Unlike its eastern cousins, Perth is a big city in Aus which you may not know a whole lot about. Commonly referred to as the “most isolated major city in the world” (actually Honolulu but a tiny island in the middle of the pacific is kinda cheating we reckon), Perth’s remoteness has actually resulted in a fantastically diverse, culturally rich city with a youthful, adventurous vibe.
We think it’s criminal that Perth has been left off backpacker itineraries for this long, and so we cry, “no more!” Read on for some great reasons to visit Perth before the hordes catch on.
Freo to the locals, the area is all cute coffee shops during the day and pumping student night life on the main strip on Friday and Saturday nights. Visit the Little Creatures brewery to sample some free beer (we recommend the amber ale), or head to the historic centre to soak up a little culture. If you fancy something a little different you can even stay in the former cells at the YHA Fremantle prison!
Northbridge is close to the CBD and frankly bursting with cool things to do. You’ll findmany backpacker spots and nightlife haunts here, but to find the most interesting you’ll have to do something that does not come naturally to a backpacker…wash your clothes. Lucky Chan’s is a mind boggling secret restaurant with the best ramen in town and a sensational rooftop bar behind a laundrette façade…which you enter through a washing machine!
If that doesn’t sate your appetite for secret spots, there’s a prohibition style speakeasy in Chinatown which won’t let you in unless you get their password of the day from Facebook. Prohibition would have been totally different in the Social Media age.
Just a 25 minute ferry ride from Fremantle, this picturesque island is vehicle free and perfect for cycling. It also has breathtaking white sand beaches, crystal water for snorkelling, big wave surfing and a large population of quokkas. And if that last part didn’t excite you, -1 internet point. Go Google.
Despite its beauty, Rottnest has a dark history. It was used as a prison for the local Aboriginal people who were taken to the island against their will and made to work on the land. Be sure to visit the Rottnest Island Museum to learn more about this and other periods of Western Australia’s history.
Be a Culture vulture
Perth Indie Rock Bands are so good that they have their own section on Spotify. Yes we know Justin Bieber probably does too but seriously these guys are good – try and catch a gig or two. If that’s not enough local colour for you, there’s some world class street art around Freo and the CBD for you to hunt out (Perth is an extremely Instagram friendly city). Still awake? Time your visit well and you can visit Fringe World, a month long festival of arts, music, film, dance, cabaret and goodness knows what else!