, Rottnest Island is a nice get-away from the city hustle and is just and hour and a half away from Perth City:
There are so many things to do in Perth and its surroundings to get a feel of the region. But if you are lucky and have more time to explore Western Australia, here is the list of where you should go.
The South West is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world with a great marine life and impressive landscapes. It is easy to get around here; you can jump from a great surfing beach to a world-class winery quickly. Make sure you visit Albany – the town where European settlers stepped first onto Western Australia. You might have guessed that there are plenty of historical places and museums. But not only that! Here you can find some amazing spots for hiking, fishing, sailing, whale watching and diving. In Margaret River, you can spice up your journey with other activities like mountain climbing, wine tasting, visiting ancient caves and surfing at the stunning beaches. Bunbury is a cosmopolitan city, where you can enjoy spectacular views, giant forest groves, swimming at the nicest beaches and having magic encounters with bottlenose dolphins.
Join one of the following Perth tours to the South West and enjoy the experience:
3-Day Margaret River Tour and Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk from Perth
4-Day Tour from Perth Including Margaret River, Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk and Albany
3-Day South West Tour from Perth Including Margaret River, Busselton and Albany
Valley of the Giants and Tree Top Walk Day Tour from Perth
Perth tours along the Coral Coast is the kind of experience you will cherish for the rest of your life. Just a few hours away from Perth, you can find yourself in a completely different world – the lunar-like Pinnacles desert. Extend your trip by a few more hours to check out World Heritage sites – Shark Bay and Ningaloo. Ningaloo should be on your bucket list if you are enthusiastic about snorkeling with more than 500 fish species and 300 varieties of coral reef, swimming with whale sharks, turtles, watching humpback whales and connecting with the nature. If you prefer staying dry, just join a glass bottom boat tour. In the Cape Range National Park, you can take fun hikes or four-wheeler rides in the canyons and become a part of the wildlife. Coral Bay and Exmouth are great spots to stop overnight for camping or even “glamping” (glamourous camping). Another must-see in the region is called Shark Bay, the beach formed by tiny white shells. Do not forget to see the Hamelin Pool close by, it will give you an idea how Earth looked like 3,500 million years ago. One of the biggest attractions and an excellent stop for families is Monkey Mia, where you can meet and interact with wild dolphins.
Here are the best Perth tours to cover everything along the Coral Coast:
14-Day Perth to Perth tour via Broome Including Karijini, Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth
4-Day Monkey Mia Tour Including Wild Dolphin Encounter, The Pinnacles and Kalbarri
3-Day Monkey Mia Dolphins, Pinnacles Desert and Kalbarri National Park Tour from Perth
The North West gives you a genuine wilderness experience and is the only place on Earth that has a Staircase to the Moon and Horizontal Waterfalls. To get there, you can take a 2.5-hour flight from Perth to Broome, or go on a longer adventure along the coast. Broome and Kununurra are the gateways to the best of the North West. It is worth spending some time there before you embrace the beauty of the unique Bungle Bungle Range (a.k.a. Purnululu National Park) and breathtaking gorges of Karijini National Park. Here you can have a special experience of hiking through massive gorges, swimming in crystal clear rock pools and waterfalls, settling for a picnic or camping at a spectacular viewpoint. If you are not a big fan of hiking, there is also an easy access to magnificent sceneries. It is the best to explore Purnululu National Park from above in a scenic flight.
Check out our recommended tours in the North West:
7-Day Kimberley Outback Tour from Broome Including the Bungle Bungles, Bell Gorge and the Tableland Track
10-Day Kimberley Camping Tour from Broome Including Windjana Gorge and the Bungle Bungles
Bungle Bungle Scenic Flight Including Ground Tour of the Argyle Diamond Mine
In summary, there is a great selection of Perth tours with amazing places to visit and once-in-a-lifetime experiences to collect. Look through them carefully and choose the one (or two, or three) that best suit you. Depending on how much time and money you can afford for travelling, try at least some of the abovementioned things to do in Perth, and you will definitely long to return here.
Have you visited Perth before? Suggest your ideas and help others to have the best vacation they could have asked for!
Central Business District, Northbridge or maybe West Perth? Where to stay in Perth is probably the first question that comes to your mind when you decide to visit the city. While Perth is quite spread out on the sides of the Swan River, it has a few neighbourhoods that are just perfect for sightseeing and exploring the city. To make it easier for you to decide where to stay in Perth, we have put together this list of the best areas to stay in the city.
1. Central Business District
This is the best area to stay in Perth, especially for first time visitors or those who are in the city for just a few days. Staying in the Central Business District, you are close to everything. CBD has the best connections for public transportation, just hop on a free CAT bus to travel around Perth and its suburbs. The tour buses often leave from particular points in the CBD, so if you are planning to join any group tours in Perth, it is better to stay in this area.
This area has a huge amount of things to do – you can visit art galleries, museums and architectural buildings; you can shop at many of the best stores in the city; and dine at amazing restaurants. Most of the city sightseeing can be done on foot. Kings Park, Perth Bell Tower, Barracks Archway, Perth Mint, Burswood Entertainment Complex, Swan River and Perth Cultural Centre – all these places can be easily reached from the CBD.
Murray Street is the place to go for drinks and food, it caters to everyone’s tastes and preferences. Here you can find Murray Street Mall, which is a great place for shopping and entertainment. If you are interested in boutique shops and fancy brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, head to King Street. To see the charms of Perth, take a stroll along Riverside Drive and enjoy magnificent views.
Northbridge is a small multi-ethnic and trendy area located just next to the CBD. It is famous for its nightlife, containing many of the best clubs and bars in the city. Because so many nationalities live in Northbridge, this area has developed a wide range of ethnic and international cuisine options. Come here for a good meal and a relaxing evening. When considering where to stay in Perth, Northbridge is one of the best options.
