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.
A relatively little-known wine region around four hours' drive south of Perth in the south-westernmost corner of Australia. Both the climate and the grape blends are reminiscent of Bordeaux, although the wineries have a strong Aussie accent: friendly, fun and also offering great food. My favourite is Wise Winery on Eagle Bay, which offers sweeping vistas of Geographe Bay from a panoramic dining terrace - the perfect setting for a delicious lunch, accompanied by a glass of 'Half Wit' Chardonnay or their 'Coat Door' Shiraz / Cabernet blend. The sheltered crescent of Meelup Beach is just down the road.
Semillon Sauvignon heaven, with a simple roast tomato soup, sitting on a simple bench overlooking the vines, a golden light like chardonnay filtering through the leaves. Bliss.
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’.
Rottnest Island (or 'Rotto' to the locals), is a 30 minute catamaran ride from Fremantle. It's the only place where you can see quokka, which resemble small kangaroos.
Rottnest has fabulous beaches in crystal clear water and is great for a day out or short trip from Perth. No cars are permitted, so cycling is popular.
A hotel and beer garden overlook Thomson's Bay and there are a selection of food outlets and cafes at the Settlement.
You can even stay in the former Aboriginal jail, which is now a hotel.
Ferry from Fremantle to Rottnest (booking ahead is recommended). Return journey approx $60 at time of writing.
Google map: tinyurl.com/kuw36s
Read the review of Northbridge below, and could hardly believe my eyes. I'm a fan of WA, so don't agree with all the east coasters that choose to give Perth a good slagging - BUT - and it's a big one - every time I've been there on a weekend evening it has been packed with, for want of a better word, utter w**kers, and if you know WA's lifestyle ethic at all, you know I don't mean workers.
I don't think I've seen so many people itching for a fight since a drunken night in Leeds many years ago - and I was a student with a southern accent, so I was asking for it.
I don't have anything against energetic and enthusiastic young people out to have a good time - but it's not normally the best envrionment for a nice meal.
Much better idea for the end of a rugby tour pub crawl.
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!
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com