Perth Australia Travel Guide | Pan Pacific Perth | Destination Insights

The Essential Perth Travel Guide

Looking for the best Perth, Australia travel guide? The capital city of Western Australia, Perth is a popular destination for first-time travellers to Australia from the region and beyond. With its pearly-sand beaches, stunning natural wonders, world-class wineries, and charming port towns, what is there not to love?

To make your holiday a most memorable one, bookmark our comprehensive guide for first-timers below, expertly crafted by our Pan Pacific Perth team. Use this resource to mix and match your own Perth itinerary based on your business or leisure travel needs.


When to Visit Perth (Weather and Climate)


Perth is blessed with a comfortable and Mediterranean-style dry climate all year round—perfect for fair-weathered tourists. Even the weather in winter is relatively mild, with the lowest temperature in the mercury dipping to about 10 degrees celsius. 

If you are planning a Perth holiday, the best time to visit is in spring, between September and November. You will likely be greeted with lots of sunshine, warm evenings, and wildflowers in glorious bloom.


How to Get Around in Perth


By bus – Perth’s public bus system is run by Transperth. You will need to purchase a SmartRider card for $10 AUD ($7 USD) to get around. These are available at Transperth Information Centres, bus and train stations, and retail outlets across town.

Fares are between $2.80-4.70 AUD ($2-3.35 USD) per ride, but the SmartRider card caps at $12.60 AUS/$9 USD (which means unlimited travel beyond that amount).

Looking to explore Perth’s inner city region? You are in luck. Travel for free on any bus within the city’s free transit zone (FTZ). When travelling outside the Perth FTZ, however, do buy a ticket on board or pay with a SmartRider card.

There is also a free bus service (the CAT bus) in the city centre and in Fremantle, with multiple bus loops leaving every 5-15 minutes between 6am to 7pm.  

By train – Perth’s train system is great for getting around the city and beyond, especially if you are venturing into the suburbs. It complements the bus system, so you just need a SmartRider card to get your ride.  

Trains in the area between City West, Elizabeth Quay, and Claisebrook stations are free. You will still need a SmartRider card to ride; simply tap on and off as usual.  

By ferry – The SmartRider card also gives you entry to the Transperth ferry from Elizabeth Quay Jetty to South Perth, which is close to Perth Zoo. (Check out the ferry timetable here.)

Car rental – If you are planning to do some road trips to the areas around Perth, a car rental is a great option. You can rent a small vehicle for about $49 AUD ($35 USD) per day. Most of the car rental companies provide vehicle pick-up and drop-off services at the Perth airport, and petrol stations are widely available throughout the region. 

By taxi or private hire car – Taxi stands are conveniently located around the city but do note that getting around by taxi can be quite expensive in Perth (and other Australian cities). It may be cheaper to hire an Uber driver, so do compare prices before travelling.


What to pack for Perth


If you are visiting in winter (June to August), which is also the rainy season in Perth, do note that it may get chilly in the evenings with temperatures dipping to around 10 degrees celsius. You should pack comfortable close-toed shoes or sneakers, and layer on warm clothing such as jeans, long sleeved shirts, wool socks, and a medium-weight jacket. Do not leave home without your raincoat or umbrella.

The weather gets slightly warmer and sunnier during the spring, summer, and autumn months (September to May)—ensure that you are well prepared to face the famed Australian sun. Cool, cotton clothing, such as shorts and T-shirts work well, and a hat and sunglasses will be your new besties in summer. It is also important to pack along a good high-SPF sunscreen, particularly if you are planning to hit the beach. If you have sensitive or dry skin, be sure to bring along your usual moisturiser.


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Top things to see and do in Perth

Exploring Perth’s inner city

Spending a day in Perth’s downtown area and not sure what to do? Here is your go-to list of fun and family-friendly tourist attractions in Perth City.


1. Discover Australia’s Art and Heritage at Perth Cultural Centre


The Perth Cultural Centre is the meeting point of arts, culture and community in the city.  

Most of the museums and galleries here have free entry, though you may have to pay a separate fee for special exhibits. The Western Australian Museum is currently closed for renovations and is slated to open in November 2020, but you can still experience the best of Australian visual and performance art at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA). Alternatively, you can browse the exhibits at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, which features a variety of Australian modern and historical art.  

Get directions to Perth Cultural Centre


2. Bask in Australian Sunshine at Kings Park


At 400 hectares, Kings Park is the largest inner city park in the world, offering sweeping views of Perth’s city skyline and the neighbouring Swan River. 

It is also home to the Perth Botanical Gardens—a sprawling green sanctuary which harbours a whopping 3000 species of Western Australia's native flora. Free guided walks are available daily so do take advantage of these if time permits. There are also ample play areas in the park for those travelling with kids. 

If you are visiting Perth in September, be sure to include the Kings Park festival in your itinerary. Celebrating the arrival of Spring and the diversity of Perth’s wildflowers, expect to be greeted by stunning floral displays, wildflower walks, live music, wellness workshops and more.

Get directions to King’s Park


3. Marvel at St Mary’s Cathedral


Just a stone’s throw away from Pan Pacific Perth sits the regale St Mary’s Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in Perth city. With magnificent arches and delicate stained glass windows, the religious building is home to the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth.

