While you plan for your Perth itinerary, there are some things to note. Everyone is advised to apply for their visas before you arrive in Australia. A Tourist Visa grants you entry and you can leave Australia as many times as you need to during a 12-month period, from the date the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is granted or until the expiry date of your passport, whichever is earlier. You can stay in Australia for a maximum of three months on each visit. There are quite a number of third party agency where you can apply your visa online but Electronic Travel Authority’s website is the safest bet.
Flight deals to Perth can be as low at $390, depending on peak period. Check out Flyscoot for low airline fares everyday! The cheapest flights are usually the first or last flight out. Play around to mix and match your flight timings if your travel options are flexible. You can also mix and match different flights from other airlines on Airpaz or Skyscanner to filter out the cheapest deals. Just be ready for the long layover if you plan your travel using these two services!
Once you have arrived in the down under, do ensure that if you brought any food items, whether dried, frozen, cooked or preserved, must be in a sealed airtight packaging. The Australian Immigration has a strict regulation on bringing food items, especially anything containing meat products. They perform thorough checks and if undeclared, a maximum penalty of AUD 340 will be imposed. Australians may be the friendliest bunch of people in the world, but immigration laws are no child’s play.
Getting around Perth city is pretty easy, especially if you’re planning to drive around. Car rentals are widely available, but it’s best to make an online reservation in advance before your flight to secure a car. Thrifty has good deals for car rentals, and they have lots of options! For large groups, a Hyundai Imax or a Kia Carnival would only cost you AUD630. Get your keys and a little orientation from the nice lady at the Thrifty booth in the airport and you’re off to go!
Where to stay?
Staying in hostels is a trending option to experience the backpacker’s lifestyle and also to save more. But the best option to get a home away from home would be an Airbnb apartment! The most resounding factor about these Airbnb homes is that they are like real homes – well-curated, equipped with basic necessities, if you’re lucky, you can even get a kitchenette! The places listed on Airbnb would be described typically as a 4x2 or 2x1; 4x2 is basically 4 bedrooms with 2 bathrooms – essential for a family, and a 2x1 means 2 bedrooms with 1 bathroom – just enough for a couple. With a kitchenette, you can save more and cook your own meals!
Tip: Get a place which is within 5km from the city centre. The routes are straightforward and saves you time from getting lost. You can easily get in and out of the city centre even without a GPS Check out this 4x2 place if you are considering to travel with a big group! The same owner has a 2x1 just next door!
Start your day early and get a good breakfast. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the best moments for a road trip around Perth!
1) Blue Boat House
The Perth Crawley Edge Boatshed (or commonly known as the Blue Boat House) is really the most highly Instagram-able place at Perth. There were a couple of people over there so we had to join in the queue to get our photos taken.
Where: along Mounts Bay Rd
Photo by Mateo Stepniak on Unsplash
2) Royal Perth Yacht Club
A dockyard lined with yachts, a similar view to our Keppel Bay or Sentosa Cove. The place is a great place to take a walk and take photos.
Where: Just up ahead from the Blue Boat House
3) Watertown Brand Outlet Centre
Perth’s most exciting venue for outlet and specialty shopping. With all the best brands at all the best prices, it is Perth’s home to brand outlet shopping. T-shirts can be as low as AUD 5 and you can find a lot of souvenirs too. Be sure to set aside ample amount of time Watertown and go crazy!
Where: 840 Wellington St, West Perth WA 6005, Australia
Photo by Will Langenberg on Unsplash
4) Cottesloe Beach & Scarborough Beach
It is one of the most popular of all Western Australia's city beaches which is located midway between the Perth central business district and the port of Fremantle in Perth's western suburbs, only 15 minutes from the city centre. Surfing is a popular sport among the Australians and there are a row of surf shops along the beach.
Just north from Cottlesloe beach, there are lots of activities can be done there like swimming, surfing, fishing, skating, cycling, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing. It is probably the most relaxed beach in the area.
5) Fremantle Market (or locals say it, Freo!)
Housing the best market experience in Western Australia, Fremantle Market is a busy indoor market dating to 1897 with stalls selling food, local produce, clothes & handicrafts. You can also find a lot of souvenirs there to bring back home. Just around the corner is E-Shed Markets, where you can find some souvenirs cheaper than the ones sold at Fremantle Market.
Where: Peter Hughes Dr, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia
During winter, Fremantle organises a Winterworld with an outdoor ice-rink. Very family-friendly activities are available, so head there if you’re there in winter!
You may need to set aside half of your day there at least as there are a lot of other shops, cafes and restaurants around the area. One of the least visited spot for tourists but similar to Freemantle Market is the E-Shed Markets. Head there for more knick-knacks and souvenir shopping!
6) Yanchep National Park
For as little as AUD 12 per vehicle entry, you can get a live experience and get close to Australia’s iconic animal kangaroos and koalas. They are free to roam around the park and it’s nice to see these animals in their natural habitat. If you’re up for a picnic or a barbeque, pack some food along and head to a barbeque pit or picnic spot. Look out for small brown lumps in the grass (kangaroo’s poo) – they are everywhere! Yanchep National Park is also known for their Crystal Cave, which is an underground limestone cavern with stalactites and stalagmites.
Do note that you have to book your ticket in advance which you can find here.
Where: about 42 km away from the city
7) Lancelin Desert
82km up north from Yanchep, Lancelin is Australia’s premier sandboarding destination. Filled with sand dunes in a vast landscape, you’ll need a 4WD vehicle. There are no restrictions for you to enter the area with your normal vehicle but it’s at your own risk. Do check the terms and conditions of your car rental company, should your rented vehicle incur any damages. Otherwise, you may park your car at the entrance of the sand dunes. You will also find sandboards and a 4WD ATV rental store. The sandboards cost about AUD10 for unlimited hours, and the ATV is at AUD 80 for a 2-hour block. If you have ever surfed or skate, sandboarding would be easy and fun for you. But no worries, sandboarding is not only for the pro, anyone can do it!
Photo by Tobias Keller on Unsplash
8) The Pinnacles
To get to The Pinnacles from Lancelin Desert is about 80 km far north. It’s best to catch the golden hour so plan your travelling time well! If the sky is clear, you will be able to witness the milky way alongside with all the stars after sundown. The Pinnacles is a desert of stone pillars rising up out of the golden sand that range in size from less than a foot to about 3m high. These mysterious rocks form ghostly shapes and shadows and there are hundreds of it. You’ll get free entry to The Pinnacles if you have purchased an entry ticket from Yanchep National Park. Take photos with the scenic view of the natural landscape and don’t leave too late! The drive back from Pinnacles is quite a distance, about 193 km, so that’s almost about a 3-hour drive!
9) King’s Park
The Western Australia Botanic Garden, which displays over 3,000 species of the State’s unique flora, is also located there. Enjoy the greens and beautiful skyline of the city. Another popular spot to have a picnic and take more photos!
10) Hilary’s Harbour
Hillary’s Harbour is a hugely popular destination for tourists and day-trippers. Primarily a marina, Hillarys Boat Harbour offers shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and many more activities and attractions. They have their own version of Underwater World, also known as AQWA, that holds the world's largest collection of Western Australian marine life.
Perth is a destination that you should not think of missing out. Popular to contrary belief, Perth is known as a “lazy” city. However, if you are looking for an experience away from the bustling city life of Singapore, Perth is the perfect place to be for a slow and calm travel experience. Don’t be surprised if you decide to migrate over after your visit there (wink ;)