Perth A Day Out, Arrival tips
Things you should know before you go to Perth, Western Australia. Not quite a day out, but a guide to a holiday in Perth Australia. I am going to give you my version of a holiday in Perth and the surrounding area, from arriving at the airport to leaving. This page is concentrating on the Arrival to Perth part. Like local transport and things you can pre book before arrival.
I did a lot of research before going to Perth Australia. I found that although the information is out there on the Internet, Not all the information was in one place. After much searching I was able to put the information I required together and then pinned it all to a google map. I also downloaded/saved the pages I needed to assist my break. So in a simple sentence what is Perth about? Perth is the Capital of Western Australia, and could also be described as Australia’s sunniest City. over the next few pages we will discover the area of Western Australia. Lets start with the basics of arrival and what to do and where to go. Our intended destination on day one was Fremantle.
The Airport (Arrival)
Qantas launched the first-ever non-stop flights to Perth Australia in 2018, We were lucky enough to get one of these first flights. Non stop from London Gatwick to Perth using the Qantas Dreamliner, the 14,498km service is the fastest way to get to Australia. QF10 departs London Heathrow at 13:15, arriving into Perth at 13:00 the next day. That’s a whopping 17 hour trip. I found it great, no changing flights was a relief. The people with children that we spoke to, said it was the best, no loosing toys, jumpers, children etc on the switchovers. The Qantas Dreamliner then flies on to Melbourne. Inflight dining and entertainment were good, the Air stewards were amazing, nothing was too much trouble. There was plenty of tea and coffee on hand , beers, wines and spirits too, also a snack bar fridge with lots of goodies to keep you from getting bored.
From the Airport
From Perth Airport to Fremantle, we opted for a hire car as we were on a 4 week holiday. We booked through Argos Car Hire which in turn gave us a good deal at Alpha Car Hire. Not sure why? but we got a better price through the Argos Car Hire agent. Maybe try both for a quote. Alpha Car Hire Perth provides all its customers with complimentary shuttle pickup and drop off to and from the depot. Conveniently located just outside, arriving and departing Perth airport is a breeze.
Arranging collection is just as easy, and organised depending on your terminal. T1- International and Virgin Domestic – Exit at the international end and make your way to Bus Shelter N, where the Skypark shuttle will pick you up and take you to Alpha Car Hire in Perth Airport. We opted to call them from the Airport and they sent along a shuttle bus to pick us up.
The calling them was a problem, I had to ask a person that looked local and had unlimited minutes to borrow his phone. (I had no change to make a call, and also could not find a phone box) He was being picked up by a taxi and had no problem in helping us out at all. Our shuttle arrived about 10 minutes after our call. The Car rental was about £450.00 for the 4 weeks including the car insurance. We rented a Satnav too which was cheaper than taking ours from home with a pre bought and loaded Australian map.
The included Car Insurance had an Excess charge for damage at around $2,000.00 dollars , I thought this was a little steep. So I took out a 12 month worldwide insurance policy to cover the Excess if we had an accident. That cost around £60.00 and would also cover us for our other European holidays within a year. I thought it better to be safe than sorry. The £60.00 gave us £2,500.00 plus other cover too. The extra insurance came from I Car Insurance
Bus, Bus and Train, Taxi , from Perth Airport to Fremantle
Bus – You will need to change a few times, if you want to go by bus from the Airport to Fremantle. It is best to look on google maps before you go, or when you arrive at the Airport. Line 40 bus, line 910 bus will cost around $9.00 – $15.00.
Bus and Train – Bus to Perth Centre and then the Train to Fremantle. Take Bus 40 or Bus 935 which will take you to Perth and from there catch the train to Fremantle. This is a direct train between Perth and Fremantle. Platform 7 and arriving at Fremantle Station Platform 2. The services depart every 20 minutes, and operate every day. The journey takes around 30 minutes. Cost around $4.50 (Bus) and $7.00 (Train).
Taxi- $60.00 – $70.00 .
Phone Cards – Sim Cards
Sim cards are so cheap now for phones, you can buy small amounts of calls, text and data. You can ask your provider about the costs of taking your phone abroad. I found that it was way too expensive. If you want to get a new Australian Sim then make sure your phone is sim/contract free. (it can be switched between Phone companies.) You can buy a sim from eBay and have it posted to you.
The listing, will tell you how many minutes and data you have and for how long you can use the card after activating. The person selling is going to add his markup to your purchase as he will be buying local and posting. So you may pay a little more than buying local. They sell $2.00 dollar starter sims that get you going but you will need to top up after activating. I think you may be paying a little too much to top up.
Buy a sim on arrival
I waited until we got there. (Borrowing a phone to call the car hire company was required by myself at the Airport.) I had pinned the phone companies to a map in Fremantle Centre. Just 20 minutes after arrival in our apartment we were out for a walk and to see how much a sim would cost. We tried 3 local shops all quite close to the apartment and noted the prices. Then just around the corner we spotted a local supermarket called Coles which we knew would stock some sim cards at a good price.
