Last Updated on 13 February 2024 by Ariana Svenson
Here we cover a range of Fun things to do in Elizabeth Quay Perth! This beautiful area on Perth City’s waterfront certainly is one of the best parks in Perth. This is such a great place to spend a few hours for the family and features one of the best water features Perth has to offer – the BHP Billiton Water Park. Don’t forget to put Perth’s Elizabeth Quay on your list of best places to visit in Perth.
Whether you are looking for a great atmosphere or fabulous food, there is something for all ages here – our tradition is to get an ice cream at Elizabeth Quay! While the Bell Tower stands out as a principal Perth Icon, a river cruise is a wonderful place to get a feel for Perth. The public art at Elizabeth Quay is very unique – and keep your eyes out for special events. We have visited during Easter, Christmas and Spring in the City.
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Where is Elizabeth Quay Located?
Elizabeth Quay is located in Perth’s CBD (Central Business District) on Perth’s Esplanade, in an area bounded by Barrack Street, William Street, and Mounts Bay Road. It is home to the Elizabeth Quay Ferry Terminal where inter suburban ferries run across to the Perth Zoo, and also well connected by public transport.
The Elizabeth Quay Train Station is a short walk from the entertainment precinct – and with the bus station underneath well connected to all parts of the city. Elizabeth Quay’s man-made inlet is at the heart of Elizabeth Quay and provides a central feature for this great entertainment precinct.
History of Elizabeth Quay
When I was a kid in Perth, the Barrack Street Jetty was a place to jump on a river cruise or take the ferry to Rottnest Island but otherwise was a long strip of grassed foreshore along the river. The project began in 2012, Queen Elizabeth II ‘s Diamond Jubilee year and was finished four years later at a cost of $440 million.
Designed to rival other great man-made Aussie waterscapes like South Bank and Sydney’s Circular Quay and modernise and enliven Western Australia – and the world’s most isolated city – the years leading up to 2016 were highly controversial as the vision received lots of local criticism.
Nowadays no one can imagine Perth without this wonderful addition to the Perth CBD, with its boardwalks and promenades, man-made island, luxury hotels, shops, cafes and restaurants.
Things to do at Perth’s Elizabeth Quay
The Perth Bell Tower
Right next to Elizabeth Quay is the Perth Bell Tower. Now somewhat built in by developments around it, the Perth Bell Tower originally offered fantastic views of Perth City and the Swan River. The Bell Tower claims to be one of the largest musical instruments in the world and features bells of Saint Martin in the Fields church in London.
Get a look behind the scenes at the bell ringing chamber and be on site on the hour to hear the bells ringing out.
Outside the Bell Tower, there is Perth’s answer to the Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris, with love locks tied to a chain. My kids love them and spend ages having a look.
Leaving from Barrack Street Jetty, Perth Segway tours offers a unique and fun way to explore Elizabeth Quay Perth. There are several different adventures to choose from that take you to attractions like Kings Park or Heirisson Island.
On the Water Elizabeth Quay Activities
Water Bike Experience
Literally explore Elizabeth Quay from the water. Thats right, take a one-hour water bike tour along the Swan River and into Elizabeth Quay.
Each tour is done with a professional guide and groups of 2-9 people. This is a fun experience for most all ages and abilities.
Barrack Street Jetty
Barrack Street Jetty has been one of the best public attraction in Perth since so long! So, they completely remodeled the place and placed it under the Elizabeth Quay precinct. You can come to visit the iconic bell tower, go on an amazing cruise on the river and have the best time gorging on the restaurants and cafes!
Barrack Street Jetty is a main part of the Elizabeth Quay! It is a great place for different events and relaxation.
There are several different river cruises to choose from that depart daily from Barrack Street Jetty. Whether you are looking for a romantic sunset cruise, a full day wine-tasting tour to the Swan River Valley, or a short cruise around the harbour, there is something to accommodate everyone.
Click below to discover the different Swan River Cruises offered.
Take a Gondola Ride
Alright, so Perth is certainly not Venice and the last place you might expect to see Gonadola rides. However, Gondolas on the Swan offer different one-half to one-hour gondola rides along the Swan River.
This is a definitely a unique Perth experience!
Elizabeth Quay Street Art
Spanda (The White Arches)
We have visited Elizabeth Quay many times and my kids love the “White Arches” for a bit of a play; they make wonderful photo against the Perth Skyline.
I did have to Google to find out a bit more information about them! Spanda, the White Arches is a sculpture that was designed by famous artist Christian de Vietri. As he intended, the arches can be seen from far or near and our kids always have to have a run through them.
Take Note – These funky arches, orbits or ripples are also a magnet for Instagrammers. We’ve sat and eaten our picnic lunch nearby and watched people getting their best Insta-shots. Despite that, it is a great area in Elizabeth Quay for kids to explore.
