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It’s Good Down South Best Perth Suburbs South of the River

It’s Good Down South: Best Perth Suburbs South of the River

There are many reasons why living south of the Swan River is an attractive prospect to many people—great attractions, accessible public transportation, and awesome nature spaces too!

There are many awesome suburbs south of the Swan River; you may find it hard to pick one!

But no worries because here we’ll discuss in detail which of these suburbs are the best and why they deserve to be called your next home.

What are the best suburbs in Perth south of the Swan River?

The best suburbs in Perth south of the Swan River are Applecross, Como, Rivervale, South Perth, Carlisle, Forrestfield, and Hilbert.

Let’s dive in and see what are the pros and, if there are any, cons to living in these suburbs.


Highlight(s): Heathcote Reserve and South of Perth Yacht Club 

Location: 7 km SW from the Perth CBD

Population: 7,228

Let’s start the list with a beautiful riverside suburb, Applecross. Located a mere seven kilometres away from the Perth CBD, this suburb is great for those looking to live close to the city centre while still living a quiet suburban life.

Unfortunately, everyone likes that idea of living too much. As of July 2023, the average house price in Applecross is $2,000,000, which is too expensive for most people.

It would be better to buy an apartment unit instead, as one only costs $692,500 on average here.

So why is Applecross so popular? One big reason is how easy it is to visit the livelier places of Perth from this suburb like Fremantle, South Perth, and the Perth CBD.

To travel to other parts of Perth, you only need to ride a bus from the nearby Canning Highway. You can also just bike or walk across the Canning Bridge to catch a train ride at the Canning Bridge railway station.

Applecross is also filled with nature spaces where you can relax after a long day at work. Its biggest one, Heathcote Reserve, has trails where you can jog or bike around as well as playgrounds where your kids can spend the entire afternoon.

Another notable landmark in Applecross is the South of Perth Yacht Club. This yacht club offers a place where sailboat and yacht enthusiasts can socialise.

It even offers sail boating and windsurfing lessons to newcomers!

Moving on, let’s discuss whether Applecross is a safe suburb to live in. Thankfully, this suburb is one of the safer places to live in Perth, as it only has a crime rate of 2.5 crimes for every 100 residents as of July 2023.

Did you know? Applecross has a memorial dedicated to the famous actor Heath Ledger in Heathcote Reserve.
He was known for his stellar acting in many of his roles including his famous performance as the Joker in Christoper Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy.


Highlight(s): Collier Park Golf, Neil McDougall Park, and Como Beach 

Location: 6 km S from the Perth CBD

Size: 6.7 km2

Population: 14,786

Our next one on the list, Como, is actually just right across the Canning Bridge from Applecross. This riverside suburb’s almost central location and beautiful scenery are why it deserves to be included in this list.

Buying a house here is still an attainable goal for a lot of people. The average house price in Como as of July 2023 is $1,050,000.

Don’t worry if you find that a bit too pricey. A good alternative is to buy an apartment unit instead because it only costs $485,000 on average.

For those prices, what exactly will you be getting? For starters, you’ll have many transportation options for getting around Perth.

You can quickly visit the Perth CBD by riding a train from Canning Bridge railway station. Alternatively, you can also drive on or catch a bus that goes through the Kwinana Freeway to visit the city centre.

Como is also connected to other major roads like Canning Highway and Manning Road so you won’t find it difficult to visit other places like Perth Airport or Fremantle.

When it comes to attractions, Como doesn’t disappoint. The Collier Park Golf located southeast of the suburb is a great place to have some afternoon fun with your friends thanks to its mini golf courses.

Meanwhile, the Neil McDougall Park is a dog-friendly park where your furbabies can play around and interact with other dogs. It also has walking and biking trails where you can exercise before starting the day.

Another good place to hang out and relax is Como Beach. My favourite spot here is the fishing pier where I can just sit at the end of the jetty and watch the countless boats and ferries pass by across the Swan River.

Safety-wise, Como is actually doing pretty well despite having a population of over 10,000. The crime rate of this suburb is 3 crimes for every 100 residents as of July 2023.

Did you know? In Neil McDougall Park, there is a unique rock that resembles the head of a great white shark rising out of the water.
Known as the Shark Rock, this cool-looking rock is one of the local attractions in Como.


Highlight(s): Bilya Kard Boodja Lookout, iFLY Perth, and Balbuk Reserve

Location: 5 km E from the Perth CBD

Size: 3 km2

Population: 10,897

Who says you need to pay a premium to live in a suburb close to the Perth CBD? Rivervale is a riverside suburb that has recently started to gain massive attention thanks to its good house prices and close proximity to the city centre.