3. West Perth
This area is a wealthy part of the city with high residential and office buildings. Among the highlights of things to see – Solidarity Park, the Parliament House and Perth Observatory. Check out Hay Street, Harbour Town and City West complex if you can spare time for a day of great shopping. To enjoy the variety of delicious food and drinks, Hay Street is the best.
If you are still unsure where to stay in Perth, here is the brief overview of other areas in Perth that you might want to consider.
South Perth is another good area to stay in Perth. Here, you can you can find the Perth Zoo, plenty of restaurants, and the best night view of Perth, while still just a short ferry ride away from the CBD. Finding available parking is less of an issue in South Perth, and it can often be free at your hotel.
Burswood suburbs/East Perth
These two areas are located on the opposite sides of the Swan River. In Burswood, you can find public golf courses, entertainment complexes, casinos, picturesque gardens, and fabulous accommodation options. East Perth is more of a residential area with parkland, galleries, many places to eat and drink. It is great for a bike ride or a stroll along the Swan River. Both areas can get you to the CBD and all the sightseeing places quickly.
Next to West Perth, there is an area called Subiaco. A stylish and cosmopolitan district that is full of designer’s shops, beauty salons, boutiques, galleries, bars and pubs, restaurants and coffee havens. The most attractive area here is around Rokeby Road and Hay Street. On the Rokeby Road, you can find a farmers market and can pick up fresh local produce.
This area is for those, who need to stay closer to the airport in Perth. Located in the south part of the Swan River, it has good hotels, restaurants, bars and wonderful views.
Fremantle is definitely the place to learn about history and culture of the region. Named “Freo” by locals, this port town has a special bohemian vibe with lots of unusual cafes, restaurants, bars, live music scene, workshops and handmade souvenir places. If this is not your first time in Perth, why not to stay in Fremantle for awhile?
Perth city offers a fascinating mix of cosmopolitan perks and nature’s beauty. There are plenty of options when choosing where to stay in Perth. But to explore it all, it is best to choose the Central Business District, especially if you are a first time visitor. Other good options to consider are Northbridge and West Perth. Share your opinion right below in the comments section.
Swan Valley is only a half hour drive from Perth, and cannot be missed on any visit to the region. All the Swan Valley tours include a wine tasting experience for a reason – Swan Valley is the oldest wine region in Western Australia. The region’s climate is perfect for producing wine of the quality comparable to wines from France, Italy and Spain. Besides amazing wineries, you can also find in Swan Valley authentic breweries and distilleries, restaurants and cafes, markets with fresh local produce, various art galleries, handcraft workshops and great places for shopping.
1. Swan Valley Wine Cruise from Perth
This is an excellent way to experience the best of Swan Valley all at once. Going on a charming boat ride will take you back to the history of Swan Valley and its wineries. While cruising around, you can enjoy tea, wine and cheese tastings overlooking stunning views. Then you will visit Sandalford winery, where you can just sit back and learn more about wines from the local experts, sample six types of premium wines and enjoy a two-course lunch to accompany your wines. On the way back to Perth, satisfy your sweet tooth with your favourite desserts, while the boat crew provides fun entertainment. Departure Time: 9:45am. Duration: 7 hours.
2. Private Swan Valley Tours by Luxury Vehicle from Perth
Want to travel like a celebrity? This VIP tour can be personalised depending on your preferences and gives you the flexibility you do not have with a larger group. If you are a fan of exploring new places by car, observe the beauty of the wetlands and get from one attraction to another within minutes by Range Rover, Mercedes or another 4WD vehicle. A photographer will join you on the trip, so no need to worry about taking pictures or editing them later. The tour guide will make sure all your questions are answered and expectations are met. Departure Time: Flexible. Duration: 4-8 hours. Take a look at Private Swan Valley Wine Day Trip from Perth as a cheaper alternative.
3. Private Caversham and Swan Valley Day Trip from Perth
Want to do a wine tasting but still have activities for the kids? Of the many Swan Valley tours available, this one was designed for families with kids. At the Caversham Wildlife Park, you get to experience magical encounters with kangaroos, koalas, wombats, possums, lizards and many other animals. Your itinerary includes wine, beer and cheese tastings, visits to the House of Honey, Mondo Nougat and the Chocolate Factory. You will also get a chance to learn more about aboriginal art. Lunch is included. Departure Time: 8.30am. Duration: 10 hours (approx.) If you don’t have as much time, here is a shorter tour that takes about 3 hours – Half-Day Hummer Swan Valley Wildlife and Winery Tour from Perth.
4. Ultimate Swan Valley Food and Wine Day Trip from Perth
If all you want is just to go on a gastronomic adventure, this tour has the best value. Join a group of other foodies to visit five venues for wine, cheese and chocolate tastings. On your way, enjoy the picturesque landscapes, relax between stops and do souvenir shopping. Lunch will take a place in a cosy winery with live music playing in the background. End the day with a beer tasting experience at the local microbrewery. You can either stay in Swan Valley for dinner or return to Perth with the group. Departure Time: 10:05am. Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
5. Pinnacles and Swan Valley Day Trip from Perth Including Caversham Wildlife Park, Vineyard Lunch, Pinnacles and Sandboarding
This is not one of the regular Swan Valley tours. On this tour, besides the typical wine tastings, you will also get to visit the Nambung National Park, explore the incredible Pinnacles desert and the sand dunes in Lancelin. If sandboarding is on your bucket list, then this is the time to check the item off. In the Pinnacles desert, you will get to see limestone formations, fascinating nature and great wildlife. Make sure you check the weather in advance. Departure Time: 8.30am. Duration: 11 hours (approx.) If you want to add some visits to museums and fishing towns, and see wildflowers blooming, check out this tour – Pinnacles Desert, New Norcia and Wildflowers Day Tour from Perth.
