Travel: Perth through the eyes of a local

Today’s guest blogger is Perth based writer Lisa Berson. Lisa and I met in Sydney when attending Carla Coulson’s Get Published Workshop.

"Picture This" Workshop with Carla Coulson. I'm in the front row in white and Lisa is next to me :) Photo by Deanna Gerlach
“Picture This” Workshop with Carla Coulson. I’m in the front row in white and Lisa is next to me 🙂 Photo by Deanna Gerlach, used with permission by Carla Coulson.

I’ve been to Perth only once, in 2004 when I traveled to the Margaret River to attend a Wine Tourism Conference, so I invited Lisa to share her local’s perspective on Perth. Enjoy!

My Guide to Perth


Katische has asked me to write about my beloved Perth for a while now. I have kept putting her off because how do you write and share almost 20 years of memories in a single post?

I moved to Perth 19 years ago from a country town in WA and have lived both North and South of the River. In the last few years, the Perth social scene has exploded and there are so many more options in every suburb, not just in the Perth City Centre.

Below are a few of my favourite places you should visit. Please note I am a little biased and have based my recommendations mainly on the city centre and Fremantle but if you have friends who live north of the river, then their recommendations will be entirely different.


City Skyline of Perth

Perth City & Kings Park A grand view of the city and the Swan River. Inner-city suburbs such as Mt Lawley, Mt Hawthorn, North Perth, Northbridge, East Perth all have fantastic places to eat, drink and shop.

Cottesloe Beach

The best place to pull up a chair at the local café or bar and people watch. Enjoying a Sunday Session at the local beach watching the sunset over the ocean is considered an institution in our city. Catch the train from either Perth city or Fremantle to enjoying the view, ocean and beach house vibe in an afternoon with friends.

Fremantle (Freo to the locals)

Bathers Beach

Welcome to Little Italy. Fremantle is has a distinct family-friendly character and so much to do. Start your day with coffee at Gino’s, wander through the famous Fremantle Markets, watch the buskers, take the kids to the new (free) skate park down on the Esplanade. Take a tour of the haunted Fremantle Prison. Finish the day off at Little Creatures (a brewery that used to be home to a Crocodile Park) or the Twilight Bathers Beach Markets.


Mt Lawley, Leederville and Inner City Suburbs

Laneways and side streets filled with street art, live music, wine bars, jazz clubs, outdoor community markets, rooftop movies and food trucks vans. These suburbs have an upmarket community feel to them. A starting point for a night out should be The Five Bar, The Brisbane Hotel or The Queens Hotel all located in Mt Lawley.


A drive north along the coast road from Fremantle and you will eventually hit Hillarys. Visit AQUA (Ocean Aquarium), shopping boardwalk or splash in the paddle beach for kids.



You can catch a ferry to this small island (from Hillarys or Fremantle) which is car-free and approx. 20km off the coast of WA. Most Perthites have at least one summer memory spent at Rotto.

Something a Little Different

Walking Tours around Perth, sharing a different perspective of Perth. Cruise on the Swan River, Visit the Twilight Food Markets in the Perth City at Forrest Chase, Fremantle Markets, bathers Beach Markets. Outdoor rooftop Movies. Ghost Tours of Fremantle Prison, Brewery and Winery tours of the Swan Valley.

Family Fun

Skate Park
Skate Park

Drive along the Perth Coast and pick any beach on your journey to chill out on, To entertain the kids, visit the Perth Zoo, Adventure World, Burswood Outdoor Movies, Perth City Roof-top Movies, Hillarys Boat Harbour (The Great Escape) Fremantle Skate Park, Serpentine Falls, Fremantle Markets, Supa Golf in Ellenbrook, Mundaring Weir & Pub (Sunday Roast on a Spit, Live Music) in the Perth Hills or hire a car, drive north of Perth and explore the Yanchup Caves.

A bit of Music, Art & Culture

Perthite’s love their live music, theatre, and events. Over summer, there are so many festivals, market stalls, and free community events to be involved in. See the links below to get all the updated information.

The Fremantle Arts Centre, Barking Gecko Theatre, His Majesty’s Theatre, The Heath Ledger Theatre, Luna Palace Centre Leederville, Perth Art Gallery, and heaps of street festivals and markets days happen throughout summer in all suburbs. 

Where to Eat & Drink


In Perth, eating is an event. On Sundays, Perthites tend to travel from one meal to another. Our cafes definitely have a personality all of their own and usually have a story to tell those who go there. If only those walls could talk!


zepher's cafe
The view from Zepher’s cafe in Freemantle


Fish and Chips at Cottesloe Beach.

Order your fish and chips from the local chippie and walk down to beach or grassed areas to take in the view or work on your suntan. Cottesloe Beach has playgrounds, grassed areas for families and restaurants, cafes & bars for those who are looking for something a little more upmarket.

The Swan River.

Peppermint Grove

The Swan River divides north and south of Perth but is the glue that keeps us all together. There are so many restaurants, events and grassed areas along the Swan River especially throughout the summer months that you are spoiled for choice. Take a day cruise (other cruises include lunch or dinner) on the Swan River (get on at Barrack Street Jetty). A little local secret: most sailing clubs offer Twilight Sailing during the mid-week. Non-members can pay a low-cost price which is a fantastic alternative experience to a cruise.

Mundaring Weir Hotel. (Perth Hills) 40-45 minutes drive from Perth City

Take in the view from the lookout bridge on Mundaring Weir, then travel down the road to the Mundaring Weir Hotel for their Sunday Session for Roast on Spit, and Live Music

The Swan Valley

Join a winery & brewery tour bus to sample a taste of what WA has to offer. The Margaret River Chocolate Factory, Luewin Estate

Serpentine Falls (45-mins to hour drive from Perth)

Another worthwhile road trip but this time, grab a picnic and head southwest down towards Armadale and visit Sepentine Falls. A short walk from the car park into the National Park ($12 entry), plenty of bbq’s, swimming holes or drive around to the Serpentine Dam and café for lunch.


* Most of the Wine bars listed offer food & tapas menus.


Heathcoate Reserve, Applecross, Perth
Sunset from Heathcoate Reserve, Applecross, Perth

Helpful Links to plan your Perth trip


Perth Bloggers

Phew! Thank’s Lisa that was certainly comprehensive, and I’m sure everyone will be bookmarking this blog for when they travel to Perth because you’ve covered everything! Certainly a few days is not enough to cover it all!

Lisa Berson is a freelance writer, copywriter & blogger.

Lisa Berson

Living the sea change life in coastal WA with my family of five. There is never a dull moment in my life and I love it that way. During the week I write (feature articles, web copy and ghost blogging) and then catch babies on the weekend (I am also a midwife). My words have been featured on Kidspot, Leaders in Heels and personal blog Woogsworld.

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