The bustling and diverse area region of East Perth offers international tourists and inter-state visitors an array of activities and attractions, from the picturesque Swan River to the mix of parks and sporting opportunities.
This article will explore 10 things you can do in East Perth. It will show how there are activities to do, and sites to see, to engage people of all age groups and backgrounds. It will also include my unique take and experience of each attraction.
1. The Perth Mint
The Perth Mint is more than a place to buy and trade precious metals. This world-class attraction and landmark, situated on Hay Street in East Perth, attracts visitors from many countries daily. People visit the Mint to view the impressive range of collector coins and luxury jewellery in the Mint shop, look at an exhibition, or join one of the Mint tours.
The Perth Mint was established in 1899 as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint. Since these early times Western Australia has made a marked contribution to the gold industry. In 1970, the Mint became financially independent and owned by the Western Australian Government. The Perth Mint became Australia’s largest precious metal business in 2021.
At Aries, our highlight for this award-winning tourist destination is watching a live goal pour as part of the Perth Mint Gold Tour. It was mesmerizing to watch as the liquid gold turned into a solid gold bar in the historic original melting house.
The Mint is open 7 days a week (except most public holidays). Entrance to the Perth Mint Shop and grounds and bullion trading room is free. However, The Perth Mint Tours cost money and it is recommended you book in advance to secure a spot.
2. Queens Gardens
The Queens Gardens is a natural gem situated in the center of East Perth. If you are looking for a peaceful place to take time out, Queens Gardens, with its manicured acreage and beautiful water lily-studded lakes, could be what you need. The gardens are also a wonderful place for family and social gatherings, or picnics. You can even organize to have your wedding event in the gardens.
The Gardens, opened in 1899, are named after Queen Victoria. They are located on Plain Street in East Perth. Pets are not allowed in the gardens. The park facilities include accessible toilets, drinking fountains, bins, park benches, gazebo structures, and more.
3. Supreme Court Gardens
The gorgeous Supreme Court Gardens are located near the Elizabeth Quay precinct and Swan River foreshore. They are home to premier events, due to their unique location and size. The large expanses of grassed areas are surrounded by mature-trees, garden beds, and pathways.
The gardens are the perfect spot for a lunch break or a friendly game of kick-to-kick with soccer or football. Since their upgrade in 2015 the gardens have been the site of annual public events, including the Birak Festival and Opera in the Park.
From our experience, you can easily find a perfect shady spot in the Supreme Court Gardens to have a light picnic afternoon snack. Especially if you want to enjoy the warm breeze while watching the Swan River in the distance. The park is equipped with benches, toilets, and rubbish bins.
4. Gloucester Park
Gloucester Park is the site of harness racing in Western Australia. The Park is situated on the banks of the Swan River in East Perth. The course, built in 1929, cost 200,000 pounds to finish. An astounding achievement given that the development took place during the Great Depression.
Every Friday night, Gloucester Park presents harness racing. This exceptional venue boasts three restaurants open during race nights. It also has nine function rooms that you can hire privately on any weekday or night.
In particular, a highlight of this park is the impressive facilities of the Park and the atmosphere of the evening. It was a fun night out watching the top horses in WA compete for a portion of the stake money. The bars at the venue also provided an excellent selection of local and imported beer, wine, and spirits. If harness racing or stylish dining is your thing, Gloucester Park is a must.
Gloucester Park is situated on Nelson Crescent in East Perth, and you cannot bring external food or beverages to the venue. Admission prices to Gloucester Park differ according to the type of race you are attending.
5. Whipper Snapper Distillery
Whipper Snapper Distillery was established in 2014. Brother-in-laws Alasdair Malloch and Jimmy McKeown were both fervent whiskey drinkers and together they set about to create a new era of Australian whiskey. They wanted to develop a whiskey that had its own Aussie identity, while retaining authenticity and quality.
The Distillery boasts a charming event space amidst the working distillery. Distilling equipment and whiskey barrels surround the event space. You can hire the space for small group functions and the like.
The tour included three tastings (1.5 standard drinks) and ran for about 45 minutes. It costs $40 AUD per person, which we consider is money well spent.
6. East Perth Cemeteries
The East Perth Cemeteries might seem like an unusual place for an outing. However, this heritage site offers a unique glimpse into Perth’s history and the original flora and insect fauna of the area.
