Uniquely Perth

After two visits to Perth last year, I’m getting better acquainted with Australia’s fastest growing city and its suburbs.  With lush parks and waterways that are home to unique black swans, I soon discovered the city’s laid-back charm with artisan attractions at nearby Swan Valley and heritage sites in Fremantle.  From visiting friends in Joondaloop to browsing around shops in Subiaco, I happily soaked in its relaxed pace and am happy to suggest some things you can do in Perth.

That's me with my sister and her family and our friend Jason after Sunday morning service; Going to yum cha at Regal on Roe Seafood Restaurant - one of the must-go dim sum places in Perth!


1.       Spectacular Views

Enjoy  a spectacular night view of Perth city from Kings Park
A visit to Perth is not complete without a visit to Kings Park Botanic Gardens which showcases an outstanding collection of Western Australian flora.  This is a popular park for picnics and walks and regularly hosts cultural festivals and ceremonial events.  The vista point at Kings Park overlooks the Swan River and Darling Range and offers panoramic views of the city Central Business District so be sure to take in the spectacular sight both by day and by night!

2.       The “whispering wall”

Have fun sending a message at Kings Park's "whispering wall"
Look for the words “Let silent contemplation be your offering,” engraved around the Pool of Reflection where the Flame of Remembrance burns in the War Memorial in Kings Park.  The Court of Contemplation in the Memorial is a curved wall dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Second World War and among the nations listed, I spotted “Malay States” for Malaysia.  Go to one end of the curved wall to whisper a message and don’t be surprised when another person at the opposite end of the wall, can hear your words quite distinctly!

3.      Ciao Italia

Join the queue into Ciao Italia for a taste of authentic Italian cuisine
If you are a fan of good Italian fare, don’t miss the opportunity for your own Ciao experience.  This cozy restaurant at Mill Point Road is a very popular place for wood-fired pizza, pasta and Italian specialties including their tantalizing tiramisu dessert.  Queues start to build up from as early as 5.30pm and the wait can be long because the restaurant does not accept phone-in reservations.  Only complete groups are allowed into the restaurant so go early or be prepared to wait.  Website:  www.ciaoitalia.com.au

4.       Alfred’s Kitchen


Alfred’s Kitchen in Guildford is probably closest to what we can call a street food restaurant here because not only is it situated by busy James Street, the meals are served over the counter for takeaways and customers literally just hang around to eat it. 
This tiny hole-in-the-wall opens late into the night and earned quite a reputation as a legendary burger bar.  On a cold wintry night, it’s quite an experience to join other diners around an open fire to sink your teeth into freshly made big burgers and sip on steaming hot pea and ham soup.

Chill out with the crowd for a meal at Alfred's Kitchen!

5.      Caversham Wildlife Park

Have a close encounter with kangaroos, koalas and creatures unique
to Australia at Caversham Wildlife Park
Enjoy a close encounter with wildlife that’s unique to Australia and have a hands-on experience with kangaroos and koalas as well as wombats and bobtails at Caversham Wildlife Park.  If you arrive early, follow the show schedule to see what goes on in a typical sheep farm with opportunities to pet a sheep, milk a cow and for young children to feed the lambs.  This privately owned animal sanctuary is a one-stop park for visitors to enjoy a bit of the Australian bush and its unique creatures.

6.      Margaret River Chocolate Company

Shop for a range of premium chocolates at the Margaret River
Chocolate Company, Swan Valley
One of the best things about this outlet in the Swan Valley is the free tastings of their unique Margaret River chocolate, presented in tiny buttons.  Scoop a handful of white, milk and dark chocolate to sample as you browse around their showroom that’s filled with a mouth-watering range of products that are made in a blend of cocoa sourced from the world’s finest cocoa houses.  No chocolate lover will leave empty-handed because there is something for everyone here.  Website:  www.chocolatefactory.com.au

     7.      House of Honey

Enjoy tea with cake after shopping at The House of Honey
As its name suggests, the House of Honey stocks a range of honey products but it also has a cosy little cafe that serves cakes and hot beverages.  Take a look at the chalk board to see the day’s specials which usually promotes a slice of cake served with coffee or tea.  This is perfect for an afternoon tea indulgence because the cake portion is generous and often served with a side of fresh whipped cream or ice-cream!          

8.      Taylor’s Café

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Taylor's Café, Swan Valley
Dine alfresco or indoors, seated on mismatched vintage furniture at Taylor’s and savour meals in friendly, laid-back farmhouse style.  Pick from a menu of muffins, cakes and hearty breakfast meals like interestingly named Carnivore and Herbivore or just enjoy fluffy pancakes drizzled with honey, lots of cut fruits and a dusting of icing sugar.  The café is housed within designer, Jude Taylor’s showroom that displays some of her art produced in clothes, kaftans, bags and home accessories.  Website: www.taylorstudio.com.au

 9.      Fremantle Markets

Watch street buskers and browse around Fremantle Markets
Spend a day at Fremantle, better known as “Freo” in the local lingo, to visit historic attractions like the Round House, the Maritime Museum and Fremantle Prison and then browse around heritage-listed streets and Fremantle Markets.  On weekends, Freo can be crowded with visitors who come to soak in the atmosphere while they watch buskers perform and shop for souvenirs.  The Markets has over 150 stalls that stock a range of exciting knick-knacks, snacks as well as fresh produce. 

10.  Little Creatures

Fremantle is dotted with a wide range of cafes, pubs and restaurants and Little Creatures is a little of each because it is a brewery which also serves decent meals.  Beer connoisseurs will enjoy a tour of the brewery with their meal and even buy souvenirs like premium items as well as a choice of bottled beer.  While it has a yuppie pub vibe, a meal served by the friendly and efficient team at Little Creatures is something special to experience in Freo!
Visit the brewery and have a hearty meal at Little Creatures, Fremantle
A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Life & Times on 17 April 2014

1 comment:

  1. Love reading your stories, especially the ones on Johor. Yes, Little Creatures is quite special - not only the ambience and beer but also the friendly service staff!