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48 Hours in Perth

I love Perth. I’ve been here just over four months now, and ever since we arrived we’ve been greeted with such warmth and made to feel at home.

And that’s just the thing folks, I really DO feel at home!

Perth is a big vibrant city with a great community feel. It’s Australias sunniest capital city with over 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, 19 beaches, loads of great bars and restaurants, is a really easy place to live and extremely family friendly. I’ll have been here for six months when my Taste Mastering contract expires in February, but if you’ve only got a couple of days, here’re some top tips.

The Early Bird: Get up with the sunrise and go for a run, bike ride or canoe along the Swan River. Perth is such a great place first thing in the morning, with people of all ages out and about exercising in the numerous parks and open spaces. They’ve got the weather so enjoy the outdoors lifestyle.

Breakfast: After all that exercise you’re gonna need a hearty brekkie. There are so many great spots for breakfast in the city and more and more are popping up every week. My favourite is Uncle Joe’s Mess Hall on King Street, a retro barbers and café rolled into one. Treat yourself to a cold drip coffee whilst waiting for a haircut.

Hit The Beach: The only decision is, which one?! Perth has 19 beaches to choose from. The perfect spot for a swim, surf and snorkel is Cottesloe, but then you’ve got the historic seaside town of Scarborough with its impressive surf breaks. Fancy a spot of beach fishing? Then head to the clean, quiet waters of Floreat and City Beach, or for a day out with the kids relax in the calm waters of Mettam’s Pool. The list goes on….

Great Spaces: Kings Park is one of the largest inner city parks in the world with fantastic views overlooking Perth City and the Swan River. Take a free guided tour through the Botanic Gardens, connect with nature with over 3,000 species of the State’s unique flora, walk amongst the tree-tops on the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, or do as I do and have a sausage sizzle on one of the free gas BBQs around the park.

Cruise to Fremantle: Jump on a Captain Cook Cruise for the 20km journey down the Swan River to the port city of Fremantle. Freo has a real unique character and alternative feel, with its heritage architecture, arts, culture, festivals and cafes. Make sure to check out the Fremantle Markets, one of the best markets in Western Australia, and afterward relax in the sunshine with a craft beer.

Rottnest Island: Rottnest Island is a Perth institution, everyone growing up round these parts has had a family holiday on Rotto. It’s a beautiful getaway spot, 45 minutes by ferry from the mainland and is famous for its tranquil waters and secluded bays. There are no cars allowed on the island so it’s pedal power all the way. Hire bikes and snorkelling gear and discover underwater snorkel trails at Little Salmon Bay and Parker Point, or with over 60 beaches and 20 bays to choose from, just relax on your own personal piece of paradise.

Northbridge: Northbridge is the edgy part of town, the place I like hanging out the most. Head here for great Asian food, vintage clothes stores, live music, local art and cool restaurants and bars. It’s a five minute walk from the CBD and a real contrast to the city. The area is also constantly changing and evolving with independent pop-up shops (from designer ice creams and quirky coffee stalls to handmade arts and crafts ) springing up all over the place.

Eat and Drink: If you’re a foodie, you’re going to love Perth. There’re great restaurants all over the city serving everything from simple snacks to out-of-the-ordinary cuisine, but the main thing they all have in common is great fresh produce. You’ll also find plenty of markets attracting organic bio-dynamic local growers. Check out Perth City Farmers Market on a Saturday morning, or try the street food stalls at the Twilight Hawkers Market on Friday nights at Forest Place.

Fancy a drink? There’s a thriving small bar scene transforming laneways and rooftops into great spots for a sundowner. Also, Perth locals love their coffee and there are so many new espresso bars opening up it’s hard to keep track. If you want something to peruse over your cappuccino, Venn Bar + Cafe on Queen Street has a really interesting art gallery upstairs.

Arts and Culture: Hang out at the Cultural Centre with its galleries, museums and urban orchard. The urban orchard was once a neglected area on the rooftop of a car park but has been transformed into a sustainable community garden, growing herbs, veggies and fruit for all. After picking your greens for dinner watch a movie at one of the outdoor cinemas dotted all over the city.

…If you have a bit more time

Head on down to Rockingham to experience swimming with wild dolphins. Rockingham Wild Encounters is a 45 minute drive south of Perth and well worth the visit.

Venture out into the Swan Valley and spend a day speed grazing around all the local independent producers of the region. Or for a bit of peace and tranquillity drive up to the bohemian Perth Hills, 20 minutes outside of the city.