Other Swan Valley tours you might want to consider:
Half-Day Swan Valley Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Tasting Tour Including Afternoon River Cruise (6 hours)
Upper Swan Lunch Cruise from Perth (3 hours)
Swan Valley tours are definitely worth your time. Choose the one that suits you the best and do not forget to share your experience in the comments section below.
If you have young children, Perth is the perfect place to travel. Perth has that wonderful city feeling, while still being small enough to get around easily and see everything. Perth has a wonderful mix of urban excitement and pristine nature.
Getting Around – Rent a car (if possible)
While Perth has a fantastic bus network, we would still recommend hiring a car when traveling with a baby. Cars can be hired straight from the airport, fitted with child seats and dropped off right before you fly out. We recommend booking these ahead of arriving in Perth so there is no need to wait around in the airport with your little one.
Catch the free bus around the city as an adventure with your bub, but you’ll be grateful for the afternoon car snooze, or having somewhere to dump your shopping while you’re out for the day.
Perth is a very pram friendly city, with plenty of space for a stroller almost anywhere you want to go. Plenty of parks, playground, gardens for the little one to just explore and get in touch with nature. You will be grateful for the pram after your little one exhausts themselves in the many parks and sleeps on the way back to your accommodation.
Baby Change Facilities
Perth is a very child friendly city, with all major department stores offering huge baby rooms and changing areas. Some even have small playgrounds for older children while younger bubs are being tended to. Change tables are common in most toilets.
Top 5 Recommendations for Adventures with Animals
Landsdale Farm is located a little outside the city centre, with all the farm animals roaming around freely. Lansdale farm has plenty of space for picnics on the beautiful grass areas. They boast an educational focus with a Sensory Garden for herbs and vegetables. There’s a cafe there with lots of high chairs too, and full washing-up and changing facilities.
Perth Zoo is right in the heart of the city offering a great location accessable by train, bus, ferry and car. It has everything you would expect from a top class zoo including international animals, picnic areas and displays and shows throughout the day. Check out their website before you attend to see session times and children’s activities programs.
Caversham Wildlife Park is located a little further from the centre of perth, but still defiantly worth the trip. It’s a must if you want to check out Australia’s native animals up close and personal. They have a number of daily shows and activities which include meeting wombats, kangaroos and koalas up close, as well are the Farm Show.
Aquarium of Western Australia is also located a little out of the center of Perth, but wonderful for those rainy days with children. There are a huge collection of sea animals including a children’s touch pool and a tank of illuminated jellyfishes.
Penguin Island. Visiting Penguin Island is a day trip for the family and not really recommended for children under 2 or babies who still need their afternoon sleep. This tiny island is home to nearly 1200 Little penguins, the smallest species of the penguin family in the world. Rockingham Wild Encounters offer different attractions from their base in Rockingham, including swimming with dolphins, glass-bottom boats, cruises to sea lions, dolphin watching, penguins and, of course, a ferry to Penguin Island. We recommend you bring a picnic.
Top 5 recommendations of Outdoors Activities with Kids
Perth Cultural Centre – While we certainly recommend a trip to the Perth Cultural Centre, is it in fact the nearby fantastic sensory playground based on nature and sound for young kids, that your little ones will love. This park features a number of ‘musical instruments’ to play with and it’s all free. There is plenty of space for children to bike ride and wear themselves out with scooters.
Outback Splash is a growing Western Australian fun park. It is not just for the kids, but adults as well. There are kangaroo enclosures, koala viewing, mazes, playgrounds, jumping pillow, mini golf and a water playground. Spend some time wandering the grounds in the hot WA sunshine and then cool off with a water slide or two.
Adventure World – Perth is the home of Western Australia’s most popular theme park, now with a brand new roller coaster. Adventure World is recommended for children over 5 as many of the rides have height restrictions, but there are still little rides for littles kids and a water park to enjoy.
South Beach is a wonderful beach for young children, thanks to the relatively shallow and calm waters. As the sun sets in the west, this beach is wonderful for sunset dinners and an evening dip with the kids. There is also a great cafe right on the beach.
Cottesloe Beach is another great beach for young children. There is a large outdoor playground close by and lots of grass areas to relax and picnic on.
Top 5 Wet Weather Adventures with the Kids
Scitech – Scitech is full of young kid friendly activities and features loads of hands-on exhibits. Scitech runs an extensive school holiday and education program, so check their website before booking tickets so you don’t miss out. Wonderful for older children but there is also a sectioned-off area for young toddlers.
Fremantle Markets are full little shops and stalls. There is also a wonderful produce section for excellent fruit and vegetables
Triassic Fun Park– Just as the name suggests, this place is all about dinosaurs. It’s the perfect place to take young children when the weather is too hot or too cold. Children will be captivate for at least the morning, though it is better appreciated by children over 3.
Art Gallery WA. There are heaps of activities for the kids on offer at the Art Gallery WA. From guided tours, school holiday art camps and daily drawing tables. Check their website before you go to see what is happening with children that day.
DFES Education and Heritage Centre is a must for all your little fire fighters. Here there is wonderful blend of free play with fire safety education where children can practice getting down low and go go go. Climb inside a real fire truck, dress up as a fire fighter, climb on the small indoor rock climbing wall and hang onto the Firefighters pole. Check the website for opening hours.
Further Reading –
The Land Down Under offers up beautiful landscapes, interesting history, and great cultural milestones that must be visited while you’re travelling to the remote local in the Southern Hemisphere, but what can you take home that’s as unique as the rolling desserts, Indian Ocean sunsets and extensive bush landscapes that you saw on your trip?
Aside from the standard t-shirts, shot glasses, and fridge door magnets, Perth offers up great take away gifts that keep on giving, so don’t settle for the norm, break out into the original works of art, fine wines, and fuzzy animals that the unique region has to offer.
