Swan River, Wineries and Pinnacles

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The city of Perth, founded in 1829, is one of the most beautiful of Australia’s large cities. On the banks of the Swan River, and facing the Indian Ocean, Perth is famous for its gorgeous beaches and wide open spaces.

The city was founded on the lands of the Wajuk people, traditional owners of this part of Australia.

Fremantle with its wonderful markets, cappuccino strip and fishing harbour

Highlights of visiting Perth itself would include:

  • Downtown area
  • Elizabeth Pier
  • Northbridge
  • King’s Park (largest inner city park in the world, over 4km2)
  • Fremantle
  • Cottesloe Beach
  • Swan River Cruise
  • Matagarup Bridge and Perth Stadium (Optus Stadium)

Most city tours you purchase will include a visit to the first six on that list, and you can easily buy a cruise on the Swan River, or use the Perth to Fremantle cruise as a way of getting to know this truly superb landscape. Perth Stadium (Optus Stadium) does their own yours which you can easily book online here. All of this can be visited in a single day, although you may wish to dedicate more time to Fremantle than just a passing look.

Travel Outline

Day 1 – Arrival

Option – Limousine Meet & transfer

Option – Shuttle bus transfer

Arrive Hotel – check in

Day 2 – Classic Perth

Morning city sightseeing tour viewing Kings Park 📷, Barrack Street Jetty & the Swan Bell Tower, Peppermint Grove and Dalkeith residential areas, Cottesloe Beach📷, Fremantle, Perth Mint, the WACA, the Old Swan Brewery and more.

📷= Photo stop

Swan River Cruise – enjoy seeing this most beautiful city and its prestige suburbs from the water.

Day 3 – Your choice day

Option 1 – South of Perth – Margaret River

Margaret River Wine Region is situated on the traditional lands of the Wardandi people, and during the day you also travel the lands of the Pinjarup and Kaniyang peoples. The Margaret River region is renowned throughout Australia for its wine, with some of the most famous labels in the country coming from here. Whether you drive yourself or buy an organised tour, we would recommend the following:

Try wine tasting at least two wineries (one big one small to get the contrast) 

Visit Busselton Jetty, the longest timber jetty in the southern hemisphere at just over 1.8km

Explore the Mammoth cave system (over 100 caves), Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and one of the local beer breweries.

Option 2 – North from Perth – The Pinnacles – Nambung National Park

The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park are on the land of traditional owners the Yuat people.

The Pinnacles are one of those rare formations that are quite unique in the world, to the point that we still don’t know exactly how they were formed. Regardless, it is a fascinating place to visit. If you can be there at either the beginning or end of day you may also see some of the local wildlife, kangaroos!

There are great day tours from Perth to see the Pinnacles that also include a visit to Caversham Wildlife Park, the Cervantes Lobster Shack (lobster lunch additional cost), and sandboarding on the dunes. These companies use special 4WD vehicles that carry around 26/28 people. You can self drive this tour and visit all these places and you can even rent a sandboard at the Lancelin dunes.

Option 3 –Rottnest Island

One of the most famous attractions near Perth is Rottnest Island, which is best visited over a whole day. You need to go and return by ferry, and we recommend it is best to buy a package tour, as they will package the cruise, lunch, a tour of the island and transfers from and to many major hotels. 

The island was first inhabited by the Noongar people who abandoned it some 7,000 years ago when sea levels rose. More recently, it was sighted repeatedly from the early 17th century by Dutch explorers, eventually explored extensively by Richard de Vlamingh who named it Rottnest (rat’s nest), mistaking the quokkas for large rats. In fact the quokkas, one of the smallest members of the macropod family, are a major attraction of a visit to the Island.

Once on the island, the main mode of transportation is by bicycle, and you can visit the beaches, go snorkelling, dive one of the wrecks offshore, explore the fort and historic buildings, meet the quokkas (of course!), and relax at one of the restaurants.

You can find package tours to the Island with Rottnest Express and also with Sealink.

 Option 4 – Stay in Perth centre and use our app to visit famous landmarks, gardens or just shopping!

Explore Perth Further

Endless beaches, Swan River landscapes, and historic Fremantle, view more images of Perth below:

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Restaurants, Bars and Nighlife

Rather than an exhaustive list, we’ll point to the right areas and you can expect to find there.

The Rocks – Pubs, restaurants, bars find a guide here. If you want you can just go to the corner of Argyle & George Streets and start from there.

Central Sydney – mostly daytime shopping and attractions, although there are a few nightclubs such as the Establishment, Ivy, Chinese Laundry and The Republic Hotel, but it also has a lot of tourist venues such as Sydney Tower, and the O-Bar. We can recommend a hidden Gem at the QT Hotel, walk in and take a lift up to their Gowings Bar & Grill – great bar, great food!

Darling Harbour – Restaurants and bars all the way from Aquarium Wharf right around the southern end of Cockle Bay to the Harbourside Shopping Centre on the western side. Big variety of food outlets in this area from very nice restaurants like Nick’s Seafood to the Hard Rock Cafe Sydney to take away food stalls.

Barangaroo/King Street Wharf – This whole area on the eastern side of Darling Harbour has everything from restaurants to casual eateries, and great bars. Definitely a must when you’re in Sydney. For eating try the fancy Cirrus, or the really great food at Love Fish or hang out at Barangaroo House for food, bar and dancing. Lots of other gems to discover walking around this area. Fun for shopping too, if you come here during the day.

Woolloomooloo – For the connoisseur of Sydney, this little area just east of the CBD has slime great restaurants and two great pubs. You have to go very far to get better Indian food than Aki’s. ANd for the pie and hot dog lover, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels has been here since 1945 – try the Tiger!

Kings Cross – This suburb used to be and probably still is Sydney’s naughty suburb, with a few strip clubs still in operation. But if you put that to one side there are some great bars and restaurants in the periphery. Explore Macleay Street and some of the alleyways where you will find little gems like Dear Sainte Eloise, gorgeous wine bar, and Japanese gem Cho Cho San.

Paddington/Woollahra – Historic area with great restaurants and legendary local pubs with great menus. Sydney’s most famous bistro is here, at Bistro Moncur, and also Australia’s best Restaurant of 2019, Saint Peter. Walk around Oxford Street, Five Ways or Queen Street and see what grabs your fancy.

Bondi – world-famous Bondi Beach also has a brilliant nightlife, with restaurants and bars galore for all tastes and budgets. You can try eating at the very fancy Icebergs Dining Room or North Bondi Fish, or one of the many many eateries here. ALso bars, cafes, great fun!

Newtown/Enmore – This area, much like Paddington is historic but the food is very different. Dotted with much international food, including wonderful Asian restaurants, Vegetarian/Vegan eateries and lots of bars, really wonderful little bars. Go for a walk along King Street.