Open Air

Last Updated: 03 Dec 2015
Louise Baxter

When it comes to the great outdoors, nobody does it like Perth. Summertime here is next-level, with festivals, markets and pop-up bars bringing the city to life. From temporary hubs to age-old faves, this guide will keep you out all season long.

Beer Gardens

Is there anything better than an ice-cold bevvy on a balmy day? Yeah, there is – drinking it alfresco in a buzzing beer garden, surrounded by sunshine and pals. Here are some of Perth's best.

The Brisbane Hotel
WHERE Highgate
WHY Blending a contemporary aesthetic with old-school cool, The Brisbane's outdoor area is a good sort. Lush palms and a trickling pond keep it chilled, but the extensive space and range of seating always draw the crowds.
EAT Sharing is caring here. Trust us, get the pizza.
DRINK When in Rome, right? There are around 10 beers on tap, and 25 more in the fridge. Or opt for a classic Pimm's jug to share.

The Brisbane Hotel.

The Garden
WHERE Leederville
WHY As the name suggests, this spot is all about the outdoors. Right in the heart of Leedy, it ticks all the boxes for laidback summer drinking.
EAT A robust menu will counteract all those ciders. We dig the steak sandwich with housemade pickles.
DRINK Try one of the great Aussie beers on tap, like Feral Brewery, Mountain Goat or 4 Pines. Cracking wine list, too.

The Left Bank
WHERE East Fremantle
WHY On the banks of the Swan River, this is the perfect place to bask in the sun and watch the world sail by.
EAT Seafood is the order of the day (oh hi, chilli mussels!)
DRINK Sip a crisp white as the sun sets on the water.

The Rosemount Hotel
WHERE North Perth
WHY Hipster babes, unite. With daily specials and a rotation of DJs on weekends, this urban oasis is always on point.
EAT Can't go past those chilli cheese fries.
DRINK A passionfruit mojito or Sailor Jerry.

The Windsor
South Perth
WHY More than 100 years old, this pub is chock full of character, and the canopy of trees is bliss in the heat.
EAT Classic pub food, done well. Put the ol' chicken parmi to the test.
DRINK Sample the extensive craft beer list, or go wild with a pitcher of Dark 'n' Stormy.

Garden variety

Outdoor pubs abound in this town. Give these courtyards and gardens a go.

  • Australia Hotel Fremantle
  • The Bird Northbridge
  • The Boulevard Floreat
  • The Byrneleigh Nedlands
  • The Court Northbridge
  • Inglewood Hotel Inglewood
  • The Norfolk Hotel Fremantle
  • Lot Twenty Northbridge
  • Mechanic's Institute Northbridge
  • The Merrywell Burswood
  • The Monk Fremantle
  • Northbridge Brewing Company Northbridge
  • PICA Bar Northbridge
  • The Raffles Applecross
  • Rose & Crown Guildford
  • The Queens Tavern Highgate
  • Samson's Paddock Mosman Park
  • The Standard Northbridge

Pop-Up Hubs

Urban Orchard
Right in the heart of the Cultural Centre, this is the perfect place to soak up the festival buzz. With plenty of seating, drinks and eats, its a much-loved summer hangout.
Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge.

Urban Orchard (Bar Pop).

Pleasure Garden
Saunter through the gates of Russell Square and check out the underbelly of Fringe World. Kooky characters and vibrant tents give the Pleasure Garden a carnival vibe.
Russell Square, Northbridge.

Pleasure Garden (photography Jarrad Seng).

Chevron Festival Gardens
Perth's landmark Elizabeth Quay development is the new home of PIAF's Chevron Festival Gardens. With international music acts like Nightmares on Wax, Jose Gonzalez and Sleater-Kinney, the line-up is pretty great, too.
Elizabeth Quay, CBD.

Freo Royale
Fremantle is a street-performers' hub any time of the year, so it would be a crime to neglect it during Fringe. The artistic energy will be captured near the Fremantle Town Hall, along with a pop-up bar, markets, and muchos munchies.
Kings Square, Fremantle.

Noodle Palace
A short walk from the Perth Cultural Centre, the Noodle Palace is a great rooftop bar, only open during Fringe World.
Francis Street, Northbridge.

The grounds of the heritage-listed Midland Junction Arts Centre will be brought to life once again during Fringe World. Entry to the pop-up bar is free – chill-out with cool beats and great conversation.
Great Eastern Highway, Midland.

Summerset Arts Festival
If you live a little further north of the city, you still get some of the festival fun. Fringe events will be held in pop-up venues around the City of Stirling, and those near the coast have their own seaside circus at Scarborough Beach Reserve.
Various locations.

Sunset Supper Club
Booragoon's Garden City just got cooler. Southern suburbanites can mosey on down for a meal, watch live entertainment, and set the kids up at one of the drawing stations – it's a family-friendly affair.
Riseley Street, Booragoon.

Sunset Supper Club.

Market Street Piazza
Freo's Market Street will be activated between January and July, in an attempt to pedestrian-ise its urban areas. It may only be a trial at this stage, but expect markets, entertainment, local art, and food at his little Cappuccino Strip offshoot.

Screen Time

Rooftop Movies
WHERE Northbridge
WHY Bar, retro decor, and city views
SEE Cult classics and current hits

Ben and Jerry's Open Air Cinemas
East Perth
WHY Live music and ice-cream on 'Sundaes'
SEE Quirky comedies and sneak previews

Burswood Outdoor Community Cinema
WHERE Burswood
WHY Three words: pizza, beer and beanbags
SEE Blockbusters

Northbridge Piazza
WHERE Northbridge
WHY Community atmosphere
SEE Eclectic program

Northbridge Piazza.

