Ever since Qantas paved the way with its new direct flight to Perth, we’ve never been more tempted by the often-overshadowed west coast.

Maybe it’s because Perth’s residents are banded together between the ocean and the Outback, but its laid-back community feel has even earned it the title of friendliest Aussie city. It would take more than a day to drive to Adelaide, the nearest state capital, but Perth’s remoteness is part of what makes it so special.

The sheer amount of space to play with means nature thrives here; wild dolphins are usually seen frolicking in Rockingham, kookaburra and bee-eaters flit over Kings Park and Botanic Gardens, and Rottnest Island’s pint-sized quokkas are far from camera shy. To top it off, Western Australia’s beaches are of the heavenly fine powdered variety, and the closest one is only 20 minutes from the city in Cottesloe.

Fremantle, fondly known as Freo, is just 20 minutes from its sister city Perth. It’s vibrant in its own right and has a working port, picturesque historic buildings and a craft beer scene that beckons younger crowds. Head here for fresh seafood right off the boat and al fresco dining on the ‘Cappuccino Strip’.

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Perth & Fremantle Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Perth & Fremantle

Crown Metropol Perth

A stylish hotel in the Crown Entertainment Complex.

Crown Promenade Perth

Contemporary riverside property

Crown Towers Perth

A dazzling hotel setting a new standard for luxury in Perth.

Esplanade Hotel

At the heart of historic Fremantle

Pan Pacific Perth

A contemporary high-rise hotel on the banks of Perth’s Swan River.

QT Perth

An 18-story beauty in the middle of Perth’s CBD, crowned by a simmering rooftop bar.

Experience Rottnest with Bike Hire

Travel by high speed ferry to Rottnest Island for a day of adventure. Rottnest boasts pristine bays and secluded beaches and has a unique style of architecture dating back to the 1800s. Explore its beautiful natural surroundings on a leisurely bike ride before boarding the late afternoon ferry for your transfer back to Perth.

• Duration: full day
• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

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Perth & Fremantle City Explorer

Starting in Perth, the tour visits all major attractions of the revitalised Perth CBD, including the Western Australian Cricket Ground and Optus Stadium. Then, it’s on to Kings Park Botanical Gardens, where you can view wildflowers or take in the views from the war memorial looking back over the city skyline. Continue through the affluent suburbs, including Millionaire’s Row, before passing Cottesloe Beach, where the Indian Ocean sparkles. As you travel into historic Fremantle, view the impressive facades of this heritage-listed city. To maximise your experience in Fremantle, a Swan River cruise back to Perth is highly recommended and chargeable separately. Otherwise, the coach will return to Perth at around 12.30 pm, terminating at Barrack Street Jetty in Perth for you to return to your hotel.

• Duration: 4½ hours
• Start time: 8am
• Departs daily
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

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Margaret River, Cave, Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse & Busselton Jetty from Perth

You’ll travel south from Perth, driving through rural spots with grazing cattle and coastal towns. As you arrive at Busselton, the gateway to the Margaret River region, you’ll stop to see Busselton Jetty, the longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. As you drive into the heart of the area, you’ll stop at one of Margaret River’s oldest breweries for platters of local produce for lunch, complemented with beer and cider tastings. After lunch, you’ll continue south through the forest to a renowned winery to taste award-winning wines, gaining industry insights on wine production. Next, it’s on to Mammoth Cave for a guided tour through this cave with vast chambers.

Continuing south, you'll reach Augusta through the Boranup Forest of enormous Karri Trees. Here at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the point where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet. Then, you head north up to the township of Margaret River for a brief stop to stroll the main street. You’ll stop at a restaurant en route for a light dinner at your own expense, and then it’s back to Perth.

• Duration: 12½ hours
• Start time: 8am
• Departs daily
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

Good to know
Winery may not open on select public holidays

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Get to know Australia's South West and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.


GMT +7 hours


Australian Dollar


Perth: 17 hours non-stop or 20 hours indirect


Majority Christian


Australia has no official language but the majority of people speak English as their first language. Approximately 250 indigenous Australia languages are spoken.

