Free Self-Guided Bus Tours in Perth, Australia

Perth is a beautiful, vibrant coastal city with a population of roughly 1.9 million people. It watches over the Indian Ocean and is the capital city of the Australian state of Western Australia.


Not many out-of-country tourists get there it seems and few Australians visit as well since its location is so far removed from the rest of the Australian “hot spots” such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane. This makes Perth all the more exciting to visit which is exactly what my husband and I did.

The people are tremendously friendly, the variety of food is fantastic, and the options of things to do are endless. The city is not huge, but walking to see everything is tiresome. That is where the CATS (Central Area Transport Service) buses come into play. I was clued-in to these after spending too much time in the hotel lobby looking over maps deciding where to start my day while my husband was at his conference. Exasperated, I marched up to the hotel counter and asked for help. Alas, I was told of CATS. They are a free bus service that operates around the Central Business District (CBD) and provide an easy, fun way to see all that the city of Perth has to offer. There are three separate CAT lines: the red, the blue, and the yellow which cover specific areas of the CBD. The buses run about every 5-10 minutes, except on public holidays when they don’t run except if advertised. The CAT stops are clearly marked at the bus stops and the color of the CAT line is clearly marked as well. All the CAT lines have easy access on and off with their low ground clearance so everyone can enjoy the opportunity to ride.

I recommend taking the front row seat on the bus and watch the city of Perth unfold before you with the unique cultures and people who live and/or work in the various areas. Another perk is that once you’ve been on a particular CAT line for a while, the bus driver usually takes notice and offers opinions on spots…a personal tour guide of sorts. You can hop on and off the CAT as many times as you like so, if something catches your eye, get off and explore!

The Red CAT runs from east to west covering Queens Gardens to Outram Street.

The Blue CAT runs from north to south covering Barrack Street Jetty to Northbridge.

The Yellow CAT runs from East Perth to West Perth.

To get more details on the CAT schedule look at the CAT Routes link on the Transperth website: