Swan Bells is a bell game with eighteen large clocks mounted in an 85 meter high
glass and copper tower, and has become one of Perth's major tourist attractions
since its opening in 2000. Twelve of the bells were a gift from England and can
be traced back to the 1300's. They used to hang in the church of St.
Martin-In-The-Fields on Trafalgar Square in London, but are now part of the
world's largest functioning chimes. Swan Bells is located in Barrack Square,
Riverside Drive, and is open daily from 6 p.m. 1000 to 1800. Entrance fee NOK
30, 20 for children.
- See DigoPaul for dictionary definitions of Perth,
Australia. Includes geographical map and city sightseeing photos.
Art Gallery of Western Australia The
Art Gallery of Western Australia opened in 1979, but has a history dating back
to 1895. Here you will find paintings and sculptures from the 19th century to
the present day.
The gallery is located at the Perth Cultural Center in James Street,
Northbridge. Open daily from 2 pm 1000 to 1700.
Old Fremantle Prison
For 145 years, Freemantle Prison was Western Australia's largest prison, where
convicted criminals sat, and all executions in the state took place. The prison
was used as a high-security institution until 1991, and has been a museum ever
since. On the tours you can visit the cells and see the preserved graffiti, you
can enter the gallery and the underground tunnels. Among the prison's former
prisoners are actually Perth's great musical son, former AC / DC vocalist Bon
Scott, who is otherwise buried in Fremantle's cemetery. Fremantle Prison is open
every day from 6 p.m. 1000 to 1700 and has free admission.
This zoo in southern Perth has been open every single day since it first opened
in 1898 with two lions and a tiger. It has now grown to include over 1800
animals spread across 230 species, and the park has earned honors and awards for
its work to preserve endangered animal species. Both Siberian tigers and white
rhinos have been born in the Perth Zoo, as well as Australian species such as
numbat and black bear. Perth Zoo is open daily from 5 p.m. 0900 to 1700, and
costs NOK 85 in entry fee, children half price.
Kings Park & Botanical Gardens
This large park one and a half miles east of downtown Perth is over 400
acres. Two-thirds of the park consists of wild nature; the rest are well-kept
park areas and recreational areas for play and games. Kings Park & Botanical
Gardens was built in 1872 and got its name after the English King George's visit
in 1901. Here, 320 species of Australian plants grow, and about 80 species of
birds live here. The park is Western Australia's most popular tourist
destination and receives millions of guests each year.
Aquarium of Western Australia
This is Australia's largest aquarium. It has its own underwater tunnel that you
can stroll through while sharks, eels and turtles swim over and around you. You
can also look into beautiful, living coral reefs, visit playful seals and have
lunch on the terrace.
The Aquarium of Western Australia is open daily from 5 p.m. 1000 to 1700 and is
located at Hillarys Boat Harbor 20 minutes drive north of downtown. The entrance
fee costs around NOK 125 for adults, 70 for children between 4 and 15, and free
for the little ones.
Western Australia Museum
This museum focuses on Western Australia's history and environment, and
features anthropological exhibits, meteors, dinosaur fossils, Stone Age
artifacts and a butterfly gallery.
The museum is located in Northbridge and is open daily from 2 p.m. 0930 to 1700.
Cohunu Koala Park
Half an hour's drive east of Perth, you'll find this 14-acre park where
you can feed kangaroos, deer, ponies and ostriches. And not least you can hold a
koala, these little teddy bears that everyone but the Australians themselves
find so irresistibly charming. The bears live almost exclusively on eucalyptus
leaves and sleep 18-20 hours daily. Don't forget the camera! Cohunu is open
daily from 7 am 1000 to 1700, and costs NOK 110 entry fee, children under 14
years half price.
Two miles north of downtown Perth lies the 40-square-mile Whiteman
Park. Here you will find a bustling flora and over 120 species of animals. The
park also has an extensive network of hiking trails, bike paths, playgrounds,
tennis courts and football fields in addition to museums such as the Western
Australia Motor Museum and the somewhat special Tractor Museum.
Free admission, open daily from 7 am 0830 to 1800, and to 8 p.m. 1900 on
weekends and in the summer months.
An easy way to see most of Perth is to join a guided tour with one of the
open sightseeing buses, with comments in optional language in earphones. These
buses have a route with ten regular stops where you can hop off, stay as long as
you want and hop on the next bus at your convenience. The passport costs approx.
