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Once known as Australia’s hidden gem, today Perth is gaining international appeal as a cruise destination. As the capital of Western Australia, Perth is both a sweeping metropolis and a haven for green spaces, home to the famous Bell Tower and the sprawling Kings Park and Botanic Gardens for nature lovers. Nearly two million people live in Perth, and the city and surrounding region manages to be effortlessly cosmopolitan and cool. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities like stand up paddleboarding or a delicious flat white at one of Perth’s many coffee shops before boarding your Australia cruise, you’re sure to find it here.
Before one of our cruises from Fremantle, take time to explore one of Australia’s best beaches, like Port Beach or Leighton Beach, which are famous for their white sands and Indian Ocean views. Most travelers to this part of Australia can’t miss out on an afternoon (or two) touring the vast Swan Valley wine region, where tastings and cheese-making workshops are favorite activities among both locals and tourists.
If you’re craving some time in nature before boarding cruises from Perth, head to Burswood Park for an afternoon picnic, a long walk, or rent bicycles and bike along the waterfront. You can barbeque here or simply stroll the lakefront. Experience Perth’s parks and live like a local before your cruise.
Visit Kings Park and Botanic Gardens for an Instagrammable afternoon among over 3,000 types of Australian flora, plus views of the Perth skyline and Swan River in the near distance. There are walking trails and plenty of Perth history to explore in the statues and memorials here.
One of Perth’s most unique attractions is the Bell Tower, where 18 specially created bells are housed in a luxe, ultra-modern architectural marvel. You can head up the historic bell tower and ring the bells yourself while learning the history of Perth and how the tower came to be. It’s a must-experience landmark before boarding one of our cruises from Fremantle.
A tour of this World Heritage site is a must when you’re passing through Fremantle. You’ll come to understand the prison conditions and can even take tours through the prison’s elaborate tunnel system. Try a torchlight tour, where you’ll navigate the dark with only a tour expert and a flashlight to guide you.
Over 1,200 incredible animals call the Perth Zoo home. Explore 41 acres of habitats and see Australia’s most exotic wildlife like kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas. You’ll also have the chance to explore the habitats of exotic African and Asian species. You can even book a tour of the zoo where you’ll have the chance to feed a giraffe up close, or touch a wallaby!
This historic flour mill, which has been around since 1835, offers a glimpse of the Perth of days past. Since 1835, the beautiful mill has been a hotel, a farm for chickens, and much more, but what hasn’t changed is the mill’s significance to Perth citizens. Tours are free, though donations are accepted.
The Swan Valley wine region is the oldest wine area in all of Western Australia, where dozens of wineries and tasting rooms make for an incredible afternoon of sippings, cheese boards, and touring beautiful vineyards. You can take a cheese-making course at Herne Hill, or tour the romantic, 175-year-old Sandalford Winery.
Locals love Fremantle’s comprehensive public markets, consistently ranked one of the best things to do in Fremantle. It’s located along the Cappuccino Strip, where many of Fremantle’s best cafes and restaurants are located. Local, handmade goods, yummy food stalls, and plenty of Perth history wait for you at Fremantle Markets.
Duck Duck Bruce
Address: 18 Collie Street, Fremantle, Western Australia 6160
Head to Duck Duck Bruce in Fremantle for a colorful, healthy breakfast, where good-sized portions of eggs, avocado toast, stacks of vanilla pancakes with orange and rosemary syrup, and much more are key offerings. Duck Duck Bruce is light, airy, and vegetarian and vegan friendly, too.
Char Char Restaurant and Bar
Address: 44B Mews Road, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia
Stunning views of Freo’s harbor is just one reason to check out Char Char, along with the oysters, steamed local mussels, and plenty of locally-sourced fish mains. For the very hungry, the sirloins and ribeyes are sure to fill you up. You can’t go wrong at this laidback steakhouse on your cruise from Fremantle.
Address: E Shed Markets, Victoria Quay, Fremantle, Western Australia 6160, Australia
Craving Mediterranean and Moroccan-inspired dishes all the way in Australia? Kazoomies has you covered. Try the hummus trio or the marinated eggplant salad while you’re here. They also have an extensive and creative breakfast and brunch menu that offers specialties like shakshuka and poached eggs on a falafel-based waffle.
The Raw Kitchen
Address: 181 High St, Fremantle, Western Australia 6160, Australia
Vegetarian and vegan options are plentiful at the Raw Kitchen in Fremantle, which is just a short walk from the Fremantle Prison. Start with the bruschetta, then move on to a fresh poke bowl or the delicious vegan nachos. For dessert, the vegan ice cream sandwich or the house-made vegan ice cream are must-tries.
Perth was originally inhabited by the Aboriginal Noongar group for thousands of years prior to colonization by the British in 1829. The Dutch had previously explored the area, too, but considered the soil quality too poor to make a settlement there. Swan River was considered a sacred site by the Noongar people, and the British viewed the river as key to international trade and commerce in the area. In the mid-19th century, the British sent thousands of convicts to live and work here. Perth is affectionately nicknamed the “City of Lights” because in 1962, astronaut John Glenn remarked that he could see the lit-up homes and buildings of Perth during his journey. Today, Perth is the home of nearly two million people, making it the second-most populated area in all of Australia.
At this working port, you’ll board cruises from Perth at Victoria Quay. Fremantle is pretty walkable and easy to get to from Perth. If you have time to kill, there’s also a visitor information center accessible via tram.
There’s no shortage of options for getting around Perth, whether you choose the city’s thoughtfully laid out public transit or want to rent a car before your cruise from Fremantle. Taxis are common, and Uber operates in Perth as well. Transperth is the train system here, and a card to take the metro also applies to Perth’s network of ferries and buses. It’s recommended to taxi to the center of town and walk on foot to major sights from there. Getting to Fremantle to board your cruise ship is about a 15-minute train or taxi ride from Perth, so cushion and plan ahead when it comes to boarding your cruise ship.
Fremantle is home to plenty of vintage shops, boutiques, and name-brand stores. Choose from an abundance of eateries and food options in Fremantle before you board your cruise ship, like a famous Australian flat white from one of the coffee shops on Cappuccino Strip in South Terrace. The Fremantle Markets are a must-see as well, where over 150 local vendors display their handmade goods, fashions, jewelry, food items, and more.
While on cruises from Perth, you’ll use the Australian dollar as the official currency of the country. Carrying cash is recommended, and the city is plentiful in terms of ATMs. Tipping is relatively new to Australia, so there’s a lot of misinformation about when to tip and how much. The best practice for tipping depends on the context. Leave 10% or a little bit of change in cash for taxi drivers, while a 10% tip for restaurant staff and servers for excellent service is more than acceptable. In general, tips are appreciated but not mandatory in most cases.