How To Travel Perth Solo On A Budget

I decided to be spontaneous and book a weekend trip to the most peaceful city I’ve every stepped foot in, Perth, about a week before going. Perth is in Western Australia and I hadn’t had a chance to travel to this state yet. However, being the broke uni student that I am, I took another cheap, late flight after class and didn’t arrive to the city until about 1:00AM on Saturday morning. Since the check-in for my hostel wasn’t until 2:00PM, my weekend began with a quick nap at the airport.

Sleeping underneath a tapestry on the tile floor, I heard at least eight comments about “someone under there” and “I think they’re asleep” until I could no longer bare it. I searched up whatever cafe opened earliest and grabbed an Uber at about 6:00AM toward a destination filled with Belgium waffles and lattes.

Perth Streets

At about 8:00AM, I couldn’t imagine being able to stall my day for 6 more hours while lugging around my bags, so I headed to Hostel G where they kindly let me check in a bit early.

Hostel G

Disclosure: I swear this isn’t a paid post, but I feel the need to tell you how incredible this hostel was. It was seriously like a hotel and the bed was 10x more comfy than my own- all for $15 USD a night! I had a 4 bedroom room, but no one else was there, so I had it all to myself, along with a private bathroom/shower. Hostel G also has a cafe, restaurant and bar in the building, as well as a recreational room with a giant movie screen, pool table, etc. AND it’s located right downtown. I truly did not want to leave.

Bell Tower (selfie?)

City Exploring

After taking a much-needed nap, I headed to the mall to buy a new pair of heels for that night, as my last pair mysteriously disappeared (long story). However, on my way, I stumbled across this vintage store called Salvos and was immediately obsessed. This place had everything and it was all uni-friendly priced.

After that, I took a walk around the city through a few more of the shops, then grabbed a raspberry smoothie and headed down to Elizabeth Quay. Elizabeth Quay is full of artwork and places to shop and dine all along the Swan River; it’s a very peaceful area and you can find a lot of people taking their lunch break on the steps overlooking the river here.

Elizabeth Quay

Art Ball

That night, I was able to attend Art Ball Electric Dreams, which was one of the events I was most excited for on this entire trip. It was presented by Vogue and is supposedly the Met Gala of Australia, continuously named in the Top Ten Events by The West Australia. Upon arrival, we were met with French champagne, but not just by any bartender. Gloved hands reached out of this pink shimmering wall to deliver glass after glass to each new attendee walking through. I felt like I dropped down into the rabbit hole; this place truly was something else.

Champagne hand coming from the wall behind me

Once inside, the champagne did not stop coming, as servers were walking around all night making sure no guest was left empty-handed. There was also canapé food service, premium beverages and top-notch entertainment happening nonstop. As the Indie bands performed on the stage, I headed to the first activation area. It was this giant ball pit that men and women of all ages were whipping off their heels and diving into. This was a lot of fun, but as simple as it sounds, this pit was not built for the weak.

Champagne Pit

What Happens At Art Ball Perth

As I continued to wander around, I found a few more rooms with giant king-sized beds and bean bags for lounging around on in the electric lights, as there wasn’t any seating area on the main stage floor.

There was also a room for nude life drawing, where two professionals were masked and surrounded by about six easels. Anyone could go up to the easel and attempt a drawing, and a lot of the people were insanely talented and their work turned out incredible! However, mine was not one of them. Once you completed your drawing, it was added to the others masking the floor and by the end of the night, the whole room was filled with intentional charcoal scribbles.

After the drag queens performed, the award for Best Dressed was presented. Essentially, if you picture how those who lived in the Capitol on the Hunger Games dressed, that’s what a winner here would look like. People were walking around with huge light-up afro wigs, peacock feather hats (that I was hit in the face with more times than I can count) and everything that’s big. After the ceremony, they served a few more entrees, like gourmet mac n’ cheese, along with gelato to end the night on a sweet note.

