Perth - car rental or public transport?

Old Aug 7th, 2011, 03:41 PM
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Perth - car rental or public transport?

Visiting WA in about a month for 3 days in Perth and 4 days down at Maragaret River. Current plan is to stay in Perth city, explore city, Rottnest, Freemantle and Cottesloe over the 3 days and then pick up rental car to head down to MR.

Will we need to have a car to get around Perth given the places above or can we rely on public transport? I understand there is ferry service from Barrack Street jetty to Rottnest and Freemantle and; train service from city to Cottesloe. Please note we will be travelling with a young child.

Thank you in advance for your feedback and advice.

s
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Old Aug 7th, 2011, 05:11 PM
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Much of Perth is easy to get around via public transport. Parking in the CBD is expensive and scarce.

You'll have no trouble getting to Fremantle and Cottesloe via public transport. Nor will you have any trouble getting to Barrack Street Jetty by public transport or on foot.

Rottnest is accessible via boat from either Hillarys Boat Harbor (up north, you'd need a car to get there), from Fremantle and from Barrack Street Jetty (via Freo). This is a private service and it's not particularly cheap, but you can certainly get there w/o a car.

If you're going to Freo, I suggest taking a cruise from Barrack Street Jetty along the Swan River, and then connecting to a boat to Rottnest in Freo, or returning to Perth via train. This is a great way to see Perth.

You might be interested in visiting the Perth Zoo in South Perth, which you can access via ferry from Barrack Street Jetty to Mends Street, and then walk for about 10 minutes. This service is part of TransPerth, and the same cost as using the train or bus.
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 03:46 PM
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Thx Mel, I was hoping you replied, I have been reading your 'taste of Perth' journal on the forum and taking notes along the way, thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Can I ask if Rottnest is a full day trip? Given we only have 1 half day and 2 full days in Perth, I thought our itinerary would look like - half day explore the city/CBD; the 2 full days with 2 hr Swan River cruise to Freo, explore Freo; Cottesloe; and perhaps Perth Zoo. Doing Freo and Rottnest on the one day could be taxing, especially with a young child.

In your journal, I also read about the dolphin centre at Rockingham Beach, so I am considering stopping there enroute to MR, is that worthwhile?

Thanks again!

s
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 04:43 PM
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Yes, Rotto is a full day trip, or longer if you choose to spend the night. You'd have to plan well to do Rotto and Freo thoroughly in the same day, due to the ferry schedule, etc.
Do be aware that the ferry operates at a reduced schedule during the low season.

I really enjoyed Penguin Island. It's very easy to get to and frequent ferry crossings make it easy to come and go from the Island. I'd allow about 90 minutes on the island and I suggest you time your arrival to coincide with the penguin feeding (times on the website).

I'm glad you're finding my Perth notes helpful. This past weekend we drove to New Norcia, Australia's only monastic town. It's about a two hour drive north of the city and a good day out. I plan to add it to the journal when I get chance to type it up.

Enjoy Perth!
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Old Sep 18th, 2011, 04:39 PM
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@Melnq8, we will be arriving on a Sunday afternoon and will stay in the CBD. Could you advise if shops and cafes are opened on Sundays in Hay Street Mall and surrounds?

On another note, have you been to the Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre at Bunbury? Between this and Rockingham, which one would you visit enroute to MR?

Thanks again!

s
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Old Sep 18th, 2011, 04:54 PM
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Some shops in the CBD will be open from about 11-5 pm, but weekends in the city are generally pretty quiet. I was once charged a 15% surcharge in a CBD hotel bar on a Sunday afternoon (because they have to pay employees more on Sundays I was told), but I'm not clear if this is standard practice or not.

I haven't been to the Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Center, but we did enjoy a good day out to Penguin Island off of Rockingham a few months back. They have dolphin tours also.

It might come down to tour timing. The drive to Bunbury from Perth takes about 2.5 hours, the drive to Rockingham takes about 45 minutes.
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