Designed by local indigenous artist Laurel Nannup the First Contact Statue is a five metre tall, cast aluminium artwork. Located at the William Street Landing, the magnificent shiny artwork depicts how when then the European boats arrived, the local Noongar people believed that these ships, were their past ancestors returning from the sea.
Elizabeth Quay Bridge
A very funky cable stay suspension bridge the Elizabeth Quay Bridge provides gorgeous views of the Perth city skyline from one side and the Swan River and South Perth from the other. This bridge links the island to Barrack Street Jetty. This is definitely the best way to get an overview of Perth city as well as views across to the South Perth foreshore.
Statue Of Bessie Rischbieth
Those who know the story of Perth civil rights activist Bessie Rischbieth understand the irony of her statue on reclaimed land on the Perth waterfront. She actively protested against development on the Swan River and once stood in front of a bulldozer to stop the Narrows Bridge in the 1960s.
At nearly 90 years old, she had attempted to block bulldozers from entering the river by standing in their path barefoot while holding an umbrella. It is said that this moment of her standing in the river, photographed and an iconic symbol for protesters is the same photo artist Jon Tarry based his bronze statue upon!
Located on top of the ferry terminal canopy and imagines wind travelling across Elizabeth Quay from all directions over the billowing, blue sky coloured canopy.
Things to do at Elizabeth Quay for Kids
The whole family can enjoy Elizabeth Quay as it is loads of fun and one of the best things to do in Perth with kids. Here are some of the best activities specifically for children – we are sure you will love them as much as we do! If you are in Perth during Western Australian school holidays then you are in luck.
BHP Billiton Water Park
This is an absolutely wonderful water playground and interactive water feature operates 50 minutes in every hour. Whenever we visit we generally stay for one full cycle of water fountains so we’d suggest allowing an hour and packing their swimmers! The BHP Water Park is top rated by our kids and of the best water features Perth.
Elizabeth Quay Carousel
Who doesn’t a love a romantic carousel ride? This beautiful carousel was imported from Italy and with old world designs, lovely music, and gorgeous horses. Your little ones will be transported to a special world as if in Mary Poppins. There is a small box office next to the carousel where you can buy tickets.
The Island Playground at Elizabeth Quay
Located on a little man-made island, this is a compact, but free playground with a very high climbing rope and frame with a nautical theme. As expected in a maritime-inspired playground, kids can walk the plank, and ring the ships bell. There is also an extensive sand and water play area which captures the imagination of the non-climbing types. This is a beautiful little playground but often very full, especially on the weekends.
The whole area, with the white arches, walking bridge, and bell tower always seem to keep kids amused. It is a great play area in Elizabeth Quay for kids.
Worth Visiting near Elizabeth Quay
The stunning Supreme Court Gardens are part of an important open space area in the City’s Central Business District. Over 100 years old, these botanical gardens are semi-enclosed by mature trees and gardens. Merging with Stirling Gardens, the Supreme Court Gardens contain both the Supreme Court (1903) and the oldest building in the City of Perth; the old Court House.
Places to Eat & Drink Elizabeth Quay
Around Elizabeth Quay, there are a number of eateries. V Burger gets good reviews and has great chips (French fries) and we have eaten on occasion.
The Florence Hummerston
The kiosk was previously located on the esplanade and was deconstructed in 2012 and moved to the new development. The island is made up of a a restaurant (named the Isle of Voyage) , kiosk, garden bar and pizzeria all housed in the historic Florence Hummerston building.
The Island Brew House
Correctly known as Little Island Brewing Co., brews six unique beers on the Island, all which come highly recommended. . Check here for more information on The Island.
The Reveley Pub
Quickly becoming a WA icon, The Reveley sprawls over three floors and overlooks the Elizabeth Quay inlet. The ground-floor café is family-friendly and a great place for a sandwich, coffee or breakfast.
The second level has floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of the beautiful views of Perth city and the Swan River and where you can enjoy lunch or dinner with family and friends. The dining room is where the weekend high yea is served.
On the top floor, you will find Henry’s Rooftop Bar an open-air observation deck where drinks taste so much better looking out over the panoramic views.
The Riverside Café has a lovely location right on the Swan River, overlooking the boat jetties right next door to Elizabeth Quay. There are three places to dine – inside, outside deck and open air casual area. Their breakfasts get rave reviews, but this is a solid option all day long.
Six Senses – The Quay Thai Restaurant
There is a very attractive bar section outside overlooking Elizabeth Quay. It is a fabulous place to visit when the sun goes down when the view of Perth CBD is picture perfect.
Food here is well presented and there are some great lunch time specials if you are in the city for the day.
Night Noodle Markets
The night noodle market is an exclusive Asian hawker/pop up food festival which happens in Elizabeth Quay every January. A great place for authentic Asian Food that ranges from $5 to $20 .
