A local’s guide to Perth

A Local's Guide to Perth

I am a Sandgroper, so who better to give you a local guide to Perth.  Not sure what a Sandgroper is? It is the affectionate name given to Western Australians as our state is full of sand!

Perth is the most isolated city in the world. It is easier and cheaper for us to duck over to Bali than visit our friends in the Eastern States. Perth is very laid back, we love getting outdoors and making the most of our glorious weather. In fact, we enjoy more sunshine in Perth than any other city in Australia.

Put on your sunnies, chuck your bathers, sunscreen and thongs (flip-flops) in a bag and come and enjoy our beautiful city.

Here is my top pick of things to do in Perth.



Perth beaches have to be among some of the best beaches in the world. Plenty of white sand and clear water to frolic in. There is a whopping 80 kilometres of coastline in Perth. The beaches are uncrowded and there are so many options, beaches for surfing, snorkelling and swimming. The most well-known beaches are Scarborough, City Beach and Cottesloe but there are so many more to explore.

There are paths along the coast so you can go for walks or ride a bike to soak in the view. It is usually best to visit the beach in the morning before the sea breeze hits, aka the Fremantle Doctor.

Kings Park

Kings Park is beautiful to visit any time of year with sweeping views of the city skyline plus the Swan and Canning river. There is something for everyone with an array of playgrounds, cafes, trails and gardens to explore. It is one of the best parks I have ever been to.

Kings Park and Botanical Garden
Image: Tourism Western Australia

Take a free ride on the CAT bus

Around Perth and Fremantle there is a free bus service, yep that is right it will not cost you a cent. There are several routes which stop and the main tourist places like Perth Mint, WACA, Elizabeth Quay and many more. The buses run regularly and you can jump on and jump off whenever you like.

Cruise on the Swan River


Jump on a river cruise and take in the sights along the Swan River as you sail towards Fremantle. You might even be lucky enough to spot a dolphin gracefully swimming alongside your boat. Enjoy spectacular views of the city and beyond.

Hillary’s Boat Harbour

Hillarys.jpgHillarys Boat Harbour is a great place to waste the day away. Swim in the calm waters at the marina. Browse in the shops, grab a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants or cafes. There is a small theme park for the children and during the summer there are often lots of other things happening around the marina.

Watch a Sunset

Byrons birthday 040

Head to the coast to watch an amazing sunset night after night. The sun goes down over the Indian Ocean and the whole sky changes colour. Sometimes it is orange and sometimes it is a light shade of pink. The perfect way to end the day.

Mullaloo Sunset

Get up close with Kangaroos

John Forrest National Park 045

There are plenty of places around Perth to get up close and personal with a kangaroo. Caversham Wildlife Park is a great place to learn all about Australian native animals. Many of our national parks have kangaroos bounding around. This big guy was hanging out near the pub at John Forest National Park.


Fremantle.jpgFremantle is always a hype of activity. It has a hippy vibe but it is also rich in history. Lots of cafes, pubs, boutiques and markets to explore plus you can always catch a street performer. Take a dip at bathers beach which is only a short walk from the city centre.

Penguin Island

Penguin Island

Penguin Island is a unique nature reserve which is only a 5-minute ferry ride from Rockingham. It is easy enough to kayak over to the island and you never know your luck you might spot a seal on your journey. The island is home to Western Australia’s largest colony of little penguins which is the smallest species of penguin in the world.

After a visit to the discovery centre explore the island on foot. It is only a small island so it is easy to explore by following the boardwalks and paths. Don’t forget to pack your bathers are you will want to dive into the crystal clear water to cool off.

Rottnest Island

Pinky Beach

Now I am assuming you have heard of Rottnest Island! I will be the first to admit that it is a little pricey to spend time on the island but you will not regret it.

Rottnest Island is 11 kilometres long and 4.5 kilometres at its widest point so it makes it easy to explore. Cycling is the best way to get around the island, you can go at your own pace and spend as much time as you like at the various attractions.

The island has crystal clear waters, over 63 secluded beaches, stunning coral reefs and is home to the Quokka. I am sure you have seen plenty of Quokka selfies out there!

