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Perth: Full of secrets

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Perth's best kept secrets
By: Joshua HAYES

Published: 12/05/2006

Perth is a tourist magnet, but while the visitors flock to see Kings Park, what are the places only the locals know about?

With Tourism Australia’s infamous “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign drawing tourists to the country with images of its pristine beaches and vast deserts, an influx of visitors could be expected by the country’s most isolated city.

And while the tourists are drawn to Kings Park and Rottnest Island, Perth residents most certainly know where the "bloody hell" they are, as the city is home to countless secrets that only the locals know about.

While the occasional tourist may still venture into these places, this selection of bars, cafés, stores and other landmarks are among some of the spots in Perth that residents can proudly call their own.

Little Creatures Brewery

Located in a large shed in Fremantle, the Little Creatures Brewery defies simple classification.

It is a brewery as the name suggests, but it is also a restaurant, a bar and even an art gallery all rolled into one, all of which can be experienced in one visit.

The restaurant and bar are located inside the brewery and serve up meals along with Little Creatures pale ale, pilsner and Rogers’ Beer.

Better yet, the brewery and kitchen are all visible from the restaurant, and with the addition of a gallery for Perth artists to exhibit their work, a visit to see what the fuss is about is as good an excuse as any to consume some local beer.

Coode Street Café

Another secret that serves multiple purposes is the Coode Street Café. It's both a café and a deli inside a converted home in Mount Lawley.

Located away from the Mount Lawley café strip, it is open seven days and a week with both indoors and outdoors seating available, perfect for a quiet coffee.

Blackwall Reach

Already known for its canoeing and rock climbing, Blackwall Reach is one of Perth’s best kept secrets due to the heart stopping jumps into the Swan River off its nine metre high cliffs.

Blackwall Reach was in the news recently due to an accident in which a young man lost his life when he attempted a somersault off the cliffs after a night of drinking.

This tragedy serves as a reminder how dangerous the location is, however the thrill will continue to draw locals.

Alfred’s Kitchen

Alfred’s Kitchen is a burger kitchen located on James Street in Guildford. It was opened in 1946 and is currently undergoing work to extend the building.

Open into the late hours of the night, the kitchen serves burgers, chips and hot soup. It also draws all manner of people, who congregate to sit and warm themselves up around its wood fire.


Situated near the heart of the city, Dada's is a music store specialising in stocking a wide range of the CDs and records that are hard to find at regular retail outlets.

Its basement has a large enough selection of CDs to keep any music fan busy searching for hard to find releases for an hour or two, while its top level stocks a large number of records, as well as videos, DVDs, clothing and magazines.

Dada’s staff are among the most knowledgeable in the city, and even its walls are a great source of information, with posters regularly updated to promote local music events.

Reabold Hill

Reabold Hill, located off Oceanic Drive in City Beach is Perth’s highest point.

It is already popular for cyclists and walkers, while the lookout on the hill is a less crowded alternative to other locations such as Kings Park for a great view of the city.

Mojo’s Bar

One of Perth’s premier live music pubs, Mojo’s Bar is an intimate venue in North Fremantle.

Rather inconspicuous from the outside, the interior is a mix of pub and café and has a dance floor with enough room for a small crowd.

More than just a place to see local acts perform live, its funky designs on the walls, comfortable couches and pool table, so uneven that it adds to its charm, make it a great place to hang out.

Harvest Restaurant

Opposite Mojo’s Bar is the Harvest Restaurant, a popular spot for weekend breakfast as well as lunch and dinner all week.

The restaurant serves up modern European cuisine, and like the Coode Street Café, it is also located in a converted house which makes it very easy to miss if you are unaware of it.

Planet Video

Plant Video in Mount Lawley would be one of the most easily recognisable locations on this list to many residents, but still remains somewhat a secret in Perth.

Situated on Beaufort Street and one of the city’s biggest video stores, Planet Video caters to film buffs with a large selection of cult and classic films.

Meanwhile its recently opened sister store Planet Books carries the works of many hard to find authors, and books on a wide range of topics.

Bar Open

Located underground in Northbridge, Bar Open is only reached through a back alley off William Street, so perhaps it is no wonder that it is a secret.

With a bar, a small dance floor, areas with couches and even arcade games, it is another intimate venue, and being open til six in the morning on weekends, it is a great place to end a night.

Of course, listing just these ten secrets does not do Perth justice. With a population of just under 1.5 million, there are undoubtedly many other cafes and bars that have not been recognised, not to mention picnic spots, op shops and everything else the city has to offer.

If you think something has been unfairly omitted from the list though just remember, it’s our little secret.