It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since we’ve moved from Melbourne to Perth, and even more surprising how quickly we’ve adapted to our new home. There’s so much more to Perth beyond the glistening beaches and the enviable weather (although these are definite highlights!) and a ‘scene’ has burgeoned in the last few years adding a veiled layer of cool to this idyllic west coast city. But at its core, Perth will always be that relaxed and unpretentious friend: never ruffled, always inviting and so freakin’ beautiful without even trying.
In celebration of our 1-year anniversary in Perth – or Perthday as I like to call it – I’ve put together a list of 100 things to do in Perth from outdoor activities to cultural pursuits and with plenty of emphasis on food and drink – as you would expect from any Melburnian!
See and do in Perth
1. Take in the extraordinary Perth skyline from Kings Park.
2. Enjoy the ‘classic’ Perth moment and watch the sun setting over the Indian Ocean at Cottesloe Beach while eating fish and chips.
3. Tour the historic and UNESCO heritage-listed Fremantle Prison. Do the tunnels tour if you can.
4. Spend the day wining and dining in the Swan Valley.
5. Head to the Perth Cultural Centre and check out what’s happening at the Art Gallery of WA, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, WA Museum, State Library and the Urban Orchard.
6. Come in January/February for ALL OF THE FESTIVALS including the Fringe Festival, Comedy Festival, Perth International Arts Festival and the Perth Writers Festival.
7. Visit the new Elizabeth Quay development.
8. Explore the refurbished State Buildings.
9. Take in an art exhibition at the Fremantle Arts Centre. Drop by for a Sunday session during the summer.
10. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and watch a movie at an outdoor cinema during the summer. Favourites include the Somerville and the Rooftop Movies on the rooftop of the Roe Street Car Park.
11. Take a photo of the iconic blue boathouse on the Swan River.
12. Hike one of the many walking trails in the Perth Hills.
13. Check out the colourful street art down Wolf Lane and keep an eye out for Anya Brock’s and AMOK’s work while wandering around the city. You can find Thai artist Alex Face’s work in Long Chim.
14. Transport yourself back to Elizabethan times in the CBD’s London Court.
15. Kayak on the Swan River at sunset.
16. Picnic at Hyde Park.
17. Swim with sharks (willingly) at the Aquarium of WA.
18. Admire the stunning colonial architecture and impressive building facades around Fremantle.
19. Catch a live gig at The Bird in Northbridge, Mojos in Fremantle or the Rosemount in North Perth.
20. Check out the artist-run initiative Paper Mountain, which has a gallery, studio and co-working space.
21. Hunt for antiques in the historic town of Guilford.
22. Discover the other beaches aside from Cottesloe that are just as stunning: City Beach, South Beach, Leighton Beach and Swanbourne Beach.
23. Get your jazz hands ready at the Ellington Jazz Club.
24. Take a tour of the WW2 underground tunnels in Mosman Park.
25. Find unique wares at the designer collective MANY 6160 in Fremantle and check out the basement to see if there are any exhibitions on.
26. Take a selfie with one of Anya Brock’s zebras outside Ootong and Lincoln.
27. Spurge on a stay at the Alex Hotel or COMO The Treasury.
28. Channel your inner bibliophile at Northside Books.
29. Visit the FORM gallery and find out about Perth’s current artistic projects.
30. Check out what events are on at the J-shed.
31. Catch an independent show at the Blue Room Theatre.
32. Cross the bridge at Bells Rapid.
33. Rummage for records at 78 Records.
34. Visit the numerous art galleries in Freo including Kidogo Arthouse (housed in an old kerosene store), Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery, and the experimental PS Art Space.