We picked up 2 x Optus sim cards at $20.00 each, valid for a month, unlimited calls , Texts and 15gb data for use in Australia. We went back to the apartment and activated and registered them on their website. Then we chose the phone numbers and were up and running. A text to our friends gave them our numbers, Friends in the UK were contacted via what’s app.
The sim cards had one slight down side, as you could choose a number from the website from thousands on offer. I think the spammers have also realised that they could try and scam you. Nothing bad, just text saying we owed people $700.00 etc. I said to my friend, I have only been here in Fremantle for a few days and I am in fictional debt for thousands. I don’t know how you get around things like that? (just be aware.) The internet was good for traveling and finding the places we had booked like cafe’s and restaurants along the way. The price was amazing for 30 days phone and internet use.
Accommodation Western Australia
There is plenty of choice out there. We wanted a relaxing holiday, so chose to move around as little as possible and do day trips. The main accommodation area’s for us were Fremantle, Margaret River, Fremantle again, and Scarborough Beach. Now that we have visited that area we think that we would have swap Scarborough beach for Cottesloe next time round. The main reason being that from Cottesloe you could easily access the train to Central Perth. You can do this from Fremantle even easier but not from Scarborough Beach, although you can catch a bus.
We booked some Apartments through Air B and B and others direct. A google map search is always a good to find independent places. Accommodation is easily found in the exact place you want with a map search, you can then refine this by checking on other Accommodation websites for prices. I find Air B and B to be on the expensive side for bookings.
Discover Fremantle as a Destination
Probably your best choice and starting point for a holiday in Western Australia. Fremantle has everything you will need to kick start your holiday. We stayed in the heart of the Old Town, From here everything is walking distance, The supermarkets, the shops and the Fremantle indoor Markets that sell fresh fruit and veg and also play host to small independent cafes and food stalls. There are plenty of wonderful bars and restaurants around. Down by the harbour you can sample freshly caught fish that is served up in a host of Fish restaurants. The town has plenty of museums and galleries to keep you busy. From here you can day trip by car to nearby places or catch a boat to Rottnest Island. The train station is handy for a visit into the centre of Perth
Discover Scarborough Beach as a Destination
We stayed for a week and liked it here, but found that we could have found more interesting places nearby. Don’t get me wrong, the beaches are superb, the beach cafe’s are 1st class. It has recently gone through a $100 million dollar revamp. Its nice but seems small as it has no real centre to the place. Its 2 main roads with a load of restaurants, hotels and apartments plus a Supermarket. But the upside is that if you like beaches its amazing. Scarborough Beach is a firm favourite for Families. With the regular swell, impressive surf breaks and long stretch of white sand to attract swimmers, surfers, Kite Surfers and body-boarders.
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from, or you can pack a picnic and enjoy the large grassed areas, public barbecues and gazebos. Brand new to the Scarborough Beach landscape is the Scarborough Beach Pool, a geo-thermally heated open-air public pool and world-class recreation facility. It’s your go-to fitness centre and your new local eatery – the perfect place to visit all year round. Scarborough Beach also features an outdoor amphitheatre which in summer hosts all kinds of events including beach jazz dance nights. There’s plenty of accommodation along this stretch of coast, making Scarborough Beach an ideal place for a summer beach holiday.
Discover Margaret Rive as a Destination
The first stop for us when arriving in Margaret River was a bakery called Margaret River Bakery . The food was very nice, a quirky place with lots of nice cubbyhole type places to sit and relax. After lunch we had a walk up and down the Main Street. We stayed down near Prevelly by the beach a few miles from Margaret River centre. We visited the Farmers Markets on the Saturday morning to buy some food for dinner that evening.
Margaret River or Prevelly is a good base to travel from to visit the surrounding area. You can watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean at Surfer’s Point in Prevelly. There are plenty of Caves to visit near by, Margaret River is famous for its winery’s there are heaps of cellar doors, winery restaurants, breweries and providers in the area. This is also the place to see Kangaroo’s jumping around in the wild. You will find plenty of Accommodation in the heart of the town plus the surrounding area.
Discover Cottesloe as a Destination
Cottesloe is a wonderful little place, handy for the beach and trips to Perth via its train link. The centre of town is lovely, full of independent shops cafes and restaurants. The supermarket is an old building that housed the America’s cup boat AUSTRALIA II. AUSTRALIA II went on to win the 1983 America’s Cup, ending a record 132-year winning streak held by the New York Yacht Club. The place is called Boatshed Market now. Its one of the best markets I have ever been to, its like they have taken Waitrose and Harrods food halls and merged them.
The Grandeur of Boatshed Market show you that this area has a little bit more money around. We found plenty of Accommodation around this area that was lovely. We were kind of put off by the walk to town, when in fact it would have been a good call to stay. It has a bit of a nice feel to it and the walk is not as far as I thought. We also needed to be on a good bus route to town for a wedding we needed to attend. Scarborough Beach provided the last bus home link.