Aboriginal culture dates back over 30,000 years and ever since colonization by the British, Aboriginal arts and artifacts have been a main export of the country due to the unique style, and diverse aesthetics that the culture encompasses.
While a didgeridoo may be a little hard to carry on the plane—although we don’t dissuade you from taking this back as it makes an incredible gift—other pieces may be a little more up the alley of a tourist hoping to make it through customs with ease. Print making, fabric art, paintings, weavings, sculpture, and rock engravings are all great gifts that represent the very valued, and extensive Aborginal history in Australia.
Check out these locations for great examples of original artworks:
Japingka Gallery. 47 High Street. Opens at 10am.
Creative Native Perth. Shop 58, Forest Chase. Opens at 10am.
Digeridoo Breath. 6 Market Street. Opens at 10:30
Is there anything more typically Aussie than tanned skin accompanied by a just-used surfboard and a bikini tan? Don’t just head to the beach of Cottesloe, make sure you also grab the beachwear that is almost as famous as the big waves.
Swimwear designers like Seafolly, Zimmermann Wear, and White Sand Australia are more designer than the stateside favorite Billabong and Oakley, which means you’ll make a stand at any resort you frequent once you get back home.
When it comes to off-the-wall things to do in Perth, going antique s definitely one of those things. Not that the beloved hobby isn’t anything other than totally joyous, just that Perth may not be known internationally specifically for it’s antiques; and the key to overturning that is just to check out the wide selection of vintage finds available.
From local musicians and records and clothing to fishing equipment and great furniture finds, there’s plenty to keep you occupied on a rainy day or as the focal point of your holiday. The main draw to these secondhand shops is getting up close and personal with the merchandise; the carefully selected collections are all about detail so don’t be afraid to spend some quality time overturning every piece.
Head for these shops to discover great finds on your own:
Curio Warehouse. 141 James St Guildford. 10:30am.
Bluebird Vintage. 288 Cambridge St Wemberley. 10:00am.
Effies Emporium of Guildford. 141 James Street Guildford. 10:30am.
Fat Shan Record. The Basement, 37 Barrack Street. 10:00am.
Swan Valley is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Perth and for good reason; the wineries produce a wide selection of great vintages, as well as great beer brews. Whether it’s a white wine, or a dark red, bringing home a vintage is a great way to impress the boss, treat the neighbors, or prepare for the holidays in advance, so don’t just enjoy the full-day cruise complete with dinner, dessert, and a never-ending selection of wine, but bring home the fun for later as well.
These wineries may or not be on your tour, but if not you should definitely make sure to book a taste test:
Ugly Duckling Wines. 7790 W Swan Rd. 11:00am. Best Buy: Liqueur Shiraz.
Tyler’s Vineyard. 301 Padbury Ave. 11:00am. Best Buy: 2014 Red Grenache.
Coward & Black Vineyards Swan Valley. 448 Harmans Mill Rd. 9:00am. Best Buy: Semillion Sauvignon Blanc
Step aside kangaroos and koalas, there’s a new Aussie favorite in town and this little cuddlebug is going to make any animal lover squeal with joy, which is exactly why you’ve got to take one home. While this is in no way a suggestion to grab a live quokka before leaving Oz, there doesn’t seem to be any harm in a plushy stuffed animal version leaving the toy store to finding it’s way into the arms of friends and family back home.
These smallest editions of the Wallaby family are almost part kangaroo and part mouse, but they’re 100% cute. After checking out these adorable creatures at the Perth Zoo, head for the gift shop to grab one for the ride home—you certainly won’t regret that you did.
Whether you’re in The Down Under for two days or a month, it’s always great to bring home a little of your holiday home with you, and when it comes to Perth, these five gifts won’t only be great on their own, but they’ll be a wonderful reminder of your stay. Happy shopping!
There’s a lot of contention when it comes to app-ing on vacation.
Purists the world over will say no phones on vacation, but the Millennial Generation has a more liberal view of trekking with technology and if trends are any indication of the mindset of the masses, you have to go with the new age thinking that says your life will be increasingly easier with the help of handheld technology.
So in a sea of travel apps that may or may not be boosting your fun, here’s the definitive Perth guide on what’s hot for navigating the city.
A new take on the social media world of travel, go beyond Instagram and TripAdvisor by creating your own travel journal with Stellar; it’s an interactive photo, video, and text app that allows for you to share your journey at the touch of a fingertip. Another excellent feature: you can check out the posts by people in your area as well, which could very well influence where you’re heading when you head out for the day. From killer vistas to exact coordinates for the best place to grab street food, give yourself time to take the creative route and post your personal experience; you could be the next big travel blogger!
Available for: iPhone, iPad, iTouch. Price: Free.
Check it out here.
This isn’t your average free weather app; from stellar time-lapse pictures of approaching systems to linkage with your new Apple watch, it’s a whole lot more than Google Weather. Giving a whole new name to hyper-local weather coverage, the app keeps track of the details so you don’t have to. Heard there was a blizzard on it’s way? With Dark Sky you can see if it’s a week, or 5 minutes, away, and also the precise location from where the weather is coming from. With radar images that follow the exact path of the weather with no delays, it’s safe to head out of the house for milk, or to give the dog a quick walk, even if rain is on it’s way.
Available for: iPhone, iPad. Price: $3.99
Buy it here.
Uber in Perth is as great as Uber everywhere else; the no-cash transactions, taxi tracking devices, and in-system GPS capabilities make this app perfect for people travelling in a new city. Not only do you get a driver who knows their way around, but you don’t have to worry about stopping at the exchange place to grab cash on your way out of the train station or airport so you’re not only saving time but money. With options from premium to low cost, you can estimate fares, locate destinations, and pay, all with the handy app, no strings attached.
Available for: iPhone, Android. Price: Free.
