Road trip day 25: Perth the most isolated city in the world.

Perth’s great claim to fame the most isolated capital in the world, or is it? It’s been disproved, proved, metrics changed for measuring the most isolated capital in the world over the years. But, how did we experience Perth?

To be honest, if it is or isn’t is irrelevant after nearly a month on the road and nearly 10,000km it was the first major city we’d been into since leaving Melbourne and that’s got to tell you something! It also happened to be the end of the road (pun intended) of our road trip!

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Perth isolated, remote and oh so happy to see.

First off you lucky, lucky readers, you are in for a rare treat as normally leave the writing to the Dutchie, but I’ve given the evening off to dream about all things flat and I’m going to subject or delighted you to my minds inner ramblings on Perth the most isolated capital city in the world or not?!

We rolled not literally we still had fuel into Perth on a grey wet evening, it was Easter weekend it was to be expected it’s always bad wether during May long weekends wherever you are. We were driving down from the north and just as any other large metropolitan area suburbs gave to the outlying reaches of the city and finally the CBD.

We had arrived we had finished our journey and our first impression was good, maybe not the most descriptive word don’t judge. Our little Kia had made through the outback and down the west coast without a mechanical hic-up, I know I’m just as impressed as you are a Kia going 10,000km without a problem. This was a good thing as we decided against breakdown cover!

First things first food, we’d enjoyed our camp meals by candle light and our uninvited dinner guests of flies or mosquitos depend on where we were, but we really wanted was some different something hot with proper seats and table. Now Dutchie can be a little I actually mean very indecisive when it comes to picking an option, I, on the other hand, will eat anything. After much backwards and forwards along James St and William St in Northbridge, more on Northbridge later, we settle on Outback Jacks Bar and Grill, now a word of warning Outback Jacks is to steak what Bud Light is to beer I needed go on. But in our state of pasta, noodle, pasta, noodle, rice oh look a vegetable rotation it went down a treat even though my rare steak was on the decidedly not rare it was verging on medium well, but in true British style the word “perfect” was utter when our waitress asked how our food was. Jack the cheeky chappy had on his menu the outback challenge, again more on this latter! If the suspense is killing you it shouldn’t it really shouldn’t.

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Perth, love it or hate it.

We’d heard lots of stories about Perth and people seemed to fall into two categories they either thought it was boring and nothing to do or love it, now it’s our turn to pass judgment on little old isolated Perth. I liked Perth, we both like Perth it was happy doing it own thing now trying to copy other big cities. It has fantastic weather, apart from the rain when we arrived, Northbridge has great restaurants and bars, beaches, Rottnest a short ferry ride away (the Dutchie will be back with another post to tell you all you need to know about the quokka island), Swan Valley (again to be covered in another post, we do spoil you) we couldn’t see the reason for the doom and gloom about it.

The CBD is dead in the evenings and on the weekends some of the bars and restaurants only open during the working week but that is slowly changing. My only criticism of Perth is opening hours bars and clubs shut early even at the weekend, maybe that’s because of its small town feel even though it’s a city of over 2 million people but is spread over a vast area as it sprawls both north and south along the coast from the CBD. But if you like an early night then you, my dear reader, are onto a winner.

So what can you do? I hear you cry.

Well, that really depends on what you like doing, ha! If you are into your sports depending on when you are there you have the choice of the big four rugby, football it’s not called soccer, Aussie Rules Football, and cricket. It was the end of the cricket season so didn’t manage to catch a match but the WACA stadium is an impressive sight. I did manage to catch a rugby game, though, at the nib stadium with the Force hosting the Waratahs from New Zealand, the force isn’t the best team this year or to put it like an Aussie a bit ****. But they put up a good game and it came down to the last few closing minutes for Waratahs to pull off the winner. Yep, I know never going to make it as a sports writer.

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A sunny afternoon is well spent at Kings Park to the west of the CBD (I never knew there was a hill take big in Perth until visiting the park) lazily taking in the view of the CBD and stopping off at the tea room, easily accessible with public transport. Top tip with a short walk you’ll be in the free transit zone so you don’t have to pay to get to or from there.

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Beaches, beaches, beaches Perth has a lot. My favourite was Cottesloe which again was easily accessible by public transport. Lots of bars and restaurant lined the promenade, bars a favourite beach actively of mine. Minus car now as it had gone to a better place, no not the scrap yard to French backpackers were going to take her on her next adventure.

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If you’re in Perth at the end of summer you should catch the Night Noodle Market down by Elizabeth Quay, these markets are held in most if not all of the big Australia cities we caught the one in Melbourne in the spring and this was equally as good. Who does like drinking cider in the sun, eating street food in the middle of the city? Don’t you? Then this probably isn’t the blog for you. I jest, I jest.

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Also how about something free to do? I know free in Australia who of thought! Take a walk around the CBD and look at the old and I used the term old with a pinch of salt colloquial buildings doted in between the shinny glass skyscrapers.

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The weekend head out to Northbridge to for drinks and food and on a Friday catch the Twilight Hawkers Market during the summer months too. Remember though if you are going out in Perth head out early. Now was we are talking about Northbridge is time to return to Outback Jack’s, I know what was I thinking? I always harboured the notion of being able to complete an eating challenge and during our first visit I noticed the Outback Jack’s 1kg Challenge, so a few days before my departure and feeling rather peckish I decided to inquire further. But first some wine which turned into the bottle of wine, whoops! Now suitable lubricated off I set to tackle the challenge. Rules of the challenge being to eat a 1kg rump steak cooked to your liking (it’s not but they ask), 500g of potato wedges and 500g of veggies in 30 minutes. Your reward I hear you ask, the meal free, loose and it going to cost you 50 Aussie bucks! I know, I know you look at my lean frame and sure scoff at the notion of me even remotely completing it, well, well, well 23 minutes in a boom the plate was clear. Yes I’m a fat pig and if you do ever happen to frequent the Outback Jack’s in Northbridge you’ll see my picture on the wall of champions.

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perth

Where to stay in Perth?

We were lucky in that I have relatives in Perth so we were able to stay with them during the visit apart from the end where I stay at The Hive Hostel, its excellently located, lots going on, very friendly and helpful staff, excellent priced and with in easily walking distance of the CBD, Northbridge and major transport routes. Other hostels are available, but book this one!

Should I visit Perth?

Yes, you should visit, I have to say I preferred Perth to Melbourne but let’s not get into that here.

What are your thoughts on Perth, did I miss anything? Comment below and please feel free to share.

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Ed Chapman

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