Perth in Western Australia is a lovely place to visit. It is however quite annoying to get anywhere from the Perth International Airport, also known as Terminal 1. It is possible to stick to a reasonably modest budget but it may take some extra time and mucking around. If budget is not an issue just get a taxi and pay the annoyingly high fare. Don't be surprised if the cab fare is in the neighbourhood of $50.
Note, if you are wondering how to get to Perth airport this post will still be useful but you will need to do things in the opposite direction.
Firstly, it is important to realize that there are four airport terminals. Perth terminal 1 is the Perth international terminal. The other three offer domestic services.
Terminal 1 - All international airlines
Terminal 2 - Alliance Airlines, Tiger Airways and Virgin Australia (formerly Skywest) with flight numbers starting with XR
Terminal 3 - Virgin Australia with flight numbers starting with VA
Terminal 4 - Qantas and Jetstar
Terminal 1 and 2 are in the one place. and Terminal 3 and 4 are in another area of the airport complex.
There is a airport shuttle bus that transfers you between the terminals. The airport shuttle buses run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week departing each terminal every 20 to 30 minutes. Click here for more information about the Perth airport bus.
So now we can get around the terminals but how do we actually leave the airport?
Here are some of the many ways that you can get from Terminal 1, the Perth International Airport, to various other parts of Western Australia including Perth city, south west Western Australia (Bunbury, Busselton etc) and from Perth airport to Fremantle.
Make sure you know what time you will arrive in Perth. For some reason flights frequently arrive around midnight, 5am or some other equally inconvenient time. The time you arrive will affect what options are available.
- 1 Option 1: Terminal Transfer From The International Airport (T1) to the Domestic Terminals (T3 and T4) And Then Catch A Public Bus To Perth City.
- 2 Option 2: Catch A Taxi To Anywhere In The Perth Metro Area
- 3 Option 3: Perth and Fremantle Airport Connect Shuttle
- 4 Option 4: Catching the South West Coach Lines From Perth International Airport To The South West
- 5 Anything We Missed?
- 6 Hotels Near Perth Airport
Option 1: Terminal Transfer From The International Airport (T1) to the Domestic Terminals (T3 and T4) And Then Catch A Public Bus To Perth City.
Catch the free Terminal Transfer Bus from T1 to T3 and T4. This bus runs every 20 to 30 minutes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have arrived in the middle of the night and you plan to sleep at the airport it is best to stay at the International Airport until morning. There are some comfy couches on the first floor near the bar and food court area.
Once you get to the Domestic Airport (T3 and T4) there is a Transperth Bus that will take you to Perth city. The bus route is No. 37 and 37A. The first bus to the city departs at 5:25am Monday to Friday, leaving every 30 minutes. The last leaves at around 10:50pm. On the weekends, the times differ slightly, for more information, please see the Bus 37 timetable on the Transperth site.
The bus ride will take around half an hour to an hour depending on traffic. The cost of this ride would be around AUD $4.00 per person. If you don't know Perth I suggest you let the bus driver know where you need to get off as this bus does go further west beyond the city centre. The city centre is also reasonably large. There is a map of the bus 37 route.
If you are after a Perth airport to Fremantle bus try searching the Transperth site but you may have better luck catching the bus into the city then catching the train from Perth station to Fremantle station. The trains are regular, fast and comfortable.
1. Terminal Transfer Bus from T1 to T3 and T4.
2. Catch public bus (no. 37 and 37a) for AUD $4.00 per person.
3. Arrive in Perth city having seen some of the suburban and light industrial areas of Perth along the way.
4. Optionally catch the train on to Fremantle.
This is a great option if you arrive during the day and have some time to spare.
If you are interested in a bus to Perth airport rather than from the airport click here to go to the Transperth site to search for the best but route.
Option 2: Catch A Taxi To Anywhere In The Perth Metro Area
This is the option that most people take when they arrive at the Perth International Airport (T1) and need to get into Perth city or Fremantle.
This is the easiest option although the line of people waiting for a taxi can be long. Sometimes you may have to wait up to 40 minutes for a taxi. Have a toilet stop before you go outside to line up.