Check it out here.
Coming out of left field almost as an ode to the sound machines of old, the White Noise App makes your layover, jetlag, and night owl tendencies from keeping you from getting great sleep and being refreshed in the morning for big adventures the next day. Equipped with an extensive library with everything from urban city mixes to sounds people make, it’s great for crushing insomnia, or even to act as a soundtrack to a quiet workday. With the added benefit of a sleep timer and multiple alarms, you can also rest well knowing that you won’t rest too well and miss your meeting, flight, or favorite place to grab a coffee and sweet.
Available for iPhone, iPad. Price: Free.
Download it here.
For the saavy, the new trend is in sending your treasured Instagram apps to friends and family rather than the age old postcard tradition that predicated travelling of the past. But with Postagram, you can combine the new and the old in an app that takes photos directly off of your phone and sends a hard copy, stamp and all, both domestically in the US and internationally. With space to write a private message, doodle on your photo, or the option to send cards in bulk, it’s the perfect answer to getting your friends and family a piece of your travels without having to buy everyone a magnet or shot glass at every destination.
Available for iPhone, iPad. Price. Free for the app. $.99 for US Domestic shipping. $1.99 for International shipping.
Download it here.
Are you on your way to Perth through unknown airports? Download LoungeBuddy for a comprehensive guide to lounges and clubs in the airports all over the globe that frees you from having to do all of the footwork. Including photos, pricing, pictures, reviews, amenities, and more, LoungeBuddy will take a look at your profile, likes, and dislikes, and pick out lounges that will fit your personal needs for one-time access, or for the more frequent traveller, long-term rates. This app also syncs directly with Concur so if you already have your itineraries uploaded, it’s a piece of cake to get started.
Available from iTunes, Google Play, Amazon. Price: Free.
Check it out here.
Do your find your Post-It just isn’t cutting it for packing and preparing for your travel? Take the guesswork, and the racking of the recesses of the brain, out of the already stressful equation by giving up total power to Travel List, an app designed specifically to factor in your itinerary, location, and length of stay. From reminding you that you’re headed on a business trip and wanted to take 4 suits to sending alarm notifications that you should charge your cell phone every day, it’s better than a mother going through a list of all the things you might need from top to bottom. Give mom a break and download this app to keep on schedule, it’s faster and at your fingertips, no matter where you’re heading.
Available for iPhone. Price: $1.99.
Buy it here.
Created by Mobiata, FlightTrack 5 is the most comprehensive and detailed flight tracking service, and it’d have to be for the price tag. But not only does it send you any schedule deviations within 24 hours of your flight, but it also is perfect for figuring out when to pick up your friends and family from their flights. Between consolidating your flight tracker emails automatically, syncing with the Apple watch, showing real-time status for gate loading, runway stalling and more, as well as keeping track of the weather, seat assignments, and any cancellations or delays, its a one-stop shop for frequent travelers, and anyone switching airline companies mid-trip.
Available on iTunes, Google Play. Price: 4.99 euros.
Buy it here.
Unless you’re one of those people with stock market calculators in their brains, the XE Currency app will keep you with your pulse on the spending budget by changing any amount you have to your own preferred currency at the touch of a button. Not only that, but it will show you currency rates history and live exchange rates so you aren’t getting duped at when you go to change your money at the airport. While this may be one of the more practical, less sexy apps, it makes up for it in usefulness when you have no idea how much your bottle of water is.
Available for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Android. Price: Free.
Check it out here.
Tipping around the world can be brilliant or a catastrophe, depending on how much research you do, or how much you use the Tipulator app. Taking all the guesswork out of local customs and unspoken after meal traditions, Tipulator gets it right where it matters and makes sure you don’t leave anything on the table in Tokyo, a couple of korunas in Prague, and at least eighteen percent in New York. The best part? You can see what rates are being used around you, so the location settings allow you to keep from getting overcharged. How cool is that? Bonus features: After you upload your bill and calculate the tip in hundreds of different currencies, you can split the check to make it easier for you to travel with friends and family without always leaving one person to pick up the bill.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch. Price: Free.
Download it here.
Foursquare may get you to a restaurant, but Foodspotting does even more; going by a dish by dish outline, the app does more than just put you in an excellent place to eat, it also tells you exactly what’s good. With city maps dotted with little Instagram squares of gastronomic goodness, it’s easy to find a place not only with a meal that’s exactly fine-tuned to your taste, but one that’s close as well. Pick between different headings: meat, dessert, cookies, and make sure to upload your favorites as well—it adds to the collection and leaves a great travel of yumminess for the next traveller behind you.
Available for iPhone, Android. Price: Free.
Check it out here.
Instead of making a hide and seek game out of trying to catch the free internet wherever you go, download WiFi Finder, which does exactly what it’s name suggests and more. With over 650,000 wifi locations in over 140 countries worldwide, you can download the locations while offline in areas where you will be travelling so that once you can stay connected even without data. Utilizing the GPA location services already on your phone, it connects you to paid and free service and supplies the phone number and directions of your desired destination at the touch of your fingertips and without having to upgrade your plan to international whenever you travel.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch. Price: Free.
Download it here.
This isn’t your average audio tour app; not only is it the largest audio tour guide available but it works for over 300,000 locations and has a convenient airplane mode that allows you to access the great tips, travel stories, and must-see routes even when you don’t have data access. Categorized by landmarks, cultures, or location, you can tap into guides for solo traveling with no strings attached. Bonus: The GPS can select playlists to create continuous feeds of knowledge coming through your ears based on the location you’re currently in. Word to the wise: this feature can also wear down the battery so make sure to turn this feature off when not in use!
Available for iPhone, iPad, Android. Price: $3.99
Check it out here.
