A Weekender's Guide to Perth

Grab a cross country flight to hidden underground speakeasies, buzzing waterfront terrace bars, experimental fine dining and the second best hotel in the world.
Holly Nicholls
Published on May 11, 2017

Internationally celebrated fine dining restaurants, beery brunch spots, teeny tiny cafes and openair dining terraces by the sea — Perth's fast becoming one of Australia's food capitals. With over two million Perthites, it's no wonder Western Australia's capital has matured into a hub of wealth and high achievers. Perth is a food lover's city with a laidback attitude, full of enthusiastic folks in activewear — in fact, it's apparently acceptable to wear head-to-toe exercise clothes 24 hours a day in Perth with zero judgment.

Think of Perth like San Diego — a sprawled out city with pockets of creativity and sunshine for days. As one of our favourite long weekenders, we thought it time to share the love. You'll need a thick wallet, an empty stomach, an explorative mindset and an Uber account (taxis aren't exactly flowing in Perth). Grab a cross-country flight (around five to six hours) on Thursday night then take these cues for the best long weekend in pretty little Perth.



The benefits of flying to Perth include gaining time which ultimately means, double breakfast and double dinner. It's the food, wine and beer scene in this city that never disappoints. You thought Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane were hard to please? Perth boasts an exceptional quota of local coffee and food snobs with high expectations.

Start your days strong with breakfast or brunch at Gordon Street Garage in East Perth, Petition Kitchen, Tiisch, Post, or La Veen in Perth city. If you're more of a long mac kinda person, Telegram, Saint Larry, Small Print, Max + Sons, Lowdown and Mo Espresso have you covered for a takeaway before you start your adventures. In the 'burbs, you want to head to Pixel Coffee Brewers in Leederville, Hylin in West Leederville or Mary Street Bakery in Highgate for epic baked goods to match your mug o' caffeinated magic.

The Shorehouse.

By about midday, the sun has fully occupied Perth so you want to sit outside near a beach and enjoy those lunchtime rays that Melburnians dream of. Bread in Common in Fremantle, Bib & Tucker on Leighton Beach, Il Lido in Cottesloe, The Shorehouse in Swanbourne and Kailis Trigg Beach are a sure thing to a light tan while you indulge in Western Australian seafood and Semillon.

Happy hour begins rather early in Perth and it seems customary to head to Little Creatures Brewery in Fremantle for a pale ale with a side of hand-cut fries. Heading up the Indian Ocean you also can't go past the infamous Ocean Beach Hotel on Cottesloe Beach. Not many places in the world provide that view matched with thongs and bathers being an acceptable dress attire, but it's Perth so it's all good.

Long Chim.

Roughly five years ago, Perth saw a significant shift in the dining scene. Maybe it was the mining boom, which saw wealth flow over the state, or perhaps it was Perth's maturity kicking in, but it's plain to see local restaurants and bars have stepped it up. There's an old meets new, East meets West theme clearly evident across the city's menus. Following news of Restaurant Amuse and Neil Perry's Rockpool closing down, many feared the worst for Perth's fine dining industry. But new kids on the block, Ku De Ta, Long Chim, Wildflower and Lulu La Delizia are not letting anything deter them.

After dinner, if you're keen to continue the late night shenanigans, hidden CBD bar Helvetica, underground cocktail bar Alfred's Pizzeria, snug rooftop joint Mechanics Institute, rum speakeasy Sneaky Tony's, country-loving dive bar Alabama Song, whiskey den Varnish On King, all-day/night favourite Pica Bar, WA-proud, two-level classic bar Dominion League or these ten bars worth travelling for.

COMO The Treasury.


Turns out Perth hosts the second best hotel in the world according to Conde Naste. Yep, it's true. It's called COMO The Treasury and it's absolutely stunning. If you're a high baller with cash money to burn, look no further. Wedged between the original 1875 brick and stonework sits a sculpture of polished opulence. With the likes of David Thompson's Long Chim setting up shop inside the Hotel, one never really has to leave.


Like most Australian destinations, Perth's activities are highlighted in the sun, and no trip is complete without visiting Rottnest Island. Around 20-40 minutes from Perth is Western Australia's version of the Whitsundays (at just a fraction of the price). Think crystal blue water, powder white sand and no cars in sight. You can do Rotto in a day by hiring a bike and snorkel gear and wandering through the bays along the way. The Rotto Pub, Hotel Rottnest is where it's at for fish and chips while you take selfies with the Island's famous native little friend, the quokka. Get your return ferry to drop you at B Shed in Fremantle and explore the Maritime Museum, Fremantle Prison and Fremantle Markets.

After Rotto, head for more of the Indian Ocean coastline from Leighton Beach up to Trigg. Hiring a stand-up paddleboard from Elemental SUP is a great place to start. Whether you're a beginner, keen to head out by yourself or try SUP yoga, the team has you sorted. For those a little less SUP and little more surf, there's plenty of boards to hire in Cottesloe, Scarborough and Trigg beach.

For a change of pace, head to one of the world's largest inner city parks, King's Park. Hosting various hikes, botanical gardens, outdoor cinema and concerts, treetop walks, memorials and Indigenous history, the park is perfect for exploring for a few sunny hours. Take a picnic with you to savour while you overlook Perth city and the Swan River.



Like the majority of Australian destinations, to get the best out of them, you want to visit during summer. With an annual average of 25 degrees though, Perth is a sure thing for eternal sunshine. It's from November to April when this city really turns it on so if you can manage a long weekend around the Perth Fringe Festival or the Perth International Arts Festival you'll see Perth in its shining glory.

Published on May 11, 2017 by Holly Nicholls
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