Seconds from the river and covered in parks, lakes, coffee shops, boutiques, bike routes, and bars, these student hubs are as beautiful as they are bustling.
This cluster of suburbs is set in one of the most beautiful parts of Perth, with the Swan River on one side and the beach on the other. In close proximity to the Fremantle train line, these suburbs are easily accessible, so you can reach the city, Fremantle and Claremont from right outside your door. But, there’s also plenty to do in the area itself!
In Crawley you’ll find the University of Western Australia. A lot of the University’s facilities are open to the public, giving it a welcoming community feel. The Somerville Auditorium runs an outdoor cinema every summer, complete with woodfired pizza and sparkling wine. Directly next to the Swan River, the foreshore is the perfect place to try out paddle boarding, go for an evening dip, or sit and relax with friends over a picnic. As you walk along the water’s edge, you’ll come across cafes, restaurants and public barbeques.
Claremont is home to the Claremont Quarter shopping centre. You’ll find several big department stores and supermarkets here, as well as lots of trendy cafes and restaurants. Highlights include Pixel Coffee Brewers, Jersey Jack Gelato and The Groper and His Wife. Lake Claremont is a little hidden gem, tucked next to Scotch College behind the train line. This beautiful lake is home to a fabulous array of birdlife, as well as lots of good places to relax around the edge. There’s a gym, golf course, cafe and minigolf course next to the lake, as well as dog-friendly exercise areas. Head towards the older part of Claremont along Bay View Terrace and you’ll find Old Theatre Lane, which contains local favourites The Lane Cafe and Lane Bookshop. The Claremont Hotel has been freshly refurbished and offers great student nights and deals.
Subiaco is currently undergoing a facelift as the old football stadium and Subi Markets come down and new developments go up. Rokeby Road is still a shopper’s paradise, with plenty of places to grab a bite to eat between checking out the suburb’s independent retailers and local brands. Head to Chutney Mary’s for Indian, Funtastico for tasty pizzas, or Boucla for Mediterranean treats.
Claremont Community Hub & Library offers several meet-ups, community initiatives and language groups, and there’s a great selection of books to borrow including a foreign language material collection. You can join the library’s English conversation group every Monday afternoon.
Claremont Medical Centre provides a range of health services, with multilingual doctors available. Hay Street Medical Centre in Subiaco is open until 7pm most days and does skin cancer check-ups. Subiaco has an impressive list of community facilities including the Subiaco Community Centre, community gardens and the Subiaco Justice Centre, which offers community legal advice.
Take advantage of the University of Western Australia’s Aquatic Centre, where you can swim laps or learn to swim with the centre’s comprehensive classes. Plus, all six of the University’s libraries are open to the public.
Along the Swan River, just past Kings Park, are the Blue Boat House and Eliza statue. These landmarks are popular tourist attractions, both known for their rich history and photogenic features. The Blue Boat House (officially named the Crawley Edge Boatshed) was built in the 1930s and is famous for its bright blue colour, which is perfect for photo opportunities – but be prepared to wait in line during peak times. Nearby is the Eliza statue commemorating the Crawley Baths, which were open for 50 years before being demolished in the 1960s. The statue is an important part of Crawley’s history and culture, with Eliza being dressed up for charity and sporting events, and important celebrations.
If you’re a feline fan, head to the Cat Cafe Purrth in Subiaco. The cafe is home to 12 cats you can play with as you eat and drink. Plus, you’ll be supporting cats all over Perth by visiting the cafe; a percentage of the profits goes straight to Cat Haven, which houses stray cats and other cats ready for adoption.