Mary Street Bakery

Mary Street Bakery

On Sunday morning, I went to brunch at Mary Street Bakery, one of the best foodie spots in Perth. After enjoying some classic Aussie eggs on toast and a coffee, the waitress asked me if I was ready for my free donut. Best. Surprise. Ever. Mary Street Bakery is best known for their sweets and after having one bite of their Salted Caramel Cinnamon Donut, I could easily say that it was the best donut I’ve ever had in my entire life.

Festival of Healing

After brunch, I took an Uber over to the Perth Festival of Healing. This was a free event created for those to share their healing modalities with others. There were complimentary samples of essential oils and kangen water and tons of opportunities to get a massage, do light therapy, talk to mediums or have a psychic reading among other spiritual practices. Though I did not do any of those, I did attend a few of their interactive panels that they had going on that day and it was so rejuvenating.

Festival of Healing

The first woman spoke to us about our chakras and we did a 20 minute meditation to get in touch with our own. After that, I did an art therapy session, where everyone was given a blank canvas. She told us to close our eyes and think of ourselves, and then open our eyes and choose the 3 colors that speak most to us. Then, without talking, just let the colors do their thing on our paper.

After we finished, the speaker had us spin the paper around and try to find a new meaning to it, and then name this drawing. If we were feeling up to it, she told us we could choose one more color to finish our drawing with. This form of art is used by a lot of people in order to unlock parts of themselves that aren’t so black and white. The last speaker I listened to was a healer. She had us all take our shoes off and then hold different points of our body to understand how our energy points connect with each other and how strong each point is. This practice was a way to become more balanced.

Since Westfield Carousel, a massive shopping centre, was just down the road from the festival, I walked over to enjoy some lunch and maybe do a little retail therapy instead.

Westfield Carousel

On my Uber ride back to the hostel, I tried asking my driver for some more suggestions of things to do in Perth. This is actually the 3rd Uber driver that I’d asked this question to and most of the time I was met with, “Uhhhh.” He told me that all they do in Perth is drink, eat and make art and then suggested 14 different bars that I should stop at for Sunday Session, which is their dedicated afternoon drinking schedule. Honestly, I was just impressed with his local bar knowledge and I told him he should monetize on that, so stay tuned for the next best Perth Travel Guide.

La Veen

On Monday morning, I headed out for my new obligatory brunch date at Gordon Street Garage. However, I passed by La Veen on the way and got a little distracted by their gorgeous outdoor seating section. La Veen is actually a heritage-listed building and has floor-to-ceiling windows built into primeval brickwork. After a Ricotta Lemon and Kale Omelette and a latte (what else), I set off for my last day of exploration.

Lookout over Perth

Kings Park & Botanic Garden

Kings Park & Botanic Garden is a free area that was about a 40-minute walk from my hostel, which wasn’t too bad because I loved all of the sightseeing on the way.

Glass Bridge

This is a 400.6-hectare park that overlooks the water and city skyline and it’s just as beautiful as it sounds. I absolutely could not stop taking pictures. There was lookout spot after lookout spot and tons of exotic Australian plants that I’d never seen before.

Perth Lookout

One section of the garden was also dedicated to the conservation of plants and consisted of those that were critically endangered or rare, plants that you wouldn’t find just anywhere. Throughout the park was scattered artwork, benches and bodies of water.

Mangles Kangaroo Paw

It was such a tranquil area and many people were running through the trails along the way. As I made my way back to my hostel, I decided to take the long route around the water’s edge and just took all of my surroundings in while checking out the small shops and sculptures.

Elizabeth Quay

Saying Goodbye To Perth

I was wandering for the majority of the day…until I recalled how good that Salted Caramel Cinnamon Donut from Mary’s Street Bakery was. I was planning on buying the donut for my hectic and probably non-existent breakfast bound to happen the next morning, but they were all out, so I guess I’ll have to come back again soon!

King’s Park and Botanic Garden

My flight leaving Perth was at 2:00AM; are you even surprised at this point? However, the catch with this one was that I was due to arrive back in Melbourne at 7:30AM and needed to get back to Monash Campus by the time my 9:00AM class began. Did I make it? I’ll let the mystery live on.

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