Western Australia: Perth and Beyond

Discover Western Australia’s cultured, cosmopolitan capital, where a wealth of brilliants bars, shops, restaurants and activities await

Perth lives its life al fresco. If it can be done outdoors here, it most certainly will be, from the daily commute to the weekly shop, the big night out to the lazy Sunday session. This is Australia’s sunniest state capital, replete with white-sand beaches (19 to be exact), café terraces and leafy parks.

What’s more, it’s undergoing a renaissance, growing fast and exploding with new small bars and independent restaurants. This is no mere gateway, there’s more than enough to detain you here for a week. Spend your days shopping in designer label-loaded malls and vibrant markets, making the most of the food and drink scene, or lounging on one of the stunning 19 beaches. Stroll around Elizabeth Quay, join a Segway tour of the city and hop on and off the Perth Explorer City Sightseeing bus.

Get straight out into native Aussie bushland at Kings Park, Perth’s inner city park, just west of the CBD. It’s a favorite with locals on weekends doing everything from jogging to cycling, picnicking and just admiring the view back over the city skyline. Even better views can be had from the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, an arched glass bridge that undulates through the Botanic Gardens at a height of some 17 yards. You’ll get close-up views of the tree canopy and look down over native marri, karri, tingle and jarrah trees, as well as seeing artworks by the local indigenous Nyoongar people.

Some say Australia lacks cultural clout. We say get on over to the Perth Cultural Centre and see for yourself. Here you’ll find the Art Gallery of Western Australia, home to one of the country’s best collections of indigenous artwork, and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (or PICA), which supports local ground-breaking artists. The highlight is the Western Australian Museum, which introduces the state through a series of engaging interactive displays. You can refuel here too, with fresh salads or a mushroom tagliatelle at the Art Gallery Café’s pleasant outdoor terrace.

If you’re a fan of boats, you’ll be in heaven. Go kayaking on the stunning Swan River or join a cruise that will take you to the port of Fremantle, or Freo to its (many) admirers. You’ll see what all the fuss is about as soon as you hit the Cappuccino Strip, aka South Terrace, a buzzing street lined with cafes and bars with outdoor terraces perfect for people-watching. Ringside seats are at Gino’s, an Italian-run enduringly popular café that serves a mean breakfast (try the eggs benedict). Check out the Fremantle Markets for cut-above-the-norm local crafts including Fairtrade clothing from Anjel Ms and sweet treats from Fremantle Candy or Many6160, a thriving hub of cutting edge fashion, furniture and jewelry designers as well as pop-up restaurants.

A prison tour might not sound like fun, but they do things a little differently here in Freo and a trip to World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison is more likely to end in a whipping demonstration than museum fatigue. Built by convicts in 1852 it held the very highest security prisoners for decades. Tours include ghost stories and tales of escape but the highlight is probably Peter Irwin Cameron’s cell, painted entirely in Aboriginal dot art.

From the prison it’s a short walk to the seafront, where the Little Creatures brewery attracts a vibrant crowd with its shiny beer vats and tasty pizzas. You might have seen their IPA in shops back home but there’s plenty more where that came from, plus several seasonal varieties. The outdoor terrace overlooking the water is a real suntrap too.

Back in Perth proper, don’t miss sunset on Cottesloe Beach, an unrivalled place for sundowners. Take a ringside seat at the Ocean Beach Hotel or Cottesloe Beach Hotel to toast the most spectacular sunset any capital city can surely offer, as the flaming orb dips into the Indian Ocean lighting up the sky in pink and red.

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants. The Trustee is home to Perth’s best chateaubriand, served with a cracking béarnaise sauce. Add half a marron (a local crawfish) for the ultimate WA dinner. All washed down with a WA wine, of course. Staff are knowledgeable, so ask for a recommendation. Elizabeth Quay also has some great options. The Reveley champions local produce and has an impressive backdrop of the Swan River and the city’s skyscrapers.

With the food and drink scene changing so quickly in Perth, there’s sure to be a brand new bar we don’t know about yet. To make sure you find it, join a walking tour with Two Feet and a Heartbeat, a three-hour exploration of the city’s small bars which throws in a few complimentary drinks and ‘grazing’ plates of food. You’ll find out why the central business district is now the place to be.

Perth’s liquor laws loosened a few years back and an explosion of small bars is the result. Most are found down the narrow laneways that run between the CBD’s main streets. Duck down beside 101 St Georges Terrace to find hip whisky joint Helvetica, home to a dangerously good range of single malts, then head up to Northbridge to dive down an unappealing looking alleyway behind 222 William Street. You’ll hear The Mechanics Institute before you see it and should jostle for a terrace seat, it’s worth it for the city views. Choose one of the expertly mixed cocktails (the gin mule is a good choice) and raise a glass to the renaissance of Perth. We bet you’ll be back.

Enjoy your first cultural experience on-board your Singapore Airlines flight…

Fly to Singapore and Western Australia with Singapore Airlines and experience a taste of the local culture before you’ve even landed. Stellar food and wine are offered on-board, devised by the airline’s acclaimed International Culinary Panel of global chefs (and clever sommeliers). Take advantage of Singapore Airlines’ Book the Cook Service and order your meals up to 24 hours in advance of boarding your plane.

Whether you’re flying in Economy or Suites, you can expect to feel totally immersed in luxury when flying to Singapore and Western Australia with Singapore Airlines. The warmth and hospitality of the expert crew, the comfort of the cabins and more than 1,000 in-flight entertainment options (viewed on your personal screen, courtesy of KrisWorld) makes the flight feel like a holiday in itself. Additional perks include: extra space and leg-room, muscle-soothing seats, sleep-prompting headrests, all-inclusive food and drink options and up to two free checked bags.

Singapore Airlines even offers a host of on-the-ground extras, including free use of Singapore Airlines’ Hop-on Bus and a free city tour if you’re in transit at Changi Airport for more than five and a half hours.

Fly to Western Australia with Singapore Airlines

JFK to Perth from $1199*

IAH to Perth from $1199*

LAX to Perth from $1099*

SFO to Perth from $1099*

Book here

*Terms and conditions apply. Fares are for all-in for round-trip economy class and premium economy class travel and include all taxes, fees, and carrier imposed surcharges. Sale period is from 23 Mar 2017 through 23 May 2017 and travel periods are 15 Apr 2017 through 15 Jun 2017 and from 10 Jul 2017 through 10 Dec 2017. $100 surcharge applies for travel from 10 July to 14 August 2017. These fares are based on lowest booking code inventory availability in economy class or premium economy class and may not be available on all travel dates. $100 surcharge for weekend (Fri/Sat) travel applies. Ticket is not refundable and date change is permitted with $250 fee plus fare difference.  Other terms and conditions apply, see singaporeair.com for full details.

Read next: Western Australia Adventures

The Best Ways To Explore

Add to my wish list