The taxi fare from Perth airport to the city is around $40 - $50 depending on the traffic. A taxi seats up to 4 people. The price is the same regardless of whether there is 1 or 4 people in the taxi.
If there are more of you there are eight seater minivan taxis but they do cost more and may need to be arranged. Click here for info on prebooking. If you haven't prebooked you can phone for one when you arrive but you may have to wait.
The taxi fare from the Perth International Airport to Fremantle is around $60 - $70. The cost may rise dramatically if you are stuck in traffic. Again, you could pre-order a van if there is a lot of people in your party.
1. Go to the bathroom before you head outside to the taxi queue.
2. Get in the taxi queue.
3. Catch the taxi to your exact destination for a bunch of money.
4. Easy, Lazy and a little more Expensive, but at least you are done with a minimum of fuss!
Option 3: Perth and Fremantle Airport Connect Shuttle
The Shuttle Bus option is great for those who don't like the price of a taxi but still enjoy getting dropped off at their hotel. The cost of the shuttles works out to be cheaper if there is just one of you. If there are two or more adults a taxi may actually be cheaper.
There are two different shuttles. The first takes you into Perth City. They operate between 1:00am and 11:40pm, departing every hour or so. The cost of one person is AUD $18.00 one way. Return is AUD $30.00.
The other shuttle takes you to Fremantle. Unfortunately, the hours of operation aren't as good. The first shuttle departs at 6:30 am. the last at 9:50pm. This shuttle leaves every 60 to 90 minutes. The cost of one person is AUD $33.00 one way. Return is AUD $58.00.
1. Buy ticket for the Airport Connect Shuttle Bus at the kiosk in the arrival mall.
2. Wait inside until the bus is going to leave.
3. Hand over luggage, hop on bus, ride comfortably to Perth or Fremantle.
4. Driver will drop you off at the hotel or backpackers of choice.
UPDATE: Perth Airport Connect no longer goes to Fremantle. Try My Air Shuttle instead.
Option 4: Catching the South West Coach Lines From Perth International Airport To The South West
The South West Coach Lines is also known as Veolia Transport. Their selection of routes has increased by leaps and bounds in the last few years. We are very happy about this as it means we (and you) can now catch a bus directly from the Perth International Airport to places like Bunbury and Margaret River.
Now there is no need to have someone drive you three or more hours to drop you off at the airport and you don't have to park your car in Perth airport long term parking. The prices are not particularly cheap but the ability to not bother other people makes it worth looking at. The times of the buses aren't that great either, but again, acceptable if you can handle hanging out at the airport for a few extra hours.
To give you an idea of what is available you can catch a bus directly from the Perth International Airport (T1) all the way to the Bunbury Bus Terminus. If you depart the airport at 8:00am you will arrive in Bunbury at 10:10am. It will cost you AUD $50 per adult or AUD $125 for a family of two adults and two children.
It seems a lot but it is fairly convenient.
On a side note, Veolia Transport also offer a bus service from the International Airport to the Perth Esplanade Bus Port at 4:55am for AUD $20.00 per adult. Just in case you wanted to get into Perth City at that time to catch other public transport from the Esplanade Bus Port.
To get more info about this bus service including the routes, prices and how to book online, click here for more information about Veolia.
1. Check out the Veolia Transport website.
2. Book bus tickets online.
3. Catch bus, be comfortable.
Anything We Missed?
Here are some links to help you research these options to see what is best for you. And again, many of these options will work whether you are wondering how to get somewhere from the airport or how to get to Perth international airport from somewhere else.
Transperth is the local bus and train option for Perth city, from Mandurah in the south to Joondalup in the north.
Transwa is the public bus and train system that reaches most of Western Australia.
Tripadvisor has a good report to read.
Hotels Near Perth Airport
Unfortunately Perth airport is quite isolated. There are however some hotels near Perth airport if you want somewhere to stay the night before departing or when you arrive. Both of these hotels provide airport transfers.
Airport Apartments by Aurum is the closest to the airport although it is still 2 km away. They offer both one and two bedroom apartments. Check out current prices and deals
Rodericks on Tassell Bed & Breakfast is the cheapest hotel near Perth airport. Click here for current prices and deals
Coming to Perth? Check out our guide to things to do in Perth with kids