Since becoming proud parents to a daughter 13 months ago, my husband and I have since welcomed a new edition to our home – Stan. And Netflix. And Presto. Given this, I am forever looking for new ways to get out of the house during the day with our actual baby Olivia.
This week we went for a ride on the Perth Explorer, the city’s very own hop on, hop off tourist bus. Despite living in Perth for almost 20 years and having numerous overseas and interstate visitors come and go during that time, I’ve never even entertained the idea of hopping on board, but it is certainly worth the journey for Perthites and visitors alike.
The bus is hard to miss.
This bright red double decker, open-top London-style bus is pretty hard to miss. It stops at various key Perth attractions, including Burswood Casino, Kings Park, the Synergy Parklands, Northbridge, Watertown and the Perth Mint. As long as you keep your ticket, you can hop on and hop off as many times as you like during a 24-hour or 48-hour period.
Olivia and I hopped on at 471 Hay Street – not exactly an exciting stop in terms of sightseeing, but as we passed some of Perth’s older buildings and the new library, guided commentary provided us with some interesting information about the city’s heritage.
The next stop was the Cultural Centre, just outside the museum, and then we took a trip on the Graham Farmer Freeway and past the new stadium before stopping at the Burswood Casino. The guided commentary asked if we wanted to share our casino winnings. Err, no, sorry.
Sitting in an open top bus is a must for visitors to Perth.
For anyone interested in learning what goes on at the Perth Mint, Perth Explorer offers a Bus and Bullion tour, priced at $18 for adults, which is on top of the standard bus fare. There are also options for Bell Tower entry packages or an Indigenous Tour of Kings Park.
As we left the casino, Olivia decided this was a great time for a nap. Luckily there is space for the pram on the bottom level of the bus. Our driver, by the way, was very helpful in helping me to get the pram on the bus so there are no issues taking your bub’s transport on board.
I found the Perth trivia quite interesting and learned a lot about the city – for example, I never really noticed a bend in the road where St George’s Terrace meets Adelaide Terrace, let alone knew the reason behind it. History explains that John Septimus Roe, the first Surveyor-General of Perth, wouldn’t allow the road to pass through his wife’s rose bushes. Now there’s a good husband.
The next stop was Kings Park, where the bus parks for a few minutes outside the bathroom. Very convenient. A great idea for families or visitors is to spend some time exploring Kings Park or enjoy a picnic lunch before getting on the next bus.
Olivia and I disembarked at Kings Park and decided it was a lovely day to walk back to the city, once we had navigated our way through the masses of Pokemon Go players. The entire tour takes two hours, and there are two buses running in operation throughout the day – passengers can hop on and hop off each bus as they please. Bus 1 leaves Elizabeth Quay at 9:15am and drops off the last passengers at 4:40pm.
Kings Park is a great place to stop and explore.
The 24-hour pass will cost $35 for adults, $32 for concession holders and $12 for kids aged five to 14. There are also family passes available. The 48-hour pass costs $40 for adults, $35 for concession holders and $15 for kids aged five to 14. Just a hint – look out for discounted tickets online. I paid just $15 for a 24-hour ticket. Kids under five are free.
For more information about the Perth Explorer, read on here.