East Perth Cemeteries provide a testament to the initial 70 years of European migration to today’s Perth. From tuberculosis, brought over by the initial settlers, to typhoid, an illness that reached Perth during the gold fever, the graves in this cemetery are a tangible reminder of the people’s stories.
I decided to do the East Perth Cemeteries Tour called ‘Two Feet & a Heartbeat.’ I learned about the lives of influential figures of the Swan River Colony, as well as more obscure individuals who lived unusual lives under challenging circumstances. You can book the tour through their website. The cost per person is AUD 50 but note that the tour is not suitable for children less than 16 years of age.
East Perth Cemeteries are located on Bronte Street. They are open on Sundays from 2 pm until 4 pm and entry fees apply.
7. Segway Tour
The Perth East Foreshore and City Segway Tour runs for 90 minutes. You will get to discover the picture-perfect foreshore of the Swan River, away from the crowded tourist spots. The guides will entertain you with stories about Western Australia’s gold rush period and Perth’s 1800s colony.
You can enjoy picturesque sights riding next to the river, and our previous customers shared their experiences with us learning new things about Perth’s history, the city today, and its expected future. Through these tours, you are even able to stop and take photographs of the stunning Kings Park Botanic Gardens.
Adults cost $129 AUD and children and seniors cost $115 AUD. You can also purchase family packages.
8. Optus Stadium
The Optus Stadium opened in January 2018 and was voted the ‘Most Beautiful Sports Facility in the World’ in the Prix Versailles 2019 International Architecture Awards. The stadium seats 60,000 people and is home to entertainment and sports events, including cricket, soccer, rugby, and Aussie rules.
We recommend taking the Optus Stadium Guided Tour. On this tour you can view the sports memorabilia and learn about Western Australia’s sporting history. I also got to peek into the locker room, coaches room, and change room, giving me an insider’s understanding of the stadium.
The Optus Stadium also offers an array of other experiences, including the HALO rooftop experience, the Aboriginal Cultural Tour, and the VERTIGO rooftop experience. You can also dine at the City View Café or the stadium dining area.
The space is home to balls, banquets, and gala dinners as well as expos and trade shows, and much more. The Stadium Park surrounding area lets people of all age groups have fun in places such as Chevron Parkland’s nature playgrounds, barbeque and picnic areas, and the BHP Boardwalk and Amphitheatre.
9. The Windan Bridge Loop
The Windan Bridge Loop is on the banks of the stunning Swan River. The river is a key part of Perth’s identity. It features diverse wildlife, including fish and birds. The Windan Bridge got its name from the wife of Yellagonga, a chief of the Mooro people.
When you follow the Winda Bridge loop trail you will pass Herrison Island under the Causeway. This Island houses a colony of Western Grey kangaroos. You will also go past the play areas around Optus Stadium, the galleries of East Perth, and cafes. The loop is approximately 6.2 km. I chose to ride my bike around the loop, making for a peaceful afternoon activity.
You might wish to shorten your journey by crossing over the Matagarup Bridge. This ‘swan-inspired’ bridge opened in 2018. It connects East Perth with the new Optus Stadium.
10. Local Cuisine – The Royal – East Perth
If you are looking for an iconic spot to meet family or friends or have a bite before you catch a sporting match at the Optus Stadium, The Royal in East Perth is a must. The Royal boasts magnificent views, tasty food, and a social atmosphere. The menu includes modern and classic Australian foods, using the best of Western Australian produce as ingredients.
The Royal is a perfect place to stop to get a drink or to have a sit-down meal, whatever the event. We previously enjoyed and can recommend going to the Royal for lunch and enjoyed being able to eat great food while soaking in the waterfront views.
The Royal offers both indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as a wide range of craft beer and wine. You can also book private events and functions, including cocktail events or group dinners.
To Sum Up
East Perth offers a range of entertaining activities and events for international and inter-state visitors. But remember, the distances around Perth and wider Western Australia are immense.
To make your travels around this region a breeze, Aries Car Rental offers the newest vehicles available on the market and the best rental rates in Perth. What’s more Aries offers free parking at both their East Perth and Perth Airport branches – so you will not have to battle for parking around the city. Check out Aries Car Rental today for vehicles from just $37 AUD per day!