South Perth Foreshore
From Elizabeth Quay hop on one of the quick and regular boats across to South Perth Foreshore where not only is there some excellent coffee shops (you’ll quickly caffeinate up and realise how important good coffee is to western Australians on this trip) but you can also enjoy views back across the city.
While the beach at South Perth Foreshore isn’t the most spectacular bar of sand, it is right in the heart of the city so is an ideal place to lounge around while sipping on your flat white. The beaches in WA are outstanding though and with the likes of Cottesloe Beach not far away, if you want sandy feet, you are in for a treat.
Kayak on the Swan River
Swan River and Kangaroos at Heirisson Island
Although a boat trip down Swan River was already on my itinerary, the cities waterway also provides plenty of further entertainment, and you can cross back to the CBD over Heirisson Island or hire a Kayak here to enjoy the experience of seeing the city from another angle. Also, another Australian animal bucket list tick awaits.
The location of Heirisson Island was once known as Matagarup and is an important area for Noongar people, the original inhabitants of the land and as a shallow point was where crossings from one side to the other were made. Now, with its road bridge links, it still serves the same purpose.
With parks and picnic spots, it’s a great place to fire up the BBQ, but the other iconic Aussie experience on offer here is the chance to meet Kangaroos in the sanctuary located on the island.
A kangaroo encounter (though not in WA)
Getting lost (and eating) around the Laneways
The Laneway culture of Melbourne is alive and kicking in Perth, although on a smaller scale, and around these colourfully decorated narrow streets you’ll also find plenty of boutiques, independent stores, more epic coffee houses, and some of the cities best dining spots.
While there is a concentration of Laneways in Perth CBD, they actually spread out far and beyond. For a few places in the CBD I recommend you try, hit up the following options:
Coffee: The Wolf Espresso on Hay Street
Food: Grand Lane Fish house on, Grand Lane (Try the tacos!)
Drinks: Andaluz Bar on Howard Street (also serving decent Tapas!)
Once you’ve got your food fix, hit up the growing bar scene around the laneways and sample some of the local Little Creatures brews, or hold off and sample it straight from the brewery in Fremantle on day two of your long weekend in Perth!
Beaches in Fremantle
On to Fremantle (also known as Freo and Walyallup)
While you can take a metro train down to Fremantle, a boat down the Swan River is by far the most scenic ride and takes you past some of the most expensive and elegant real estate built along the river.
Fremantle is very much the pocket of cool around these parts, or even ‘hipster’ if you want to splash a label on it.