Thursday, March 13, 2014

The perfect weekend in Perth, my isolated but gorgeous hometown

Perth is the kind of city that lots of people ask about, but few actually end up visiting. Obviously, we are kind of isolated down here, but I'm sure that's why it's such a special place. To give you a taste, this post is all about how I recommend you spend a perfect weekend in Perth - and I hope I can convince a few of you to try it sometime!

Starting my Perth weekend with some tasty Japanese food

Regular readers will know I'm a bit of an addict of good Japanese food. And there is this new-ish Japanese restaurant in Hay Street, Perth called Jun that I have not yet tried, but it was recommended to me by a really nice Japanese girl I met at a PR event last year. Both times I've tried to go there it's been booked out, so that's a good sign (but I really need to get more organised and go!). It's an izakaya style place - casual and lots of different small dishes to order - which I used to LOVE in Japan.

Downtown Perth by night (thanks to Jan Augustin Photography)

A kid-friendly Saturday in Perth

No perfect weekend in Perth is complete with entertaining my young son, of course. We are regular visitors to the Perth Zoo and on a sunny Saturday morning this is still the perfect outing. The zoo is shady and feels like a botanic garden so it's the kind of place you can go time after time and still enjoy. No visit is complete without seeing the gibbons (my son's favourite) or the giraffes (mine).

One of Australia's unusual birds, the cassowary, at Perth Zoo (thanks to Jan Augustin Photography)
Somewhere my son hasn't been yet, but I'm sure he's getting old enough to enjoy, is the Fremantle Gaol. He is (for some reason, hopefully it's quite normal) obsessed with thieves and police and stuff and thinks that if you drive through a red light the police will immediately catch you and take you to prison, so I think visiting our old prison down in Freo would be just right for him now. (Although he may not be quite ready for the candlelight tours, since I was scared by them when I was a lot older than three.) (Also, if you're keen - although it's not small-child-friendly - the tunnels tour of the prison is amazing!)

And that would leave us in Fremantle for the rest of the afternoon, and the weekend is the perfect time to be there, with all the markets open. I would eat crepes!!! (Yep, they're very tasty.) I have very fond memories of days spent at the Fremantle Markets when I was younger but have hardly made it down there in the last decade or so, which really is terrible. I must fix that!

A Perth weekend with water involved


One of the big bonuses of living in Perth is the combination of brilliant weather (there are lots of stats about us having more sunshine hours per year than practically anywhere) and access to the water, whether that's the Indian Ocean or the Swan River. So it would be really remiss of me to plan a perfect Perth weekend without getting on or in some water. The problem is that it's kind of difficult to pick exactly what I'd want to do. I haven't been catamaraning on the river since (long) before my son was born but that's always so much fun; I have also wanted for ages to take one of the river cruises that go out to the Swan Valley, involving plenty of wine and good food (may need to leave my son with his grandmother for that one!).

Seagulls fly above the Indian Ocean and a Perth beach (Jan Augustin Photography)
As much as I love being on the river, I think the beach is one of my favourite parts of Perth (or I should say, the beachES, because there are so many and they are all the most beautiful, empty, perfect white sand beaches you will ever see). So either for breakfast or afternoon tea I'd slot in a beach walk after a stop at one of our many lovely coastal cafes. It's unlikely for me to add a swim (unless the weather is crazy-hot) but I would definitely be getting barefoot and enjoying the sand and the edges of the waves. And that's my weekend!

Perth readers: what would you recommend as part of a perfect Perth weekend?
And everyone else: what are your questions about Perth - the place that nobody really knows about, but should!?


This post is an entry in a competition brought to you by the Pan Pacific Perth Hotel. Hopefully I'll get a chance to stay there!

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