Looking for a comprehensive guide to site-specific storytelling? Check out the app by the Danish duo behind Recho, an audio tour app that allows you to make voice recordings and leave them in the cloud where they were recorded. When you want to go for a listen at specific sites, all you have to do is find your way to the location, and tap into the app’s inclusive database. Everything from songs, poetry, tour guides, and more can be found hovering in the airspace around some of the world’s most famous, and in some places undiscovered, visitor hot spots. Special features include recordings that are never erased at the site, indoor and outdoor locations, and limited GPS or data availability has no effect on the app’s precision.
Available for iPhone, iTouch, iPad. Price: Free.
Download it here.
Solving every short-connection layover hunger ever, the AirGrub app connects its users to available food stops within international airports at the touch of a finger so you’re never hungry and lost at the same time ever again. Not only does it connect to your Apple Wallet, making for cardless transactions, but it also features VIP access to Grab and Go stations, earning miles while shopping for goodies, and receives email receipts that are perfect for expense reports. If you’re a frequent traveller who makes it a habit to know the ins and outs of airport fare, then this app is certainly a must-have.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android. Price: Free.
Check it out here.
Tapping into the ever-present (and trendy) population of the health conscious worldwide, Moves is a free app that goes beyond just tracking mileage via pedometer, but also creates a food journal so you know how many more steps it takes to walk off your favorite cappuccino. It automatically tracks not only walking and running but also cycling, plots your route on a map for easy access to your daily paths even after you’ve finished for the day, and it comes in multiple languages.
Available for iPhone, Android. Price: Free.
Download it here.
For people who can’t stand the idea of overpaying for international data plans, WhatsApp is a great way to use free internet anywhere to send private messages to friends and family next door or overseas. What makes it better than Facebook Messenger: it’s available on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia, and comes equipped to manage different languages so you can chat with all your traveling friends even after you have parted ways, no matter which phone brand they’re working with.
Available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone, Nokia. Price: First year is free. $.99 annually.
Check it out here.
Everyone knows that it’s horrible to use up your precious GB space for apps that you’ll never use, but these are 17 reasons to actually tap into the great resources available at your fingertips; not only will it make traveling easier, but it will be a more fulfilling, enriching, and less stressful experience all around. So get to downloading and bon voyage!
The heart of a generation lies in it’s youth; beginning back in the 1950’s with the worldwide boom of babies everywhere in the wake of World War 2 and the return home of so many soldiers, teenage culture started to reign supreme.
The sentiments of the teeny boppers and the bobby sox generation still rings true today, and not just in dress, but in cultural influence, only they’ve traded slicked back do’s and poodle skirts for artisan-sculpted beards and mod-meets-Mom jeans.
You know what I’m talking about: the Hipsters. The generation of teenagers and young adults that grew up with the internet but prefer newsprint, owned first generation iPods but have more liking for record players, were bought brand new cars as Sweet Sixteen presents but ride bicycles to school and work instead. It’s not just a trend, it’s a movement, and whether you like it or not, they’ve got their pulse on the heart of the best, brightest, and tastiest places out there.
So whether you’re a hipster, the generation that they’ve sculpted themselves after, or something in between, you’ve got to take a test run around these 11 trendy picks that would make any hipster happy.
This hole-in-the-wall may look like the last place you’d expect for gourmet fare, and you might wonder exactly why this spot made the list, but let me tell you, it’s not just the strong and fragrant espressos or the Pear Grillz that will spark your interest, but the constant atmosphere of a hipster hangout and their creative line-up of local entertainment. Travelling around with their grilled sandwiches on wheels, you can also catch Toastface Grillah at all manner of local events, as long as it’s got a sweet underground vibe to it. I suggest grabbing anything with their creative logo on it before they get uber famous; you never know, it could start it’s very own grilled cheese revolution, and who wouldn’t want a bite of that?
Bratwurst sausage is the name of the game at Run Amuk, and they slay at creating a unique menu to go along with their famous entree. What may seem just your run of the mill hot dog stand is actually a culinary creation so genius it’s actually one of Australia’s favorite places for food, period.
With it’s South Fremantle location, it’s in the heart of all things hipster, and it gets it right with menu items ranging from banana malted milkshakes to the Rascal brat with aged cheddar, whole-grain mustard, and BBQ sauce. If you’re smart, you won’t wander into Fremantle with the intention of stopping by Run Amuk’s if you get the chance; instead you’ll make it reason number one for stopping in the neighborhood in the first place. Take note of the handpainted walls and the creatively designed car collection; it’s just another piece in the one of a kind puzzle that makes Run Amuk’s the place to eat.
Just around the corner from the Fremantle Town Hall, The Raw Kitchen is a great place to head right after you spend your day wandering around this upbeat area, especially if you’re a fan of reconstructed urban spaces, outdoor seating, and even yoga. So much more than just a restaurant, The Raw Kitchen is a way of life that incorporates healthy exercise, a smoothie bar, and natural fare into their sustainable metropolis and it’s definitely bearded heaven. For some grub, you can eat in-house or grab take-away, because either way you look at it, their constantly changing seasonal menu is full of daring options live avocado lime cake and king oyster mushroom scallops that just can’t be missed.
Whether you’re on the hunt for takeaway coffee or maybe for a taste of their signature summer birchner pudding, La Veen is a local dive that gets you with their cappuccinos on first sip and never quite lets you go. If you’re a cupcake fan, they’re strawberry cheesecake, salted caramel and chantilly cream renditions will set your taste buds on a delicious journey, or if you’re just waiting to find that perfect cup of espresso, no need to look any further: at La Veen, they take their beans really seriously.
True, it’s not your most affordable place, but The Old Crow belongs on this list simple for their spicy hushpuppies. Not a fan of the simple snack? Then they’ll definitely get you with their specials, from veal tortellini to charred asparagus in an anchovy crumb, and their special events, like their Argentinian Wine Banquet that pairs a four-course spread with 5 excellent wines. Check out their Instagram for a delicious dose of definite food porn, and just make sure you book a reservation on their website or calling—they won’t honor a quick attempt to grab a table via Facebook! Grab a Pimm’s Pitcher and then get acquainted with the menu, it’s going to be a delicious ride.
