A Cow Parade and Other Interesting Sites in Perth Australia

Perth was our port of disembarkation on our recent Royal Caribbean cruise, allowing us several days before we flew home. Our first time in Western Australia and of course we already want to return for a much more elaborate exploration of the region. We did have time for a city tour, a river cruise to Fremantle, a self-guided search for street art (article coming soon), and a fantastic day in Kings Park and Botanic Gardens.

We found Perth to be a modern mix with bits of the old. Overall it is an artistic city, and everywhere we looked caught our attention. Limiting this page to only a few highlight photos was quite challenging. Here is what made the cut.


Perth skyline from Elizabeth Quay in Western Australia

Perth skyline from Elizabeth Quay highlights a modern city overlooking the Swan River.

Cow Parade Perth 2016

The Cow Parade runs from 31 Oct to 11 December and is the World’s Biggest Public Art event. These are 6 of many cows we found around the city. Each cow is based on a theme and created by a different artist.

Brass Monkey, a hotel from the gold rush era in Perth, Western Australia

Brass Monkey, a hotel from the gold rush era.

Life sized bronze Kangaroos on St. Georges Terrace, Perth

Life-sized bronze kangaroo on St. Georges Terrace.

Town Hall in Perth

Town Hall in Perth is the only town hall in Australia built by convicts.

Called "Grow Your Own" and located in Perth, Australia

“Grow Your Own” (about organic farming) by artist James Angus. The rain didn’t slow us down.

The London Court in Perth, Australia

The London Court runs between Hay Street Mall and St. George’s Terrace. Seen from the mall and from inside the court.

The bell tower in Perth

The bell tower in Perth is the largest musical instrument in the world.

St. George Anglacan Cathedral in Perth, Western Australia

St. George Anglican Cathedral.

Two of many bronze statues in Perth: 1) "Der Rufer (The Caller)" 1967 was inspired when he was standing beside a man who called across a river to attract the ferry man on the other side. and 2) "Urban Reflections: Percy in the Mirror" is honour of a street performer in the 1930-40'S.

Two of many bronze statues in Perth: 1) “Der Rufer (The Caller)” 1967 was inspired when the artist was standing beside a man who called across a river to attract the ferry man on the other side, and 2) “Urban Reflections: Percy in the Mirror” is in honour of a street performer in the 1930-40’s.

Parterre gardens in St. George Square

Parterre Gardens in St. George Square near the old bishop’s house and our hotel.

(All photos on this page shot with my new Olympus OMD Em5 Mark II.)

Where to Stay in Perth:

Like Portland earlier in the year, we arrived tired and chose our accommodation well. In Perth, we stayed at The Terrace Hotel. Built in 1892 by the Anglican Church, it was originally the bishop’s home. Now it’s a charming (and renovated) boutique hotel. Our room was so relaxing that we barely wanted to leave. And to make it more difficult to get going, it had room service from a restaurant featuring great food (don’t miss this dessert: chocolate marquis tart) and fantastic coffee.  The biggest surprise to me is that it is a Best Western. It’s not the ones we stayed in as children, Best Western now has a 5-star premier level, and The Terrace Hotel hit the mark.

Terrace Hotel in Perth, Western Australia

Inside the Terrace Hotel, clockwise: The Red Room, our room, our bathroom’s shower and tub.

Tips for Visiting Perth:

  • We took a free Introduction to Perth walking tour sponsored by the city. It’s offered daily at 11 am (noon on Sunday). They also offer free themed tours at 2 pm: Icons of Influence (Mon), Art City (Tues), Convicts & Colonials (Wed), Town Hall (Thur), and Boom or Bust (Fri).
  • Many of the city buses are within the Free transit zone. Not only are they free, they seem to run frequently and on time.
  • The train is also an easy and affordable way to get around.
  • Next to the Perth train station is an alley filled with affordable ethnic restaurants. We made a delicious choice at Rolld, a Vietnamese restaurant.
  • If you are a late dinner eater like we are, be warned, this town goes to sleep fairly early.

Perth was the last city after 16 days onboard the Radiance of the Seas. We started in Sydney and sailed over the top of Australia (ports in Brisbane, CainesDarwin, Port Hedlands, and Geraldton) adding a port stop in Bali, Indonesia.

Have you been to Western Australia?

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Highlights of Perth Australia

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Disclaimer: As media guests of the hotel we were provided with a few extra benefits. However, the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

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Photos of Kings Park and Botanic Gardens in Perth Australia
Cruising on the Swan River to Artistic Fremantle, Australia


  1. says

    Perth certainly looks interesting! I love the Kangaroo statue! Interesting that there are some English style architecture there, although not soo surprising when I think about it. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  2. says

    It’s been so long since I visited Perth that I honestly can’t remember any of it. It’s nice to take a look through your photos and see that there are some sights for sure. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Fremantle, so look forward to hearing about your river cruise.

  3. says

    What a lovely place to visit and it looks like there are tons of adventures to be had. We seem to never have enough time to see everything.

