Perth says “quiet” and “tranquil” for many good reasons. According to British national newspaper The Telegraph, Perth is “one of the most geographically isolated cities in the world”, and it’s no surprise that it makes such an ideal spot for nature-loving folks.
We adore Perth for its AC-like temperature in winter. When the short mild winter begins in June and closes in August end, expect to feel the cold wind and warm sun at the same time.
Here, we round up quintessentially Perth things-to-do (see how to get your visa here) for an unforgettable trip:
#1 Nosh on the freshest produce and all things sweet
Our first stop: The famed Fremantle Market. Set aside a good two to three hours (with an empty stomach) to enjoy lunch and satisfy your sweet cravings here. Set in the most vibrant setting for tourists to revel in the hustle and bustle of an indoor market stocking fresh local produce and handcrafted products, you can find almost anything from more than 150 stalls.
We had our lunch at the popular Kailis Fish Market Cafe for a delectable seafood meal comprising the signature fish and chips set, affordable fresh oysters and a large barbeque platter. Our verdict: The fish was tender, but would appreciate it more if the batter was crispy.
We had ours indoors, but many opted to dine alfresco (though we spotted seagulls trying to steal food from the plates). But the view makes up for it!
#2 Eat & chill out like a local
A famed night hangout spot for tourists and locals is Perth’s Chinatown aka Northbridge, where the entertainment street is lined with local bars and Asian restaurants (here’s where to get good dim sum if you’re missing home) pinching the sidewalks.
There are plenty of dessert cafes (think waffles and ice cream parlours to get your sugar fix), upscale bars playing live jazz music, and an extensive range of eateries for homely whip-ups. My favourite part: Holing up in a cosy rustic bookstore (there are a few to look out for in the precinct), armed with coffee and a quality pair of headphones.
#3 Frolic under the sun and relax
Just half a day spent in scenic Kings Park and Botanic Garden is enough to spark a lifelong love affair with its casual charm.
We took our time to lie on the grass and feel the warm sun on our face. Grab a cup of coffee from the nearby snack shop and enter the posh gallery-cum-retail store Aspects of Kings Park. It was one of the best handcraft stores I found in Perth; it stocks a wide range of contemporary local craft and design products including ceramic homewares, gemstone jewellery, beautifully illustrated journals and notepads, and more. What I bought: an organic cotton tote, a canvas notebook and handmade cork coasters.
I like how it celebrates local art in the most humbling yet vibrant way.
The interior? It is modern, cosy and airy, complete with floor-to-ceiling transparent windows so you won’t miss the view.
Next, walk to the Blue Boat House to take that mandatory shot.
Pro tip: If you drive, park your car on the slope leading up to the houses nearby Kings Park and Botanic Garden so you can conveniently head to both places.
When we call a place “Instagrammable”, we mean tourists flocking to it just to get, well, a shot with it. There might be a queue, as tourists waited to have their photos taken against the iconic backdrop that is Crawley Edge Boatshed aka the Blue Boat House. It’s no surprise that couples often opt to take their pre-wed shots here too.
#4 Stay the weekend at the bucolic Margaret River
An ideal weekend destination if you want tranquility. A three-hour drive from the city centre, find quiet, nature and fresh produce (manuka honey, olive oil, jam and chocolate).
We picked Sandalford Restaurant in Sandalford Winery as our lunch spot. Nestled in Swan Valley, the somewhat luxe yet homely eatery features elegant yet rustic elements (we heart the cosy fireplace which reminds us of a Harry Potter-esque scene).
We settled for the course meal which begins invitingly with warm sourdough slices with butter, fresh barramundi topped with quinoa as main, and dessert, brioche and butter pudding with a refreshing scoop of earl grey ice cream.
Post-lunch, we took a slow stroll around the area and explore the highly picturesque vineyard grounds.
#5 Stop by Canal Rocks
On the way back to the city (from Margaret River), take a break from the long drive and soak in the unbeatable scenery. Climb the rocks. Close your eyes and listen to the crashing waves. Stay during sunset. We promise a sensorial experience worth coming back for.
#6 Have tea break at Cape Lavender Teahouse
Beautiful shot captured by one of our visitors to the tea house 💜 amazing scones & lavender tea – – – – #capelavender #yallingyup #workingwithlavender #lavenderlove #lavenderproducts #scones #lavendertea #teahouse #capelavenderteahouse #summer #perfection #amazing #holidayseason #lavenderproduct #soothe #relax #smallbussiness #supportlocal #supportsmallbusiness #waisok #perthadventures
The unassuming, empty cafe feels like a random stop initially, but what we experienced was something you have to check out. Decked in purple and lavender-focused decor and rooms, find comfort in the feel-good space. According to the teahouse, lavender is used to soothe, heal and relax (bring home souvenirs in the form of soy candles, oils and lotions).
You have to try the freshly-made scones; they are soft inside and crisp outside (not going to lie, but they’re the best I’ve ever had). Wash it down with their special Devonshire tea. If you’re up for more: There’s the lavender ice cream and milkshake too.
#7 Sail out to spot whales
The seven-month long whale-watching season starts in May and ends in December., The best time to go, according to Western Australia’s official site, is mid-day when the sun is directly overhead.
A winter-exclusive activity, this is a must-go if you’re looking to explore Aussie waters and wildlife. We found a two-hour cruise that is complete with a guided commentary and hot beverages on board. Keep your eyes peeled in the distance and feel strong winds against your face (if you stand on the deck).
Tip: Wear proper winter clothing and layer up. The cold (plus the winds) isn’t to be trifled with – you won’t want to fall ill unnecessarily on holiday.
Main image credit: @capelavenderteahouse’s Instagram
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