Perth has plenty to offer in the summertime. The sun is high, the beaches beckon, and there are plenty of events to keep you entertained. While the sun may be a little fierce for those not used to the temperatures out west, Perth is fast becoming a hub for the arts, shopping, and culinary delights, as well as the unique natural scenery that makes it a must-see Aussie travel destination.
So what are some things you can do to keep busy in Perth this summer? Luckily, there’s no lack of activities.
Australia is famed for its oceans, but the WA coastline is another thing altogether. There’s ample space, fine sands, and distinct turquoise waters are on offer at Cottesloe, City Beach, and Scarborough. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
2. SANTA SPOTTING
You can give the kids a thrill and introduce them to Santa at loads of different locations in Perth this summer. Forrest Place in the city will be kitted out with decorations as well as a nativity scene and a Roving Santa handing out Christmas goodies from mid-November right up until Christmas eve.
3. CHRISTMAS AT THE AQUARIUM
The Aquarium of Western Australia at Hillary’s Boat Harbour has loads of underwater delights that are sure to captivate your senses, including a showcase of the marine life unique to Perth’s coastlines. From the 1st until the 21st of December things will be getting festive, with Scuba Santa diving with the sharks, stingrays, and turtles.
4. TGIF HAWKERS MARKET
Every Friday from the 30th of October until the 25th of March 2016 you can head to this food market for over 30 stalls showcasing international cuisine. Located at the John McMillan Park (next to Victoria Park Library), this is a family-friendly event. Bring a picnic rug or some chairs and enjoy hawker snacks and tunes!
5. CHRISTMAS PROJECTIONS ON THE GENERAL POST OFFICE
After sunset, enjoy stunning animations and light displays on the GPO. The intricate features of the heritage listed building will be illuminated with Queenie the Quokka in Christmas scenes from around the world.
6. CURRAMBINE XMAS MARKET
Held on the 4th of December at the Currambine Community Centre, this will be a great place to stock up on Christmas treats, homemade wooden toys, and kitchen items made by the Men’s Shed – and lots of yummy coffee and cake! There’s even a clairvoyant in attendance – maybe she can help you pick what to buy for that relative that has everything!
7. BAZAAR FREMANTLE
Head to Freeo for one of a kind gifts. From the 4th until the 6th of December there’ll be more than 50 local artisans selling their wares, including jewellery, fashion, ceramics, sculpture, woodwork, textiles, and more.
8. KING’S PARK AND BOTANIC GARDEN
A little piece of the bushland in the heart of the city, King’s Park offers stunning city views and a panorama to the Darling Range, as well as a wild expanse of greenery and local flora. It’s a great place for a barbecue or bushwalk, and is home to over 2,019 native plant species and around 80 types of birds. There’s also a Moonlight outdoor cinema in the summer months!
9. PERTH ZOO
This world class zoo is home to gorgeous gardens and over 1,200 animals from all around the world. Get to know Australian fauna as well as elephants, tigers, bears, orangutans, lions, and giraffes!
10. UNDERGROUND TOURS AT FREMANTLE PRISON
Built in the 1850s, this jail is Western Australia’s only World Heritage listed building, and is an interesting tour during the day thanks to the colourful tales of daring escapes. But for something really spooky, head 20 metres beneath the prison to explore the tunnels either by foot or boat.
11. LITTLE CREATURES BREWERY
This Fremantle brewery has a scrumptious menu of pub favourites to enjoy with a pint of craft beer or three. You can head to the Brewhouse Bar or the Great Hall to taste a fine variety of ales, or pick up some beers to take back home. You can also take a brewery tour at 1, 2, and 3pm daily.
12. SIMMO’S ICE CREAM
Voted as one of the Top 15 Ice Creameries in the World by USA Today, Simmo’s is a WA institution. You can beat the heat with a delicious ice cream, challenge the family to mini golf, and even meet Edward, the resident ice cream loving emu.
13. LITTLE ISLAND
Head out to this island off Hillary’s Marina and you’ll find a popular underwater snorkel trail. About 1,500 metres in front of Pinnaroo Point you’ll see the island – it’s home to a colony of seals and a pretty decent swell for the experienced surfers.
14. 2016 PERTH INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
From February 11 until March 6, venues all across Perth will be hosting performances by world class contemporary artists. This year there’ll be jazz performed by the WA Symphony Orchestra with icon Wynton Marsalis, an anarchic take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a dance by Claire Cunningham, and more.
15. SCITECH DISCOVERY CENTRE
Scitech is great all year round, and on those scorching hot days you can take refuge in the air conditioning while soaking up an engaging display of scientific fun. There are over 100 hands-on exhibitions, performances, and even the largest planetarium in Australasia. The gift shop is also a great stop for some quirky Christmas shopping.
16. EAT THE STREET’S BRUNCH ON BEAUFORT
There are so many options for snacks on the burgeoning strip of Perth eateries that it can feel pretty overwhelming at times. But if you visit between Thursday 22nd October and Thursday 17th December, you can take a tour and sample the offerings of 10 businesses. You get to meet the people behind the establishment, try amazing food, and pick up a coffee and alcoholic drink along the way. Be sure to arrive with a good appetite!
17. BAR ON BEAUFORT
Check out five of the best from Mt. Lawley’s blossoming small bar scene. Running from 5 to 8 pm every Thursday until the 17th of December, this tour gives you a chance to sample the top menu items and drinks, as well as chat to chefs, bartenders, and other food fanatics.
18. XSCAPE AT THE CITY
Nothing says fun in the sun like a pop up water park! Held at Belmont Racecourse, there are heaps of splashes and excitement on offer here. There’s even the world’s tallest inflatable water slide to slip down – at 23 metres high, it’s not for the faint of heart! For smaller kids who want something less scary, there’s a Dinosaur pool, play pool, and trampoline course.
19. TWILIGHT HAWKERS MARKET
There are a lot of night markets on offer in Perth this summer, but the Twilight Hawkers Market is the original and the best place to go for your street food. Held in the city every Friday in the lead up to Christmas, the amazing international street cuisine is surrounded by fun and festive Christmas lights and decorations.
20. WARAKURNA: ALL THE STORIES GOT INTO OUR MINDS AND EYES
Running until the 10th of January at the Western Australian Museum, this is a stunning collection of contemporary works that showcases a new art movement emerging from the Western Desert community of Warakurna. Traditional symbols and dots combine with figurative imagery to tell the stories of the artists, including themes about the mining industry, weapons testing, and the 2000 Olympics participation.