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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Perth Sightseeing
Perth Sightseeing Guide - TravelPuppy.com
Several of Perth’s tourist attractions are a fair distance from town, for instance, the beaches, the Perth Hills and Fremantle, however, the inner city area is not without its charms.

Remarkably clean and attractive for a modern, high rise city, the wide, long streets of the Perth central business district brag a selection of historic buildings, museums and parks, all within a relatively compact area.

A day exploring Perth is made all the more pleasant by great shopping opportunities (especially in the Malls Precinct), and the number of quality restaurants and cafés, many of them with outdoor seating. Northbridge is the seat of Perth’s cultural life, while brilliant shopping and dining can be enjoyed in Subiaco, to the east.

Tourist Information

Western Australian Visitors Centre

Address: Forrest Place, corner of Wellington Street
Telephone: (1300) 361 351.
Facsimile: (08) 9481 0190.
Email address: travel@tourism.wa.gov.au
Website address: www.westernaustralia.net
Opening hours:
August to April:

Monday to Thursday 8.30 am to 6.00 pm, Fridays 8.30 am to 7.00 pm, Saturdays 8.30 am to 5.00 pm, Sundays 10.00 am to 5.00 pm

May to July:
Monday to Thursday 8.30 am to 6.00 pm, Fridays 8.30 am to 7.00 pm, Saturdays 8.30 am to 12.00 pm.

Passes

There are not any tourist passes currently available in Perth.

Art Gallery of Western Australia

Perth’s major gallery has a eternal collection of Australian and international art and one of the finest collections of Aboriginal art in the world. The gallery is also the venue for main national and international touring exhibitions.

Free guided tours are held every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and bookings are required.

Address: Perth Cultural Centre, James Street, Northbridge
Telephone: (08) 9492 6622.
Facsimile: (08) 9492 6655.
Email address: admin@artgallery.wa.gov.au
Website address: www.artgallery.wa.gov.au
Transport: A short walk from Perth City Busport and Perth Railway Station.
Opening hours: Daily from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Admission: Free, special exhibitions carry a charge.

AQWA – The Aquarium of Western Australia

Newly refurbished, the former Underwater World boasts delightful dolphins performing 3 times a day for their supper. Less charming but unquestionably fascinating are the sharks and crocodiles at their respective feeding times.

The main aquarium’s 100 metres (328 feet) glass tunnel, the biggest in Australia, brings visitors in among schools of fish, turtles, stingrays and the formidable sharks. Sea creatures can also be touched at the interactive Discovery Pool.

Address: Southside Drive, Hillarys Boat Harbour, Hillarys
Telephone: (08) 9447 7500.
Facsimile: (08) 9447 7856.
Email address: bookings@aqwa.com.au
Website address: www.aqwa.com.au
Transport: Joondalup Train to Warwick Interchange, bus no. 423 to Sorrento.
Opening hours:

Winter: Daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm

Summer: Wednesdays 10.00 am to 9.00 pm, Thursday to Tuesday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Admission: A $20 (concessions are available).

His Majesty’s Theatre


Short sighted principles have seen the demolition of most of Australia’s old theatres but His Majesty’s still stands in all its Edwardian glory. Arguably the most spectacular theatre in Australia, its features include ornate gilded foyers, a magnificent marble staircase and a domed, 3 tiered auditorium.

A venue for opera, plays, musicals and dance, the theatre is also home to a remarkable collection of performing arts memorabilia. Friends of the Theatre conduct tours from Monday to Friday, departing from the foyer.

Address: 825 Hay Street
Telephone: (08) 9265 0900.
Facsimile: (08) 9265 0945.
Website address: www.hismajestystheatre.com.au
Transport: It is a short walk from Perth City Busport and Perth Railway Station, Red Cat.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm (tours).
Admission: Free (for tours).

Kings Park & Botanic Garden


Lined by gum trees, the superb Fraser Avenue entrance to Kings Park gives an indication of what lies ahead, stunning views of the city and the Swan River, impressive monuments and a true wilderness in the heart of the city.

Covering 400 hectares (990 acres) on Mount Eliza, the park is criss crossed by walking trails and bicycle paths (bikes are available for hire). The sombre State War Memorial honours the Anzacs killed in World War I, with an eternal flame and engraved monument.

Of particular interest is the West Australian Botanic Garden, with its collection of native flora, including 1,700 varieties of wild flower. There is also a café, restaurant, Aboriginal art gallery and children’s playgrounds. During summer, the park hosts open air film screenings, plays and concerts. Daily guided walks depart at 10.00 am and 2.00 pm from the Karri Log, on Fraser Avenue.

