Feature by Western AustraliaShane Crawford's ultimate AFL weekend in Perth

AFL legend Shane Crawford visited Perth for a weekend getaway to check out the city’s new Optus Stadium, which was voted in  2018 by fans as the best venue in Australia to watch AFL.

Published May 2019

Shane also spent time exploring Perth, which has undergone a transformation in recent years, welcoming an array of new hotels, dining options and public precincts. Alongside this, the city offers an incredible nature-based offering including Rottnest Island, Kings Park, the Swan Valley and a line-up of pristine beaches – which are all really accessible from the city centre. It’s the ultimate destination for an AFL getaway!

What would be your top tips for an AFL weekend in Perth?

Do a walking tour, I’ve never done a walking tour before. I did two, one in the city which was great, learning about all the hidden gems and the places you probably don’t think about or know about. Fremantle was a place of great history, which is full of beautiful buildings and beautiful coffee. I always like walking along the river, I enjoy looking for dolphins - it’s not every day you can be virtually in the city and see dolphins swimming past. And also Optus Stadium is one of the best in the world, surrounded by nice green space and water, it really is a stadium like no other - Rottnest Island, if you have half a day head out to Rottnest Island and run free and feel like you have the whole space to yourself.

Cottesloe Beach aerial, Perth

What were the highlights of your Perth visit and was there anything that surprised you?

The Optus Stadium experience surprised me the most. I had visited the stadium and was blown away by the structure and the facilities. We’re lucky to have such a state of the art facility here in Australia.

Shane Crawford at Optus Stadium, Perth

How would you describe Perth to someone who has never visited?

Combination of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Perth is very relaxed with a cruisey vibe, and it has become more modern with all the new developments and infrastructure which is really exciting and a must see.

Long Chim, The State Buildings, Perth

What do you think sets Perth apart from other capital cities?

Relaxed city, friendly city, being surrounded by the water one side, and lots of open spaces on the other. Although you’re part of a big city, it has a vibe about it that you don’t need to stress and which sets itself apart from other major cities.

Did you notice any changes in Perth, compared to previous visits?

Absolutely, there has been more accommodation built. A lot more nice restaurants, and break off areas established. The laneways - I didn’t know that Perth boasted some great laneways with trendy bars and night spots which was great to see first hand.

Urban Art, Fremantle

What did you think of Optus Stadium, and the experience fans can have?

I think it’s the best in the world – from the outside it’s a beautiful structure, and from the inside it’s an experience like no other. Fans can have so many different levels of experience, the ability to get up close to the players (you can virtually have a conversation with them) the comfort level and just the coliseum feel, it really is a world-class stadium. For the latest AFL events in Perth visit westernaustralia.com/afl