Let’s explore the underrated cosmopolitan gem that is Perth, Western Australia. We loved every minute of our time there. So we’ve put together this guide of the best things to do in 24 hours in Perth.
We stayed near the centre of everything, in the Mercure Hotel – book your stay here.
For us Brits, Perth and Western Australia are often overlooked in favour of the East Coast. This is where the famous delights of Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Byron Bay are found.
Having spent 3 months in Southern WA, we are keen to impart the delights this side of Australia has to offer. We strongly recommend some time spent in Perth and Western Australia in general for all travellers.
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24 hours in Perth
Stirling Gardens and Elizabeth Quay
If, like us, you wake up from a jet-lagged riddled sleep at 3 am, your 24 hours in Perth will start early.
After FaceTiming family back home, we hit the hotel gym at 6.00 am, then headed out to Elizabeth Quay.
This area of the city was undergoing a huge regeneration project when we were there. An abundance of luxury hotels and apartments have since popped up along the riverside.
We wandered through Stirling Gardens (next to the Supreme Court), where we got our first glimpse of the huge trees and brightly coloured birds we had only seen in pictures before.
There are some cafes and bars by the Quay, but we walked along the footbridge and took in the views over to Fremantle and back towards Perth CBD (the city’s business district).
Murray Street and Breakfast
We walked back into the city and headed for Murray Street. This has an underground station so is a busier area full of shops, cafes and bars.
The tourist information booth here gives out free maps of the city, including self-guided walking tour routes and bus timetables. Take as many free things as you can get – backpacker life and all that. Tourist maps often have local discount vouchers in, plus good ideas for free things to do in Perth.
We had breakfast at a place called Holmes & Co. Located just off Murray Street, in a side alley called Murray Mews, it has a super chilled atmosphere. Plus a great menu to choose from.
Kings Park, Perth CBD
Kings Park is one of the best free things to do in Perth. Being the type of people who walk EVERYWHERE, we chose to skip the free city-wide bus service. It took about 25 minutes to walk to up a pretty steep hill, so if you choose to hop on the bus instead we won’t judge.
Oh, and did we mention it’s free?
Kings Park is a 4.06-square-kilometre park located on the western edge of the central business district. It contains its own botanical park, as well as bushland and grassy parkland.
It is apparently the most visited tourist attraction in Western Australia, and it isn’t hard to see why. It’s also home to some of the biggest trees we have ever seen.
The park is well mapped, but there is so much to see that you are bound to miss some of it. Everyone seems to use the park, from tourists like us to office workers on a lunch break run, and it is SO clean. Parks at home are often synonymous with terrible graffiti and broken vodka bottles, so it was refreshing to see a public space treated so respectfully.
It is home to a number of pleasant walks, including the Lotterywest Federation Walkway that takes you up into the treetops. It also houses a beautiful yet sobering memorial to all those killed in the 2002 Bali Bombings. This claimed the lives of 202 individuals, 88 of whom were Australian citizens.
By this point, we decided we wanted to head back in the direction of our hotel. But we weren’t done exploring just yet. One of the walking maps we had picked up included Heirisson Island, where a herd of kangaroos reside permanently.
Having not seen a kangaroo at this point, we set off along the riverfront.
Unknown to us, the side of the island with the kangaroos on has been closed to the public for a little while. Apparently some prat decided that picking on the kangaroos would be a good idea.
We walked all the way there, found the gates were locked and had to walk all the way back again.
It’s a gorgeous route in itself though, so don’t be put off from exploring the riverfront for a bit during your own 24 hours in Perth.
Nap Time and Happy Hour
By now, we were shattered and went back to our room for a nap. We had plans to meet some friends of ours for dinner and didn’t want to be grumpy. Plus, we had only slept intermittently for about ten hours across two days by this point.
For the more stoic individuals out there, make sure you check out happy hour in the city. Many bars offer heavily reduced drinks for an hour, usually between 5 pm and 6 pm.
If you’re heading down south to Margaret River, take a look at the best happy hour deals to be had down there.
Dinner in Perth CBD
We went to Side Door BBQ on Mary Street (off Beaufort Street) for dinner with our friends. It specialises in American style barbecue food, and the plate sizes are HUGE.
We chose to share a meat platter, plus a side of cornbread after developing a taste for it from our trip to Georgia and South Carolina.
Parking is free in lots of the city after hours, but make sure you check before leaving your car. Plus, a general rule to follow when parking on the street in Australia is to ALWAYS PARK FACING THE DIRECTION OF THE TRAFFIC.
Where to Stay in Perth
Crown Towers Perth: 5* luxury on the Eastern banks of the Swan River. 4 minutes’ drive from the WACA, 10 minutes’ drive from Elizabeth Quay and 13 minutes’ drive from the centre of Perth CBD.
QT Perth: 5* accommodation in the heart of the CBD, this designer hotel is a 12-minute walk to Elizabeth Quay. Perth Underground, Murray Street and Hay Street are all 4 minutes’ walk from the property.
Crown Promenade Perth: 4.5* digs in the famous Crown Perth complex, guests can enjoy a variety of entertainment and dining facilities onsite, including 7 restaurants, 8 bars, a night club and a 24-hour casino. The city centre is a 5-minute drive away by car.
Hostel G Perth: situated 1.4 miles from Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1.4 miles from WACA and 2.7 miles from Optus Stadium, this hostel is a popular choice for backpackers and budget travellers.
Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough: 4.5* by the beach. If you want to be outside the city, and soaking up the sea breeze in style, this one is for you. Rendezvous Hotel is 25 minutes’ drive from the Perth city centre, and 40 minutes’ drive from Perth Airport. Hillarys Boat Harbour is a 15-minute drive away.
Cheap Things to do in Perth
We adored Perth and ended up going back more than once!
We met a French guy on a potato farm who had been on Cottesloe Beach one evening when a fisherman pulled a 2.8m tiger shark up onto the sand. Maybe we will stay out of the water…
If you want to read more about Perth and Fremantle, click the blog posts below:
If you’re planning on heading out into the wider parts of Western Australia, click below to book your car or camper van hire:
Have you been to Perth? Or the surrounding areas? What are some of your favourite things to do in Perth?