Perth has everything you need to experience a fabulous holiday. 3000 hours of sunshine a year, friendly locals, historic attractions and relaxed alfresco dining offering world class food and wine. See the following pages for a selection of attractions and activities in Perth city.
There is plenty to see and do in Perth. Hop on an open top bus tour to Kings Park for spectacular views over the city; jump off and walk amongst the treetops or stop for a picnic. Watch gold pouring at The Perth Mint or marvel at one of the world’s largest musical instruments at The Bell Tower. Shop in one of the many arcades or boutique stores, take a wine cruise on the beautiful Swan River, jump on the Transperth ferry to visit over 1500 species of animals at the Perth Zoo, or for something different, see Perth on a Segway Tour.
Perth offers abundant restaurants, pubs, bars, night markets, cafes, art galleries, theatre and exhibitions. The city is also surrounded by a number of ‘urban’ villages’ such as Subiaco, Leederville and Mt Lawley, all offering a different inner city feel.
After exploring Perth city, take a day or extended trip to visit the historic Port town of Fremantle, the turquoise bays of Rottnest Island or the lush valleys full of world class wineries in the Swan Valley, all within 45 minutes of the CBD. Please visit the Attractions and Activities section for things to see and do with Perth, Fremantle and surrounds.
A Brief History
The first inhabitants of Australia arrived from the north approximately 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, Western Australia was occupied solely by Indigenous Australians who had lived peacefully and in harmony with the land for tens of thousands of years.
Indigenous Australians have a rich history and culture that is well worth exploring. Like so many Indigenous cultures of the 18th and 19th centuries, things were about to change.
In March 1827, Captain James Stirling of the Royal Navy arrived in the Swan River and discovered a land that possessed great natural attractions, in contrast to the previous Dutch and French navigators who described New Holland (a name given to Australia by the Dutch) as sterile, forbidding and inhospitable. This landing and subsequent report by Stirling to His Majesty’s Government back in England, led to the foundation of the Swan River Settlement in June 1829.
Using the Swan River for transport, three towns were formed, Perth, Fremantle and Guildford. Fremantle, 20 kilometres downstream on the coast served as the colony’s functional port and Guildford, 20 kilometres to the east was chosen to supply produce to the surrounding region because of the rich, fertile soil found in the Swan Valley.
Experiencing severe labour shortages, the British sent convicts to Western Australia between 1850 and 1868 to help establish settlements. 9721 convicts were transported to WA on 43 convict voyages. Between 1850 and 1868 Western Australia was a Penal Colony. The convicts were involved in a significant amount of infrastructure such as the Fremantle Prison, Government House, The Cloisters, the Swan River Mechanics’ Institute and the Perth Town Hall.
The Noongar people have a rich cultural heritage that offer visitors an experience found no where else in the world, and have forged a strong identity that resonates throughout the state. View the Indigenous art at the Art Gallery of WA, the WA Museum and the Aboriginal Art Gallery in Kings Park. Visit the Charnock Woman, a 25 metre pavement mosiac in Victoria Gardens, East Perth, or the Yagan statue on Heirisson Island.
It took until the turn of the century to explore most of the state. In 1890, gold was discovered in the Kimberley and Kalgoorlie. This led to a population explosion and established Perth as the colony’s trade capital, with Fremantle having to upgrade the harbour to cope with increased demand. Most of Fremantle’s original architecture can still be seen today lovingly restored. With the advent of the Second World War, the 1940s initiated a huge demand for minerals and WA had plenty. Lead, iron ore, diamonds, nickel, mineral sands, oil and gas; some of the biggest mining and exploration companies in the world have offices in Perth. WA’s economy still relies heavily upon the natural resources sector.
Perth has a sunny Mediterranean style climate with an average of eight hours of sunshine per day. Summers are hot and dry although not devoid of rain with occasional short lived thunder storms throughout the season. The hottest month is generally February, and the coolest is July and August. Winters are cool and wet, with most of Perth’s annual rainfall falling between May and September. Spring is a particularly lovely time to visit, with warm and clear conditions.
The dollar is the basic unit of Australian currency and is equal to 100 cents. Notes are available in denominations of $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5. Coinage is in denominations of $2, $1, 50¢, 20¢, 10¢ and 5¢. Shops will round the price up or down to the nearest 5 cents.
Western Australia is on Western Standard Time (WST) and is one and a half hours behind South Australia and the Northern Territory and two hours behind all other states. Time differences may increase by one hour from October to March because of daylight saving.
The only certificate required is a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate for visitors who have been in a Yellow Fever area six days prior to entering Australia. Medical insurance is recommended as Australia’s Medicare system does not cover visitors, except where reciprocal agreements exist. Ph: 9263 8100 for information.
Domestic electricity supply throughout Australia is 230 – 250 volts. Standard three pin plugs are fitted to domestic appliances. 110 volt appliances such as hairdryers and contact lens sterilisers cannot be used without a transformer.
Visitor Information Centres
The Western Australian Visitor Centre in 55 William Street can assist with everything to help you enjoy your holiday. They can book accommodation or tours and also have a wide selection of brochures on places of interest throughout the state. 55 William Street, Perth. Ph: 9483 1111. Open 7 days. www.wavisitorcentre.com.au
Fremantle also has a helpful and informative Visitor Centre in Kings Square, near the Town Hall. Kings Square, Fremantle. Ph: 9431 7878. Open 7 days. www.fremantlewa.com.au
Normal Retail Shopping Hours: (excluding public holidays)
Monday to Thursday: 8.30am – 5.30pm
Friday: 8am – 9pm
Saturday: 8am – 5pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Monday to Friday : 8am – 9pm
Saturday: 8am – 5pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Monday to Wednesday: 8.30am – 5.30pm
Thursday: 8.30am – 9pm
Friday: 8.30am – 5.30pm
Saturday: 8.30am – 5pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Tourist Refund Scheme
The TRS enables you to claim a refund, subject to certain conditions, of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) that you pay on goods you purchase in WA. To claim a refund you must spend $300 (GST inclusive) or more in the one store, get a single tax invoice and buy goods no more than 30 days before departure. Present your purchase along with your original tax invoice, passport and international boarding pass at a TRS facility at the airport. Claims at airports are available up to 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of your flight.
