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Unique Things You Never Knew About Perth, WA

Unique Things You Never Knew About Perth, WA

Wondering what’s unique to Perth in Western Australia? This sun-soaked paradise is brimming with distinct charms that will make your wanderlust soar to new heights. 

Follow our guide below, where you can learn more about the city and enjoy its one-of-a-kind delights!

What makes Perth’s history unique?

What makes Perth’s history unique
Image from National Museum Australia

Perth is typically known for its sunny weather and laid-back vibes, but we believe the city is so much more than that! Its unique history comes from a captivating blend of colonial heritage and Aboriginal culture that makes it unlike any other place. 

As the capital of Western Australia, Perth witnessed the struggles and triumphs of early settlers, with its roots dating back to 1829

Picture this: the city was found to be a land of vast opportunities and endless possibilities, tucked away in the far reaches of Western Australia. 

Then Captain James Stirling, a man with a vision as expansive as the outback itself, established the Swan River Colony. 

To be more precise, this colony was the first place people settled on the Swan River. They soon gave it the name Perth, and it became the well-loved capital of Western Australia.

We think colonial life in Perth wasn’t all sunshine and picnics, though. The early settlers faced their fair share of challenges, including blistering heat, limited resources, and a notorious lack of bars and pubs (gasp!). 

But in our opinion, it’s a good thing that their tenacity prevailed over time. They built a city that would soon become the thriving metropolis we know today.

Moreover, we believe that the city’s location (isolation and remoteness) has helped shape its development. For us, this gave Perth its distinctive character, which reflects the resilience and pioneering spirit of its people.

What is the importance of the Swan River to Perth’s history?

What is the importance of the Swan River to Perth’s history
Image from Visit Perth

Location: Southwestern Western Australia
Contact details: +61 8 9267 9267, [email protected] 

The Swan River is important to Perth’s history as it acted as a lifeline for the early settlers, providing them with sustenance, and transportation – but most importantly, a scenic backdrop for photos (or paintings)!

So more than just a picturesque waterway, we feel that this shimmering beauty holds the key to Perth’s heart. 

The river also played an instrumental role in shaping the city’s identity. We like that it brought people together, fostering a sense of community as they gathered along its banks for leisurely strolls and convivial gatherings. 

It also fueled Perth’s growth, as the river served as a vital trade route, enabling goods to flow in and out of the city. So, next time you dip your toes in the Swan, remember that you’re immersing yourself in Perth’s historical heart.

Pro tip:

Perth’s sunny weather is legendary, but so is its UV index. So when visiting the Swan River, it’s best to lather on that sunscreen, sport a fashionable hat, and stay hydrated. 

This way, you can keep that holiday glow without the sunburn that your dermatologist warned you about!

What are some little-known historical facts about Perth?

What are some little-known historical facts about Perth
Image from Canva

Now, it’s time to reveal some fun trivia from Perth’s past that will leave you both informed and entertained.

Here are a few little-known historical facts that may pique your curiosity:

The Birth of the ‘City of Light’Did you know that Perth earned its nickname, the ‘City of Light’, back in 1962?

This was when it became one of the first cities in the world to switch on its street lights using natural gas – talk about illuminating innovation!

The Quokka QuirkDoes your heart easily melt for cute animals? Rottnest Island is home to the adorable and smiley quokkas.

Early Dutch explorers mistook these friendly marsupials for giant rats and named the island ‘Rotte Nest’, which means ‘rat's nest’ in Dutch.

A Monumental FeastLooking for family or romantic date ideas? In 1962, Perth held the Guinness World Record for the largest ever picnic!

Over 154,000 people flocked to Kings Park armed with picnic blankets and hampers, indulging in a massive feast – it was a day of gastronomic glory and camaraderie!

The Mystery of Perth's Underground TunnelsDo you like mystery? Beneath the bustling streets of Perth lie a network of mysterious underground tunnels known as the ‘Perth Tunnels’.

These hidden passages were built in the late 19th century and were initially used for transporting goods and providing access to buildings.

The Pigeon Post PhenomenonBack in the early 20th century, Perth embraced what we think is an unusual mode of communication: pigeon post!

Pigeons were used to carry messages between Rottnest Island and the mainland, ensuring speedy and reliable communication for the island's inhabitants.

Who knows? Maybe one of these fun facts may come in handy when you’re going around the city someday!

What are the natural wonders of Perth?

What are the natural wonders of Perth
Image from Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale

Want to see awe-inspiring natural wonders that grace the vibrant city of Perth? The city has everything from unique flora and fauna to hidden gems that we think will leave you breathless.