    Your room looked fabulous.

    Have a terrific day and weekend. ☺

  4. says

    Hi Rhonda … I’d love to see the Bell Tower – it looks amazing … but then the cows and the other parts – what a great show of photos – thank you … and I’ve never been and hope to go sometime … cheers Hilary

  5. says

    Perth is more beautiful than I thought. You convinced me it’s worth a visit. As for the Cow Parade, I would surely enjoy that. I love everything ‘cow’ and I have an entire collection of cows: from earrings and key chains to clocks, piggy banks and cookie jars. Beautiful pictures!

    • says

      I had the same thoughts, it is really a lovely city and worth a visit. However, it is far from everywhere else, so I would recommend spending a lot more time in Western Australia than we did. We would have stayed longer but University ended and we had to help our daughter move home.

  6. says

    Wow, there are very interesting photos especially the painting in the bedroom of the hotel. My type of painting. ha,ha,ha. One question. when are you two planning on your next cruise?

    Enjoy the time back home Rhonda. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

    • says

      LOL – that painting was in the Red Room, a private dining room, however, there was very interesting art throughout the hotel. We have no current cruise plans, but we are always last minute. We booked the recent one about 10 days before we sailed.

  7. says

    I live in Perth and you have uncovered some things I didn’t even know about my city eg. the Town Hall is the only one built by convicts and that the controversial Bell Tower is the largest musical instrument in the world.
    You also found a few more cows than we found ( we only discovered 20).

    • says

      Sometimes it’s easier as a visitor. Too bad I didn’t know you were there, we could have met for a coffee. As for the cows, I have loads more photos, those are my favorites. We didn’t find, nor look for, them all.

  8. says

    Perth looks beautiful, Rhonda! I’ve only had a chance to visit Sydney, Australia. I’d love to travel more extensively in Australia someday

  9. says

    Really interested in this – we are moving to Australia next year. Probably heading to Queensland but if jobs come up in Perth we aren’t discounting it. It looks like a lovely city with plenty to do! Loved all the photographs. Have pinned – if we go I will definitely be needing all the information (love the idea of those free walking tours) #weekendtravelinspiration #flyawayfriday

    • says

      We almost moved to Queensland in 2010, we even had our house on the market and gave away tons of stuff to prepare. But then things changed and we didn’t go. I would go tomorrow if the opportunity came up.

  10. says

    I love that the cow parade is still traveling! I saw them in Chicago in 2000 or 2001 on one of my first trips there. Looks like they’ve been on quite the around the world trip if they’ve now made it to Perth!

  11. says

    Oh Rhonda! The city looks so pretty! I can see why you needed more days to explore. I like the different cows you found there. I saw that there is a similar exhibition in San Luis Obispo County in Central California. It would be cool to check it out.

  12. says

    These cows of Perth are as interesting as the bulls of Spain, only they are more colorful.
    The other sculpted figures too are interesting. Hope I get a chance to visit Perth some day.

  13. says

    Australia is high on my travel wishlist and I hope to get there in the next two years. Besides Perth, what other locations would you recommend? Great article BTW :).

    • says

      Australia is so big. We got a taste of many different regions on this trip as we nearly circumnavigated the country. Personally, I love Sydney and Melbourne – and the Great Ocean Road. Cairns is great too, especially if you are a diver. Next time I head over in the winter, I want to go to the Kimberly region. So much to see.

  14. says

    Haha I’ll admit, Perth wasn’t the city I was expecting to follow the words “a cow parade”!! I’ve seen the same public art display in a couple of Australian cities now so it must be a national fascination 😀 Would you believe, I haven’t been to WA! Probably a sin being Australian and calling myself a well versed traveler! I would love to get to Perth as I’ve heard amazing things 🙂

  15. says

    We have something similar in my city only it’s with buffalo rather than cows as buffalo is the state animal! Great pics, I’ve never been to Oz but I hope to make it and day. Looks incredible!

  16. says

    Uau! Always heard about Perth but never thought it was so nice. And your photos are simply amazing. Congratulations! In Australia I’ve only been to Sidney and Melbourne, but definitely this would be a city I would enjoy. Thanks for all the info!

  17. says

    You’ve made me want to visit Perth! With it’s funky art scene and history it sort of strikes me as the Seattle of Australia. I’ve found the Best Westerns can sometimes have really great locations compared to other “value” brands. We’ve stayed in or seen a few that are centrally located as opposed away from the city center where the budget options usually are.

    • says

      We visited Seattle for the first time this year and loved it as well. As for Best Western, they now have three classes of hotel with Premier being their 5-star level, and it definitely had 5-star service.

  18. says

    I can’t wait to visit Perth soon! I loved that Cow PArade article you wrote not long ago! And there are some great photos here! You have made a fine selection!

    • says

      It is a great city to visit. I only wish I had more time as I would have liked to add a week or two driving slowly to Albany and exploring the Margaret River along the way.

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