Known as the Land Down Under, Australia is so massive that a flight from one end to another can take over five hours! Amid the massive scale, the country is blessed with jaw-dropping nature and wildlife everywhere you go – kangaroos skipping at car parks, dolphins swimming near jetties and the occasional giant spiders in your room.
Western Australia’s city of Perth has undergone a renaissance in recent times blending cool urban spots with unrivalled natural beauty. The public transport network is amazing but with car rentals as low as AUD20 (MYR58) a day, choosing the latter would make life easier.
However, a city so big begs the question:
Where to go in Perth?
Believe it or not, you don’t have to spend hours on the road as most attractions in Perth are nestled in the central business district (CBD) and surrounding suburbs about an hour away from the city.
Since renting a car is considerably cheap, travel beyond the CBD to make the best of your trip.
Here are some interesting spots you should seriously consider:
Before we begin, here’s another itinerary you may like…this includes swimming with dolphins: 5D/4N Itinerary for Perth – Get the Best Bang for Your Buck
Start the day with an eco-friendly cruise with Little Ferry Company, Western Australia’s one and only electric ferry that runs on solar power. Instead of being stuck in traffic, you’ll be able to enjoy sweeping views of the city up along the foreshore of Swan River from Elizabeth Quay to East Perth, and return. The last stop, Claisebrook Cove, offers a unique slice of Mediterranean architecture with boutique cafes and bars. Other than taking in the views of the city, keep a lookout for wildlife such as dolphins, pelicans, cormorants and even the native black swans throughout the cruise.
Ask the skipper from the Little Ferry Company to drop you off at Coode St Jetty for this next adventure. After a relaxing cruise, why not break a bit of sweat paddling down the serene Swan River so you can get some fantastic photos from your own desired spots on the water. Unlike the conventional basic kayaks, Water Wanderers kayaks come with a rudder which is controlled using foot pedals so steering would be a breeze…seriously…so much easier. Although the river is mostly calm, waves from (party) boats and ferries add more to the fun and you will at times have to paddle faster to avoid incoming traffic. Beautiful scenery, bit of adrenaline as the kayak rocks from the waves and the rush to avoid boats, you will seriously get some big laughs along the way. Totally worth it.
Kayak your way back to Elizabeth Quay for this next attraction. Amid the CBD’s rapid development with plenty of high-rise buildings anywhere you turn, the land is still sacred to the aboriginal community, namely the Whadjuk people. With GoCultural Aboriginal Tours and Experiences, the walking tour around Elizabeth Quay will tell you everything about the land before the Europeans arrived, how the Swan River and other waterways in Perth and southwest of Western Australia were formed by the rainbow serpent called Waugal and many more. Although a lot of aboriginal people have adapted to the modern world, the spiritual connection to the country is still strong, something every visitor should experience. The basic traditional welcome ceremony in their native language (asking the spirits for permission to walk the land and for them to look after us) is so beautiful it sends chills down your spine.
Yanchep National Park – Kangaroos, Koalas, Crystal Cave and Trees Adventure
If you’re searching for kangaroos and koalas without spending too much money on tickets, Yanchep National Park offers the same attraction at a much lower price – AUD13 (MYR37) per vehicle. Other than the usual national park facilities like camping grounds, picnic spots and BBQ pits, the park is also home to Australia’s favourite native animals where you can spot koalas on a 240-metre-long boardwalk, a wide variety of birds and the best of all, the western grey kangaroos are in abundance that they can be spotted almost anywhere in the park, including the parking lots! They can be mostly be seen early and late in the day.
While the park has more than 400 caves, a popular choice for a short tour would be the Crystal Cave full of natural cave decorations such as stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, flowstones, columns and shawls. The site is well developed that navigating around is so easy you won’t be drenched in sweat at the end of the tour. One of the cool stories about the cave include a rock formation that takes the form of a rainbow serpent. We’ll leave it to the guides to tell you the full story!
From underground, the adventure moves aboveground where you’ll jump from tree to tree with ziplines. Also located in Yanchep National Park, Trees Adventure lets you spend up to two-and-a-half hours of fun navigating through the native tuart trees. It features plenty of challenges that take you up to 10 metres above ground so you can get a birds eye view of the Australian bush.
Nestled in a serene bushland, Araluen Botanic Park covers 59 hectares of native Australian bushland and 14 hectares of developed gardens featuring exotic plant species. The beautiful gardens have played host to countless events especially weddings, proof as to how beautiful this place can be. Some of the beautiful flowers include camellias, tea roses and tulips, all flourishing amongst a native backdrop of eucalyptus, marri and blackbutt trees. Fresh air, beautiful flowers, what else can you ask for?
A trip to Perth would be incomplete without visiting its beautiful orchards and this is where Core Cider comes in. Having been around for 80 years, this orchard has been supplying premium ciders for four generations. There are plenty of things to do here – you can take an orchard tour, enjoy live performances and of course, go on cider tasting at the restaurant that features wonderful views of the orchard.
Abseil Down Mountain Quarry in Greenmount
Yeah you read that right. This is the ultimate adventure brag especially for those who have been confined in an office for the longest time. Imagine a friend calling to ask what you’re doing and your reply would be “abseiling down a quarry in Perth.” How epic does that sound? Soacechameleon Adventures will take you to Mountain Quarry in Greenmount for a Twilight Abseiling Session where you will tackle three walls – 15 metres, 40 metres and 60 metres. The first obstacle starts in the evening where you can enjoy the sunset view of the skyline. By the time you get to the third obstacle, daylight’s gone and you’ll only be left with head torches, but this affords stunning night views and a great adventure to pen in your journal. The adventure ends with some well-deserved vegan pizza – this is the operator’s way of reducing carbon footprint. This is the ONLY operator in Western Australia that offers this amazing experience. Definitely a MUST-DO. Book in advance.
This day is all about souvenirs. First stop would be Yahava KoffeeWorks. These guys brings some of the world’s best coffee beans roasted fresh for you to take home. Established in 2001, its founder Alex Kok constantly travels the world on his motorbike in search of the best coffee beans for everyone to enjoy. Offering a plethora of beans to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice you may end up not knowing what to get. However, the experts will offer a few varieties to narrow down the perfect cup that matches your liking.
If you ever want to fill your house with amazing trinkets from your travels, this is the perfect place to start. Nestled in the Swan Valley, the name Maalinup is a Wardandi word for Place of the Black Swan. Some of the unique offerings include bush tucker tasting where you can sample sauces, jams, chutneys, oils and dukkahs (fusion of nuts, herbs, seeds and spices). Cultural performances include traditional dance, didgeridoo performance, storytelling and a bush tucker supper – the aboriginal stories are so amazing you will see life in a different perspective. Bringing home some of the handmade artwork is a must.
Getting Australian honey from your local grocery store can be expensive, so why not get it from the source and skip the shipping cost?! The House of Honey specialises in raw, pure, unpasteurised and unadulterated varietal honeys using traditional and sustainable farming methods. That means every spoonful delivers intense flavours and the highest nutritional value. If you need more convincing, the cafe here serves some delectable honey-filled dishes that will leave you smiling all day long.
We wish to thank Destination Perth for its invaluable support in producing this story.
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