So, grab your sunscreen, pack your sense of wonder, and let’s dive into the splendour of Mother Nature below!

Explore John Forrest National Park’s Paradise

Explore John Forrest National Park’s Paradise
Image from Explore Parks WA

Address: Park Rd, Hovea WA 6056, Australia
Contact details: +61 8 9290 6100
Operating hours: Open 24 hours

  • Standard Vehicle – $15
  • Standard Concession – $8
  • Large Vehicle – $7
  • Large Vehicle Concession – $2.5
  • Motorcycle – $8

Nestled in the Darling Range, John Forrest National Park seems like a nature lover’s paradise. In our opinion, this lush sanctuary is a haven for bushwalkers, wildlife enthusiasts, and those seeking serenity amid Western Australia’s natural beauty.

We recommend venturing into the park’s woodlands to encounter a diverse range of plant life. Here, you’ll see some jarrah, marri, and wandoo trees. 

Just keep an eye out for native animals like kangaroos, emus, and an array of bird species, including colourful parrots and majestic eagles. The park prohibits guests from feeding them due to safety concerns.

Within the park, you may also discover remnants of the old railway line that once connected Perth to the eastern Goldfields. 

The Swan View Tunnel, constructed in the late 19th century, is also a fascinating historical landmark that we feel adds a touch of intrigue to the park’s landscape.

Pro tip:

During the spring months (August to November), John Forrest National Park bursts into a riot of colour as wildflowers blanket the landscape. So, we suggest marking your calendars as early as you can!

Here, you can witness the vibrant hues of everlastings, kangaroo paws, and orchids, creating a breathtaking display of Western Australia’s floral diversity.

Go to the Crystal Cave at Yanchep National Park

Go to the Crystal Cave at Yanchep National Park
Image from Explore Parks WA

Address: Yanchep Beach Rd &, Indian Ocean Dr, Yanchep WA 6035, Australia
Contact details: (08) 9303 7759
Operating hours: Open 24 hours

  • Standard Vehicle – $15
  • Standard Concession – $8
  • Large Vehicle – $7
  • Large Vehicle Concession – $2.5
  • Motorcycle – $8

Do you find caves enchanting? Escape to the idyllic Yanchep National Park, a nature lover’s paradise located just outside of Perth. 

We like that this sprawling parkland offers a diverse range of natural attractions, from pristine beaches to abundant wildlife.

But our favourite is located deep within Yanchep National Park, the Crystal Cave. For us, it’s a magical underground wonderland adorned with stalactites and stalagmites you might be interested in. 

Also, it’s best to wear your best hiking boots if you want to embark on one of the park’s numerous trails. The Wetlands Boardwalk is a must-visit for us – it offers a chance to spot waterbirds and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the park’s wetland ecosystem.

Pro tip:

Instead of going without an itinerary, we recommend taking a guided tour. This lets you explore the hidden gems and marvel at the natural beauty that lies beneath the surface. 

Meditate by the Serpentine Falls

Meditate by the Serpentine Falls
Image from Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale

Address: LOT 1 Falls Rd, Serpentine WA 6125, Australia
Contact details: +61 (0)8 9525 2128
Operating hours: Sunday to Saturday – 8:30 AM – 5 PM

  • Standard – $7 to $15
  • Concession – $0 to $8

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, we recommend venturing to the serene and picturesque Serpentine Falls (Serpentine-Jarrahdale things to do). 

Nestled within Serpentine National Park, this natural gem offers cascading waterfalls, tranquil swimming holes, and scenic walking trails that we believe will leave you in awe of Mother Nature’s beauty.

In addition, Serpentine Falls is home to native wildlife such as kangaroos, emus, and a variety of bird species, providing ample opportunities for wildlife spotting.

The Serpentine River cascades over ancient granite rocks to form the falls, which we also believe is a paradise for those who are travelling during the summer.

Pro tip:

Serpentine Falls is just one part of Serpentine National Park, which offers more natural wonders to explore. For us, it’s great to extend your visit by taking a walk along the Kitty’s Gorge Trail or the Baldwins Bluff Nature Track after. 

These scenic trails will lead you through lush bushland and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape!

What are the different cultural influences in Perth?

What are the different cultural influences in Perth
Image from Canva

Perth, the vibrant capital of Western Australia, is a melting pot of cultures that has shaped its unique identity. 

We think it’s fascinating that the threads of various traditions, beliefs, and customs are what hold Perth’s cultural landscape together in a vibrant mosaic. 

