Home » eat/drink/sleep/shop, good ones, Perth, popular posts

The Travelettes Guide to Perth

Written by 19 December 2011 8 Comments

Perth was nothing like what I expected. Located in Western Australia (WA) and being the most isolated city in the world, I expected it to be a very small condensed place with all the excitement residing in the city centre. In fact, the fun lies across the entire expanse of Perth throughout many suburbs which if not explored; means you haven’t fully seen Perth and everything it has to offer. And from my recent trip over there, taking a local Perth-dweller with you is the best way to have a guided tour of the place to help you find those hidden cafés and one-off stores.

Kings Park Perth1 1024x760 The Travelettes Guide to PerthPhotograph via Historic Cities

It still blows my mind how huge Australia is. From Melbourne to Perth, Jetstar flights take about four hours and with a screaming baby behind me the whole way, I stumbled off the plane completely dazed and dived straight into my short trip… just about remembering to adjust my watch to the three hour time difference.
The city centre is very much like other small Australian cities, for example, Brisbane, with generic huge department stores and chain clothes stores littering the streets. The laneway, Wolfe Lane, provided a late night lounge for some classic cocktails but was a usual city-slicking bar with a DJ prowling the decks come sundown… the centre of Perth left me thinking, “What is so special about Perth??”

The answer: the suburbs.

Northbridge.
This area is full of Asian restaurants, unique little bars, numerous vintage clothes stores and pop-up shops. So many little shops to check out, I had to impose a ban on myself on entering too many clothes shops since my budget was small and I couldn’t let it get eaten up by another vintage sundress or blouse.

northbridge 2 1024x768 The Travelettes Guide to PerthNorthbridge main street: Photograph via The Thirsty Nomad

What surprised me was the amount of pop-up shops in and around Perth, especially in Northbridge. Many market stall owners have been taking short-term leases on unleased spaces, enabling a forever rotating variety of retail that differs from the usual high street stores and offers exciting new things continuously. A fantastic approach to the economic slump as it keeps shops open with sellers having low-risk with their goods.
A great example of this is Miss Brown. This Australian vintage collection has been around for over 20 years, with permanent stores in Melbourne and Sydney. Their stunning collection has been re-modified or repaired to provide a stunning store on William Street, Northbridge.

312165 298406706843899 200911483260089 1125302 2007987570 n The Travelettes Guide to PerthPhotograph via Miss Brown

Rummage is also host to a range of delectable clothing and unique pieces designed by Perth-born Costume Designer, Emily Gibson. “Delicious handbags’ and ‘opulent jewellery’ make it quite a treasure trove. Gibson’s designs are now stocked in boutiques Australia wide, New Zealand and even Dubai.

Perth’s liquor licensing is actually rather strict for pubs and bars with numerous different laws of you can’t be standing with a drink in this area or sitting having a cigarette in another area (so confusing!), and you have to buy food in order to drink in some places and no mixing of shots means no cocktails for some venues… also liquor shops are extremely few and far between! With many venues, bars etc closing at 10pm during the week and 1am being the weekend closing time, Perth doesn’t have a huge party scene, however Northbridge is host to some unique bars. 399 is a touch of class in a New York styled bar with excellent friendly service. Cocktails are created to your taste (punch of the month was Cider Punch – YUM.) and there’s an adorable little courtyard out the back with fairylights and pink walls. Was sad that it shut at 10pm on a Sunday night though!

img 08882 1024x768 The Travelettes Guide to PerthPhotograph via Good Perth Hunting

The Moon is an example of a place that requires food to be ordered to be able to drink. But the place was awesomely decked out like an old-school American diner with booths, comfy old armchairs and retro video games as tables. Out the back, there are loads of wooden benches to hang-out on in and much pizza as you watch a live band or poetry reading on the stage… or people-watch as The Moon attracts some well fashioned customers.

Fremantle.
Fremantle, fondly referred to as ‘Freo’, was ultimately my favourite place to explore in Perth. Our visit to Freo began with a super healthy and freaking amazing banana smoothie at X-Wray.

IMG 0347 The Travelettes Guide to Perth

It used to be on Wray street (hence the name) but now it has relocated to a bright alfresco venue next door to Pirates Backpackers. The open courtyard embraces the WA weather and serves up healthy and organic food with half the menu being veggie friendly. The little chandeliers and wall paintings set the scene for a place that you can while hours away.

IMG 0343 The Travelettes Guide to Perth

Just a short walk away is the harbour… and a kitsch typically-tourist attraction: Freo’s Ferris Wheel. Hey! I am perfectly willing to embrace my inner geek and jump on with my camera strapped to my face! I’m so glad I did though as the views of the harbour and the stretch of glistening sea displayed a windsurfing competition.

