Perth is a city that effortlessly merges its beaches, bushlands, and river- beds with its chic bars, restaurants and metropolitan areas. Come weekend, and this lively riverside city, bustles with excitement. There is so much to see and do in Perth, that not only visitors, but locals too, are tirelessly trying out new activities and destinations. Full of paid and free attractions, we consider it best that you should first see what the city has to offer gratis, and then carefully select where you would like to spend your hard-earned money.
Here are 13 free activities that will keep you occupied on a visit to Perth, while at the same time giving you an idea of what Perth and its nearby areas areas all about.
1. Watch Fairy Penguins at the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park: Located just 31 miles from the city of Perth, Shoalwater Marine Park that stretches along 1.86 miles is a great place for snorkeling, diving and watching wildlife in their natural habitat. Here you can catch sea lions basking in the sun and little fairy penguins feeding in the interaction center. Entry to the park is free.
2. Plan a Day Out at Kings Park and Botanic Garden: The Kings Park is bigger and better than New York's Central Park. Just next to the Swan river- the King Park offers great views of the river, Perth city skyline, and the Darling Range. Spotted with more memorials than any other Australian Park, the Kings Park is ideal if you wish to lose yourself in plenty of nature and a little history as well.
3. Get some Cultural Perspective at the Cultural Centre: Centrally located, the Perth Cultural Centre is an amalgamation of several buildings housing various organizations. You will find here the Western Australian Museum, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Library and Information Service of Western Australia, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and The Blue Room Theatre. Since so many manifestations of culture, theater venues, galleries, studios, a library, and a museum have been assembled in a single place, it is unlikely that you, or anyone, will return disappointed.
4. Go Geocaching with the Kids: Treasure hunts take on a whole new meaning when you take your kids geocaching at Perth. Download the geocaching app (from www.geocaching.com) on your iPhone and take your child along on a treasure hunt of Perth. The app will show you the three nearest locations where a treasure has been hidden. Go to the location and hunt for your bag of goodies. Once found, encourage your kid to replace the treasure with something else, so that the fun may continue.
5. A Picnic at the City Beach: Right next to a huge shopping precinct, the City Beach is a long stretch of clean, white and sandy beach, which sees a lot of local footfall during weekends and in summertime. A separate play area is cordoned off for children, while a considerable expanse of ground is marked for picnics. Deckchairs are available too, where you can soak in the sun while keeping an eye on your children frolicking in the gentle waves. Stay back till evening, and you will be rewarded with a splendid view of the red sun setting on the tranquil golden waters.
6. Get tipsy in Swan Valley: Swan Valley, a region famous for 40 family-owned vineyards, is just a half-hour drive from Perth. It is Western Australia's oldest and most popular wine growing region. The drive itself is a delight where you get to see miles of uniformly planted, apricated grape vines. Most of the wineries here, have received several accolades; so quality is never a problem. Another way to access the region is by the Swan River, on a boat. Most wine tasting tours are free, or have a meagre charge— about $2 to $3 per person. The wineries also have nice little cafes, where you can catch a quick bite.
7. Ramble through the streets of historic York: York is the oldest inland settlement in Western Australia, found way back in 1831. As you stroll through the lanes of York, old buildings like the York Town Hall, the old flour mill and the courthouse take you back in time. You may even hit some walking trails like the one leading to Mount Brown or that along the Avon river. Spend the afternoon on the main street Avon Terrace, where you can enjoy a nice slice of cake at one of the several cafes that line this bustling road.
8. Windsurfing at Lancelin: Just 58 miles north of Perth, Lancelin is a beautiful coastal town Windsurfing and rock-lobster fishing on its beautiful bay draw plenty of visitors from Perth and across. Bring your own sailboard or rent one, and enjoy some of the best waves in Western Australia. You may also try quad-biking and sand-boarding on its beautiful sand dunes. On spring days you will see colorful wildflowers that totally transform the landscape. Sea lions and dolphins are a common sight in the Lancelin bay throughout the year.
9. Go from one Great Spot to another in the Central Area Transit Bus: The Central Area Transit (CAT) bus is free and operates on three major lines connecting the city's key attractions. They cover the areas between Northbridge, East Perth and West Perth. There is a Free Transit Zone in the city, where you can ride any bus for free. Bus stops included in the Free Transit Zone marked with the FTZ logo.
10. A free Didgeridoo Class: The largest shop selling didgeridoos is here in Perth. And they give you a fifteen-minute class for free. A didgeroo is an Australian aboriginal percussion instrument in the shape of a long wooden tube. Unless well-acquainted with the instrument, you will end up making embarrassing jarring noises in the name of music. But do not worry, trained didigeroo players will help you out. Though not much, a short free class is a fun way to learn about aboriginal music. You can take additional classes for a price, if interested.
11. Tour the Little Creatures Brewery for free: The brewery is in no way little. It is set inside a huge boat shed in the Fishing Boat Harbour that has been converted and made the home of some of the finest pilsner beer found in West Australia. Free tours of the brewery are made available at 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.
12. Free fitness classes at Northbridge Piazza: The piazza at Northbridge is mostly agog with a lot of great activities, most of which are free. If you are visiting Perth, and are missing your daily morning calisthenics, then head to the Northbridge Piazza. There are free classes in Tai Chi, cross-fit, and yoga. Evenings are beautiful with free romantic movies for young adults, and entertaining family movies for kids.
13. Free iCity Tours: These are special tours led by friendly volunteers who guide you through the best attractions in Perth. You can also find the City of Perth Information Kiosk in the Murray Street Mall. Here, they help you with city maps, self-guided tour brochures and all the information you need— everything for free. The volunteers at the information helpdesk also conduct 90-minute specialty tours for free.