Thankfully, Rivervale’s house and unit prices are still quite affordable to most people. As of July 2023, the average house price in this suburb is $635,000.

Meanwhile, the average price for an apartment unit sits at $405,000.

The list of positives that you can get with these prices is amazing. First, you’re only a mere five kilometres away from the Perth CBD, which can easily be covered with a single bus ride.

If you prefer to use the train, the nearby suburb of Burswood has a train station that connects it to the Armadale Line. If you’re travelling to farther places like Fremantle, you can simply ride the train to the Perth CBD and switch to another train line there.

Rivervale is also surrounded by bigger and livelier towns where you can spend an entire day having fun with friends and family. The suburb of Belmont to the east has great attractions like the Belmont Forum and Reading Cinemas.

Rivervale also has attractions you can check out! If you’re curious about skydiving but have a phobia of heights, iFLY Perth offers an indoor skydiving experience.

For a relaxing time, Rivervale also has nature spaces like Bilya Kard Boodja Lookout and Balbuk Reserve. Make sure to get your cameras ready when visiting these places because they offer amazing views of the Swan River during sunset.

The only criticism I can really say about this suburb is its crime rate. Rivervale’s crime rate as of July 2023 is 6.1 crimes for every 100 residents, which can be off-putting to some people.

Pro tip: If you’re looking to take some amazing photos of the Swan River without any tall skyscrapers included in the shot, try visiting Rivervale’s Cracknell Jetty.
The land across this jetty doesn’t have any high-rise buildings that may ruin your shot.

South Perth

Highlight(s): Perth Zoo, Sir James Mitchell Park, Old Mill, Mindeerup, and Royal Perth Golf Club

Location: 3 km S from the Perth CBD

Size: 5.2 km2

Population: 12,596

Of course, a list about the best suburbs south of the Swan River won’t be complete without mentioning the beautiful historic suburb of South Perth

This suburb is filled with amazing attractions, cafes, and nature spaces. One of its iconic streets, Mill Point Road, is flanked on both sides by great bars and restaurants like The Windsor Hotel and Geláre.

Speaking of attractions, South Perth is home to some of Perth’s most recognisable attractions like the Perth Zoo and the Old Mill. The Old Mill is known for its status as one of the oldest buildings in Perth.

Meanwhile, the Perth Zoo remains popular among tourists thanks to its impressive collection of rare animals. It holds a staggering amount of 1,258 animals of 164 different species as of 2023.

When it comes to nature spaces, South Perth’s Sir James Mitchell Park is a great spot to host a picnic with your friends. It also has many food trucks, so you don’t need to bring a packed meal.

Another thing this suburb offers is easy access to public transportation. Not only do you have easy access to buses and trains, but you can also easily ride ferries here.

The Mends Street Jetty located west of Sir James Mitchell Park offers regular ferry trips to different locations of Perth including the Perth CBD and Fremantle. A ferry ride from here to the Perth CBD will only take you less than 15 minutes!

Unfortunately, South Perth’s amazing location and easy access to public transportation means demand for housing is high. As of July 2023, the average house price in this suburb is a staggering $1,800,000.

Apartment units are still somewhat affordable for most people with the average price for one currently sitting at $480,000.

As for the suburb’s safety, it has an impressively low crime rate. As of July 2023 it has 2.3 crimes for every 100 residents.

Pro tip: If you’re a huge fan of exotic animals, I highly suggest you sign up for a Perth Zoo membership. 
Being a member gives you a long list of benefits like priority entry during the zoo’s peak hours as well as free entry to partner zoos across Australia.


Highlight(s): Koolbardi Dog Park, Fletcher Park, and Carlisle Reserve

Location: 7.4 km SE from the Perth CBD

Size: 2.6 km2

Population: 6,733

Carlisle is another great suburb to live in south of the Swan River that is close to the Perth CBD. Its reasonable home prices and close proximity to many amazing towns are why it makes the list.

To begin, the average house price in Carlisle as of July 2023 is $600,000. Meanwhile, the average price for an apartment unit here is $468,000.

These prices can be considered reasonable especially when you consider the suburb’s great location and easy access to public transportation.

You can easily get around to other places from Carlisle thanks to its train station that connects it to the Armadale Line. If you prefer to drive or take the bus, the nearby major roads like Albany Highway lets you travel to the Perth CBD within minutes.

When it comes to spending some quality time with your friends and family, the nearby suburbs of Belmont and South Perth have plenty of entertainment centres and attractions that you can visit.