It’s a city where ancient Aboriginal culture harmoniously coexists with the influence of Asian and European settlers, creating a rich tapestry that’s both captivating and enlightening for both locals and travellers.

First, the roots of Perth’s cultural heritage can be traced back thousands of years to the Noongar people, the traditional custodians of the land. 

Their deep connection to the land, known as ‘Boodja’, is reflected in their art, storytelling, and spiritual practices. 

To immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture, we recommend visiting the Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Kings Park, where you can learn about Dreamtime stories, bush tucker, and traditional art.

Of course, Perth’s cultural tapestry wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging the influence of Asian and European settlers who have made their mark on the city. 

Waves of migration from countries like China, Malaysia, Italy, and Greece have contributed to the vibrant multicultural fabric of Perth.

If you want to know more, Perth’s Northbridge neighbourhood is a hub of Asian culture, offering a tantalising array of authentic cuisine, lively markets, and colourful festivals. 

You may explore the bustling streets, try delectable Asian street food, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of this cultural enclave.

European influences are also evident in the architecture, cuisine, and cultural celebrations of Perth. We feel that the charming port city of Fremantle, with its heritage buildings and vibrant cafe culture, is a testament to the city’s European heritage. 

We encourage you to savour the flavours of the city’s European-inspired cuisine by strolling along the historic streets and indulging in freshly brewed coffee.

Pro tip:

Keep an eye out for multicultural festivals and events that celebrate the diverse cultural influences in Perth. 

The Perth International Arts Festival, Lunar New Year celebrations, and Greek Festival are just a few examples of the vibrant cultural tapestry that comes alive throughout the year.

What is the sporting culture in Perth?

What is the sporting culture in Perth
Image from Optus Stadium

Do you love doing sports as a means of getting fit or just as a casual hobby? In Perth, we think passion, dedication, and a healthy dose of competition (and also beer) come together to create a sporting culture like no other. 

From the thrill of Australian Rules football to the grace of cricket, Perth seems to be a city that lives and breathes sports. 

Perth is a sports lover’s paradise because it offers a wide range of sporting activities and events that cater to every taste. In our opinion, anyone can enjoy themselves – from the most devoted fan to the casual observer.

Because of this, sports in Perth bring people together. This is regardless of age, gender, or background, creating a shared passion that transcends boundaries. 

Moreover, Perth’s love for sports seems to extend beyond the field. They have local clubs and sports associations that are becoming integral parts of the community fabric.

Behind the scenes, Perth’s sports history is also peppered with fascinating stories and little-known facts that add an extra layer of intrigue to the sporting culture.

Did you know that Perth is home to two AFL teams? They’re the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers. 

The Eagles took flight in 1987, becoming the first non-Victorian team to join the AFL, while the Dockers entered the league in 1995. These teams have since become fierce rivals, igniting passionate support from their loyal fan bases.

Perth has witnessed its fair share of historic sporting moments too, but one that stands out for us is the Ashes victory of 1978. 

The illustrious Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson led the Australian cricket team, which defeated England with an incredible innings and a 170-run victory in a thrilling match at the WACA Ground. 

For many enthusiasts, it was a remarkable display of skill and dominance that left cricket fans in awe.

Pro tip:

Embrace the sporting culture of Perth by participating in your favourite sports or trying out new ones. Join a local sports club or hit the picturesque jogging paths and cycling trails in the city’s beautiful parks. 

In our opinion, this is a great way to stay fit, meet new people, and embrace the sporting spirit of Perth.

What is unique about the food and drink scene in Perth?

What is unique about the food and drink scene in Perth
Image from Canva

Are you a foodie? Surprise your taste buds as we treat ourselves to a delicious journey through the unique food and drink scene of Perth. 

Perth’s culinary paradise is bursting with flavours from around the world, so we believe the city has something to satisfy every craving. 

From trendy cafes serving up artisanal coffee to fine dining restaurants showcasing innovative cuisine, Perth is a gastronomic playground that never fails to impress, in our opinion. 

With a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and a growing emphasis on sustainability, the food and drink scene in Perth can be a delight for most palates.

Since Perth’s diverse culinary landscape reflects its multicultural fabric, we think it’s best to sample their local cuisine and specialties.

With its proximity to the Indian Ocean, Perth is renowned for its delectable seafood. We recommend trying the succulent Western Australian rock lobster, freshly shucked oysters, and the iconic fish and chips served with a generous squeeze of lemon. 

Whether you’re dining at a beachside restaurant or enjoying a picnic on the beach, the ocean’s bounty awaits!