Beer at Little Creatures

I am quite partial to a beer. Nothing like a cold frothy on a hot summers day or any day in fact! It is in the perfect location, right on the water. Enjoy a bite to eat a cold beer and soak up the atmosphere.

Little Creatures
Image: Tourism Western Australia

Swan Valley

Swan Valley.jpg

The Swan Valley is not just about wine, in fact, it has something for everyone. Some of Perth’s best wineries are in this location and there are plenty of wine tastings on offer. Amazing places to dine, some of the tastiest food and wine around. The valley also has bars, distilleries and a lot of fun attractions for the family.

If you want to enjoy a few drinks then there are plenty of tours which showcase the best of the Valley.

Fish and Chips at Cottesloe Beach

Cottesloe Beach
Image: Tourism Western Australia

As a child, it was a bit of a tradition to have fish and chips at Cottesloe beach. There is a large grassed area so grab a picnic blanket and have a feast.  Relax, do some people watching and look at the waves rolling in.

Enjoy an Outdoor Concert

Xavier Rudd

Summer is the perfect time to catch an outdoor concert. There are plenty of concerts all over the city and you can also find free concerts! Let me be free by Xavier Rudd is our family song, it has a soothing effect on our children when we are on road trips. Maybe it was because they saw him in concert when they were just babes.

Balmy summer nights are perfect for getting outdoors, listening to some music with a few drinks and a picnic.

Cycle along the Swan River

There are great cycle paths along the iconic Swan River.  The bridges ride is probably the most popular.  It is a 10km ride but don’t worry it is pretty flat which makes it easy going. The path takes you over to South Perth and provides breathtaking views of Perth City.

Try a water sport


With the ocean and river on Perth’s doorstep, you will want to get out on the water. We have some of the best surfing and kite surfing beaches. After something less adventurous try Stand Up Paddle Boarding or Kayaking on the river.

Have a drink at Sunday Sesh

Image: Tourism Western Australia

Sunday sessions were born due to an unusual licencing regulation.  Now they have become part of the WA culture. During the summer we love to hit the pub in the early afternoon, listen to some tunes, drink relax the day away and watch the sun go down.

The most popular pubs are the ones on the water like Ocean Beach Hotel (OBH) – Cottesloe, The Beach Club – Cottesloe, The Breakwater – Hillarys, Bathers Beach House – Fremantle and The Left Bank – Fremantle.


There are plenty of accommodation options in Perth from hostels to apartments. Stay in the city centre or along the coast, the choice is yours.

Booking.com have over 700 properties in Perth to choose from. A great selection to suit your budget.

** Some of the links in this post are affiliated links. If you click to book the accommodation, I make a little commission but you don’t pay any extra. **

If you want to keep up with what is happening on Let Me Be Free you can follow on Instagram here and Facebook here.

34 thoughts on “A local’s guide to Perth

  1. Lovely to read about Perth. I spent most of my Oz working holiday (20 years ago) in WA and have several friends in Perth. Your post bought back great memories! #farawayfiles


  2. I love Perth. We have been there twice in the last year. It is a fantastic city to visit. As a cyclist I can vouch for the cycle paths along the Swan River, they make a brilliant leisurely day out.


  3. I’m in Brisbane but Perth is definitely on our list of places to see in Australia. I’ve always heard of the beautiful beaches and your photos are gorgeous. Thanks for giving a taste of Perth to us.


  4. It looks like a city which lacks for nothing! Thank you for showcasing your home town. We have family living in Perth and they love it but the expense to fly back to the east coast means we do not see them much at all. I like that I would see a sunset at the beach if I came to Perth as all I have ever seen at a beach on the east coast is sunrise!! Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 36/52. Next week’s prompt: Beach or Bush. PS with that prompt, I wonder which would be your preference!!


  5. Perth is so much fun and the people are friendly and generally awesome. I love Rotto and just hanging out on the beaches. So what’s with the split talk? Come on sandgropers, we’re better together! 🙂 #FarawayFiles


  6. Hi Anne,
    I loved your article :). Living on the East Coast of Australia, it took me 56 years to finally get to Perth. I was impressed by your beautiful city and gorgeous blue water, so different from the dark blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.
    Can’t wait to visit Perth again, thanks for giving me a helping hand with the itinerary :).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s