Your guide to getting around Perth quick and easy.
By Ashlea Wheeler
Perth is an easy city to get around. The metropolitan area has a great range of options for public transport, driving, and walking. This practical information on Perth’s public transport system will make moving around the city very simple.
To use public transport including buses, trains, and ferries in Perth, it’s recommended that you purchase a Transperth Smartrider card. You can purchase a Smartrider card for a $10 deposit at Transperth InfoCentres, or from convenience stores, newsagents, and at some bus and train stations throughout the city. Once you have the Smartrider card, a 10% discount to your fares and a daily cap of $12.60 will be automatically applied when you travel.
Initially you’ll need to load the Smartrider card with some money (there is a $10 minimum) to cover your fares. For travel within the city, fares should be between $2.80 - $4.70 per ride. To start your ride, tap your card on the reader when you board your selected mode of transport and be sure to tap off when you disembark.
Perth’s rail network is a great way to visit attractions across the city and reach the surrounding suburbs. Within the city centre, there is a free transit zone for trains travelling in the area between City West, Elizabeth Quay, and Claisebrook stations. To take advantage of the free fares, you must use a Smartrider card. Within the free transit zone, you can reach attractions including the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Western Australian Museum, and destinations such as Northbridge.
Perth has free bus services in the city centre and in Freemantle. There are multiple bus loops which depart every 5-15 minutes between 6AM and 7PM most days. These buses are particularly useful for travel between Perth or Freemantle’s downtown hotels and attractions.
Public bus services will take you from Perth Busport or Elizabeth Street Bus Station to attractions further out of the city center. Catch the 935 bus to reach Kings Park & Botanic Garden, or the 30/31 bus to get to Perth Zoo. These services run every 10-15 minutes throughout the day.
The Perth Explorer hop-on, hop-off bus is another great way to see Perth’s attractions. You can purchase a one day ticket for $35, or a 2 day ticket for $40. The bus stops by popular attractions such as Perth Cultural Centre and Perth Stadium. Tickets can also be purchased for day tours outside of the city, visiting the incredible rock formations of The Pinnacles and Wave Rock, or destinations like Margaret River.
Public buses are an easy way to get to Perth Airport from the city. From Elizabeth Quay Station in downtown, take the 380 bus to get to Terminals 1 and 2, or the 40 bus for Terminals 3 and 4. Each of these bus services run approximately every half hour. You can use the Smartrider card to pay for this airport service, which costs the same as a regular bus fare within the city.
With a Smartrider card, you can catch a public ferry across the Swan River. From Elizabeth Quay Jetty, a ferry departs for Mends Street Jetty every 15-30 minutes between 6:30AM and 11:30PM. This is a great way to access Perth Zoo.
It’s easy to access Rottnest Island via a private ferry. From Perth, you can catch the Rottnest Express from Barrack Street ferry terminal which has one daily departure and costs $81 return. From Fremantle, the Rottnest Express has 6 daily departures and the SeaLink ferry has 6 daily departures in summer or 2-4 daily departures at other times of the year, and each cost between $42 - $47 return.
Find more information on getting around Australia.
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