If you’re an exotic diner, you might like to know that Perth’s food scene embraces indigenous flavours as well. Some restaurants incorporate ingredients like kangaroo, emu, quandong, and wattleseed into modern and creative dishes. 

Those who want to expand their ingredient list may also check out the vibrant food markets scattered across Perth. This involves the Fremantle Markets, the Perth City Farm Market, and the Twilight Hawkers Market. 

These bustling markets offer an array of local produce, international street food, and artisanal products. We suggest you grab a plate, follow the enticing aromas, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere!

Is it time for wine yet? No worries, because just a short drive from Perth, the Swan Valley region beckons with its picturesque vineyards and cellar doors. 

You may go on a wine tasting adventure, sample award-winning wines, and indulge in gourmet delights. Don’t forget to bring home a bottle or two to savour the flavours of the region.

Speaking of alcoholic drinks, Perth also boasts a vibrant rooftop bar scene, offering stunning vistas of the city skyline and the sparkling Swan River. 

Sip on a refreshing cocktail, enjoy a craft beer, or sample a locally produced gin as you soak in the breathtaking panoramic views. For us, it’s the perfect way to unwind and enjoy Perth’s colourful nightlife.

Another option for you and your friends is to join a foodie walking tour and see the hidden culinary gems of Perth. We suggest taking a guided adventure through lively neighbourhoods, tasting a diverse range of dishes from various cuisines. 

Along the way, we believe you’ll learn about the city’s history, culture, and the stories behind each delectable bite.

Pro tip:

Don’t be afraid to try new combinations and innovative dishes that bring together ingredients and techniques from different cultures. 

However, we feel it doesn’t hurt to check if you need any gastronomic issues checked or allergy medications while you’re on this vibrant foodie adventure.

What are the best ways to get around Perth?

What are the best ways to get around Perth
Image from The University of Western Australia

Worried about navigating the sprawling city of Perth? Don’t fret, because we’ve got your back with the best ways to get around Perth and some savvy tips to ensure a smooth journey. 

First, hop on the CAT. No, we’re not talking about a feline friend here, but rather the CAT (Central Area Transit) buses that roam the city for free! 

We love that these perfectly convenient buses run on several routes and will whisk you away to popular attractions and shopping precincts in the city centre. So, just hop on board and enjoy the ride without worrying about the fare.

For us, Perth’s rail network is also a swift and reliable way to travel around the city and its suburbs. With several train lines covering different areas, you can easily hop on and off to explore the hidden gems Perth has to offer. 

Whether you’re heading to the beautiful beaches of Cottesloe or venturing into the lively neighbourhood of Fremantle, the train will get you there with ease.

And if you want to go beyond the city centre and dive deeper into Perth’s suburbs, we think the bus network is your trusted companion too!

Transperth buses crisscross the city, connecting different neighbourhoods and attractions. We advise you to check the timetable, hop on the right bus, and get ready for an adventure!

Those who want to feel the wind in their hair and the freedom of the open road may also ride a bike! Perth boasts an extensive network of cycling paths, which we feel is perfect for those seeking an active and eco-friendly way to get around. 

You may rent a bike from one of the many bike-sharing stations scattered across the city or join a guided cycling tour to discover Perth’s hidden gems from a two-wheel perspective.

And if you’re looking for an alternative to driving your own car, ride-sharing services like Uber and Ola are at your service in Perth. With just a few taps on your phone, a comfy ride will whisk you away to your desired destination. 

In our opinion, this is perfect for those late-night adventures or when you need a break from public transportation.

How can I budget for a unique trip to Perth?

How can I budget for a unique trip to Perth
Image from Canva

Oh, the allure of Perth! With its stunning beaches, vibrant city life, and breathtaking landscapes, we think it’s no wonder you’re dreaming of a trip to this unique Western Australian gem. 

But let’s face it, we know travel costs can sometimes rain on our parade. Still, you can budget your way to Perth without breaking the bank. 

But before everything else, we feel it’s best to check if you need a financial advisor or to get a personal loan, depending on your needs and preferences.

Now, let’s start with where you’re staying. Finding a cosy place to rest your weary head doesn’t have to drain your wallet. Fortunately, Perth offers a range of budget-friendly accommodations, from hostels and guesthouses to affordable hotels. 

For us, it’s best to consider options in the city centre or consider staying in the suburbs for lower prices. Remember, a comfy bed and a hot shower may just be all you need after a day of exploring!

Eating out can be a real treat too, but it doesn’t have to devour your travel budget. Perth has a plethora of affordable dining options that will satisfy your taste buds without emptying your wallet. 

