Last month one of our customers stayed at budget apartments, while they were on a 10 day break in Perth, WA. They offered to share their story, which includes things to do in Perth, WA, here it is:
My husband and I both agreed – we needed a break. We were exhausted. He worked 60+ hours a week and I stayed at home raising two young children. We barely slept and were time poor, giving us no chance to spend quality time together as a family. When we tried to make plans, the unpredictable Melbourne weather would ruin them.
We needed to get away from our day to day life. A family holiday. We couldn’t afford to go overseas, so we decided to travel within Australia. We didn’t know where to go, but our prerequisite was that the weather had to be good. I literally googled ‘sunniest place in Australia’. As expected, the results gave us Perth, which has more sunny days per year than any other capital city. Just the thought of enjoying a few sunny days in a row must have gone to our head, because we made the decision on the spot. We booked four cheap air flight tickets and flew over.
We went for 10 days, which might seem like a lot, but there is a lot to see, not just in Perth, but also around Western Australia. I want to share my family’s experience for anyone else out there thinking of visiting Perth.
Things to do in Perth, WA
Perth has a great mix of outdoor splendour and culture. There are so many things to do in Perth. When the sun is out, there is no better way to spend a day than exploring the Swan River, Botanical Gardens, King’s Park or one its many fine beaches. Even though it’s half the size of Melbourne and Sydney, Perth is always alive with some sort of festival going on. If you’re unfortunate to be there when there is not much happening, there are many live performance venues, not to mention galleries and museums, to keep you busy. The hubby loved the Maritime Museum, while the kids went crazy for Scitech. I have to admit that I had a bit of fun at Scitech too.
If you’re going for more than a few days, I definitely recommend getting out the city and seeing some of the countryside. All along the coast, from Lancelin to Margaret River, there are pristine coastlines and portrait quality landscapes, spotted with quiet country towns and vineyards producing some of the best wine in the country. Western Australia also boasts some world-class natural wonders, like Wave Rock, the Pinnacles and Lake Cave.
Making a plan
With so many things to do, you need to make a plan. Many moons ago when I was a young woman on holiday, I used to just wake up and decide what I was going to do on that particular day. That’s impossible with a family. You really need to plan. After a bit of research, I decided to subscribe to the trip pillar method.
A pillar is used to support a building, right? There is a minimum amount required to make it structurally sound. Trip pillars are the MUST SEE things on your trip so that you feel satisfied with your holiday. You won’t have time to do everything on your travel list (if you try, you will just feel rushed and won’t yourself), so it is best to be selective and do less. We only had 10 days, so we kept our list of trip pillars quite short. It consisted of:
- Margaret River – Known for its beautiful beaches, amazing surf, and to die for wine. 3 hours drive from Perth.
- Fremantle – Situated on the mouth of the swan river, which has has many great places to eat and visit, such as Fremantle prison. 30 minutes drive from Perth
- King’s Park – Amazing wildlife and spectacular views over looking Perth CBD. Have a relaxing picnic, while your children play in the open space. Walking distance from Perth, CBD.
Image by JJ Harrison
- Cottesloe Beach – A well-known beach, which is a great place to take your children for a swim, while you soak up the sun. 30 minute drive from Perth.
- Rottnest Island – A must see island. A short boat trip from Hillarys boat harbor or Fremantle and you’ll have an enjoyable day with your family.
Getting around in Perth
The domestic and international airports are close to the city centre. Unless you get hit with peak hour traffic, a 15-20 minute taxi ride will get you there. It’s probably the only time you should use a taxi as they can be quite expensive.
I read on a number of forums how awful public transportation is in Perth. When I arrived, I expected the worst. However, I was surprised to find that the buses and trains are regular, clean and get you to most places – unlike the bus system back in Melbourne! TransPerth offers a FamilyRider day ticket that covers 2 adults and 2 children on their fleet of buses, trains and ferries for only $12.10, which I thought was amazing, check out Transperth journey planner!
We ended up hiring a car, because it was a more effective way to cart the family around. I know some people freak out at having to drive in a new city. We used a tom-tom to get around, so it was pretty easy. Besides, the roads aren’t that busy and most of the sights were no more than 20 minutes away.
Having a car was fantastic once we got out onto the open road to explore wider Western Australia. The roads are so well maintained and the scenery, especially down south, is absolutely beautiful.
Where to Stay in Perth
We had limited finances, so we stayed at Budget Apartments, which provide self-contained rooms at an affordable price. They are situated in the inner city suburb of Como, which is only about 10 minutes from the city and a lazy stroll to the gorgeous Swan River. The apartment we got was clean and had all the amenities you would need. What won me over, however, was the fully equipped kitchen with gas stove! Making meals saved us so much money – eating out as a family of 4 is expensive! Not that I cooked, mind you. My husband did that, but I did help by cutting the vegetables and filling up his wine glass!
After our 10 days in Perth, we flew back home to Melbourne a little more tanned, much more relaxed and grateful that we had such a positive travel experience as a family. We hope to get back there many more times in the years to come.