Jaillan Yehia

Your 4 Point Plan To Save On Travel In Pricey Perth

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Post Categories: Opinion

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On the road, in Australia

So you’ve decided to travel to Australia  – and you’re not just sticking to the well-trodden path of the country’s East Coast.

If you’re headed to Perth, the capital of Western Australia, you’ll already know that this isolated and remote Aussie city (not to be confused with it’s namesake in Scotland), has a reputation for being shockingly expensive.

But you’ll also be prepared to put up with those higher prices in exchange for the joy of exploring miles of pristine coast, white sandy beaches, park and bushland, and soaking up the atmosphere of Western Australia’s vibrant city and its quaint seaside suburbs.

Plus you won’t be sharing your trip with hordes of other tourists following the herd and backpacking on Australia’s East Coast. Yes, you will probably see sheep in WA, but you certainly won’t be one.

Australia Map

Perth’s status as a city that’s amazing yet frustrating in equal measure might put off less determined travellers, but not you. Armed with the right attitude and information, and with a little forward planning, you can enjoy all the best things about Australia’s fourth largest metropolis  – and its sunniest city  – without breaking the bank.

Because many of Perth’s must-see spots are located outside the city, shaving money off the cost of excursions is key when trying to save.

4 money-saving ideas for travel in and around Perth:

1.Get a good deal on car hire

When visiting a city this remote and entirely surrounded by epic nature, it’s important to remember that many of the spots you’ll want to see will be located outside of Perth itself, so finding a good deal on car hire will be your number one goal when trying to keep costs down.

Locals recommend Bayswater Car rental as a consistently reliable and cheap option, but don’t be afraid to shop around for quotes and book as far in advance as possible.

With a hire car you can self-drive and chauffeur yourself on some of Perth’s most famous excursions: check out the limestone formations in Pinnacles desert, meet kangaroos and koalas in Yanchep National Park, go sand-boarding at Lancelin, or simply enjoy lunch overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Wave Rock

Wave Rock

Probably most well-known of all is a tour to Rottnest Island, while the Wave Rock is another popular excursion that is totally unique to Perth and really requires a car, as it is a 4-hour drive away. It may seem like a long way to go to see a rock but this is a unique geological phenomena you can’t see anywhere else in the world.

2.Take The Train or Bus Where Possible

Road Train

Most people will tell you that without a car you’ll struggle to see many of Perth and indeed WA’s most sought-after sights. And while that’s undoubtedly true, there are plenty of legendary places to visit near Perth which can be reached by public transport.

Fremantle, or Freo as it’s known, is a cute and laid-back seaside spot about half an hour south of Perth by train – locals pile into town at the weekend for the markets and eclectic vibe, and as a tourist you’ll find plenty of things to do in Fremantle to keep you entertained.


Along the same train line you could also alight at Cottesloe Beach which is one of the city’s most beautiful stretches of sand, and is ideal for swimming and surfing, yet is still within the confines of suburban Perth.

There’s also the option of visiting Coral Bay and Exmouth, which are long bus rides away but well worth the effort. Coral Bay has stunning turquoise waters, there’s great snorkelling along the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, and you can see emus wandering around Exmouth, making it a quintessentially Australian excursion experience.

3. Stay In Perth

Perth, WA copyright @Jason Baker

Perth is known as ‘The Pretty City’ – which is the locals’ way of saying that despite being home to over 2 million people, it is surrounded by and enveloped in nature rather than being a gritty, dirty or unsightly urban mess.

If you’ve ever travelled to Vancouver, Canada, or even somewhere like Zurich, Switzerland, you’ll be familiar with the immense pros and sheer convenience of basing yourself in the downtown core of a city which is still within easy reach of wilderness and wildlife locations.

Art Gallery of Western Australia

Painting by Guy Grey-Smith, State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia

In Perth itself you’ve got plenty to keep you busy without spending a fortune – there’s Kings Park and the Botanical Gardens to lose yourself in for free, or you can always walk along the Swan River trail, and because this is a major city, and a State capital, there are world class museums and galleries like the Art Gallery of Western Australia, which houses key works by Australian artists and hosts free exhibitions, talks and tours.

For ideas on things to do in Perth during your visit it’s well worth checking out the Perth City tourism site, which has a list of special offers in Perth as well as free event listings.

4. Book excursions through a discount site

Australia excursion

Excursions, Aussie style.

Wherever you travel – especially to places with a reputation for being costly – it’s a great idea to look up local deals on discount sites before you go. Think about it, if you use websites like Groupon at home to save money, why wouldn’t you want to do it while on holiday when you’re buying a lot of things in very quick succession?

Surf School

Doug’s Surf School, via Groupon

From meals and drinks out to excursions and activities, you can slash the cost of any trip by scouring the coupon and daily deals sites in advance and snapping up some bargains. You can even find discounts on parking (notoriously pricey in Perth) and Uber as well as pre-paid sim cards if you plan ahead, so click here for Groupon’s Perth page; it might give you more ideas for things to do in Perth, from river cruises and zoo days to quad biking and surfing lessons, but importantly they won’t be at full price.

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