Things to do in Perth
Located halfway between Fremantle and the city, Cottesloe Beach is one of the most enduring Perth tourist attractions. Founded over 100 years ago and largely unchanged since, Cottesloe Beach is known for its 1km stretch of pure white sand, crystal clear water, and often perfect conditions for swimming and surfing. This is a true Perth institution – not to be missed.
Sunrise over Cottesloe Beach and the Indian Tea House
Elizabeth Quay ranks among the busiest Perth sightseeing destinations. Spend a lazy afternoon by the water at one of the many cafes, bars and restaurants, or head onto the water with a tour of Carnac Island. Make sure you see the full-scale replica of the Duyfken, the Dutch barge that became the first ship ever to make landfall on Australian soil.
View of Elizabeth Quay and Perth CBD from the Swan River
Another long-standing West Australian icon, the Perth Zoo has been a fixture in the city since 1898. Home to hundreds of animals from all over the world and wholly dedicated to its ongoing efforts to conserve and protect endangered species, a tour of Perth Zoo should be at the top of your list of places to visit in Perth.
White Pelican at Perth Zoo
The last of three colonial arms of the United Kingdom Royal Mint, Perth Mint was originally constructed during the gold rush era and was for many years used as a refinery for creating gold sovereigns and half sovereigns for the Empire. It's still in use to this day as a refinery for Australian legal tender created with precious metals.
The limestone facade of the Perth Mint building
Bell Tower Perth
The Bell Tower of Perth is a must for any history buff's sightseeing tour of the city. Twelve of the tower's bells come from St-Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square and are recorded as having existed since the 14th Century. They are the bells that declared Britain's victory over Spain, welcomed James Cook home, and celebrated the end of World War II.
Close up view of the Perth Bell Tower
Home to the gorgeous and curious quokka, perhaps Australia's happiest-looking critter, Rottnest Island is yet another of Perth's many idyllic natural wonders. Named Rottnest (or Rat Nest in 17th Century Dutch) after explorers mistook the quokkas for giant rats, the island also boasts a long military history that's fascinating to learn about.
Close up of a friendly Quokka
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Placing a strong emphasis on Australian artists and particularly those from the Indian Ocean Rim, the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) is one of the oldest and most respected galleries in the city. Its collection is sprawling and new exhibits arrive every few months. The gallery is closed Tuesdays, so plan your visit accordingly.
Exterior of the Perth Art Gallery and Perth CBD
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts
The home of modern, multidisciplinary art in Western Australia, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) is found in the James Street Mall within the iconic Perth Central School building. PICA maintains a rotating roster of new exhibits and additions to its collection year-round. The institute is closed on Mondays so bear this in mind when planning a visit.
A long-time proponent of scientific endeavour in Western Australia, Scitech is Perth's home of curiosity and wonder. An exciting day out for kids of any age, the centre also runs plenty of adult oriented programs every year. Located in the City West centre off Railway Street, Scitech is a must-visit for anyone who can't resist a good experiment.
More art and culture
Some of the best museums in Perth focus on much more specific subjects or time periods. The WA Shipwrecks Museum is an incredible guided tour of the region's maritime history. The Nostalgia Box is a living time capsule of video game history both local and worldwide. Harvey House and the Western Medical Museum paint a clear picture of life in the days of the city's founding. Truly, Perth's cultural scene has something for everyone.