35. Stock up on fruit and veggies at the Subiaco Farmers Market and the Growers’ Green Farmers’ Market in Freo.
36. Wander around the gorgeous UWA grounds.
37. Find the Bon Scott statue in Freo.
38. Walk or cycle along the Swan River.
39. Buy a print by Magali Dincher at Beau Est Mien.
40. Find out when the next Perth Upmarket will be happening.
41. Look at the night sky at the Perth Observatory.
42. Rent a bike in Freo for free from one of these outlets.
43. Get a feel for all of Perth’s ‘burbs and decide whether you’re a north-of-the-river or south-of-the-river person.
44. Catch a fireworks show – they seem to go off every second day in Perth.
Eat and drink in Perth
45. Drink beer at the iconic Little Creatures brewery in Freo. Tip: The Brewhouse offers free tasting plates.
46. Line up with the masses to have brunch at Mary Street Bakery.
47. Scoff down a doughnut from Chu Bakery.
48. Drop by the refurbished Federal Hotel for a pub meal in Freo.
49. Brunch at Sayers Sister (better than the original Sayers in my opinion)
50. Partake in a Sunday sesh at the Guildhall – keep tabs on the next event through their Instagram.
51. Have a toastie at Toastface Grillah.
52. Feel like you’re in Melbourne at the Gordon St. Garage – great coffee!
53. Learn about sustainable eating and living at the Raw Kitchen.
54. Dine at the delectable Bread in Common.
55. Slurp ramen down at Lucky Chan’s Laundry.
56. Feel like you’re in an authentic izakaya in Restaurant Jun.
57. Get your caffeine fix at Mo Espresso down Trinity Arcade.
58. Eat authentic Thai street food at Long Chim, owned by Michelin starred restaurateur David Thompson.
59. Eat all the mussels you can on Mondays at the Print Hall.
60. Do some sleuthing to find the password to get into Sneaky Tony’s.
61. Transport yourself to the Deep South of America in Alabama Song.
62. Have some casual drinks in the courtyard of The Standard.
63. Make your way to Subiaco for a coffee at Architects and Heroes.
64. Eat Malaysian at Ria in Leederville.
65. Splurge at Restaurant Amusé.
66. Hang out with mates at the Mantle, a collaborative space with eateries and a cocktail bar.
67. Channel your inner hipster at Ezra Pound.
68. Taste the cocktails at the Australian small bar of the year, the Mechanics Institute.
69. Gorge on a meat platter at Old Faithful BBQ.
70. Order fancy pizza at Alfred’s Pizzeria.
71. Eat at one of the picture-perfect beachside restaurants: Odyssea, Bib and Tucker or the Shorehouse.
72. Head to the South Beach Sunset Market for some food truck action during the summer.
73. Try the delicious pies at Tuckshop.
74. Have a bowl of laksa at the cheap and cheerful Tak Chee House.
75. Go organic at the City Farm Cafe.
76. Have a beer with the cool kids at Petition.
77. Swing by Uncle Joe’s Mess Hall for a takeaway coffee.
78. Check out the cute and cheerful coffee shop Daphne.
79. Indulge in fine dining at the Shadow Bar Wine and Dining Room.
80. Try the aburi-style sushi at Modern Eatery.
81. Get your Asian fusion on at Dainty Dowagers.
82. Drink old-school cocktails at Bobeche.
83. Grab a free coffee at the Northbridge Coffee Roasters.
84. Get to the The Flying Scotsman on Mondays for ribs night.
85. Eat at the Old Shanghai Food Court in Northbridge.
86. Head to the Re Store for a continental roll or freshly made pasta.
87. Eat a burger at Varsity Burgers.
88. Buy a giant strudel at Corica Pastries.
89. Get your Mexican fix at El Publico.
90. Try your hand at South African fare at Baby Mammoth.
91. Try all of the Vietnamese restaurants in Northbridge.
92. Brunch and lunch at the Blacksmith.
Day trips from Perth
93. Take a quokka selfie on Rottnest Island.
95. Get sandy at the Lancelin sand dunes.
96. Drive to New Norcia, Australia’s only monastic town.
97. Visit the historic town of York in the wheatbelt region.
98. Relax on the beaches of Mandurah.
99. Indulge in Australia’s best wine region Margaret River.
100. Fly to Bali – this isn’t a day trip but it only takes 3.5 hours to get to Bali from Perth, so make a weekend out of it like every other Perthian.