TOP 12 ATTRACTIONS IN PERTH
Watch liquid gold being poured at the Perth Mint, go to prison and more!
The internationally renowned Kings Park & Botanic Garden covers over 400 hectares of land, and is the world’s largest inner-city park. Within its bushland boundaries lie 319 species of native plants and around 80 bird species. Kings Park is a favourite of many, and an excellent venue for scenic views, barbecues, picnics, concerts, walks and ceremonies. The park hosts a number of events throughout the calendar year, including the annual Kings Park Festival every September, which is a celebration of spring and the magnificent wildflowers common to the South West region of Western Australia. Now preparing for its 50th birthday celebration, the festival is set to be even bigger in 2013.
The park is open 24 hours and entry is free. Free guided walks depart daily from Fraser Avenue. For more info, click here
Boasting the title of Western Australia's only World Heritage listed building, Fremantle Prison is a site steeped in history. Built between 1851 and 1859, it operated as a prison for 136 years, from 1855 to 1991. Here you can unveil the secrets of the past through a number of daily tours. Live the life of a prisoner on the ‘Doing Time’ tour, or learn about the rebels in the ‘Great Escapes’. For the more daring souls, the spooky ‘Torchlight Tour’ explores the darker side of the prison, exposing the shocking events that took place deep within the walls of Fremantle Prison, and the ‘Tunnels Tour’ takes you down beneath the surface to the many labyrinths and passageways that were once a workplace for the convicts.
Open daily. Entry is free to certain parts of the Prison. All tours run daily except for the Torchlight Tours. Tours cost between $19 and $60. Pre-booking is required for the Torchlight Tour and the Tunnels Tour. Click here for more info.
Caversham Wildlife Park
This family owned wildlife park is home to around 200 different animal species. The walk-through environment will guide you past animals, birds and reptiles, and the various daily attractions give you the chance to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s best-loved creatures. During a trip here you can meet the koalas, feed the kangaroos, have your picture taken with the resident wombat, watch the farm show, and learn about the animals at various presentations.
Open every day from 9am-5:30pm. A minimum of three hours is recommended for exploring the park. Click here for more info.
Covering nearly 4000 hectares of land, Whiteman Park is home to a number of environmental attractions including a Birds of Prey flying display. It also has a strong emphasis on vintage transport; here lies the Motor Museum of WA, the Revolution Transport Museum and the Tractor Museum of WA. Catch a vintage bus, tram or train and ride across the park or take one of the numerous walking or cycling trails to explore the bush, and stop off at the picnic areas along your way to make use of the electric barbecues available to the public.
Open daily from 8:30am-6pm. Free entry to the park. Admission fees apply to the Motor museum and some special exhibitions. Click here for more info.
AQWA (The Aquarium of Western Australia)
AQWA is an extensive aquarium that showcases the vast marine life of Western Australia’s magnificent 12,000km coastline. Home to over 4000 varieties of fish, it takes you on an underwater journey through the different sections of the surrounding coastline. Wander through the Great Southern zone, past the Shipwreck Coast - where there is an opportunity to snorkel/dive with sharks, along the Perth Coast and up towards the Far North area. The aquarium also houses its own coral reef with guided reef walks, as well as The Danger Zone featuring some of Western Australia’s most dangerous marine life. You can also get to know the animals at the touch pool.
Open daily from 10am-5pm. Admission: Adult $29, Concession $21, Child (4-15 years)$17.Click here for more info.
Housing animals from all across the globe, Perth Zoo is one the world’s leading conservation zoos. With healthier objectives than most, it hosts a number of programmes and breeding schemes and works in partnership with outside organisations on conservation projects. Attractions throughout the day include a primate walk-through, feeding a giraffe, meeting the resident bull elephant and witnessing the amusing penguins at feeding time.
Open daily from 9am-5pm. Adults $22.50, Children (4-15 years)$11.30, Concessions/Seniors $18.50.
Famous for its spectacular tulip blooms in early spring, Araluen is a marvellous Botanic Park located 35km outside of Perth’s centre. Within this 59-hectare garden grows a whole host of plant species, including Camellias, Rhododendrons, Roses and Magnolias. Take a picnic and spend a day exploring the gardens, or catch one of the free trams around the park for a more comfortable trip. Araluen hosts a number of events throughout the year, including its annual Chilli Festival in March.
Open daily from 9am-6pm. Admission: Adults $4, Children $2.
The Western Australian Maritime Museum documents Western Australia’s affinity with the ocean. It establishes the maritime activity both past and present in the coastal city of Fremantle, and houses a number of leisure boats, sailing boats and commercial boats for visitors to explore.
Over in the Shipwreck Galleries, discover what happened out to sea in the disasters along Western Australia’s treacherous coastline. Here you’ll find hundreds of relics from shipwrecks that occurred in the area throughout history, including Batavia (wrecked in 1629), and the Dutch shipwrecks Zuytdorp, Zeewijk and Vergulde Draeck.
Both the Museum and the Galleries are open daily from 9:30am-5pm. Admission: Adults $10, Children $3, Concession $5, Family $22. Free entry for the Galleries. Click for further info on museum and galleries.
Get your paws on solid gold at Perth Mint, where you’ll learn about the world’s most sought after metal. Established in 1899, the Perth Mint is Australia’s oldest mint that is still in operation. Housed within a grand heritage building, the guided tour will walk you through the building, teaching you all about Australia’s golden history. When visiting here, be sure to watch a gold pour – a spectacle in which pure gold is heated to molten temperatures and transformed into a solid gold bar. Other attractions include the world’s largest gold bar exhibition, the opportunity to engrave your own medallion, and a chance to view the world’s largest and most valuable coin. You can also view the largest natural gold nugget collection in Australia and see some of Perth’s historic coins.
Open daily 9am-5pm. Admission: Adults $15, Concession $12, Children (4-15 years)$5. Guided Tours available. Click here for more info.
The Bell Tower, one of Perth’s most renowned landmarks, is the only place in the world where you can view bell ringing, done by volunteers, in action. This giant musical instrument gives visitors the opportunity to have a go at bell ringing in an interactive demonstration and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the bell-ringing chamber. The oldest bell in Australia is also on display. The tower offers magnificent 360-degree views over the Swan River and the Perth city skyline from its sixth floor observation deck, providing the perfect opportunity to get those all-important holiday snaps.
Open daily from 10am. Entry Fees: $14 Adults / $9 Concessions. Click here for more info.
Making science, technology, engineering and mathematics interesting, SciTech is an interactive science centre in the heart of Perth. Although primarily aimed at children, SciTech welcomes the whole family to a day of science performances, lab experiments, puppet shows and hundreds of fascinating exhibitions. The centre is also home to Australasia’s largest planetarium for all the stargazers out there.
Weekends, school holidays and public holidays: 10am-5pm. Weekdays: 9.30am-4pm. Adults $17, Children (4-15 years) $11, Concessions $14.Click here for info.