As expected this is a high quality burger bar and a great stop for a laid back lunch. Priding themselves on using local ingredients, why not try out classic beef burger, the steak burger, Teriyaki Chicken Burger, and or for vegos, Guacaloumi Burger.
If you are looking for a sweat treat, stop by Gusto Gelato at Elizabeth Quay. Gusto Gelato makes authentic Italian gelato made from the best ingredients with no artificial flavors or preservatives. They offer many different flavors to choose from!
Totally Unique Experiences at Elizabeth Quay
Willie Creek Pearls at Elizabeth Quay
One of the most unique experiences offer at Elizabeth Quay is the chance to harvest your own pearls. The Elizabeth Quay showroom overlooks the Swan River and is an exciting and informative experience.
Get the chance to learn all about the history of the Australian South Sea Pearl harvesting in Broome. See how pearls are harvested from the oyster shell, listen to a demonstration on how pearls are graded, and perhaps take home a pearl or pearl jewelry. You can even have the opportunity to taste pearl meat!
Customers young and old rave about the live pearl harvesting experience. And, if you are looking for something special, how about a private pearl harvest with refreshments. This would be perfect for a celebration or a couple wanting to have a truly unique experience at Elizabeth Quay. Check here for more information on the private pearl harvest.
Seasonal Activities at Elizabeth Quay for Kids
Seasonally, there is always a lot to do at Elizabeth Quay for kids, especially during school holidays!
Spring in the city had movable exhibits that kept the little guy occupied. We visited again for the themed Christmas maze and were there for a visit from the big fella himself! At Easter time there was a giant Easter egg and a supposed Easter egg hunt at the Island, but something didn’t work then.
How to Get to Elizabeth Quay, Perth
Located right next to the Perth City bus station it is ideal to take the bus to Elizabeth Quay. Alternatively take the train and get off at Elizabeth Quay Station or Esplanade Station and base yourself at quay to explore all of Perth’s top attractions.
As parking in the city can be a bit limited, we also have parked at the Mends Street Jetty in South Perth and caught the ferry across, which is a lot of fun for the kids. There is also parking along the esplanade.
Ride Perth’s free CAT bus from other points in the city. The Blue Cat bus connects Kings Park with Elizabeth Quay.
Hop-on-Hop-off Double-Decker Bus Perth
The hop on and off double decker bus in Perth is a fantastic option for exploring the city. You can purchase 24 or 48 hour tickets; your time starts when your ticket is first scanned at your first boarding.
The bus tour includes many different on/off locations that includes Kings Park, Northbridge, Optus Stadium, Crown Perth, The Perth Bell Tower, the Boat House, The Mint, and Watertown. Not only is this a great for getting around the most touristed Perth spots, but you also get to listen to the commentary about the history and significance of each place while onboard.
The bus comes every 2 hours to each location. You can board the bus at any of the stops. Or, if you are so inclined, you can ride the complete tour circuit which takes 2 hours to complete.
Where to Stay Near Elizabeth Quay
Whether you live in Perth and want to stay for a night out staycation, or are visiting Perth, there are several great accommodations near Elizabeth Quay. These are our recommendations of where to stay near Elizabeth Quay Perth.
Quay Perth is a mid-range hotel attractively located steps from Elizabeth Quay. They offer everything from a standard queen bed room up to a deluxe king room with free standing soaking tub! There is an on-site restaurant, parking, and free wifi offered. This is a great hotel and value for your budget.
Doubletree by Hilton Elizabeth Quay
If you want to be in the heart of Elizabeth Quay, try the Doubletree by Hilton. This hotel offers all the amenities and comfort you can expect from the Hilton brand. Don’t miss the panoramic views of Perth and the harbour from the infinity rooftop pool!
Looking for an upscale luxury Perth accommodation? Look no further than the Ritz Carlton Perth. With stunning views out over the Swan River and the city, it is right in the center of Elizabeth Quay. Enjoy the rooftop outdoor pool, sauna, and hot tub.
Rooms are upscale, modern, and well-appointed. Free wifi throughout the hotel and on-site parking is offered as well.
Looking for more Perth accommodation options? Read our The Best Family Accommodation Perth – Family Resorts & Kid Friendly Hotels.
More Perth Western Australia Resources
Other Attractions in Perth
If you are visiting Perth and the surrounding area, check out some of our other popular posts.
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Beaches of Perth – Cottesloe Beach
Looking for all our Perth resources? Check out our Perth Area Page here.
The Verdict – Really FUN Things to do at Elizabeth Quay Perth
After reading our full post you might better understand Perth’s love affair with this new development. Located on the banks of the Swan River, Elizabeth Quay is a great place in Perth to enjoy a day out. Whether you are with your family or even a solo tourist, there is something to do for everyone. For everything from celebrating a special occasion or enjoying a drink in the city center we can definitely recommend Elizabeth Quay as the perfect place to enjoy the best of Perth.
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