130 kroner, or approx. NOK 80 for children up to 10 years. You can pre-order
Although the center of Perth is relatively small and compact, the city's main
attractions are not within walking distance of each other. It will be worthwhile
to buy a day pass, a DayRider ticket for around 35 kroner, which gives unlimited
access on Perth's public buses and trains. If, however, you only have to stay
within the city center areas, ie Kings Park / Northbridge / Causeway, you do not
need a ticket, as the public transport on the red CAT buses is actually free.
Day 1 in Perth
We start today's tour of downtown Perth on Victoria Square, where the Roman
Catholic St. Mary's Cathedral of 1865, built in Gothic style, is located.
Continue down Victoria Avenue and turn right into St. George's Terrace. On the
left you have Perth Concert Hall, where there are concerts most evenings
throughout the year. Turn left into Stirling Gardens and you will see Government
House on your left. A little further down the hill you pass one of Perth's
oldest buildings, The Courthouse from 1836.
You will now descend towards the Swan River, and right in front of you, in
Barrack Gardens Park, is one of Perth's top attractions, the 85-meter-high Swan
Bell Tower with its eighteen large bells. Twelve of the bells were a gift from
England and can be traced back to the 1300s. They used to hang in the church of
St. Martin-In-The-Fields on Trafalgar Square in London, but are now part of this
world's largest functioning chimes.
If you go straight north, up Barrack Street, you will pass Perth's second
cathedral, St. Georges, and the town hall on your right. At Plaza Arc you can
turn left and you have Perth's main shopping streets right in front. In the
pedestrian streets of Hay Street Mall and the parallel street Murray Street Mall
you will find lots of shops, both small local shops and well-known chain stores
in large shopping centers.
After the shopping round, it's time to relax a bit. Walk up to Perth's train
station just above Murray Street and take the local train to Victoria Street,
which is the closest station to beautiful Cottesloe Beach. Here are plenty of
beach restaurants and eateries where you can have a good and affordable lunch
while overlooking the Indian Ocean. Afterwards, the waves or sandy beach will
probably be tempted for a few hours.
After a walk back to the hotel for a shower and some relaxation, head west to
the city center. From Mounts Bay Road, the so-called Jacob's Ladder takes you up
the steep Cliff Street and into the large Kings Park, where you have a
magnificent panoramic view of Perth and the Swan River. The observation tower
just off the botanical garden gives you great photo opportunities, as half of
the city's postcard photographers have proven for years.
When noon is set in, take a free shuttle bus or take a walk to Northbridge,
the district north of the train station. Here are most of Perth's eateries,
restaurants, bars and cafes. Your only problem is deciding what kind of food you
want for dinner. Do you have the sense of Asian, we can definitely recommend
Thai Elephant in William Street, which serves delicious Thai dishes at great
prices in very pleasant surroundings. Afterwards, Perth's little legendary
nightlife is at your feet, with hundreds of dining options that stay open until
late into the night.
Day 2 in Perth
Today it is time to get a little out of the city center. Have an early
breakfast at the hotel and get down to Barrack Street Jetty # 2, just off the
Swan Bell Tower. From here, the boat goes out to Rottnest Island, Perth
residents' favorite destination for a day trip.
The hike down the Swan River, past Fremantle and out to Rottnest Island takes
approx. 90 minutes, and on arrival it may be an idea to rent a bike to more
easily explore this 11 mile long island. You can cycle around the entire island
in about 2.5 hours at a comfortable pace, and you will come across a myriad of
beautiful beaches in idyllic bays. From time to time you will also find places
to eat and cafes, bars and ice cream parlors.
If you want to spend more than a day on Rottnest Island, there are also
accommodation options in several price ranges, from dormitories and camping, to
hotels and resorts. And it's enough to get away from cycling and swimming. You
can rent a kayak or take a glass boat ride, join a free guided hike, play golf
or snorkel, or admire the view from the top of the old Wadjemup lighthouse. You
can find a complete overview of all Rottnest Island attractions and activities
on the website.
As you see, you can easily spend the whole day, and the next, on Rottnest
Island, but when you leave in the afternoon, hop off in Fremantle instead of
traveling all the way back to Perth. This historic little port town with 25,000
inhabitants has a history as long as Perth, and many of Fremantle's oldest
buildings are built by prisoners. If you still have time, take the opportunity
to visit Fremantle Prison, now converted into a museum, or Western Australia's
oldest building, The Round House.
The harbor area is idyllic and pleasant to stroll around, with many pleasant
seafood restaurants where you can dine with great views and enjoy the breeze
from the Indian Ocean on your face. The local trains back to Perth leave often
and late, and you can end your day with a few drinks at a nice Northbridge bar
if you still have the energy.