Work Trip to Weekend Escape: Perth
Travelling for work? Turn your business trip into a well-deserved break with our pick of the top things to do in Perth. From sandy beaches and cellar doors to world-class restaurants and museums, Western Australia’s capital has plenty to offer once your clock off.
Dig into the food and wine scene
Perth may be a late bloomer when it comes to fine dining, but with acclaimed chefs and new talent flocking to the region, this up-and-comer is quietly catching up with its counterparts on the East Coast. Dig in to modern Thai at David Thompson’s Long Chim, or sample Western Australia’s seasonal produce at Co-Op Dining. With a list of ingredients sourced as close to the restaurant’s postcode as possible, you can be sure you’re getting a real taste of WA while you’re in town.
Embark on a self-guided wine tour
With a handful of wine regions located on the fringe of the city, business travellers needn’t limit themselves to the CBD once the work week is done. Start in the Swan Valley, where world-class Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon meet award-wining microbreweries, then continue your journey to the Perth Hills for quaint country towns and wineries less than an hour’s drive from the city centre.
Escape to the South West coast
Don’t mind travelling further for your food and wine fix? Western Australia’s premier wine region, Margaret River, is an easy road trip south of the city. A favourite for path finding foodies and nature enthusiasts alike, this collection of vineyards and cellar doors is home to some of the best Chardonnay and Shiraz in the country, not to mention remote national parks, leafy forests and secluded beaches in equal measure.
Spend the day on a secluded island
With Rottnest Island located just off shore, setting off on a road trip isn’t the only way to escape Perth’s concrete jungle for the day. Take a 40-minute ferry ride to reach the wharf, then hire a bicycle to discover this sun-soaked island on your own schedule. It may be a popular destination with the tourist crowd, but its 63 beaches mean you’ll have no trouble finding a stretch of sand to call your own.
Admire the State Buildings
Perth is in the midst of a cultural renaissance – and no pocket of the city shows it better than its State Buildings. Dating back to the 19th century, these beautifully-restored government buildings are now home to a curated selection of boutiques, bars and restaurants, including rooftop fine diner, Wildflower. Best of all, if you don’t want to leave the State Building’s inspiring surrounds you can treat yourself to a stay at the newly-opened COMO The Treasury hotel. Voted the best city hotel in Australia, this luxury retreat in the heart of the city is the perfect way to recharge before getting back to business.
Explore little-known laneways
Following in Melbourne’s footsteps, Perth has brought its inner-city alleyways to life with street art, small bars and trendy cafés at every turn. Take a guided walking tour to discover the city’s more notable artworks, or opt to explore the tucked away shopfronts and restaurants at your own pace. Whether you head to Howard, Shafto or Wolf Lane, Perth’s newly-revitalised side streets make it all too easy to linger.
Immerse yourself in the arts
Beyond the street art that lines the city’s laneways, Perth offers plenty more traditional ways to enjoy an afternoon of culture. The Art Gallery of Western Australia houses an extensive collection of international and Indigenous artworks, while the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts has an ever-changing roster of performances and events. Can’t choose between the two? Both establishments are located at the Perth Cultural Centre, so it’s easy to immerse yourself in the arts during your stay.
Take a dip in the Indian Ocean
The antidote for office workers in search of vitamin D, Cottesloe Beach has long been a favourite with locals and tourists alike. Go early to grab a seat on the grassy foreshore, then stay late to watch the sun disappear behind the ocean. Didn’t bring your beach towel? Grab a seat at one of the waterfront restaurants, where you can see out the day with an ice-cold beer and bar snack in hand.
Take a stroll through Kings Park
Prefer flora and fauna to the sea? Home to the Western Australian Botanic Gardens, this 400-hectare park is Perth’s centrepiece – and for good reason. Take a stroll to discover thousands of plant species, enjoy a picnic with city and river views or experience the park in the company of an Indigenous guide to learn about traditional bush medicine, edible plants and more.
Catch an alfresco film
If a day in Kings Park has you feeling reluctant to head inside, seek out one of the city’s outdoor screenings instead. Moonlight Cinema hosts films in the park from December through to April, while Rooftop Movies in the CBD combines nightly films and skyline views all summer long. No matter which location you choose, you’ll be able to make the most of the city’s balmy temperatures before boarding your return flight home.
Upgrade your work trip to a weekend away when you book flights to Perth with Virgin Australia.