Everything you need to know before a month-long stay in Perth
You truly do get the best of both worlds with a visit to Perth, where you’ll find laneway bars, street art and glittering skyscrapers colliding with idyllic beaches, lush vineyards and winding rivers. If you’ve been to the city before on a weekend trip, you’ll know just how hard it is to leave after soaking up the sunshine and ticking off just a small portion of your must-dos. That’s why any opportunity to spend a month or more in Western Australia’s capital and really embrace its distinct outdoor lifestyle should be grabbed with both hands. Based in Fraser Suites Perth, you’ll have prime access to the city’s major attractions and transport links from your luxury serviced apartment along with access to a wide range of first-class amenities.
A brief history of Perth
Perth’s history of significance dates back innumerable years. The area was originally known as Boorloo by the indigenous Noongar people, in particular the Yellagonga tribe who lived on the lands surrounding the Swan River and attributed great significance to the nearby lakes and plains. Much like other parts of the continent, early European explorers described the land as unsuitable for colonisation until Britain’s Captain James Stirling founded a settlement in 1829. Although the area was chosen for its potential for Indian Ocean trade and amidst rumours the French would seek to establish a penal colony in the area, Stirling’s favourable reports of the land’s agricultural promise proved to be misguided. Nevertheless, the Swan River Colony slowly grew and was shortly named after the Scottish city of Perth before experiencing several distinct bursts of development: with the arrival of convicts in the 1850-60s, with the gold boom of the late 19th century, with European migration after World War 2 and with resources booms in the 1960s and 2000s.
Climate and weather
Perth enjoys a relatively predictable climate characterised by hot, dry summers and mild winters. The summer weather from December through February will make you want to find shade or hit the beach for relief, with average temperatures ranging from 17.5 to 30°C with the capacity to soar up to 40°C and beyond on the hottest days. Autumn is a pleasant season to visit with average temperatures from 13.7 to 26°C and mild evenings, with occasional showers. Winter doesn’t get too much colder (average of 8 - 19°C) and still sees its fair share of dry days, but this time of year tends to bring occasional heavy downpours and thunderstorms to watch out for. Spring, like autumn, is a pleasant time of year in Perth when there is little rainfall and the heat is bearable with average temperatures from 11.7 to 23°C – an added bonus is the fresh blossoming of flora in Perth’s various parks and reserves. No matter the time of year, always be very wary of Australia’s dangerous UV levels and be vigilant with wearing sunscreen.
Like most Australian cities, Perth has a well-established transport network with plenty of ways to help you get around. The city’s main forms of public transport are buses, trains and ferries, all of which provide access to anywhere you need to go. Since you’re staying awhile, one of the first things you should do is buy a SmartRider tap and go card available at various transport hubs and retail outlets. This card can be topped up at any time and works on every form of public transport, eliminating the time and hassle of buying individual tickets every time you travel. Just remember to tap when you board and tap when you disembark, but there are also free transit zones for short journeys in Perth CBD and Fremantle where you won’t be charged a fare. If you’re coming to and from the airport, two bus routes operate between the terminals and Elizabeth Quay Station in the city: the 380 bus for terminals 1 and 2 and the 40 bus for terminals 3 and 4.
If you ever need a taxi or rideshare, you’ll have no issue finding one in Perth. Hail a cab or use apps like Uber and Ola to book a journey as you need. Ultimately, the best way to make short journeys in Perth is by foot or by bike. The city is defined by its excellent weather and outdoor lifestyle, so take the opportunity to explore one of its many walking and cycling trails, especially along the picturesque Swan River.
Things to see and do
You’ve taken the bus from the airport, you’ve checked into your serviced apartment, you have your RiderCard – what now? Perth prides itself on offering something for everyone, whether it’s food, beaches, art, music, history, wildlife or anything in between. Half the fun is discovering the city at your own pace, but here’s our top picks get you started:
Take a selfie with a quokka at Rottnest Island
Watch live sport at Optus Stadium
Shop until you drop
Kick back at Cottesloe Beach
Cycle along the Swan River
Discover the markets and buskers of Fremantle
Lose yourself in Kings Park and Botanic Garden
Meet the residents at Perth Zoo
Bar hop through Perth CBD and inner north
Browse the galleries and museums of the Perth Cultural Centre
The best one-day and weekend trips from Perth
The proximity of Western Australia’s capital to so many natural attractions means it’s the perfect base from which to take day trips and sneaky weekends away.
Rottnest Island: Now a tourist destination of international acclaim, Rottnest Island is a must-visit during a month-long stay in Perth and is easily accessible from the CBD for a day trip or a quick weekend getaway. This island paradise is home to sun-soaked beaches and a variety of wildlife, including the photogenic quokka.
Swan Valley: Jump on a ferry up the Swan River and prepare to enter heaven for food and wine lovers. The region is just 14 kilometres from Perth CBD and features a maze of vineyards, galleries and restaurants, plus loads of fresh produce and artisan delicacies.
Whale watching cruises: In the waters off the coast of Perth, some of the world’s largest and most magnificent creatures make their pilgrimage. There’s nothing quite like seeing a humpback whale up close and numerous tour operators offer the chance to do exactly that, with the best opportunities coming in September and November.
The Pinnacles: 250 kilometres north of Perth, a stunning forest of limestone formations known as the Pinnacles Desert is a memorable sight that’s well worth the travel time. The alien landscape feels almost otherworldly and makes for fantastic photos.