Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, sits on the Swan River. Tourism is a part of Western Australia’s economy and there are many attractions about Perth, Fremantle and the Swan River.
Some tourists visit Perth as a location on its own and some do it as the starting or ending point when visiting Western Australia. This article is being written with the traveller in mind who is NOT hiring a car as there is so much to see and do without needing one. So, save on that expense and use those funds to see and do more things to make your trip really worthwhile. Here’s some ideas for budget conscious travellers.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
Perth City – Take one of the free walking tours. There are maps available for six different self-guided walking tours, do them all or choose the ones that suit you, they cover areas of interest from art, convicts, aboriginal heritage and historic buildings. There are also some free guided city history and art tours that leave from the Perth City Visitor Kiosk on Murray Street. Although they are free, you do need to book your place. Visit the Optus Stadium or even just the grounds around it. Take a relaxing ride on the ferry across the river to South Perth for lunch or to visit the zoo. Retail shopping is available around the pedestrian strips on Hay and Murray Streets and the malls in-between. Yagan Square connects Perth and Northbridge. Perth and Northbridge have plenty of places to eat and have night life such as pubs and night clubs.
| (Yagan Square – Photo Credit: Tjyllyungoo Lance Chadd) || (Barracks Arch – Photo Credit TripAdvisor)|
| (London Court in Perth – Photo Credit Tourism WA) || (South Perth foreshore with ferry & Perth City in background)|| (Optus Stadium – Photo Credit Tourism WA)|
Kings Park Botanic Gardens – ideal for picnics, photos over the city and within the park, visit the war memorial, trek the LotteryWest Federation Walkway, climb the DNA tower and wander the walking paths. There are five free guided walks you can choose from or take the self-guided Booja Gnarning Walk that shows you how the Noongar people used to live off the land. You might even like to walk down Jacob’s Ladder when you’ve finished viewing the park.
(Kings Park overlooking Perth City - Photo Credit Tourism WA)
Elizabeth Quay – a newer venue with views over the river. Walk across the bridge and check out the Spanda (the arches), sculptures, the signature ring, mosaics and murals. View the nearby Bell Tower (though there is a charge to go inside).
(Elizabeth Quay – Tourism WA)
Swan River – Use the paths to walk or cycle to take in the foreshore. Take a photo at the Crawley Edge boatshed and check out the statue of “Eliza” by taking the path down Mounts Bay Road, this is a lovely walk for sunset views. Another popular walk or cycle trail is the Swan River Loop which is 10km and takes 2-3 hours (plus an extra km if you wish to see kangaroos for free on Heirisson Island as you can walk around it, rather than just take the bridge over it).
(Crawley Edge Boatshed on the Swan River – Photo Credit : Tover)
Perth Cultural Centre and Northbridge Piazza – There are a number of free attractions including the WA Museum, State Library and Art Gallery of WA, though some ask for a donation. There is also a large TV where you can enjoy film screenings, the urban orchard and seating in the Piazza area.
(Perth Cultural Centre – seated at the Urban Orchard – Photo Credit: Tourism WA)
OUTSIDE OF PERTH CITY (EASILY ATTAINABLE BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT)
Beaches – There are some lovely beaches that are attainable by public transport, these are City Beach, Trigg Beach, Cottesloe Beach, Port Beach, Hillarys Boat Harbour and Swanborne Beach just to name a few (Swanborne Beach is the only nudist beach available and then it’s nudists in the northern part, everyone else in the southern part).
(Cottesloe Beach – Photo Credit Tourism WA)
Fremantle –Check out Fremantle Markets On Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. The Fremantle Discovery Trail takes approx. 1.5 hours unless you choose to spend longer at any of the locations you pass on the way, there’s “Little Creatures Brewery”, the historical railway station and Fremantle Prison (it is worth paying the entry fee to visit the inside of the Prison or for something different stay at the Fremantle Prison YHA), the markets, Round House, The Shipwreck Museum, Whalers Hill and much more. Other things to see and do include visiting the Bon Scott Statue, Leighton or Bathers Beach.