While Southern Italian might not be your first pick for famed Perth cuisine, No Mafia certainly shines like a star in Northbridge for its clever take on traditional food mixed with a funky atmosphere. Also a great place for the winos, this eatery sports an elegant and eclectic wine list that pairs great with any of the locally sourced dishes.
With a chic, yet off-the-wall interior and a completely relaxed ambience that makes it a favorite for dinner night after a night with the neighborhood and beyond. Closed Mondays but with a killer closing time of “late”—it means your wine night can turn into after hours with no worries—this hotspot deserves a taste test, especially if fusion Italian is your heart’s desire.
There has to be something said for Lot Twenty’s modern design; with a spacious outdoor dining area and an open kitchen inside, this is more than just food, it’s an experience. With hipster-friendly locally sourced produce and meats, the menu works best when you mix and match the dinner items to make the perfect combo made just for you (but trust me, if you’re stumped, the wait staff is perfectly capable of conjuring up a perfectly balanced suggestion!). Heirloom beetroot, Tuscan kale, lamb ribs, roast pumpkin, dutch fries and pickled vegetables are just the tip of the iceberg, so book a table at Perth’s “friendliest little bar” for a dining experience you won’t quickly forget.
Willie Wagtail is more than a coffee shop, and if you don’t try their meat-heavy sandwiches, or the Asian chicken salad in particular, you’re just not doing this hipster foodie tour right. From Chicken BLT’s to pumpkin soup, sticky lamb sandwiches and pork belly sliders with apple slaw, it’s a culinary (and cultural) masterpiece that ranges from healthy choices to delicious homemade goodies that maybe wouldn’t make it on your diet, but who cares!
Willie Wagtail is a lunchtime favorite with the locals, and it’s definitely in the cards for it to be your favorite to grab a midday treat as well. And despite the busy location, the outdoor patio area is a great place to relax, enjoy your food, and tap into your inner hipster, so head out and head there, definitely hungry!
This snug little cafe is well known for it’s vegetarian and vegan only menu, which makes it a hit among the Millennials with it’s distinct mark on nature friendly fare. From hand-squeezed (and fresh daily) juices to killer brunch specials on the weekends, Flora & Fauna have the corner market on all things veggie-friendly, but with a kitchen as good as this, you won’t even know the cheesecake is both raw and organic (but even if you did, we like to think that’s a good thing!).
Head to Northbridge for the sweet spot, and take in the great atmosphere (outdoor seatings areas, lots of fresh flowers) while you’re there as well.
Is there anything more hipster than a converted print house that now serves up unbeatable housemade cocktails and inspired dining? Print Hall keeps its historically designed chops and mixes it with four levels of unbeatable mingling and dining experiences, all geared toward the younger, up-and-coming set. With original artwork by Shane West and excellent cuisine by executive head chef Daniel Fisher, grab a table at the main bar or even at The Apple Daily, which mixes Southeast Asian cuisine with modern fare for a sweet fusion menu that just doesn’t stop surprising.
The lone hotel on this list is a hipster haven, and it’s the boutique status of this redesigned 19th century house decked out with Art Deco, original oak panelling, and four poster beds that give it it’s authentic feel, and it’s hipster pass. Located in the ultra-chic West End, great shopping is just a stone’s throw away from the front doors, and great eats are located in-house. From high tea to a sweet cup of coffee, this is the place for a weekend getaway or even a future hipster wedding—just make sure to plan well in advance, this place goes like hotcakes.
Brooklyn may get all the credit for beginning the wave of Hipster influence, but Perth certainly holds its own in the green space, renovated historic buildings, organic fare, and great places to hang out and people watch for homegrown beards.
It’s no great discovery to find out that going on vacation (especially with a group, be it friends, family, or both) is an expensive endeavor. And while you’ve worked so hard all year to deserve this break, it’s not bad to enjoy the free things in a life either, so while you’re in the heart of Western Australia and you’re thinking of the purse strings, give these no-cost treats a test run-just because they don’t cost a dime doesn’t mean they’re any less fun!
Grab your sense of adventure and tuck your wallet back into your pocket, these great visits aren’t going to cost you a dime (or a very little). Bon voyage!
The beauty of the free city tours is all in the flexibility. Want to spend an hour? Perfect. Want to spend less? Also perfect. With volunteers picking up travelers and visitors form the Information Kiosk at Murray Street MAll daily, there are tours featuring gold rush history, art trails, and even city garden walks that are hop-on, hop-off, with absolutely no requirement to stay. So if you’re in town during the week and are hoping to get your city feet, head out with one of the volunteer guides—usually a local—and get situated in the city in the best way possible; by exploring all the great culture and history it has to offer.
If you’ve got a family of water lovers, you definitely want to bank on the free admission to Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. From diving to snorkelling, swimming to nature walks, you can explore the island’s, barrier reefs and shipwrecks just offshore in a whole day worth of adventure in the sun and surf. For snorkel fan, head straight to the reefs for encounters with the dolphins, sea urchins, or even, if you head to Sea Island, you can catch a glimpse at some Australian sea lions. And while some activities may require payment—diving in the shipwreck, for example—there are plenty of free activities at this location just a one hour drive from Perth.
If you’re a fan of two-footed wanderings, or even more of a two-wheels kind of traveler, head to Fremantle on the weekends for a taste of the local flair of Perth. Originally built in 1897 as a market hall, this beautiful tribute to unique Western Australia Victorian architecture is renovated, glorious, and reopened for the modern take of the same market. Full of fresh, local food, local artistic delights and perfect trinkets to take home to friends and family, the Fremantle Market can also be a place to bring your camera and just snap away if you’re feeling wallet shy or just love dazzling colours and beautiful, diverse cultural communities. And for the bike aspect of this adventure, stop by the E-shed markets to pick up your free set of wheels, provided by the Free Wheeling Fremantle initiative.
