Why do you love Australian Rules Football
With just under 2.1 million inhabitants, Perth is not only by far the largest city on the Australian west coast, but also the capital of the Australian state of Western Australia. However, Perth is quite a long way off from the rest of Australia. The next larger metropolis Adelaide in South Australia is over 2000km away. Why a trip to Perth is (anyway) worthwhile and which highlights you shouldn't miss in the city on the Swan River, I'll tell you in the following blog article.
Perth - Relaxed city on the Swan River
Perth is such a city where you can just feel good. It is not for nothing that Perth has been named one of the most livable cities in the world several times. And it's not exactly difficult to understand why that is so. Located directly on the Swan River and with lots of sunshine every year, this city exudes such serenity that it is difficult not to be directly infected by it.
Perth was my first stop on the Australian west coast after my plane from Dubai landed at Perth International Airport (PER) and before my two big road trips along the coast of Western Australia started. Perth is a great city to arrive in Australia, as it embodies the Australian way of life so wonderfully: No worries! The cityscape is clean and very modern, which is no wonder given Perth's relatively short history. The city is just 200 years old.
I returned to Perth several times during my road trip along the Australian west coast and now I will tell you the top highlights and sights in Perth that you shouldn't miss.
Perth highlight - Elizabeth Quay
Another highlight in Perth is Elizabeth Quay, as the waterfront section at the southern end of the Perth Central Business District (CBD) is called. Elizabeth Quay was only opened a few years ago (early 2016).
At Elizabeth Quay there is a nicely landscaped promenade with seating, the public work of art “Spanda” and a few bars and restaurants. Especially in the evening I loved to sit down here with a drink or a snack and watch the sunset, which bathes the skyscrapers of the CBD in a beautiful evening light.
Elizabeth Quay can be reached very easily by public transport, as the bus station and a stop for the train are just a few minutes' walk away. The tours to Rottnest Island and the Swan River Cruises also depart from Elizabeth Quay. Some events also take place on the public area on the waterfront throughout the year, so it is worth taking a look at the event calendar.
Great Perth highlight: Elizabeth Quay with the work of art "Spanda"
Kings Park & Botanic Garden - Green oasis overlooking Perth
Kings Park is one of the largest city parks in the world, even bigger than Central Park in New York, even though it is located in the middle of Perth (in Australia you just have a little more space for everything). Kings Park in Perth offers you wonderful views of the Swan River and the CBD with its skyscrapers.
The park is a combination of green spaces, botanical gardens, and natural bushland on Mount Eliza, with two-thirds of the area remaining as native bushland.
I really liked Kings Park because it really is a green oasis in the middle of the city. Definitely a Perth highlight that you shouldn't miss during your trip.
- Tip: Free guided tours of Kings Park and Botanic Garden take place daily. Registration is not required for this, you just need to arrive at the starting point (Fraser Avenue) at a specified time. The tours take place at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Swan River - highlight in Perth
I love cities that are on rivers, which is why the Swan River itself is a highlight in Perth for me. You can walk along the water, watch the sunset or go jogging on nicely laid out paths. There are also a few restaurants near Barrack Square and Elizabeth Quay where you can eat with a view of the water.
Of course, the Swan River also has a lot to offer for water sports enthusiasts. You can go sailing, windsurfing or kayaking on the river. You can also explore the river on a boat tour *.
One of my favorite places in Perth - the river promenade on the Swan River
London Court - All of a sudden in England
When you stroll through the Perth CBD, sooner or later you will notice the “London Court”. This is a small passage between St George Terrace and Hay Street, built in 1937 as a combination of residential and commercial space using architectural features from the Elizabethan era.
This architectural style, which could also have been the setting for a scene in “Harry Potter”, is a nice contrast to the other modern buildings in the CBD. For a short time you almost feel like you've landed in England.
At the decorative entrance to Hay Street Mall, a clock sounds every quarter of an hour, the face of which is a replica of the "Great Clock" of Rouen in France. When the clock strikes, a small statue of four knights, also known as the Tournament of Armored Knights, spins in a circle.
There is also a second clock nearby at the entrance to St George Terrace, which is said to be a replica of “Big Ben” in London. In a window above this clock is a miniature of St. George fighting the dragon.
London Court in the middle of Perth
Bell Tower - famous landmark in Perth
The Bell Tower on Riverside Drive overlooking the Swan River is one of the main Perth attractions that pops up when you search for it on Google. Personally, the Bell Tower didn't appeal to me that much, which is why I only looked at it from the outside.
This historic bell tower was donated to Western Australians as part of the national bicentennial celebrations in 1988. The bell tower's many attributes include the twelve bells of St. Martin in the Fields, whose existence is documented as early as the 14th century and which were re-cast by Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century.
You can visit the Bell Tower and, among other things, step onto the observation deck on the 6th floor.
Very memorable in Perth - the Bell Tower
Excursion to Rottnest Island - top highlight in Perth
I was really looking forward to an excursion near Perth before my trip to Western Australia. For years I've been telling everyone I know about the cute quokkas that live on Rottnest Island. Quokkas are small mini kangaroos that live peacefully on Rottnest Island, off Perth. They are especially known because they always look like they are laughing. Too sweet!
You can take the ferry from Perth, but also from Fremantle or Hillarys to Rottnest Island. The boats usually start in the morning around 8 a.m. and around 10 a.m. and drive back to the mainland in the late afternoon.
I can recommend that you book a ferry & bike combination * when booking your ticket, as you can easily explore the island by bike. Because there is not much traffic on Rottnest Island, the routes are easily manageable by bike (it goes up and down from time to time) and you are totally flexible on the way. The bike tour along the coast is also a lot of fun.
Rottnest Island is a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean that is not only worth visiting for the cute quokkas. Dreamlike bays are waiting for you here, inviting you to take a swim or snorkel excursion.
Make sure you plan enough time for Rottnest Island. In retrospect, I would have liked to have stayed there longer because I had underestimated the size of the island. There is really a lot to discover and I could well imagine staying on the island for the next time.
Of course, the infamous #selfiewithaquokka couldn't be missing and I would have loved to have taken one of the cuddly quokkas home with me.
- Notice but it is imperative that quokkas are still wild animals that you should treat with the necessary distance and respect. Always let the animals come up to you and not the other way around (they are very trusting and curious anyway), do not feed them or touch them.
Regardless of the sweet quokkas, the trip to Rottnest Island is worthwhile
South of Perth is the pretty town of Fremantle. Freo, as Fremantle is also called, is great. There are many restaurants, cafes and a pretty waterfront here. If you're visiting Fremantle on the weekend, you can explore the Fremantle Markets. A large market hall with countless stalls ranging from fresh vegetables and fruits to clothing and accessories.
In Fremantle, you should definitely visit the Fremantle Prison. A guided tour is worthwhile because the prison, which was in operation until 1990, is a World Heritage Site and has a lot to tell.
- Tip: You can find a good overview of the guided tours through the Fremantle Prison here. I myself took part in the “Behind Bars Tour”, which gives an insight into the everyday life of the prisoners including a look into the prison cells (highly recommended!).
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