Exploring Perth’s inner city by bike
The weather is particularly mild in Perth and the landscape flat, which means biking around is a fun way to experience the inner city area of this West Australian capital city. I’ve put together a list of a few places to check out on the bike whilst in Perth, and I’m sure you’ll discover even more along the way.
Exploring Elizabeth Quay by the Swan River
A waterfront area to relax or grab some refreshments, this is one of my favourite places in the city to bring the bike and take in the water scenery. Elizabeth Quay connects to the principal shared path (a path for the bike) which extends to the outer areas of the city along the Swan River encompassing a picturesque ride on a gentle gradient.
Going up the hill to Kings Park and Botanic Garden
Kings Park sits elevated above the city and there are a number of ways to reach this beautiful park right from the city centre. While Mount Street is short and steep. Using Hay Street and Harvest terrace is a gentler way up the hill. For a longer ride, take the PSP along Mounts Bay road and enter via the Crawley entrance into the park. Kings Park is a unique city spot, in that it conserves the local flora and fauna, so be aware only some paths in the bush land area allow bikes. The parkland and Botanic Gardens are best explored on foot, use the roads to access the various sections of the park. In spring season, there are beautiful wildflowers to enjoy.
Yagan and Kings Square
These public promenade areas are a good spot to take a break and grab a refreshment. Henry Little do a nice long black coffee and the Shoe Bar stock West Australian wine and sparkling. Also, the Perth city train station and bus port is located here.
Street art work
Keep an eye out for some wonderful street art all around the city. On the bike, chances are you will come across quite a few pieces, especially through the lane ways.
From the city centre take King Street/Lake Street to the inner city park which is shaded and provides a green space to enjoy. On Lake Street there are a couple of cafes and a heritage listed pub. Across the road from the park is a popular ‘takeaway’ patisserie, Chu Bakery. Bring along your keep cups to reduce waste.
Hay Street and Murray Street Malls
This shopping precinct in Perth is a bustling place during the week and sometimes quieter on the weekend mornings. Be sure to check out the shops on these streets all the way to King Street!
South Perth foreshore
A green space and a little less hectic is the South Perth foreshore, the walking and cycling paths are separated in this area which treats riders to a pleasurable cycle. For a shortcut from and to the city, bikes are allowed on the ferry between Elizabeth Quay and Mends Street Jetty. Take the longer route back to Perth or head to the Perth Zoo.
Riverside Drive Cycle Path
Similar to the South Perth foreshore, the walking and cycle paths are mostly separated in this area. This path wonderfully meanders under trees and directly stretches from one waterfront to another – On the point to Elizabeth Quay. There are loads of options to extend the ride to other areas along the Swan River.
Exploring lane ways in Mount Lawley
If you visit Hyde Park, head east towards Mount Lawley and roll around through the Laneway Street art area. Stop for food and drinks on Beaufort Street. Must Winebar delivers local West Australian produce. Queens Tavern has a good beer garden area. Ischia Ristorante is where you’ll find wood fired pizzas and authentic Italian food. Fresh Provisions have a good selection of picnic food. Mary Street Bakery make delicious donuts and bread.
The Crawley Boat Shed
This is the unofficial tourist hot spot of Perth, a little blue shed that sits on the Swan River and looks gorgeous at sunrise and sunset. The boat shed sits to the side of the mounts bay road PSP. Cycling is a quick way to reach the area, plus it is a beautiful ride so close to the water. From Elizabeth Quay to the Boat Shed it is a flat 4 km bicycle ride.
Tips for cycling through inner city Perth!
- The Transperth trains to the central business district allow bicycles on board outside of peak hour times, so this is one way to shorten the ride to the city.
- Some city hotels offer bike hire for guests
- About Bike Hire offer hire of a wide range of bikes
- For a ‘quiet’ ride try Sunday morning
- Navigating through the heart of the CBD – While the PSP along the river and freeways are okay, if you are unfamiliar with riding through the central business district of Perth, you should know there isn’t a great deal of cycle lanes and when there is they eventually merge into vehicle and truck traffic, so I would recommend a mix of the footpath and road, but mainly footpath. In Western Australia, cyclists are allowed on footpaths. Barrack Street has an ‘on road’ painted lane and this is the best on offer, however it suddenly disappears into a high use intersection at Wellington street, so just be prepared for this change, however you can roll onto the footpath. Roe Street in Northbridge has a PSP which eventually connects to the Fremantle PSP. William Street and Lake Street are okay to cycle on for accessing the northern areas of Perth. George Street has a path which connects to the Fremantle PSP and the Kwinana Freeway PSP. Milligan Street is used by commuters, probably due to the available space on the road, so this might be worth considering. Wellington Street has some sections of a cycle lane between Yagan Square and the RAC Arena. Heading west from Saint Mary’s Cathedral is a protected cycle lane into the city and it opens into traffic from Pier Street intersection.
- During weekday businesses hours, I recommend avoiding cycling on the road along St Georges Terrace due to the high number of buses and vehicles, the exhaust fumes are gross.
- Wear a helmet, it is required in Western Australia
- Bring along sunscreen and water for extended periods in the sun
- Bring a very good bike lock