Australia has a goods and services retail tax (GST), prices displayed on goods is the full price, inclusive of GST. GST taxation was introduced in July 2000.
Australia does not have a tradition of tipping: it is therefore not expected, however where the service has been particularly good you may tip if you wish!
Taxis can be flagged down in the street or there are numerous taxi ranks around the city. Taxis can also be booked in advance by calling, Swan Taxis – 13 13 30 or Black & White Cabs – 13 10 08. Friday and Saturday nights can be very busy and long queues and waiting periods are common. There are plenty of taxis available at both the Domestic and International Airports, or at hotels where the concierge can order one for you.
Royal Perth Hospital: Wellington Street, Perth. Ph: 9224 2244
Fremantle Hospital: Alma Street, Fremantle. Ph: 9431 3333
Sir Charles Gardner Hospital: Verdun Street, Nedlands. Ph: 9346 3333
Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital: Roberts Road, Subiaco. Ph: 9340 8222
Joondalup Health Campus: Grand Boulevard, Joondalup. Ph: 9400 9400
Fiona Stanley Hospital: 102-118 Murdoch Drive, Murdoch. Ph: 6152 2222
The Post Office Shop in Forrest Chase, Perth is open:
Monday: Friday: 8.30am – 5.00pm
Saturday: 9am – 12.30pm
Suburban Post Offices are open:
Monday to Friday: 9am – 5pm.
For further information ph: 13 1318 or visit www.auspost.com.au
Monday to Thursday: 9.30am – 4pm
Friday: 9.30am – 5.00pm.
Some agencies open on Saturday.
Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are accessible at most bank branches.
Generally 10.00am – 12pm midnight Monday to Saturday but vary between noon to 9.00pm on Sundays. Legal drinking age is 18 years.
Perth’s International Airport is 16kms from the city (30 minutes by car) and the Domestic Airport is 11km’s from the city (20 minutes by car). There is a regular shuttle service between the two airports and Perth city, which departs out the front of both airports and can drop you off at various locations in the city. You can purchase a ticket from the driver on the day of travel, or book online at www.perthcityshuttle.com.au. See their entry in Transport and Tours. Alternatively there is a public transport service, Transperth bus 380, which departs regularly outside the International Terminal and arrives at the City Busport and Esplanade Train Station. Transperth bus routes 935 and 40 departs outside Domestic Terminal 4, traveling to Perth City and departing every half hour during the day or hourly after 6pm.
Customs – International Airport
Ph: 1300 363 263 www.customs.gov.au
Air Asia – 1300 760 330
Air Canada – 1300 655 767
Air New Zealand – 1800 151 661
Air Zimbabwe – 9325 5122
British Airways – 1300 767 711
Cathay Pacific – 13 17 47 Emirates – 1300 303 777
Garuda Airlines – 9214 5100
Jetstar – 13 15 38
Malaysian Airlines – 9263 7007
Qantas Airways – 13 13 13
Royal Brunei – 9321 8757
Singapore Airlines – 13 10 11
South African – 1300 435 972
Thai Airways – 9265 8200
Tiger Airways – 03 9999 2888
Virgin Australia – 13 67 89
The City of Perth is proud to become the first and only Australian capital city giving people free blanket WiFi internet access across its CBD area. Once you connect you can roam the city streets and remain connected to the internet, for as long as you need. See the Perth City PDF Map for Wifi connectivity. The City of Fremantle also has a range of free WiFi spots and it is also marked on the same map.
Police, Fire Ambulance Ph: 000
Alcohol & Drug Information: 9442 5000
Alcoholics Anonymous: 9325 3566
Crisis Care: 9223 1111 or Freecall 1800 199 888
24 Hour Chemist: 647 Beaufort St. Mt Lawley 9328 7775
Dental Emergencies: 9325 3452
International Flight Info: 13 12 23
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Metropolitan Weather: 1196
Poisons Information Centre: 13 11 26
Samaritans: 9381 5555
Search & Rescue Centre Maritime Freecall: 9442 8600
Sexual Assault Referral Centre: 9340 1828
Translating & Interpreting Service: 13 14 50
Austria – 6364 5225
Belgium – 9591 1187
Canada – 9322 7930
China – 9222 0333
Croatia – 9321 6044
Denmark – 0418 955 949
France – 0406 654 254
Germany – 9221 2941
Greece – 9325 6608
India – 9221 4205
Indonesia – 9221 5858
Ireland – 0430 960 859
Italy – 9322 4500
Japan – 9480 1800
Malaysia – 9225 7055
Mauritius – 0478 222 204
Netherlands – 9486 1579
New Zealand – 9364 1700
Norway – 9435 9099
Portugal – 0418 915 314
Spain – (02) 9261 2433
Sri Lanka – 9321 4800
Sweden – 0406 654 254
Switzerland – 0406 654 254
Tanzania – 9221 0033
Thailand – 0418 906 945
UK – 9224 4700
USA – 6144 5100
For more Consulates visit www.dfat.gov.au