Ocean Beach Hotel in Cottesloe, the "swanky" part of Perth with a super beach. Have a lazy day at the beach then get into OBH for a cold, cold Hahn beer or something similar. Fridges full of chilled glasses ensure this is a cold beer. Ignore the TVs and the sport. Just take a seat at the open bar front and enjoy the sunset over the Indian Ocean. Sydney may have its harbour, but it doesn't get the sunset. Enjoy the multitude of colour across the ocean as the sun dips behind the horizon ... then order another beer.
The Swan Barracks were built in 1896, and this imposing stone structure is one of the oldest buildings in Northbridge. But you won’t find soldiers in the cavernous drill-hall – the historic building has been converted into a bright and breezy hostel, and the modern rooms have a laid-back vibe, with bar fridges and widescreen TVs. A stone’s throw from the bus and train station, and next door to the lively bars and clubs of Northridge, this hostel is a quirky mix of old and new, and even has its own ‘Barracks Bar’, complete with barrel bar stools.
Catch a ferry along the Swan River to Fremantle, or ‘Freo’ as it’s known to locals, for the oldest market in Western Australia. It’s worth the trip just for the Ferry pilot’s funny anecdotes and pocket history of Perth, as the odd pod of dolphins swims by in the water. The market’s historic Victorian buildings have been restored and now 150 stalls sell an eclectic mix of pottery, prints and fresh food. The rest of Freo is worth checking out for its colonial history – many of the old buildings here were built by convicts - and the excellent microbreweries for a quick pint; ‘Little Creatures’ is worth a look for its ‘tasting room’.
Microbrewery and bar in a huge converted boat shed on the Fishing Boat Harbour in Fremantle – you can sit and drink their Pale Ale while you watch it being made. Also has a restaurant and a harbourside terrace.
Head out to the Indian Ocean beaches at Cottesloe (15 mins on train from Perth) and go to the Blue Duck overlooking the beach. Time it late afternoon and sit on the outdoor terrace with a mango daiquiri and something simple to eat from the extensive menu (the potato wedges are great!). If you've timed it right you'll be able to watch a stunning sunset over miles of glorious beaches. A second mango daiquiri will prove to you life doesn't get much better than this!
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