Luna Outdoor
WHERE Leederville
WHY An urban backyard with wine and good times
SEE Art-house, indie flicks, and immersives.

Camelot Outdoor
WHERE Mosman Park
WHY Woodfired pizza and art-deco setting
SEE New releases

Movies in the Square
WHERE Fremantle
WHY Bonding under the stars
SEE Family films

Lotterywest Festival Films
WHERE Joondalup Pines, Somerville Auditorium
WHY Romantic surrounds
SEE Award-winning international films

Lotterywest Festival Films.

Best Outdoor Arts Venues

Belvoir Amphitheatre
Ask any music-lover their favourite gig to date, and our bet is their answer will be one at Belvoir in the Swan Valley. Surrounded by gum trees, this venue always delivers a truly magical experience.
Upper Swan.

Belvoir Ampitheatre.

Fremantle Arts Centre
There are rumours this former asylum is haunted, but we think that only adds to the appeal. Where concerts and picnics combine, the lush grounds provide a beautiful setting.

Red Hill Auditorium
Yeah, yeah it's a bit of a trek but it's definitely worth it. With panoramic views of the cityscape, you'll catch yourself drifting into a musical dream.

Quarry Amphitheatre
Intimacy is often a prerequisite for a good venue, and the Quarry Amphitheatre has this in spades, set within limestone walls and surrounded by natural bushland. Bring a picnic and enjoy the city's secret garden.
City Beach.

State Theatre Centre of WA Courtyard
Tucked behind Northside Bookshop and hidden from William Street is a little courtyard strewn with comfy couches, complete with a licensed bar. You can catch WAM's showcase of local talent at The Courtyard Club until Dec 18.

The Courtyard Club.

Beach Bars

Matisse Beach Club
BEACH Scarborough
VIBE Why not feel like you're in the cast of Entourage? Grab your glam squad, lounge by the pool, and relish that Californian vibe.

Matisse Beach Club.

BEACH City Beach
VIBE More for the salty sea dog than the glamazon, you won't get kicked out for wearing thongs. With a menu full of seafood and beer, it's beach living at its most natural.

The Beach Club
BEACH Cottesloe
VIBE If the last time you ventured to Cottesloe for a drink was back in the days of 'The Cott', it's time to return. It's all Miami-style sophistication now, with a menu by master chef Russell Blaikie.

The Breakwater
VIBE Casual lunch? Chill out on the lower deck. Cocktails with the girls? Reid's Lounge is a little more Sex and the City than boys and beers. With breathtaking views of the harbour, you can't go wrong.

The Breakwater.

Soda Sunlounge
North Beach
VIBE For the view alone, you've got to go. The balcony is small and gets full fast, so head down in the afternoon to get a spot to watch the sunset.

Top 3 Picnic Spots

You can't go past Kings Park or the South Perth foreshore for incredible views, but check out where else the locals go.

Kings Park.

Hyde Park
Fig trees and blooming jacarandas contribute to this inner-city park's appeal, and provide plenty of shade. The network of paths mean easy pram and wheelchair access, and kids will have a fabulous time weaving in and out of the water playground, or pointing out ducks in the lake. If you're in need of a pick-me up, Chu Bakery is just around the corner.
North Perth.

Heathcote Reserve
Perched high on Applecross's peninsula, Heathcote has a 180-degree view of the river. There are barbecues, picnic tables and lots of shade for family lunches, but the real highlight is the playground's replica pirate ship – even adults will get a thrill.

Point Walter
Being on the river, Point Walter is not only picturesque, it's also great for a quick dip or a casual kayak. There are barbecues and a cafe for that afternoon snack, and kids have two parks to choose from. There's plenty of space and shade to make a day of it.

Kings Park.

Wheel Good

From South American street treats to freshly made juices, Perth's food truck game is strong.

The Hangover Dude
Eat No Evil
Fresh, ethical street food
Comida do Sul Brazilian
Marcelita's Empanadas Colombian

Comida do Sul.

Eat No Evil.

The Sweet Tooth
La Paleta
Mexican ice treats
Delish Ice Artisan ice-pops
Chicho Gelato Gourmet gelato

Delish Ice.

The Parched
Higher Grounds Coffee and tea
The Juicist Healthy juices
The Green Mo Organic smoothies

Food trucks get around, obviously. Track your faves at

Sunny Side Up

Brunch time? Get your eggs with a side of vitamin D.

Overlooking the water in Claisebrook Cove, Toast is a casual gem known for its all-day breakfast. You'll find many toast options, plus the usual suspects and breakfast bowls.
East Perth.


Bib & Tucker
You can't go wrong with an oceanfront location, but Bib & Tucker doesn't rest on its laurels. Delectable dishes will keep you going back.
North Fremantle.

Little Bird Cafe
If you've got a lot to catch up on with your mates, Little Bird Cafe's courtyard is somewhere you can lounge for hours. The hardest part is deciding between the organic health options or cheeky delights.

Bread in Common.

We know it's a little awkward being that person at the table, but Solomon's caters for sensitive bellies, and the cosy courtyard is a tranquil place to start the day.

Flora and Fauna
Tucked away in the middle of Northbridge, this hole-in-the-wall hideaway shows off fresh produce, flower bunches, and adorable plating.

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