There’s a lot more to Perth than you think! By Rachael De Foe
Before heading to Perth, I had no idea just how much there was to do. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a convert. For those wondering what I’m talking about, here are five recommendations to really max out your trip down under.
1. Experience history in the present
You won’t have to look far to experience the past. In Perth’s historic heart, you’ll find the iconic State Buildings – formerly known as the Lands, Titles and Treasury – which have been restored to retain its mid 19th century architecture and repurposed to breathe new life into the city’s past.
Today, the hub houses an urban space for the public with an array of dining, retail, arts, lounging and entertainment experiences. If you’re planning to make a stay of it, check out the luxury hotel, COMO The Treasury, that’s home to 48 elegant rooms featuring the original high ceilings, cornices and balconies of the former building.
2. Bike around Rottnest Island and snap that famous quokka selfie
If you’re looking for a fun day trip, Rottnest Island or “Rotto” as locals call it, makes for an incredible city escape. It’s a short ferry ride from Perth with the Rottnest Express and if you’re lucky, you’ll even spot dolphins in the water.
Once you’ve reached the island, make sure to rent a bike because cycling around Rotto is one of the best ways to see its picturesque coastline! Along the way, you’ll discover jaw-dropping sights like the crystal blue beaches, famous pink lake, lighthouses and much, much more. For those who are keen for a dip in the ocean make sure to wear your swimmers. And while you’re at it, why not rent a snorkel too!
Also, don’t forget to say hi to the locals… the quokkas that is! These little fur-friends can only be found in Western Australia and are all over the island. About the size of a rabbit, quokkas are muppet-like marsupials with a hop like a kangaroo. They’re known for their cheery temperament and being photogenic so if you were thinking of grabbing a snap, they won’t be bothered if you bend down for a selfie. Just make sure not to touch or feed them and of course, to respect their personal space.
3. Instead of your usual meal, head out for a progressive dinner experience
Unlike your typical sit-down meal, progressive dinners involve having your entrées, mains and desserts in different locations and eateries. That’s right – finally a way to try the city’s most mouth-watering dishes all in one night! It’s a perfect way to eat while seeing the city on foot, and is most suited for groups of friends or families.
One of my favourite dinners was with Megan Yazdani who founded the Fremantle Food Tours after a spark of inspiration during her travels. Our evening began just 30 minutes out of Perth in the famous port city of Fremantle with nibbles from a local deli, followed by a trek to taste the many eclectic dishes mapped out for dinner and finally with dessert overlooking a nearby pier.
4. Visit the beach, even if you don’t have your swimmers
Ask any Perth-sider and they’ll be quick to tell you that a beach visit is a must. Even when the weather gets a little chilly, there are lots of reasons to visit the seaside. Whether it be for a Sunday laze, a sunset jog with your pup, or a picnic with friends, it’s worth setting aside some time for a visit to the coast.
Cottesloe and City Beach are both close to the CBD and a favourite with locals. Once you’re done, I also recommend checking out the boutique stores and seafront cafes which are usually a quick stroll away.
5. Try local produce in a different way
It’s no secret that some of the freshest ingredients can be found Australia. But what’s the best way to try it? Well, lately in Perth, what’s popular among locals is integrating homegrown produce into recipes from other cultures.
One dining space doing this in a special way is The Hummus Club. Founded by Australian-Lebanese couple, Ziad and Kaitlin Zammar, this restaurant places a big emphasis on supporting local. Dishes like its namesake are cooked by using homegrown ingredients – such as Western Australian chickpeas, lemon juice from the Swan Valley and locally grown herbs and veggies – in traditionally Middle Eastern recipes.
But perhaps what’s most impressive, is that The Hummus Club is the result of a $50,000 crowdfunding campaign to transform a market stall into a brick and mortar establishment. Inside, the walls have been decorated by Tunisian calligraphy artist Karim Jabbari to feature the names of all their campaign backers in Arabic on one side, and on the other, a beautiful Middle Eastern poem!
Looking for a holiday to remember? Jetstar flies up to three times daily between Singapore and Perth with one way promotional fares starting from S$109, all inclusive. Visit www.jetstar.com for more details.
Go Away was invited on a press trip to Perth by Jetstar and was not paid to write this review. All opinions are the author’s own.
07 Apr 2017