As the first inlet settlement in Australia, York is a great getaway for those travelers wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Nestled on the Avon River, it is full of the charms of an early settlement during the 19th century and the calendar is booked with festivals and events for tourists traveling to learn about life in rural Western Australia. From the motor museum to the walking trail network that weaves between the historical buildings and regional flora, you can get closer to the history of the area and spend a wonderful day just wandering. Doesn’t that sounds nice?
Northridge Piazza is home to a lot of free activities; from a place to watch the WACA cricket game for those unlucky enough not to grab a ticket to a place to grab a movie in the evening. But the real great thing about it for travelers is the free yoga sessions (or even Tai Chi if you’re partial) so you don’t get out of your exercise routine. Grab breakfast at your hotel and then hop on a bus with your yoga mat—it’s a great way to start the day and get all your chakras aligned and well before heading out to adventure. Bring along the kids as well; there’s no age limit here!
The very center of the Perth artistic heartbeat is in the Perth Cultural Centre, and it just so happens to be great luck (or great planning) that admission to everything here is free. From the Western Australian Museum, to the Art Gallery of Western Australia, and the Library and Information Service of Western Australia to the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and The Blue Room Theatre, it’s all here in the centre, and it’s all a taste of the unique art scene that is at home in Perth. Wander around the art gallery for pieces by local, regional, and international artists alike, or head to a showing at the Blue Room Theatre; it will be a taste of hometown pride and prowess all in one convenient hotspot.
If you know anything about Western Australia or are familiar with the name Swan Valley then you know it’s wine country and seems as far away from free as you possible could get. But with Swan Valley, the beauty is in the free samples and taste testing that go on all day throughout the week. Just a 25 minute ride from main city Perth, you can find tastings of wine, cheese, chocolates, ice cream, you name it, and it’s all deliciously handcrafted in Western Australia’s oldest wine region.
Is there anything more quintessentially Australian than a didgeridoo? Home to the largest didgeridoo retailer in the world, Didgeridoo Breath, it’s not a complete trip to Perth without testing your lips on one of the famed instruments. Head to the shop, on Market Street in Fremantle, and grab one of the free 15 minute lessons from a master, and then you’ll have to convince yourself not purchase your own instrument to impress your friends back home. Stick around after to learn a little history, check up on how the instrument is made, and just to chat with the friendly staff—they’re awesome and more than willing to share their knowledge with visitors. And bonus: they ship their merchandise anywhere in the world so no need to worry about whether you’ll be able to fit your recent purchase in the airplane overhang.
While the admission fares may not be free, the tickets to ride to the main attractions certainly are. While there are day passes to use the bus and other modes of public transportation, the CAT bus is perfectly situated along three lines to valet you between the most visited sites in Perth, and they’re willing to do it for free, and bonus points: there are some areas within Perth that allow all travelers to travel for free, so make sure you’re looking up the locations of your destinations before calling a cab; you may get lucky and save a few bucks, which can easily be turned into ice cream or an extra cocktail after dinner.
As one of the largest city parks in the world—you can think of Kings Park as the Central Park of Perth—it’s a no brainer that this Perth greenspace is going to be a gorgeous must-see of botanical prowess and unique bushland, so why not bring your sandwiches along for the ride? With panorama views of the Darling Range and the city just to name a few, you can head off to search for the State War Memorial or just stop and sniff the flowers of the extremely diverse Western Australia flora. Bring your barbecuing supplies—there’s grills on location—and plan a cookout for the family around one of the many playgrounds; not only is it a great place to let the kids let off steam, there’s also a lake for sailing paper boats, a fort for exploring, and an outdoor cinema open between December and March for a little relaxing. What’s not to love?
If you’ve got kids, a smartphone, and any sense, you already know about Geocaching; it’s the international treasure hunt that’s app fueled and one of the hottest things to do while on vacation, or even on a staycation at home. And Perth is no exception to the rule, with lots of treasures just waiting around the corner. For newbies to the game, Geocaching is a worldwide hunt for hidden trinkets, fueled by online clues, and exact locations, and not only can you be a treasure hunter, but you can also be a treasure hider, and create your own secret cache to leave for the next set of adventures. Download the app for easy maneuvering throughout the city, and then you’re off!
Or if you’re not into extreme sports, take a seat and watch one of the sand surfing competitions on the famous dunes outside the popular little fishing town. While Lancelin is an hour and a half outside of Perth, there are tours that will bus you there worry-free and plenty of activities to get lost in. For body surfing head to Back Beach, or for experienced and adventurous divers (with a permit) head down to the bay to discover one, or all, or the 14 shipwrecks located there. And while the beaches are beautiful, the real fun is in the sand so splurge on a dune buggy and get down to the nitty gritty—because this surf is definitely rocking one of a kind waves!
Always a favorite with visitors in Perth, the beaches of Western Australia, especially Perth, are truly spectacular, one of a kind natural wonders. Cottesloe is one of the favorite for it’s pristine white sand and brilliant blue waves, but you can catch any beach near Perth for a truly incredible view of an Indian Ocean sunset. You can also check out many other areas, like City Beach, for festivals and music concerts during the summer months, or even a late night movie showings on the beach. Pick a cafe on the waterfront and spend your time watching the sun go down while you nosh; it’s the perfect ending to any Perth day.
The great thing about Perth is so much of what makes it an extraordinary place to visit has nothing to do with spending lots of money, so head out into the great wide open air of Perth and catch yourself an adventure, one sightseeing spot at a time.