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Review: Perth Explorer Bus Tour

Book a ticket to ride to many of Perth's top attractions and tourist hotspots on this fabulous hop on hop off bus tour.
 Perth Explorer Bus Tour
Perth Explorer Bus Tour. Image: Perth Explorer
Review: Perth Explorer Bus Tour

A trip to Perth is more than balmy days and blissful evenings by the beach.

There’s so much more to this city, but when you’re visiting a new place, everything is unknown and new and sometimes difficult to find. It can be hard to know where to begin. I live three hours from Perth. The city and I are acquainted, but I’ve never spent much time exploring or getting to know its gems. It turns out that the easiest way to see it all is on an organised spin around the town with Perth Explorer.

Watch our video of ten top things to do in Perth:

10 Great Things to Do in PERTH, Western Australia, 2024 | Ultimate Perth Travel Guide & Tips

In this episode of our online travel series, we bring you tips for ten top things to do in Perth.

Now to be honest, I’ve always thought city bus tours were only for, let’s say, older travellers. But that was before I boarded the Perth Explorer bus tour of the Western Australia capital. It offers eleven stops around the CBD, Kings Park and central neighbourhoods. It’s a fast, efficient and relaxing way to see a whole lot in a short space of time.

The Perth Explorer kicks off at 9:15am from the Barrack Street Jetty (the same spot where Rottnest Island ferries depart). It’s a clear sky day as I climb on board and take a seat on the open-air top deck.

 Perth Explorer Bus Tour
Perth Explorer Bus Tour: The Bell Tower

To get a feel for the bus route, I decide to ride through all eleven stops. It takes about two hours to do the round trip. The sun is shining (pretty much a given in the summer) and I do recommend wearing plenty of sunscreen. There’s no shade, but the lack of a roof and windows means that the photo ops are unbelievably good.

There are two buses on the route, spaced an hour apart, so back at Barrack Street there’s enough time for me to grab a drink before the next one arrives. I hop back on ready to hit the stops I want to visit.

 Perth Explorer Bus Tour
Perth Explorer Bus Tour. Image: Jennifer Morton

As we approach Crown Perth, a complex of casinos, restaurants and hotels, I get ready to do my first official hop off. That is until the recorded commentary mentions something about a dress code. I’m in thongs. Note to self: wear smarter-looking shoes next time!


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Our next stop is The Perth Mint — one of the capital’s most popular attractions. I like money (like most of us) and although this mint is all about precious metals and investment coins, I’m keen to have a sniff around. You can buy discounted tickets to The Mint from your bus driver. The entry price includes a guided tour of the gold exhibition and a seat at the demonstration of a gold bar pouring! I’m mighty impressed with the one tonne, million dollar gold coin. During the gold pour, the one-liner from the quirky Austin Powers film plays over and over in my mind: ‘I love gold…’.

 Perth Explorer Bus Tour
Perth Explorer Bus Tour: Perth Mint. Image: Jennifer Morton

Back on the bus the afternoon breeze, affectionately known as the Fremantle Doctor, cools my sun-kissed neck.

The first of three Kings Park stops is at the Wadjuk car park. It’s a beautiful area, offering blissful serenity and magnificent views of the cityscape (awesome selfie op!). It’s also home to the upscale Fraser’s restaurant and the Botanical Cafe — a busy eatery which is a great spot for lunch or coffee and cake.

 Perth Explorer Bus Tour
Perth Explorer Bus Tour: Explore Kings Park. Image: Bigstock

We cruise through the magnificent parklands while listening to fascinating facts about botany and colonial history. There are two more stops in the park, but the time is ticking away so I stay perched on the upper deck, filling my lungs with fresh air.

I finish my tour at the last stop, 50 William Street, which is pretty much the centre of the CBD. I’m amazed at how carefree this Perth Explorer Bus Tour makes getting to know the city. It’s just too easy. I’m proud to say that I’m now a city bus tour convert.

The writer travelled as a guest of Perth Explorer.

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Additional images: Bigstock

Jennifer Morton

About the writer

Jennifer Morton is a freelance writer and photographer. The Canadian expat has lived all over Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. She also spent six months working on a cruise ship in Europe. When Jennifer is not writing about travel, you may find her lounging on the beach, fishing with her son, sipping coffee at a cafe, reading a book, or zooming in on a beautiful scene.

 

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