Western Australia is the only Australian state named one of 30 ‘world-class travel destinations’ in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023. Perth and Fremantle are neighbouring cities less than 30 minutes apart and they provide a unique window into what Western Australia has to offer.
Sitting on the banks of the Swan River, Perth is home to stunning beaches, one of the world’s largest inner city parks and botanical gardens, a 15-minute boat trip from the island paradise of Rottnest and a stones throw from some of the world’s best wine regions. The city’s spectacular natural surroundings are rivalled only by its vibrant city life, particularly following a major transformation that continues to deliver new hotels, bars, restaurants, public spaces, and cultural offerings.
Formerly disused heritage buildings and laneways are now home to bustling bars and street art. A new central city neighbourhood, Cathedral Square, has as its centerpiece, the State Buildings, a wining, dining, retail and accommodation precinct, all housed in 140-year old heritage buildings.
The revitalised Barrack Street Jetty and new Elizabeth Quay, on the shores of the Swan River, has riverside bars and dining venues amongst promenades, public art and event spaces.
But it is in the Perth Cultural Centre precinct where Perth really comes alive, particularly with the opening of Perth’s multi-million dollar WA Museum Boola Bardip named in Lonely Planet’s ‘Ultimate 7-day Itinerary.’
Only 30-minutes from Perth, is the eclectic port city of Fremantle famous for its own distinct bohemian vibe. Fremantle is known for its maritime history and well-preserved Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian era architecture, including the World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison which was built by convicts in the 1850s and decommissioned as an operating maximum security gaol in 1991. Today it is a popular visitor attraction in Perth.
Located on Victoria Quay, overlooking the Port and Indian Ocean, the Museum explores WA’s maritime history and is home to the America’s Cup-winning yacht, Australia II, an Oberon class submarine, HMAS Ovens, Jon Sanders’ Parry Endeavour and other iconic vessels.
If shipwrecks of the past pique your interest, WA Shipwrecks Museum is the place to visit. This museum is internationally recognised for its contribution to maritime archaeology and shipwreck conservation. Journey through its galleries to learn about Western Australia’s treacherous coast, first European encounters, the riches of maritime trade and one of the deadliest mutinies in known history – the Batavia.