Consider joining the public tour held every Tuesday morning, from 10.30am to 11.45am. You will get an insider glimpse of the Cathedral’s architectural and artistic developments—which span three centuries—and visit the Cathedral crypt for a sombre yet stirring experience. Pre-booking is not required.

Get directions to St Mary’s Cathedral

Need more ideas? Bookmark this article.


Unforgettable Road Trip Adventures Around Perth

The beauty of vacationing in Perth can be found in the many natural and historical wonders that lie at its doorstep. If you love road trip adventures during your holidays, you will enjoy this list of nearby attractions. 


4. Walk on the Wild Side at Penguin Island


Fancy having happy feet? Penguin Island—a stunning island hectare nature reserve located near Rockingham—is one of Western Australia’s most popular destinations for day tours, and may be just the place for you. 

You can pat the penguins at the Penguin Discovery Centre, swim with wild dolphins, or hop on a penguin and sea lion cruise.

The island is open daily from 15 September to early June. While you can purchase tickets to your adventure on site, it is best to make an advance booking. Do set aside at least half a day or a whole day to fully enjoy the island. Note that the last ferry to depart the island is at 4pm. 


Get directions to Penguin Island


5. Be Wowed at Wave Rock


How does walking through a scene from Frozen sound to you? 

Fans of Frozen—and dramatic geographical rock formations—will not want to miss Wave Rock (also known as Hyden Rock), a 15-metre high granite cliff formed by an estimated 2,700 million years of weathering and water erosion. Walking beneath the colossal wave formation will give you a sense of awe and wonder, allowing you to glimpse what being frozen in time might look like. 

If you are visiting Perth in Spring, you can also spot many orchids and wildflowers growing around the base of the Sheoak trees.

Be sure to stop by Hippo's Yawn, which is an unusually shaped granite tor that was formerly part of a larger outcrop. It is connected to Wave Rock and the carpark via a looped walking track.  


Get directions to Wave Rock


6. Discover History and Art at Fremantle


Just 30 minutes away from Perth city lies Fremantle, the quintessential port town with a timeless charm. Named Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016, you can tuck into delicious fish and chips at the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour or potter about the Fremantle Markets while picking up some interesting souvenirs. 

You can also visit the highly-rated WA Shipwreck Museum or view a local art exhibition at Fremantle Arts Centre, which is housed in a convict-built neo-Gothic style building from 1860.

After having your fill of art or maritime history, recharge at The Mantle, a hipsterish warehouse-turned-creative-hub. There are several restaurants and pop-up stalls here, serving up various fare—from wood-fired pizzas to tapas and gelato—so feel free to take your pick.

For more fun things to do in Perth, savour this article.


Best Perth restaurants and bars

Feeling hungry in Perth? You are in the right place for a gastronomic adventure! Bookmark this list of top Perth restaurants to get the best nosh in town.


Embark on a Peruvian gastronomic journey at Uma


Uma Restaurant, tucked away on the lobby level of Pan Pacific Perth, uses locally sourced, sustainable produce to showcase the diverse and sublime flavours of Peruvian cuisine. Diners swear by the Ceviche Peruano, a Peruvian seafood dish of fresh raw fish from the pristine Shark Bay waters, cured in a classic marinade, Leche de Tigre, a mixture of lime juice, salt and spices.

Be sure to round off your meal with an Alfajore. Made with corn flour shortbread and filled with Peruvian caramel, these little sweets are bound to hit the spot.


8. Go hungry-no-more at Petition


Petition is one of Perth’s hidden gems. Tucked away at the State Buildings on the corner of St Georges terrace and Barrack Street, the restaurant exudes a raw, industrial vibe, which perhaps helps diners to focus on the food and their dining companions. Expect the unexpected here; one reviewer on TripAdvisor went as far as to say their favourite dish was the broccoli salad, so it does seem that anything goes.


Get directions to Petition


9. Relish Homely Japanese Food at Washokudo


Craving authentic Japanese food? Just a 10-minute ride away from Pan Pacific Perth is Washokudo, a casual Japanese diner that serves up perfectly chargrilled yakitori and the freshest sashimi in town. (Seafood in Australian coastal cities are always a treat.)

Be sure to sample their Una Ju (grilled eel on rice); it is said to be the best in Perth.


Get directions to Washokudo


10. Dine on Perth’s Finest at Varnish on King


A chic underground whiskey bar that whisks up delicious bar grub—need we say more? The whiskey and bacon flight at Varnish on King will tantalize all your senses, but if whiskey is not your thing, the bar’s immaculate cocktail list is also a head-turner. 

Check out these other options for a great night out.


Get directions to Varnish on King


Where to stay in Perth


Whether you are here for business or leisure, you will need a comfortable and convenient place to stay in Perth. 

Situated along the Swan River, Pan Pacific Perth is one of the finest Perth hotels with a host of dining, entertainment, and retail outlets at your doorstep. It is also conveniently located close to all the major amenities in the city. Find out more about our attractive room rates here

For more travel and accommodation insights, speak to our friendly team at Pan Pacific Perth!


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