Perth Guide

Sunday 31 January 2016

Perth is one of the happiest cities I've visited. The locals enjoy an easy-going lifestyle nestled within what feels like a secret southwest corner of Australia that seems to inject happy vibes into the atmosphere. Any place that is home to the most cheerful Quokka {technically Rottnest} must be special. And Perth is certainly special in many wonderful ways. After having called Perth my home for over 3 years between 2011 and 2015 I'm thrilled to share some of my favourite spots; a mixture of hidden gems and popular local favourites. 

It's no secret that Aussie breakfasts are some of the best around with Aussie-inspired cafés popping up in big cities like London and New York. Well, in Perth, I always feel spoiled for choice - there are a handful of places that just seem to get it right when it comes to the most important meal of the day and here are a few of my favourites. 
Tropico North Beach {105/109 Flora Terrace, North Beach, Perth 6020}
Little Bird Cafe {100 Lake Street, Perth 6003}
Babooshka {7/189 William Street, Perth 6000}

Other yummy breakfast spots include:
The Hardware Store Cafe & Eatery, 117 Brighton Road, Scarborough, WA 6019
The Wild Fig Cafe, 190 The Esplanade, Scarborough, WA  6019
Typika, 331 Stirling Highway, Claremont WA 6010 
Mary Street Bakery, 507 Beaufort Street, Highgate, WA 6003 
Sayers Sister, 236 Lake Street, Perth WA 6003
Uncle Joe's Mess, 74-76 King Street, Perth 6000
Flora & Fauna, 4/70 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge WA 6003

I honestly had no idea before moving to Australia that coffee was such a big part of the Aussie culture.  Coffee snobbery is high and the standards are even higher, thus the best coffee in the world can be found in Australia! There are excellent coffee shops scattered all over Perth which range from charmingly cosy to minimalist cool - whichever you prefer, the coffee will be excellent. Gordon Street Garage {pictured} is located around the corner from where I used to live and it remains one of my favourites, such a lovely spot to take a laptop, book or friends and spend a few hours drinking coffee and eating an array of delicious baked goods. 
Pixel Coffee Brewers {2/226 Oxford Street, Leederville, WA 6007}
Gordon Street Garage {16 Gordon Street, West Perth, WA 6005}
Driphouse {772A Hay Street, Perth, WA 6000}

Other charming coffee shops include:
Lowdown, 16a Cloisters Arcade, Parmelia House, 865 Hay Street, Perth 6000
Addison & Steele, 1/448 Fitzgerald Street, North Perth WA 6006
Little Matcha Girl, 4/10 Preston Street, Como WA 6152 - I haven't actually been here but I've stalked them on Instagram and it looks amazing!
Engine Room Espresso, 450c Fitzgerald Street, North Perth WA 6006

Being located on the West Coast, there is no shortage of  places to watch uninterrupted views of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean. This is certainly what I miss most about living in Perth and something I cherish every time I visit. One of my favourite things to do is grab take-away fish & chips {my mouth is watering as I type*} and sit on the beach with a blanket to watch the sun go down. No doubt the sky will turn into a kaleidoscopic array of pastel pinks, purples and oranges and you'll have one of those "I'm so incredible happy to be alive" moments.
North Mole Lighthouse {North Mole Drive, North Fremantle, WA 6159}
King's Park
Scarborough Beach

Other lovely sunset-watching spots include:
Crawley Edge Boatshed, Swan River, Crawley, WA 6009
South Perth Foreshore, South Perth WA 6151
Matilda Bay, Crawley WA 6009
Bathers Beach, Fremantle WA 6160

During our return trip this January, one of the things I was most looking forward to was spending much needed time by the sea. Perth is so perfectly position on Australia's west coast that the city has so many options when it comes to beach therapy. There are calmer, more protected spots along North Beach; popular, fun spots with cafés and eateries at Cottesloe beach; and more isolated quieter spots at Leighton beach. Leighton is also great on a windy afternoon to watch the kite surfers ride the waves while the sun is setting. I would suggest driving up and down the coast, do some exploring and find your perfect spot. For those spending a while in WA, I would recommend driving 'down south' to WA's south-western region for wine tasting and equally beautiful beaches. Check out my ideal itinerary for exploring further south along Western Australia. 
Cottesloe Beach
North Beach
Leighton Beach

The restaurant and bar scene has changed dramatically in Perth over the last few years and I love exploring new, trendy bars that seem to pop up all over the city. The CBD has some upscale bars that give other big cities a run for their money. Northbridge/Highgate have some trendy spots for the wannabe-hipster in all of us and then there are the beach bars for a more laid-back, day drinking vibe.

Cottesloe Beach Hotel {104 Marine Parade, Cottelsloe WA 6011}
The Beautfort Street Merchant {488-492 Beautfort Street, Perth WA 6003}
Cottesloe Beach Hotel {see above}

Other trendy cocktail bars:
Petition, {Corner of Barrack Street & St George's Terrace, Perth WA 6000}
The Stables Bar, 888 Hay Street, Perth WA 6000
Clarences, 566 Beaufort Street, Perth WA 6050
Sneaky Tony's, 1 Russell Avenue, Chinatown, Perth WA 6000
The Dominion League, 84 Beautfort Street, Perth WA 6000
Scarborough Beach Bar, 1 Manning Street, Scarborough WA 6019

If you need to take a break from the beach {in my case, this is typically due to sunburn}, there are lots of alternative ways to fill your time. I particularly enjoy walking around the cultural centre in Northbridge which is home to the WA Museum and  Art Gallery of WA. Perth Fringe festival occurs from the end of January to the end of February and it's my absolute favourite time of year to be in Perth. Pop-up bars and venues appear all over the city and people generally seem merrier.
Street-art: Perth has some really great street art scattered around, sometimes it takes walking down a shady-looking alley to find, but if you're into urban art then you won't be disappointed. 
Hyde Park: Early mornings are the best time to visit Hyde Park, watching the park wake up with soft rays of early morning light is so magical. It's one of the most peaceful spots in the city with locals practising yoga, thai chi or just meditating around the lakes. 
Neighbourhoods: Some of my favourite neighbourhoods in Perth and ones worth exploring include, Leederville, Mount Lawley, East Victoria Park, Subiaco, Claremont and Fremantle. Each is home to cafés, boutiques, books shops and restaurants and each has its own distinct charm.

Rottnest is one of my favourite places on earth. Not only does the happy little island radiate relaxed, peaceful vibes, it's also breathtakingly beautiful and home to everyone's favourite fur-ball, the quokka.  Visiting Rottnest was among my top bucket-list moments for 2015, if you've got a trip to Perth on the cards, make sure to visit Rottnest, it's simply perfect in so many ways.  

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