Flights from Johannesburg to Perth land at Perth Airport. The distance from Perth Airport to the city centre is about 10km. The cheapest flights from South Africa to Perth often go via other travel hubs such as Dubai or Singapore, but direct flights from Johannesburg to Perth are available with South African Airways. If you are travelling to Perth on a South African passport, you will require a visa for your stay. The visitor visa allows for holidaying, visiting family or friends and carrying out limited business activities. To get a visitor visa for Australia, you will need to create an account on the Australian Government website to submit forms and documents, then create another account with TLSContact to set up an appointment. The city of Perth may feel isolated, but it boasts an amazing riverside setting, with beautiful beaches on its doorstep, which makes this an ideal spot for sailing, fishing, swimming and boating. This sunny city offers great eateries and shopping, while rugged wildlife adventures – from snorkeling at Rottnest Island to koala and kangaroo excursions and sandboarding trips – are equally accessible nearby.
If you’re looking for ideas on what to do in Perth, you’ll find a long list of attractions in Western Australia’s sun-soaked capital. Kings Park and Botanic Garden is one of the world’s largest inner-city parks, with beautiful views of the Swan River and Darling Range. To see more lovely views and some of the posh houses of the riverfront suburbs, take a relaxed river cruise between Perth and the historic port of Fremantle. You can also take a day cruise upriver to the grape-growing region of Swan Valley, where foodies will discover delicious meals at the excellent restaurants. Perth has a wide variety of museums – from the Western Australia Maritime Museum and the Aviation Heritage Museum to Scitech – an engaging, family-friendly museum exploring science and technology, engineering, and math through fun, interactive exhibits. The Perth Zoo is another fun outing for the family. Perth has some great beaches, including pine-fringed Cottesloe Beach which is less than 15 minutes away by car. Port Beach and City Beach are also well-known, while Trigg Point and Scarborough are popular with surfers. Learn about the history of gold in the area at the Perth Mint or meet Australia’s unique animals at the Perth Zoo. Enjoy the Aquarium of Western Australia and an expansive marina with restaurants and shops at Hillarys Boat Harbour; witness an interactive bell-ringing display at the space-age Bell Tower which houses the original bells from London’s Buckingham Palace; or explore the Art Gallery of Western Australia… the options really are endless.
Shopping in Perth takes place everywhere from eclectic markets to stylish malls. King Street is the place to find global luxury stores, from Louis Vuitton to Tiffany or Burberry. Claremont Quarter is another one-stop shop for high-end fashion buyers in one of Perth’s smartest suburbs. The Galleria Shopping Centre in Morley is a hub for everyday goods – be they household, food or clothing and accessories. On Oxford Street in Leederville you’ll find cool and eclectic boutiques, a book store, vinyl and CD store and excellent eateries. Bargain-hunters should head to Harbour Town on Wellington Street for discounted goods and factory seconds from big name brands. The Northbridge area, known for its cafes, restaurants and pubs, has a number of quirky small label stores, while Mt Lawley is great for vintage clothing. Subiaco is the place to find upmarket homeware, jewellery, clothing and books, particularly along Rokeby Road and Hay Street. If you love shopping at markets, the Rockingham Market (between July and December only) sells handmade artisan crafts in a bustling indoor market that opens onto gardens and cafes, plus entertainment for the kids. The Fremantle Markets, in operation since 1879 and located around 30 minutes south west of Perth, are one of the city’s most visited attractions, with plenty for the kids to do while you browse the handmade wooden toys, fresh produce, locally made trinkets, clothing and everything between.
Transport in Perth is well organised with a good public transport network, including buses, trains and ferries. Transperth, the public transport system, gives you two convenient ways to pay: with cash tickets or a rechargeable Smart Rider Card. The Smart Rider is most effective for solo travelers who plan on using Perth public transport and travelling within Perth for more than a few days, as there are good discounts per zone. If you prefer to catch taxis while in Perth, there are two main taxi companies – Swan Taxis and Black and White cabs – both of which have reliable smart-phone apps. Uber is also a popular choice for getting around the city.
Your accommodation in Perth should factor in sightseeing and the parts of the city you’d like to explore. Perth is fairly spread out along the sides of the Swan River, but it has a few neighborhoods that are well-suited for travelers. The city center is one of the best places to stay, with good access to public transport and several attractions including St Mary’s Cathedral, the Swan River, Kings Park, the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Western Australian Museum, plus first-rate shopping and dining. Northbridge is a small, trendy area near the CBD which is known for its bars and nightlife – some of the best clubs in Perth are found here – plus a range of international cuisine choices. South Perth is also a good place to look for accommodation in Perth. You’ll be close to the Perth Zoo, and many restaurants, plus you’re a short ferry ride from the CBD. Subiaco is a chic, cosmopolitan area, full of designer stores, galleries, boutiques and coffee shops. Rokeby Road and Hay Street are particularly desirable, with a lovely farmers market on Rokeby Road. East Perth is more of a residential area, but still within reach of the CBD and great for biking or strolling along the Swan River.
Direct flights from Johannesburg to Perth are available with South African Airways. Other airlines that fly to Perth include Emirates, Air Mauritius, Qantas Airways and Singapore Airlines. With no layovers, the flight from Johannesburg to Perth takes approximately 9 hours 20 minutes, but you may have extensive travel times if you fly to Perth via other travel hubs, or if you fly from Cape Town to Perth, via Johannesburg. The Perth Airport is located about 10km from the CBD and Transperth operates regular bus services between Perth Airport, Perth City and other local centres.
A part of Kings Park that doesn’t get nearly enough attention is the Federation Walkway. This 620m promenade runs through the botanic garden, giving you incredible views of the natural scenery, including the Swan and Canning Rivers, and the Water Garden valley. To climb to the canopy, start the trail opposite Lord Forrest Statue roundabout on Fraser Avenue. Another well-kept Perth secret are the Rooftop Movies – seven floors up, at the top of a city carpark. Here you’ll find retro caravans, astro turf, palm trees and strings of lights and, in the summer months, screenings of cult classics, new releases and box office hits under the stars. Access to the venue is off James Street, the main drag in Northbridge. And, what would a trip to Perth be without a visit to Rottnest Island? ‘Rotto’, as it’s called, boasts 63 white, sandy beaches, some great snorkelling spots and adorable, friendly little quokkas which look like mini wallabies. There are no cars on the island so hire a bike and go exploring!