However, you might ask, are there any places worth checking out in Carlisle itself?

Well, don’t worry because this suburb has amazing nature spaces where you can rest your feet and relax after a long day. One such example is Fletcher Park where you can watch a local soccer or cricket match from time to time.

The Koolbardi Dog Park is also a great relaxation spot for you and your dogs since it has a dog playground and a wide green space where your furbabies can run freely.

The only real negative point I can say about Carlisle is its slightly above-average crime rate. As of July 2023, the crime rate of this suburb is 6.8 crimes for every 100 residents.

Pro tip: Practise your kickflips at Lathlain Skate Park. It’s open to the public 24/7, so feel free to visit it anytime you want to improve or show off your skateboarding skills.


Highlight(s): Mundy Regional Park and Hartfield Park

Location: 15 km SE from the Perth CBD

Population: 13,181

Looking to enjoy a more laid-back living experience? Then Forrestfield might just be the suburb you’re looking for.

This suburb is located near the eastern edge of the Perth Metropolitan Area and features amazing nature spaces fit for a quiet lifestyle. It’s also just southeast of Perth Airport, which can be a huge plus if you’re working there.

A great reason to live in Forrestfield is its reasonable house prices. The average house price in this suburb as of July 2023 is $506,750.

Apartment units are even cheaper with the average price currently sitting at $365,000.

Okay, so home prices in Forrestfield are reasonable for most Perthites, but is it easy to travel from here to other places in Perth for a job or to hangout with friends and family?

Thankfully, there are plenty of bus routes that pass through this suburb that can take you to places like the Perth CBD.

If you prefer taking the train, you can also ride a bus to High Wycombe north of Forrestfield. The train station there is connected to the Airport Line, which starts at High Wycombe and ends at Claremont.

As I’ve mentioned before, Forrestfield is the place to be for those looking to spend most of their time away from the noise of the city. This suburb is filled with amazing nature spaces like Hartfield Park and Mundy Regional Park.

Mundy Regional Park is actually one of the biggest bushlands you can visit in Perth. Its long and winding bush trails are filled with various flora and fauna.

I sometimes visit this place to exercise. My long walks here are rewarded in the end with an amazing view of Perth’s towering skyscrapers and the suburbs surrounding it.

Safety-wise, Forrestfield is a sound place to live in. The crime rate of this suburb as of July 2023 is 3.9 crimes for every 100 residents.

Pro tip: Forrestfield hosts a night market between spring and summer. Invite your friends and family there for a fun night filled with foods, drinks, and exciting activities!


Photo credit: legotravellers

Highlight(s): Shipwreck Park and Sienna Wood Dog Park

Location: 31 km SE from the Perth CBD

Size: 8.6 km2

Population: 4,165

Aside from Forrestfield, Hilbert is another suburb where you can enjoy a quiet suburban life away from the noise and bustle of the Perth CBD.

Located 31 kilometres southeast of the Perth CBD, this suburb is one of the few remaining in the city that isn’t touched by any major land redevelopment projects.

Thus, house and land prices are still affordable here. As of July 2023, the average house price in Hilbert is $460,000 while the average price for undeveloped land is only $189,500.

This makes Hilbert a great suburb for those who prefer to build their homes rather than buy an established house.

Despite its somewhat underdeveloped status, important facilities like schools, hospitals, and grocery stores are still within easy reach for the residents of this suburb.

The nearby suburb of Armadale is a hub of activity in this area. It has many schools for your kids off, and it also has a health centre, so you won’t need to visit major hospitals in the Perth CBD.

Also, should you need to visit the Perth CBD, Armadale has its own train line that connects it directly to the city centre. This makes it possible for someone to travel from Hilbert to the Perth CBD within only 30 minutes.

Another great thing about living in Hilbert is its low crime rate. As of July 2023, the average crime rate in this suburb is only 1.6 crimes for every 100 residents.

The only real downside that I can think about Hilbert is the lack of any major attractions worth visiting. Still, it has plenty of green spaces where you can spend a relaxing weekend with your family.

One such example is the Shipwreck Park, which is a massive kids’ playground designed to look like a shipwreck. Another park worth checking out is Sienna Wood Dog Park where you and your dog can walk and play around every day.

Did you know? Hilbert got its name from the Hilbert family, a family of dairy farmers that used to inhabit the area.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Suburb in Perth South of the Swan River

Now that you know some of the best suburbs in Perth south of the Swan River, it’s time to compare them considering some very important factors.

Access to Public Transportation

Having easy access to public transportation is a great deal for most people when choosing a suburb. While driving is still a feasible option in Perth, it can get pretty exhausting especially when you encounter traffic jams and bad weather.