Where are Perth & Fremantle?
The state capital of Western Australia and the country’s fourth largest city, Perth is set along the estuary of the Swan River close to where it flows into the sea in the country’s south-west. Its metropolitan district, which stretches north and south along the coast as well as inland, is home to just over 2 million people, more than three-quarters of the state’s population. This area includes Fremantle at the mouth of the Swan River, whose sheltered harbour contains one of the country’s busiest ports. Perth is well connected by air to other Australian cities and various international destinations, while the transcontinental railway is a memorable way to reach Adelaide and Sydney.

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Lapped by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, Perth’s superfine beaches are among its main attractions. One of the nearest to the centre, and the most iconic, is Cottesloe; terraced lawns lead down to the pristine sand and sea, and there are plenty of inviting places for anything from a beachside breakfast to sunset cocktails. Scarborough Beach is breezier in all senses of the word. It has excellent surfing breaks, along with afternoon winds for kitesurfers, and a lively but laidback dining scene that’s a hit with a younger crowd. In Freemantle, Bathers Beach offers wonderfully calm swimming with a dash of history and culture on the doorstep.

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Covering almost a thousand acres in central Perth, Kings Park is one of the best-loved green spaces in a place not short of them. Within it is the Botanic Garden, where you can discover an extraordinary array of often rare endemic plant species – the banksias are particularly fascinating – while the canopy walkway provides close-ups of blossoms and birds. The whole park is full of viewpoints offering sweeping vistas of the Swan River, the skyscraper-pierced skyline and the hazy Darling Ranges in the east, while quiet trails lead through protected native bushland.

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Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island is an hour and a half by ferry. The island is one of Perth’s biggest draws for its 63 beaches and underwater world that includes 13 shipwrecks. A protected A-Class Reserve, Rottnest is a practically car-free island getaway for both tourists and locals who come to cycle, walk, snorkel and, of course, visit the adorably chubby-cheeked marsupials that live there – quokkas.

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Aboriginal history
Learn about the life of the Noongar people who lived in this area for thousands of years before the arrival of the settlers. In Kings Park – a ceremonial site – you can discover its natural landscapes in the company of an Aboriginal guide with an encyclopedic knowledge of medicinal and bush-tucker plants. There are walks through the city centre where you can learn the ancient names of long-established meeting grounds and nighttime tours where you’ll hear Dreamtime stories about how the Earth was created.

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Arts & culture
Upbeat and varied, Perth’s cultural scene truly offers something for all tastes, from fans of contemporary street art to aficionados of history. The Art Gallery of Western Australia – part of the Perth Cultural Centre – is crammed with paintings and sculptures, including works by Aboriginal and Torres Straits artists. There are museums where you can explore sailing ships and submarines, listen to Dreamtime stories or learn about the past of a much-loved theatre. When it comes to the performing arts, there’s a lively music scene, comedy venues of all shapes and sizes, and highly regarded ballet and contemporary dance companies.

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Food & drink
While Sydney and Melbourne continue to battle for the title of Australia’s top foodie destination, Perth has been quietly developing its own deliciously varied dining scene. Local ingredients have a starring role: think superb seafood from the Indian Ocean paired with seasonal produce such as asparagus, macadamias and pomegranates from the Swan Valley. It’s a natural bounty that has helped inspire a generation of young chefs with roots from around the world, so you’ll find a dizzying array of culinary influences at play everywhere from hip food courts and quiet neighbourhood eateries to sleek fine-dining restaurants. As for the wines, the Swan Valley has more than 40 world-class wineries producing particularly impressive sparkling varieties.

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Getting around
Perth’s easy-to-use public transport system comprises trains, ferries and buses, including the very useful free Central Area Transit bus service whose various routes loop their way through the centre stopping at major attractions and shopping areas. If you want to stretch your legs, the tree-lined streets make walking a pleasure and there’s also an extensive and well-signposted network of cycle-only and shared paths. If you want to get out on to the water, various companies offer sightseeing cruises up and/or down the Swan River that focus on wildlife, Aboriginal history or wine, while public ferries whisk travellers from central Perth or Fremantle across to Rottnest Island.

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Perth & Fremantle Weather

Feb - Apr, Sep - Nov