Address: Kings Park Road, West Perth
Telephone: (08) 9480 3600.
Facsimile: (08) 9322 5064.
Email address: enquiries@bgpa.wa.gov.au
Transport: Bus 32, 33, 72 or 103, a 15 minute walk from the city centre.
Opening hours: Daily 24 hours.
Admission: Free.

Mundaring Weir

For those exploring Perth by car, this destination in the Perth Hills is both a mesmerizing piece of engineering history and a picturesque picnic opportunity. The weir and its pumping station were constructed in the 1890's, to supply water to the Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie goldfields, 563 kilometres (350 miles) to the east, and succeeded against all expectations.

The weir and its bush land surroundings are an remarkable sight and the weir wall can be crossed on foot. A museum housed in the original pumping station honours C Y O’Connor, the visionary engineer who designed the scheme but committed suicide prior to its completion.

The museum is currently open on Sunday only. But with the centenary of the O’Connor project coming up, the museum is being renovated and will be re launching soon. Nearby are an arts and crafts shop, the Lavender Patch tea rooms, an outdoor summer cinema and the Mundaring Weir Hotel, a delightfully rustic country pub that is as old as the weir itself.

Number One Pump Station (C Y O’Connor Museum)
Address: Mundaring Weir Road, Mundaring
Telephone: (08) 9295 2455.
Facsimile: (08) 9295 2455.
Transport: Great Eastern Highway and Kalamunda Road to Kalamunda.
Opening hours: Sundays 12.00 pm to 5.00 pm.
Admission: Free.

Perth Mint

A well preserved remnant of the gold rush era, Perth’s 100 year old mint offers an enjoyable public tour. Visitors can see A $200,000 pure gold bars being poured and are offered to touch them. They may also mint their own personalised medallions and spectate the production of gold, silver and platinum coins.

Address: 310 Hay Street, corner of Hill Street
Telephone: (08) 9421 7223.
Facsimile: (08) 9221 9804.
Email address: pmint@global.net.au
Website address: www.perthmint.com.au
Transport: Red Cat.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 4.00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9.00 am to 1.00 pm.
Admission: A $6.60 (concessions are available).

Perth Zoo


Perth’s small but popular and conveniently situated zoo boasts an Australian Bush walk, where visitors can observe native animals in their natural habitat, and African Savannah. Visitors should keep an eye out for the numbat, the marsupial that is the symbol of Western Australia. The daily keeper's talks allow the public to get close to the animals.

Address: 20 Labouchere Road, South Perth
Telephone: (08) 9474 3551.
Email address: e-mail@perthzoo.wa.gov.au
Website address: www.perthzoo.wa.gov.au
Transport: Bus 35, 108 or 110, the ferry from Barrack Street to Mends Street.
Opening hours: Daily 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Admission: A $14 (concessions are available).

Swan Bells


Perth’s advanced and somewhat controversial bell tower, which opened at the end of 2000, is situated at the foot of Barrack Street, on the Swan River Foreshore. Dubbed the Swan Bells, the 80 metre (260 feet) tower houses the historic bells from St Martin in the Fields, a gift to Perth from the City of London for the Australian Bicentenary in 1988.

For panoramic views, visitors can climb the tower via steps. The development also contains restaurants, shops, reception rooms and a tourist information centre.

Address: Barrack Square
Telephone: (08) 9218 8183.
Facsimile: (08) 9325 2507.
Website address: www.swanbells.com.au
Transport: Blue Cat, Ferry to Barrack Street.
Opening hours: Daily 8.00 am to 4.00 pm.
Admission: A $6 (concessions are available).

Scitech Discovery Centre

Science meets showbiz at this glitzy attraction featuring over 160 hands on exhibits covering such topics as magnetism, electricity and acoustics. The Mega Morphin Heli Sub Simulator takes visitors on a virtual flight over Perth, before dives beneath the (virtual) sea. New exhibits are introduced every 6 months.

Address: Corner of Sutherland Street and Railway Parade, West Perth
Telephone: (08) 9481 5789.
Facsimile: (08) 9321 2869.
Email address: ticketing@scitech.org.au
Website address: www.scitech.org.au
Transport: City West station (Fremantle Line) or Red Cat.
Opening hours: Daily from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Admission: A $12 (concessions are available).

Western Australian Museum

Housed in a complex containing some of Perth’s oldest buildings, the Western Australian Museum focuses on natural history, with bird, mammal, dinosaur, marine and butterfly displays.

The Aboriginal Gallery is outstanding, as is the museum’s collection of meteorites, while the 25 metres (82 feet) skeleton of a blue whale is another highlight. A newer exhibit is Land & People, Western Australian history brought to life.

Address: James Street Mall, Northbridge
Telephone: (08) 9427 2700.
Facsimile: (08) 9427 2882.
Website address: www.museum.wa.gov.au
Transport: Blue Cat or Weekend Cat.
Opening hours: Daily from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.
Admission: Free.