01. Dive in
Shaded by tall Norfolk Island pine trees, Cottesloe Beach is a major Perth attraction for good reason. Take an ocean swim then scamper up the knoll for beer-battered Shark Bay whiting with chips and tartare sauce at Cott & Co, the Mediterranean-style restaurant at The Cottesloe Beach Hotel (cottesloebeachhotel.com.au). For something less mainstream, the coastal community of Trigg Beach remains – for now – below the radar. Once you’ve towelled off, head to Canteen (canteentrigg.com) for fish and chips or other seafood dishes including poke bowls and fish tacos.
02. Take a daytrip to Fremantle
Life in the port city is a little slower and more boho than the capital. The local markets (fremantlemarkets.com.au) sell produce and food Friday to Sunday and on Monday public holidays, while the area’s resurging West End is home to cafés, bars and speciality stores.
03. SAMPLE THE LOCAL BEERS
Brewery-fresh beer. Views over the water. Woodfired pizza and other punchy shared dishes. No wonder Little Creatures (little creatures.com.au) has taken off. Its Fremantle brewery remains a popular destination for locals, doubly so when the sun is out. But for a taste of the future, head to urban brewery Nowhereman Brewing Co. (nowhereman.com.au), one of the leaders of the state’s boutique beer boom and conveniently located just outside the city centre. For that Freo flavour minus the crowds, make tracks to North Fremantle. Refuel at Ooh Coffee (255 Queen Victoria Street; 0408 939 602), enjoy Middle Eastern cooking at Propeller (propellernorthfreo.com.au) and linger for live music at Mojos (mojosbar.com.au).
04. Taste the wines
The Swan Valley isn’t just Western Australia’s oldest wine region, it’s also the closest to the city centre – less than half an hour by car from the CBD. Need something for everyone? Don’t go past Mandoon Estate’s (mandoonestate.com.au) combined cellar door, brewery, fine-diner and kid-friendly beer garden. Vino geeks should visit Swan Valley Wines (swanvalley wines.com.au), a new producer making natural wines from one of the state’s oldest vineyards.
05. Explore Kings Park
The views of Perth and the Swan River from Kings Park truly are something. Visibility might be best by day but the lights of the city and modern Australian food of Fraser’s (frasersrestaurant.com.au) shine at night. Free daily guided walks are a first-rate introduction to the plant kingdom and, between August and October, the local wildflowers. Otherwise, running up and down Jacob’s Ladder is a good alternative to the gym.
Kick back with a beer and pizza at Little Creatures brewery in Fremantle
Rabbit with smoked eggplant, sumac, parsley and soused onion from Propeller (right)