Our advice is to seek out local cafes and food markets where you can savour delicious bites at reasonable prices. Embrace street food stalls, where you can sample diverse flavours without denting your savings.

Also, we believe one of the best things about Perth is its natural beauty, and guess what? It’s completely free! 

You may spend your days basking in the sun at the magnificent dog beaches, exploring picturesque parks, or hiking along the scenic trails. 

Nature’s wonders are yours to enjoy without spending a dime. So, soak up the beauty and let your wallet breathe a sigh of relief.

Most of all, Perth is a treasure trove of free and low-cost activities that will keep you entertained without burning a hole in your pocket. 

For free entry, you may visit the Art Gallery of Western Australia or explore the fascinating exhibits at the Western Australian Museum. 

Otherwise, you and your loved ones may go through vibrant markets, catch free live music performances, or attend local festivals and events – the possibilities for us are endless!

What are the must-visit attractions and experiences in Perth?

What are the must-visit attractions and experiences in Perth
Image from Perth Zoo

If you find yourself overwhelmed wandering the streets of this vibrant city, we’ve got you covered. We’ll tell you which ones to visit first!

Below are some must-visit attractions that will make your time in Perth truly unforgettable. 

See The Pinnacles’ Otherworldly Wonders

See The Pinnacles’ Otherworldly Wonders
Image from Western Australia

Address: Pinnacles Dr, Cervantes WA 6511, Australia
Contact details: +61 8 9652 7913
Operating hours: Open 24 hours

  • $13 per vehicle
  • Entry is covered for those who have a Western Australia National Park pass

Prepare to be transported to a different realm as you visit the otherworldly Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park! 

These limestone formations, jutting out of the sandy landscape, create a surreal and awe-inspiring sight, in our opinion. 

If you think you can handle it, you may explore the Pinnacles on foot. Alternatively, you may drive along the designated routes to marvel at nature’s incredible artistry. 

But don’t forget your camera – we think this is a spot where you’ll want to capture all the magic!

Pro tip:

We suggest planning your visit during sunrise or sunset for the most enchanting lighting and fewer crowds. Witness the pinnacles bathed in golden hues for a truly mesmerising experience.

Visit the Perth Zoo’s Amazing Wildlife

Visit the Perth Zoo’s Amazing Wildlife
Image from City of South Perth

Address: 20 Labouchere Rd, South Perth WA 6151, Australia
Contact details: +61 8 9474 0444
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 5 PM

  • Day Entry Tickets
    • Child under 4 years old – Free
    • Carers – Free
    • Child (4 to 15 years old) – $17.30
    • Senior – $27.50
    • Concession – $27.50
    • Adult – $34.60
  • Zoo Friends Membership (starting 2023)
    • Individual adult – $104 per person
    • Individual child (4 to 15 years old) – $59 per person
    • Family adult – $92 per person
    • Family child (4 to 15 years old) – $57

Ready to see (or interact) with some wildlife? For a wild encounter without leaving the city, we highly recommend heading to Perth Zoo. 

Home to a diverse array of animal species, we love that this conservation-focused zoo offers an opportunity to get up close and personal with fascinating creatures from around the world. 

Here, you and your loved ones (especially the kids) can marvel at majestic lions, playful orangutans, and adorable kangaroos.

You may also engage in educational experiences and wildlife presentations that will deepen your appreciation for the animal kingdom.

Pro tip:

Check out the zoo’s website for feeding times and special events to make the most of your visit. Moreover, don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes, as you might be exploring the zoo’s sprawling grounds all day.

Get on Hillarys Boat for a Coastal Delight

Get on Hillarys Boat for a Coastal Delight
Image from City of Joondalup

Address: 86 Southside Dr, Hillarys WA 6025, Australia
Contact details: [email protected] 
Operating hours: Open 24 hours

  • Parking fee per day, per boat trailer or vehicle with boat trailer – $9.50
  • Annual pass – $150.45
  • Other fees may vary

Imagine everything you love being available on a boat! If you like that, we suggest making your way to Hillarys Boat Harbour, a bustling waterfront precinct that offers a delightful mix of dining, shopping, and entertainment. 

You may stroll along the marina, admire the luxurious boats, and choose from an array of waterfront restaurants serving fresh seafood and international cuisines. 

Here, it also seems easy to enjoy a leisurely day by the beach, take a dip in the turquoise waters, or embark on a thrilling adventure like jet skiing or parasailing. For us, it’s a vibrant hub of coastal delights!

Pro tip:

Looking to pick up some souvenirs for the people back home? We recommend visiting on the weekends to catch the lively markets, where you can shop for local crafts and fresh produce.

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