IMG 0362 The Travelettes Guide to Perth

Above three photographs by Sophie Saint

I got a great view of Freo, and the famous Little Creatures Brewery by the waterfront. Little Creatures is a famous brand of ale all across Australia with its brewery lying in Fremantle in gigantic fancy looking warehouse conversions. The warehouses used to be boatshed and crocodile farm but now looms magnificently with an interesting use of empty kegs to light pathways.

flickr 239271590 hd 1024x768 The Travelettes Guide to PerthPhotograph via Fotopedia

The modern and industrial eatery and bar is very popular and busy, but it’s a hell of a lot of glass and metal architecture with a brisk wind whipping straight off the sea… so we scurried back into the depths of Freo to my favourite hang-out: Clancy’s Fish Pub. It is a gem of a pub tucked away on Cantonment Street, and don’t let the name put you off. It’s not a terribly fishy place (apart from the menu). We sat out the front on the decking enjoying sunshine and good conversation while watching some small little skateboarders attempting tricks in the street. Perfect for day drinking, but gigs are also held inside the spacious venue when the sun goes down.

On the weekend, a must-see is the Freo Markets.

IMG 0452 The Travelettes Guide to Perth

IMG 0451 The Travelettes Guide to Perth

Above two photographs by Sophie Saint

Usually, I’m not keen on tourist markets, but the amount of crafts and items for sale from WA hand-crafted wood and other materials was astounding! And they’re excellent quality: $20 for a pair of long emu feather earrings? Sold!

Check out this blog for all things happening in Fremantle – a well loved suburb.

Cottesloe.

This area is known for being one of the wealthiest and picturesque, and with property being insanely expensive; the train from the city usually carries hoards of young beachgoers doing their pilgrimage to the sea. But once you see the beach, you can understand why it’s quite the desired patch of sand!

385772 10150490743661072 590406071 10874716 1686445100 n The Travelettes Guide to Perth

Expansive white sands with clean soft sand-dunes overlooking stunning turquoise sea is the perfect place to lounge and paddle under the strong Aussie sun. Lonely Planet didn’t name it the world’s 2nd best beach for families for nothing!

384679 10150490742306072 590406071 10874715 359464174 n The Travelettes Guide to Perth

379485 10150490748446072 590406071 10874738 1603432357 n The Travelettes Guide to PerthAbove three photographs via Leon Scothern

The City.

I know I slightly slated the city centre earlier, but I must emphasise the most delicious and affordable Japanese restaurant which is located on Barrack Street: Taka. It also exists in two other locations in Perth, but this particular venue is huge with unlimited Japanese tea in giant vats. The service is impeccable and pretty smooth, with perfect sushi being churned out fresh from the kitchen to the many hungry waiting mouths. The Teriyaki Tofu dish (with miso soup) is to die for, and for a mere $7.30, it’s the perfect dish to end a day at the beach so forget about boring ole Fish and Chips.

tumblr ltdbwvPYPe1qi12auo1 500 large The Travelettes Guide to PerthPhotograph via We Heart It

Exploring a new city can be pretty full-on but Perth has everything you need during a short stay… you just need to know where to find it! Perth: Sun, sea, the Moon, shopping, unique cafes…and bloody good sushi! Farewell Perth, you treated (and fed) me well!

perth from the sky The Travelettes Guide to PerthPhotograph via Trek Earth

pixel The Travelettes Guide to Perth




Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  • Barrie said:

    Pity you guys didn’t let me know you were coming to my home city. I am here right now for Xmas

  • Sophie said:

    ah well, maybe next time!! hope you had a very merry christmas! x

  • AnnaHarry said:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention King Street!! If you didn’t manage to make it there you should plan another visit to Perth soon! It’s got a lot of little one off boutique shops hidden amongst the big designer names. Also two of the most adorable cafes next to each other- ‘tiger, tiger’ coffee bar and The Secret Garden Cafe. Two extra little gems for you there!! :) Sorry to piggyback on your article.

  • Sophie said:

    Oooooo but i did!! I had an awesome breakfast at The Secret Garden Cafe where the people were SO friendly and great service…. but we discovered that place after popping into Tiger Tiger where the staff where pretty rude/too cool for school. Was disappointed as my friend loves it there but even she wasn’t impressed after 10 minutes there :(
    Will definitely have to check out the boutique shops next time though… and go with a bigger budget!!
    Thanks so much for you’re info on Perth though, comments are always welcomed!! :)

  • Shaun said:

    My home city! So glad you made it across to Perth so many people just do the east coast and miss little old Perth.

    Did you get to visit Kings Park? There are great views of the city from up there. Subiaco would of been a nice suburb to visit with great shops and food to eat.

  • Lois said:

    Great guide! I’m bookmarking this because I’m planning a trip our to Perth in April. I could definitely use some if not all of your recommendations here. Thank you!

  • Sophie said:

    Ah no, I didn’t quite make it to the Park unfortunately! The weather began pretty rainy and gloomy, so when the temperature soared we hit the beach and Rottnest Island (article about that adventure coming soon!).

  • Nicole said:

    Great post! You really travelled far and wide to find the best of the best, and your local tour guide’s taste is top-notch. I love that you addressed the not-so-great bits, like the neverending struggle with liquor licenses in the CBD/Northbridge area. The photos are excellent, too! Perth has a lot, but as you said, you really need to know where to look in order to find them — I’m glad you did the looking for us.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.