| (Fremantle Markets – Photo Credit: Tourism WA)|| Fremantle Prison YHA – Photo Credit: Fremantle Prison YHA)|
Rockingham & Penguin Island – Rockingham is considered a marine playground. The waters are quite sheltered making it ideal for swimming and water sports. Nearby is the Shoalwater Island Marine Park where you can catch a ferry to Penguin Island (when I went last this was $20), however if you are doing a tour with Rockingham Wild Encounters (see costs on their website) to see the dolphins or seals then that includes a stop at Penguin Island).
| (Penguin Island – Photo Credit Tourism WA) || (Rockingham Water Sports - Photo Credit: Zac Purkiss|
Rottnest Island – If you want to see Quokka’s then this is the place to go. Some ferry operators have cheaper prices on Tuesday (unless it’s school holidays), so check out the pricing and plan in advance to find the cheapest deal possible. Very few vehicles are allowed on Rottnest Island, therefore bike is the traditional form of transport with over 1300 bikes being available for hire. In more recent years a bus service and segways have been made available. Besides quokkas there are beaches, natural attractions and the 45km Wadjemup Bidi trail available, this trail has sections so you can just choose a section to do.
(Quokka at Rottnest Island – Photo Credit Tourism WA)
WHERE TO STAY IN PERTH
There is such a huge range of accommodation options from backpacker hostels to 5 star hotels that we don’t give specific recommendations. In this location “google” is your friend!
HOW TO GET AROUND IN PERTH AND PERTH’S SUBURBS
Passengers can travel between, around and in Perth, Fremantle and the suburbs using public transport such Bus, Train and Ferry depending upon where you wish to go. Use the travel planner on the TransPerth website to plan your journey, tickets can be purchased at the train station or on the buses for individual journeys. If you are going to be in Perth for quite a while then you may wish to purchase a Smartrider instead. Free Travel around Perth and around Fremantle is available on the CAT buses. Taxi’s and Uber’s are also available.
HOW TO GET THERE AND BACK
Overseas or Interstate travellers
If you are coming from Interstate or Overseas then you can fly into the state.
Broome to Perth, or travel from locations in between to Perth
If are you coming from the north of Western Australia, then Integrity Coach Lines have express tickets that can be purchased for those that wish to do point to point travel ie: direct from one destination to Perth or Hop on Hop off passes are ideal for travellers who wish to stop here and there on their way down to Perth.
Perth to Broome or travel from Perth to locations in between.
Integrity Coach Lines have a bus that travels from Perth heading north 4 times a week so if you started your travels in Perth and wish to head north or if you need to return north, there are express tickets available for point to point travel or there are Hop on Hop off passes available if you wish to continue your travel and visit various locations as you head north.
Pick Up and Set Down point in Perth
We have 3 pick and set down locations in the Perth metropolitan area, they are:
- Perth - Tourist Bus Stop (on Wellington, in front of the Perth City Train Station)
- Midland Train Station
- Joondalup – Winton Road Car bay (between Ascari Lane and Elcar Lane)
WHAT TO EXPECT ON AN INTEGRITY COACH LINES JOURNEY
1) Short comfort stops approx. every three hours. This allows you to stretch your legs, use facilities at the roadhouses (there is also a toilet on the coach) and purchase food and drinks if you wish. You may also wish to bring dry snacks or meals that do not have distinctive odours such as eggs and tuna onto the coach. And, of course, your water bottle is most welcome.
2) Capture glimpses of various towns along the way if you are using an Express ticket (point to point ticket). If you are using a Hop on Hop off pass then you may wish to stop and enjoy other towns for a couple of days rather than just pass through. The choice is yours!
3) Friendly, Personal and Knowledgeable Drivers. Drivers are knowledgeable on all locations and can provide tips and hints as needed. Two professional drivers per trip ensures they are well rested to get you to your destination safely. Best of all, they are a friendly crew that are very approachable.
So, why not catch a bus to or from Perth either to come down for a holiday or to travel up after having holidayed in Perth. Call Integrity Coach Lines now on 08 9274 7464.
Courtesy of Judy Purkiss