Vendor City Guide: Perth

My name is Malcolm. I’m 51 years old and I have been working as a Big Issue Australia vendor for six years. I like going out every morning and meeting new customers and new friends, and making money. I’ve always lived in Perth and have been living in Northbridge for three years; it’s right next to the city, so everything’s close.


I think every visitor to Perth should go to the zoo. I love walking around seeing all the lovely animals (especially the lions) and sitting in a shady spot with a cold drink. I like catching the ferry across to South Perth, which is close to the zoo. Taking a ferry ride along the Swan River is nice and relaxing, and you can feel the breeze across the river. It’s a good thing to do when you’re on a budget!

Big Issue Australia vendor Malcolm. {Credit: Ross Swanborough]

Free fun

Good places to visit are the beaches, because they’re free. The best Perth beach is Cottesloe, it’s got a few waves. For surfing types, you can get the train service down to Fremantle. Kings Park is also pretty good to visit. You’ll get 360 degree views of the city and the Swan River. You can climb Jacob’s Ladder, which is quite a few steps. You’ll need a full water bottle before you come back down again.

My fave eats

My favourite cafe is the Dome on St Georges Terrace. It’s got brilliant food, excellent staff and the best coffee. Try the big brekkie. I also love ice cream: Cloud Gelato in London Court is the best damn ice cream in town!

Sports fans

You can never replace Perth’s Subiaco Oval, but we’ve just built the new Optus Stadium, and I recommend people go look at it. Definitely go to the AFL (my team is actually the Brisbane Lions, and we beat West Coast Eagles in round 1).

Perth illustration by Daniel Gray-Barnett

Out of town

To escape the city, you can catch the ferry to Rottnest Island, where you can do tours of the island or hire bikes and Segways to get around. It’s a fabulous place, with beaches and quokkas. You probably need the whole day just to see it. You can actually stay on the island; there are camping sites, chalets and bungalows. It’s well worth it when you get there.

Time out

My favourite time in Perth is winter. It’s time to snuggle up with a good book. The new City of Perth Library on Hay Street is worth checking out for the building and the books. And the State Library of WA has got statues and nice artworks as well as special events and displays. A good spot to see a movie is Palace Cinemas, Raine Square – I saw Bumble Bee there and it was good.

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