Small, but perfectly formed, Perth is the jewel in the crown of Western Australia. Nestled in the Swan Valley wine region and overlooking the Indian Ocean, this iconic Australian city is a popular choice for tourists looking for an alternative to the sprawling metropolises of Sydney and Melbourne. If you are planning a visit and asking yourself ‘what can I do in Perth in 48 hours?’, you’ll be glad to know there is plenty on offer to keep you occupied. Whether you’re looking for pristine bays and beaches or premium dining and designer retail opportunities, this city has it all. Read on for our essential guide on how you can stay entertained during a short stay in Perth.
Perth might be small compared to the likes of Sydney and Melbourne, but you will not struggle to keep yourself entertained during your stay in this enchanting Australian city. Kings Park and Botanic Garden is the perfect place to idle away an afternoon and snap some unforgettable selfies, explore the native flora and fauna and maybe take in an afternoon tea. If you want to take in some history, make time for a visit to Fremantle Prison and its fascinating exhibits. Fans of architecture will also want to visit the iconic Bell Tower, which offers thrilling views of Perth and its surroundings for those brave enough to make the ascent to its top floors. If you are travelling with little ones, a visit to Perth Zoo will go down a storm. This historic zoo has been open since 1898 and is home to a multitude of animal species from across the globe. If you want to get away from the chaos of city life, the surrounding Swan Valley is also waiting to be explored and where you can find local wineries, padock to plate restaurants and also the nearby Caversham Wildlife Park for an extra animal experience for your family. Looking for that insta worthy spot to take a group picture from your time in Perth? Head just outside the city centre to Crawley Edge where the iconic Blue Boat Shed is sat on the edge of the bay.
Beautiful bays and beaches in Perth
It would be a shame to visit Perth without taking in the majesty of the Indian Ocean. This historic city boasts some of the best coastal scenery you will find anywhere in Australia. In addition to stunning coves and bays, you will find plenty of unspoilt beaches lined with golden sands. If you are looking for the perfect place to spend a laid-back afternoon, head to Cottesloe Beach or Scarborough Beach. Both of these destinations offer breathtaking blue waters and pristine beaches, with plenty of traditional pubs and casual eateries to hand. If you are looking for more adventure, grab a surfboard and head to Trigg Beach. Here, generous swells and winds provide superb conditions for surfing and paddleboarding. If you want to avoid crowds entirely, a day trip or even an overnight stay Rottnest Island is the place to go.
Where to dine out in Perth
As it lies within close proximity to the Indian Ocean, Perth’s local food is dominated by spectacular seafood. The less adventurous can keep it simple with a plate of traditional fish and chips or delve into delicious seafood platters. Lobster is a popular ingredient at many local restaurants and bistros in Perth, with plenty of waterside eateries offering up terrific dishes to suit all budgets. Other popular catches include prawns, octopus and sardines. Australian salmon is also a staple of Perth plates, while oyster bars are open to the more discerning diner. If you are looking to stay central, Victoria Park and Northbridge are both teeming with first-rate dining establishments. Northbridge is also home to Perth’s very own Chinatown, with Roe Street hosting many of the best Chinese restaurants in the city. If you have a bit more time to spare, head over to nearby Fremantle and take in the market and then dine at the wharf at some of the waterside restaurants, including the famous Cicarillos.
Nightlife in Perth
When the sun sets on Perth, Northbridge is the place to be. This cosmopolitan part of the city is home to many nightclubs and trendy bars that are open well past midnight on weekends. Elizabeth Quay offers a more upmarket alternative for those looking to enjoy a more relaxed evening. Here you will find many upscale bars and restaurants, with superb views of the Swan River and central business district. If you are prepared to travel a little further afield, head to Mount Lawley for more pubs and bars, as well as numerous microbreweries serving up some distinctly local menus.
Explore Australian Wines in Perth
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life during your stay in Perth, wine country is within easy reach. The Swan Valley lies a little north of the city itself and is home to a number of riverside wineries. This wine region is celebrated for its red grape varietals, with some of the best Australian Cabernet and Shiraz grown in this area. Spend a day cruising along the Swan River and stop off for wine tastings and tours of local vineyards, or take in the scenery via wagon. Of course, if you are looking to stick to a tight schedule and don’t want to venture too far from the city itself, you can savour the local Swan Valley varietals in almost any Perth wine bar or restaurant.
There are no shortage of shopping options in Perth. If you want a more convenient shopping opportunity, there are plenty of retail centres and malls on offer. Westfield Carousel, Garden City and the Karringyup Shopping Centre are all within easy reach of the city centre via public transport. Here you will familiar brands and designers, but if you are looking for a more unique memento of your stay in Perth, you will want to schedule in some time for a visit to one of the many local markets. The nearby Fremantle Market is brimming with vendors selling souvenirs, while Rockingham Market is perfect for those looking to stock up on crafts and artisan gifts.