Thankfully, public transportation in Perth is rapidly improving to match the city’s growing population. The city’s transport authority, Transperth, operates and maintains the city’s three public transportation systems: buses, trains, and ferries.

To check which of these three is available in your preferred suburb; head to Transperth’s website. You can also learn the timetables for the day or any service interruptions on this website.

Here’s a table quickly showing the public transportation options you can easily access in each suburb. The data presented here was gathered from Transperth and Moovit

SuburbPublic Transportation Available
ApplecrossTrain: Mandurah LineBus: Route 111, 114, 115, 158, 160, and 910
ComoTrain: Mandurah LineBus: Routes 30, 100, 101, and 910
RivervaleTrain: Thornlie LineBus: Route 935
South PerthTrain: Mandurah LineBus: Route 30, 34, and 35Ferry: Mends Street Jetty
CarlisleTrain: Armadale LineBus: Routes 37, 39, 283, 998, and 999
ForrestfieldTrain: Airport Line (via High Wycombe Station)Bus: Routes 270, 271, and 280
HilbertTrain: Armadale Line (via Armadale Station)Bus: Routes 250, 252, and 254
Pro tip: Get yourself a Transperth SmartRider card if you plan to use public transportation as your main method of getting around the city. This card gives you some awesome perks like an automatic 10% discount on your fares.

Availability of Housing Options

Aside from public transportation, it’s also important to learn the current property prices in each suburb so you’ll know which of them suits your budget.

To help you navigate the confusing house market a bit easier, here’s a quick table showing the average housing prices for each suburb on this list as of July 2023. 

This data was provided by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA).

NeighbourhoodMedian House PriceMedian Unit PriceMedian Unit Rent (Per Week)
South Perth$1,800,000$490,000$550

The table shows that the most expensive suburbs to live in south of the river are Applecross and South Perth. 

However, there are still many suburbs like Rivervale and Carlisle that allow you to live close to the Perth CBD without having to pay a premium price.

Pro tip: Make sure to allot money for at least a 20% down payment when purchasing a home. A bigger down payment lets you get more favourable terms on your mortgage and it also helps you get a lower interest rate.

Crime and Safety

The ability to live in peace without the fear of encountering violence or harassment is something all people want when choosing a place to live in.

Perth is generally considered a safe place to live in, ranking 6th in the Economic Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Rankings. 

Still, this doesn’t mean that you can just throw caution to the wind. Some areas of the city are known for being crime hotspots, especially during the night.

Here’s a table showing the crime rates of each suburb we discussed earlier. Please take note that the data was gathered from the crime statistics published by the WA Police Force as of July 2023.

SuburbCrime rate per 100 residents
South Perth2.3

Thankfully, most of them experience very few crimes compared to their population size. The only suburbs that I have a slight concern with are Rivervale and Carlisle.

Pro tip: Vigilance is key in preventing crimes from happening in your neighbourhood! Make sure to save Perth’s emergency number 000 on your phone so you can be ready to call for help at any moment.

Cost of Living

Knowing how much it would actually cost day-by-day to live in Perth is an important factor to consider when looking for a suburb to live in here. 

According to Budget Direct, Perth is the sixth-most expensive city to live in Australia (out of 10 major Australian cities). It’s less expensive than Sydney and Adelaide.

It’s also amazing to know that Perthites have at least an 8.70% higher purchasing power compared to the national average.

To help you prepare for your expenses while living in Perth, here’s a table showing the most common expenses and their average prices here compared to their nationwide averages.

ExpensesPerth AverageAustralia Average
Rent (monthly)$1,626$1,733.08
Basic utilities (monthly)$194.82$216.50
Internet (monthly)$77.44$76.88
Mobile plans (monthly)$0.56$0.42
Public transportation (monthly)$139$150
Eating out (2 meals)$40$40
Fitness club (monthly membership)$69.20$66.39
Cinema (1 ticket)$19$18
Clothing (chain store)$73.38$59.82
Eggs (1 dozen)$4.82$4.80
White bread (500 g)$2.51$2.84
Milk (1 litre) $1.69$1.68

As you can probably guess, items or services that are easily produced in Western Australia tend to be a lot cheaper here. 

However, Perth’s distance from other major cities means that imported goods tend to be pricier as well.

Pro tip: A great way to save money is to prepare your own meals rather than eating out. 
The best place to get your ingredients is from one of the many farmer’s markets in Perth! Some markets you can visit south of the Swan River are The Farmers Market on Manning and Palmyra Western Farmers Market.

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