I honestly hope this Instagram account (and subsequent hashtag) is used in irony because, as you are about to discover, Perth is WAY MORE than okay.
Upon landing in Perth, I
had no idea what to expect thought everything was gonna be SO DIFFERENT. I thought the eggs were gonna taste different, I thought the air was gonna choke me with humidity, and I though that kangaroos would emerge from their winter slumbers to greet me. Turns out, eggs taste the same, the humidity was beautiful, and kangaroos don’t hibernate.
But in all honesty, aside from the accents (which I got used to within seconds of meeting my first Aussie) and some of their word choices (capsicum? hire? TOILET?), Perth feels exactly like Calgary. The small-town-turned-small-city feel of Calgary translates to Perth and its inhabitants, which made for a beautiful transition into Australian life.
That being said, there is a plethora of worthwhile places to visit in Perth, and here are my favourites.
(note: the only order here is chronological)
(note note: I listed how much I spent at each place because I feel like that is important to know as a potential traveler. Add $5-15 to each day because coffee exists and has reached peak amazingness in Australia)
Fremantle is a cool place. The architecture is old and ornate. The coffeeshops are cute. The markets are busy.
Spent: Way too much as we went to Freo almost daily.
Not pronounced “Coleslaw,” this stretch of beach north of the city is absolutely breathtaking (as I soon discover all beaches are). There are a couple restaurants on the streets surrounding the beach, as well as a ~boujie~ place for high tea right on the beach. The night we went, there was a crowd gathering on the grass to watch the beautiful WA sunset, but I heard that it is a great tanning and surfing beach come summertime!
Although I’ve heard that a lot of locals are disgruntled by the high price tag and seemingly useless functions of the Quay (Calgary’s Peace Bridge, anyone? jk i love that bridge), it was a great place to stroll around. There are amazing, albeit close, views of the city from here, so that was pretty cool.
This massive park just east of the city houses gardens that feature native plants from all over WA, including a few boabab trees from the north of the state. There are also a few memorials on the park grounds, with the most prominent being the State War Memorial Precinct. This memorial looks over the river and provides amazing views of the city.
Caversham Wildlife Park
The Caversham Wildlife Park was a great experience filled with education and awareness. Though the park was filled with tourists wanting to see and touch exotic animals, there were also an equal number of primary school kids on an excursion. These kids were mighty curious and absolutely soaked up the knowledge that their teachers and tourguides threw at them. The keepers we met were also very knowledgeable, informative, and seemed to have an amazing bond with the animals they kept. Also, I got to feed and cuddle kangaroos.
Spent: $27 on admission
A short-ish drive into what felt like the countryside brings you to a small national park. In the summer months, visitors and locals alike come to have picnics and hike the short 200m to the falls (to go swimming in the water… which I think is gross…). Kangaroos also frequent the park in the summertime, so that’s cool! We hiked further upstream, past the waterfall, and into the forest. It was cool to explore, but then we realised that neither of us knew how to deal with snakes (which run rampant in Australia, apparently), so we got the heck outta thurr.
Spent: $12 on admission/conservation fee
With it’s carved out limestone cliffs and cuevas (idk, that just seemed more appropriate than “caves”), Cape Peron is a fascinating place to explore. Though not very extensive, the jagged limetones make for great pictures. And, once again, another beautiful spot to watch the sun set.
Secret Gardens in Gwellingup
Inner-city parks amuse me, so imagine my delight when we came across this swamp located in a neighbourhood. It’s very enchanting, muddy, fantastical, and also muddy. This would make an oddly romantic picnic spot in the summer when the ground is a little drier and there are less opportunities to fall in the swamp (Sorry, Laurie).
This island is tied for first place with Caversham as my top places to go in Perth. It was an absolute delight
riding sleeping on the ferry ride, hiring bikes, and cycling around the island. Though we weren’t able to go around the whole island in a single day, we saw plenty of quokka (quokkas? idk) and even took a famous #QuokkaSelfie. Being an island, there were a ton of beaches that, even in the dead of winter, were beautiful and awesome places to lounge around.
Spent: $108 on ferry ride, conservation fee, and bike hire
My time in Perth was filled with way more than what I’ve listed here, but these are the things I strongly suggest doing if you find yourself on the west coast of Australia sometime in the future.
Perth was awesome, the family I stayed with was awesome (shoutout to the Powers!), the people I met were awesome, and I will 100% need to come back soon!