With its award-winning restaurants, exciting explosion of small bars and a thriving coffee and cafe culture, Perth’s foodie scene is booming. By all means, any visit to the Western Australia capital should include stops at the city’s culinary comfort zones. But if you want to push the gastronomic envelope on your getaway, add these delectable food and wine experiences to your list of things to do in Perth.
Fish for Your Dish at Rottnest Island
Just a quick 25-minute ferry ride from Perth and neighbouring Fremantle, Rottnest Island is a quintessential Perth attraction known for its beaches, recreational activities, cute-as-a-button quokkas and more.
For do-it-yourself foodies, fishing on Rottnest’s sheltered shoreline while soaking up the fine Perth weather is a feast of fun. Drop a line from the jetty at Thomson Bay or Geordie Bay, or hire a bike and pedal your way to some prime fishing spots, including Radar Reef or Ricey Beach.
Have a hankering for herring tonight? You’ll find it nibbling on your bait here, along with skippy, tailor, silver bream, and – in April and May – an abundance of Western Australian salmon. You can buy or hire everything you need for your fishing expedition at Pedal & Flipper and the Rottnest General Store in Thomson Bay.
Sign Up for a Seafood Class
Now that you’ve caught your own dinner, it would be good to know how to cook it, in keeping with the DIY theme, right? Indeed, among Perth’s many attractions is the region’s fresh and delicious seafood and many of the city’s cooking schools offer classes on plating up the perfect sea-inspired feast. Jamie Grill/Corbis
The Cooking Professor school runs a Seafood without Fear class, where you’ll learn to fillet fish, shuck oysters and prepare mussels and squid. Plus, the class is BYO, so you can pair your recipes from the deep with a complementary sparkling or white wine from one of Western Australia’s renowned wine regions.
Taste Budds Cooking Studio offers a hands-on seafood class, too. On the menu? Mussels in white wine and garlic, Sicilian seafood stew, barramundi with vanilla vinaigrette and Thai fish cakes. Is your mouth watering yet? Grab an apron!
Tread the Eat,Drink,Walk Perth Tour
Head out on this roughly three-hour tour led by Two Feet and a Heartbeat, which runs from 6.30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, starting at Perth Town Hall.After meeting and greeting your friendly guide and fellow tourists, you’ll hit a smattering of small bars. However, they’re great ones and representative of the small bar trend that has recently taken Perth and other cities by storm. But there’s so much more to this tour than simply bar-hopping.
Between venues, you’ll explore the laneways and landmarks of the city centre, see a sampling of local street art and learn a little about the evolution of this isolated but cosmopolitan city, before capping off the evening at King Street Precinct.
Pack a Picnic for the Perth Hills
The Perth Hills encompasses Kalamunda and Mundaring, both about a 35 to 40-minute easy drive east of Perth. With the famous Perth weather, eight national parks and many scenic outlooks and family-friendly recreational areas to choose from, those who enjoy alfresco dining in the arms of Mother Nature will find it a picnic packer’s paradise.Lake Leschenaultia / CC by 2.0 / graham earnshaw
In Beelu National Park, Grevillea Mycumbene provides a quaint spot amid the native trees to enjoy your lunch on picnic tables. Walk off your meal – and stop and smell the wildflowers – on the bushwalking trails that run through the park.
Like a little art with that artisan cheese you’ve laid out? Point your picnic basket towards Mundaring Community Sculpture Park in the heart of Mundaring. Here, scattered throughout its gardens, you’ll find works by well-known Western Australian artists, in addition to barbecue facilities, picnic tables, a cool playground for the kids and the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail.
Combine food with wet and wild fun at Lake Leschenaultia and its surrounding nature reserve. Whether you like swimming, canoeing, or taking to the trails on foot or two wheels, you’ll find plenty to see and do here after a pleasant picnic lunch.
Wend Your Way Along the Swan Valley Wine Trail
Another short drive – just 25 minutes – from Perth’s city centre is a true gem: the Swan Valley wine region, the oldest in Western Australia.For food and wine lovers, the scenic and scrumptious Swan Valley Food and Wine trail is a don’t-miss experience. The 32km circuit encompasses more than 40 wineries and cellar doors, craft beer breweries, boutique distilleries, restaurants and cafes.
In addition to sampling Swan Valley’s renowned wine varietals, such as verdelho, chenin blanc, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, tickle your taste buds with the trail’s local produce, including fresh fruits and vegetables, olives, chocolates, nougats, nuts, honey, preserves, cheeses and ice creams. Take a break from all the eating and drinking with stops at the art-and-craft shops and parks that also pepper the trail.