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  • 48 Hours in Perth

    Posted by Samuel Cox January 28, 2014 - 1,708 views - 0 comments - 0 likes - #food  #beach  #drink  #BarrackStJetty  #Governmenthouse  #kingspark  #stGeorgecathedral  #northbridge  #cottesloe  #swanvalleywine 

    In the past, Western Australia’s main city might have been deserving of its stereotype as a ‘sleepy’ destination, but consecutive State governments have invested in polishing this ‘diamond in the rough,’ transforming Perth into a destination to rival our overtly fabulous bigger brother and sister cities on the East Coast. Like Lucy Lui, Perth has gotten better with age and there is a tremendous amount to choose from for those limited to 48 hours in the world’s most isolated capital. Here’s my suggested itinerary!




    To get a feel of Perth, start at the Barrack Street Jetty on the foreshore. The major construction occurring here intends to develop the waterfront and has been ongoing since 2012. This collaboration between the State Government, Perth City Council and the private sector will see an inlet created to bring the river closer to the city. The inlet will be surrounded by landscaped terraces, boardwalks and promenades, and fringed by shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and other activities. The potential is enormous, but for now, it’s an eyesore that needs explaining. Ignoring that, soak in the views of the South Perth foreshore and Kings Park, and take a moment to be underwhelmed by our Bell Tower, before heading over for a walk in the serene Supreme Court Gardens. Move on to enjoy a look at Government House. This venue continues to be the private residence of the Governor of Western Australia, but there are infrequent ‘open days’ where the public can venture inside.



    Noting Saint George’s Cathedral which is directly across the road, one of two cathedrals in the CBD, walk down Saint George’s Terrace towards King Park, before turning onto King Street. This marks a move into the shopping district and King Street houses, among others of a similar kind, Tiffany’s, Gucci, and Venn, a bar, shop and contemporary art gallery. Upon reaching Murray Street, turn right, and walk back into the pedestrian Mall. The Mall is composed of Murray Street, the parallel Hay Street and Forrest Chase (which hosts a Twilight Food Market the last Friday of every month during Summer).



    After spending some time in the city, head towards Northbridge. This boiling pot is both China Town and the main clubbing and entertainment precinct. In the past, Northbridge was a hotspot for late-night, alcohol-fuelled violence. Nowadays, it has a much better reputation, and is jam-packed with hipster havens, street art and kooky shops.



    Two bastions of Perth’s ancient public transport system have cleaved the CBD and Northbridge since time immemorial. The State government is in the midst of sinking the central bus and train stations below ground so that hotels, shops and entertainment venues can bridge the divide. Currently, there are few paths between the two, so the best way is through the train station and into the Perth Cultural Centre. Here you will find the State Library and Museum, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, James Street Amphitheatre (which screens quirky short films nearly 24/7), the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authorities pleasant Urban Orchard and direct access to William Street. Have lunch on this street, at any of the quaint venues nestled between delightful fashion stores, or buy a few food items and take them with you to your next stop.


    A change of scenery will see you venture to King’s Park for a stroll. Brimming with the State’s unique flora, this biologically diverse bushland offers sweeping views of the Swan River, the city skyline and the Darling Ranges to the east.




    To conclude the day, return to Northbridge. For drinks, go to the Mexican-themed La Cholita. The menu offers a fine selection of tapas and, although providing a spectrum of drinks, an impressive range of tequila. For dinner, there’s no better option than Northbridge newbie The Old Crow. Located within a heritage cottage, the reasonably priced Southern American soul food is making waves. A changing menu makes it difficult to recommend a particular dish, but, if it is still available, the pulled pork is delish!



    Start day two with a trip to Perth’s most famous and well-loved beach Cottesloe (known as Cott to the locals). Australia is famed for its warm, clear water and white sand beaches, and WA has been blessed with the best of the best. Enjoy a walk along the beach before the day heats up (and take a morning dip if the mood suits). For breakfast or a morning coffee, a ten-minute walk back to Napoleon Street (behind the Cottesloe train station) means you can choose between Vans or Cimbalino, two relaxed but excellent cafes. The venues along the beach itself may be picturesque, but you pay heavily for the location and view.




    Next, head back to the CBD for an Upper Swan lunch cruise with a popular local cruise company. The boat departs (daily in Summer and most days in Winter) at 1.15PM from Barrack Street Jetty and returns at 4.00PM. Meander towards the famed Swan Valley wine growing area while enjoying the full bar facilities and buffet as you pass icon landmarks such the new Crown Casino Complex and the Belmont Park and Ascot racecourses. As the focal point of the city, the suburbs cling to the beautiful and peaceful Swan River.



    Finally, a short walk from Barrack Street Jetty will take you to Brookfield Place. This recently developed area on Saint George’s Terrace is in the heart of Perth’s business precinct. At the base of the numerous skyscraper office complexes are a number of incredible fine dining restaurants and bars. Perth’s business crowd flock to these locations after hours and, although the prices are high and the dress code smart, the atmosphere is great. Head to the refurbished, heritage listed Newspaper House (where WA’s bestselling daily newspaper The West Australian used to be printed) for dinner. With each floor hosting a unique venue, The Apple Daily Bar and Eating House on level one is the place to go. Named after Hong Kong’s popular daily newspaper, it serves a modern, Asian style share menu partnered with exclusively WA produced wine and beer.


    For those who want to kick on into the night, there are plenty of wicked bars and clubs to enjoy which I’ll cover more comprehensively in the near future. For now, stay in Brookfield Place and partake in the popular ‘Brookfield Run’.


    Begin at Choo Choo’s (directly across from the Trustee), a quaint space originally intended to be used for storage for the surrounding bars and restaurants. The quirky, fun bar does away with drinks menus as the impressive bar staff know how to make any drink you fancy requesting. For a treat, pick a spirit you enjoy and let the bar staff create you something undoubtedly delicious! Next, head to Bar Lafayette, which is two spots down. This plush, decadent venue has filled its nooks and crannies with comfortable armchairs in which to enjoy a cocktail or boutique beer. Return to Newspaper House for your next stop, but bypass The Apply Daily and continue to Bob’s Bar. This rooftop venue, still boasting the original ‘The West Australian’ neon sign, is named after our most colourful and longestserving Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke (who is particularly well respected for sculling a yard glass in Guinness World Record time while at university). Lastly, Print Hall Bar and Dining Room is located on the ground floor of Newspaper House. Head here for an expensive tipple to bring the night to a close.