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?
Run Amuk Hotdogs
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.
The Raw Kitchen
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.
La Veen Coffee & Kitchen
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.
The Old Crow
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!
Flora & Fauna
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!
Bank on the Free City Tours
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.
Snorkel at Shoalwater Marine Park
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.
Walk (or bike) the Fremantle Markets
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.
Take A Day Trip To York
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?
Yoga at the Northbridge Piazza
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!
Head to the Perth Cultural Centre
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.
Head for a Taste Test at Swan Valley
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.
Get a 15 minute free lesson at Didgeridoo Breath
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.
Explore the best city attractions with free transportation
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.
Pack a Picnic for Kings Park
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?
Try your hand at Geocaching
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!
Sandsurf in Lancelin
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!
Take it to the beach
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.
Annual festivals in Perth, from the opening of the new autumn season to the macabre Halloween parties, bring fun and seasonal spirit to the area and whether you’re a native or a visitor, they’re equally fun all around.
For things to fill up your calendar all year round, check out this yearly favorites!
Despite it’s terrifying sounding name, the Carnivale Macabre is one of the most popular family-friendly festivals in Perth with feature film screenings and an adult-only masquerede ball for after the kid’s have gone to bed. This free annual festival is spread over five days of mischief, mayhem, and fun and you can enjoy live music, costume contests, and plenty of dance floor shenanigans. For a full run-down of the festivities, check out their website for more information and up to date details.
When: Wednesday 28th October – Sunday 1st November 2015
Where: Northbridge Piazza, Northbridge
BBC First British Film Festival
Back for the third time and presented by Palace, Luna Palace, and The West Australian, the BBC First British Film Festival floods Perth with critically acclaimed favorites from the British Isles. Films such as Youth, starring Michael Caine, 45 Years, Suffragette, and Brooklyn, as well as many others, will have viewings throughout the two week of the festival at Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX, and Windsor Cinema, so check out the showtimes and dates on the BBC First Film Festival’s website.
When: Wednesday, October 28 – Wednesday, November 18, 2015.
Admission: Adult, $19.00. Concession, $15.50.
If you’re a fan of beer, you have to get yourself to the annual Feral Fest Brew Festival. With over 30 different award winning Feral Brew Company beers and over 50 taps ready to pour, this event is one to bring your crew to and sit back and enjoy the hops. Featuring live music, roasted spit pig, and the crowd favorite “Ride The Hog Challenge,” this is certainly an event for you and your mates to start the Halloween pre-party.
When: Friday, October 30th, 2015. 5pm – Midnight.
Where: Urban Orchard. Perth Cultural Centre.
Admission: Starting at $15.00
Website: Feral Fest Facebook Event Page
Perth’s Autumn Festival
The fall guide to Perth is in it’s Autumn Festival, which includes over 50 different attractions and events to consider, is a great opportunity to be outdoors, meet your neighbors, and explore the hidden treasures of the Perth community. From the Vintage Weekend in the Swan Valley to the City of Belmont’s Autumn River Festival, you can bike, walk, eat, and drink, your way into the beautiful season with two months of nonstop activities!
When: Annually, March 1 – May 31st.
Website: Perth’s Autumn Festival
For a rundown on what to do with the long summer days and the beautiful beach season, check out our Guide to Perth’s Summer Music Festivals—they’re a great place to start your vacation planning!
So whether you’re looking for something to do on the weekend or just want to get out of the house and shake things up, check out these festivals for great ideas on what to do!