I Heart My City: Jelena’s Perth

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Jelena Stipanicev has lived in Perth just about all her life, and no matter where her wanderlust takes her, she will always be a “Southie” at heart. “It’s not Melbourne and it’s not Sydney, but my city is unique and resourceful because of its isolation,” she says. “There is no place that’s sunnier, friendlier and more laid-back than Perth.”

Though the adventurous traveler is currently road tripping her way around Australia—and sharing her discoveries on her blog, The Travelleur, and on Instagram @thetravelleur—she’s counting the days until she’s back among the Sandgropers in Western Australia. Here are a few of her favorite things about the city she’s proud to call home.

Perth Is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to Cottesloe Beach, the most beautiful stretch of sandy white shore and crystal-clear water. To me, it is the perfect embodiment of what Perth is all about: laid-back fun in the sun.

February is the best time to visit my city because there are tons of events going on, including the Fringe World Festival and the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. Plus, the weather is just about perfect for being outdoors.

You can see my city best from Kings Park and Botanic Gardens. The property offers sweeping views of the Perth skyline and the Swan River.

Locals know to skip Hillarys Boat Harbour and check out the eclectic and unique atmosphere in Perth’s sister city, Fremantle, instead.

MANY 6160, in Fremantle, is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

In the past, notable people like actor Hugh Jackman and members of the rock band Tame Impala have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is the Western Australian Museum owing to its great collection of artifacts that can’t be found anywhere else.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s to avail yourself of the free circle route Central Area Transit (CAT) buses, which will take you past the city’s major attractions.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is on Rottnest IslandTip: Make sure to take a selfie with a quokka while you’re there.

My city really knows how to celebrate the arts because the Perth International Arts Festival’s opening night is the main event on the annual festival calendar.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they identify themselves as a “Northie” or a “Southie.” It’s a reference to which side of the Swan River—which divides Perth in half—they live.

For a fancy night out, I head to Brookfield Place in the city’s central business district to have a cocktail at Print Hall and rub shoulders with the Who’s Who of Perth.

Just outside my city, you can visit the Swan Valley, a wine tasting mecca that’s only 30 minutes away from downtown Perth.

My city is known for being a big mining town, but it’s really a vibrant, young city that’s coming of age and creating its own identity.

The best outdoor market in my city is the Fremantle Markets.

The hip and healthy Raw Kitchen is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and Alfred’s Kitchen is the spot for late-night eats. Tip: Be sure to order the cram burger at Alfred’s!

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read X-Press Magazine. A new issue comes out every Thursday.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I head to the Perth Cultural Centre to explore the free museums and galleries.

To escape the crowds, I go hiking in the bushland at Mundaring and admire Perth from afar.

The dish that represents my city best is fish and chips, and Little Creatures Pale Ale is my city’s signature drink. Sample them at Ciccerello’s and Little Creatures Breweryrespectively.

Mojo’s Bar, in Fremantle, is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Ambar Nightclub.

Sunshine almost daily could only happen in my city. 

In the spring you should admire the blooms at Araluen Botanic Park.

In the summer you should head to the Cottesloe Beach Hotel for a Sunday session and watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean.

In the fall you should go camping in the cooler weather and spot a kangaroo or three.

In the winter you should go bar hopping around the city.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss Scitech for its educational and interactive science displays!

The best book about my city is Down Under by Bill Bryson. He devotes an entire chapter to Perth and manages to capture the hilarity and absurdity of my awesome city.

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