Perth, Australia, offers so many lovely views. Get high up to see it at its best.
Perth says “quiet” and “tranquil” for many good reasons. According to British national newspaper The Telegraph, Perth is “one of the most geographically isolated cities in the world”, and it’s no surprise that it makes such an ideal spot for nature-loving folks.
We adore Perth for its AC-like temperature in winter. When the short mild winter begins in June and closes in August end, expect to feel the cold wind and warm sun at the same time.
Here, we round up quintessentially Perth things-to-do (see how to get your visa here) for an unforgettable trip:
When you’re visiting one of the most remote cities in the world, where do you even start to find the best things to do in Perth? Well, worry not, fellow travellers. Here’s a roundup showcasing 5 of the best things to do on a day trip to Perth, the capital of Western Australia, including popular highlights and a couple of unusual activities!
King’s Park & Botanic Gardens
No trip to Perth is complete without visiting Kings Park. Situated high above the Swan River and spread over 950 acres, it is considered as the largest inner city park in the world. For the locals, it is like an oasis in the city. It offers a superb view of Perth city skyline, immaculate gardens, and magnificent view of Swan River as it snakes through the city. You can also see the Narrows Bridge spanning the river, Elizabeth Quay waterfront development, Darling Ranges further to the east, and South Perth foreshore on the opposite side of the river.
If you feel like it, lie on the grass and feel the warm sun on your face and then grap a cup of coffee from the nearby cafe. There is also a store gallery, Aspects of Kings Park that sells a wide range of contemporary local crafts such as ceramic homewares, and gemstone jewellery.
The botanic garden allows you to get a sense of the diverse Western Australia flora plus the opportunity to see the massive Boab Tree, a 750-year-old giant tree transplanted here from Kimberley, some 3200km north-east of Perth.
Within the park, you can take a stroll towards Lotterywest Federation Walkway, a glass-and-steel arched bridge that brings you among the canopy of eucalyptus trees. This treetop bridge is part of approximately 40 minutes return journey along the footpaths in through the botanic garden where you will be treated with various plant species, aboriginal art, and scenic views Swan and Cannings Rivers
Not to be left out is the DNA Tower, also located in Kings Park vicinity. It is one of the few places from where you can get a panoramic view of the whole city. You will have to climb up 101 steps to reach to the top though, but once you made it, it will worth the steps.
Enjoy the natural beauty of Swan River
Swan River is considered as the heart of Perth and responsible to making Perth one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It connects the city with beautiful hills eastward and the vast Indian ocean to west.
You can take in the river views from Kings Park or enjoy a walk or bike ride along the banks. The walk around the river crossing at Narrows Bridge and the Causeway will take you about two and half hours. There are also many grassy parks to have a picnic, enjoy a sunset and watch the city come alive with light.
You can also take river cruises and ferries from Elizabeth Quay and Barrack Street jetties to go to Fremantle, Rottnest Island, Claisebrook Cove, or South Perth for Perth Zoo. If you are into water sports, you can try sailing, windsurfing and kayaking as there are hire facilities located along the foreshore.
You can enjoy the river at any location, however these places provides the best views:
- Kings Park from Fraser Avenue Lookout
- South Perth Foreshore
- South Perth Esplanade
- Elizabeth Quay
- Matilda Bay Reserve
- Burswood Park
- Victoria Gardens (near Claisebrook Cove)
One of the most famous attractions that draw visitors to Perth is Rottnest Island, known as “Rotto” to the locals. It is well-known for its stunning beaches, water-activities, biking trails, and super-friendly quokka, a mouse-like marsupial who loves selfies.
With its pristine beaches, transparent water and blue sky, it is difficult not to be mesmerised by the beauty of this island. You also will not run out of things to do there. Numerous options for adventures and experiences to choose from. Hiking, biking, hop on bus tours, snorkeling, swimming, skydiving, golf and boat tours are just some of them. The whole island is car free, but you can always rent a bike there or take a leisurely walk around.
As for the quokkas, be prepared for them to come right up to you as you sit in a café or during any of your walks. And yes, they will happily pose for photos with a smile. However please don’t feed them. It can make them sick, and you can be fined for doing it.
Getting to and enjoying the island is not that complicated. There are options to travel by ferry from both Perth city and Fremantle, which is a comfortable and picturesque journey.
Perth offers one of the most amazing sunset views, arguably the best in Australia. Feel the excitement and breathtaking scenery when the sky transforms from golden yellowish orange and slowly slides into a vivid shades of pink and purple.
Just head to any of Perth’s coastal beaches during dusk hour or you can choose these recommended top 10 locations:
- Cottesloe Beach (Cottesloe)
- Fishing Boat Harbour (Fremantle)
- Hillarys Boat Harbour (Hillarys)
- Zig Zag Scenic Drive (Gooseberry Hill)
- Bold Park Perry Lakes Drive (City Beach)
- Point Resolution Reserve (Victoria Avenue and Jutland Parade, Dalkeith)
- Lions Lookout Welshpool Road East (Lesmurdie)
- Watermans Bay (Watermans)
- Reabold Hill (City Beach)
- Colonial Gardens (Mosman Park)
The Sunset At Cottesloe Beach
Cottesloe Beach is as iconic as what you have seen in photos. As one of Australia’s most popular beaches, it’s is an attractions for both locals and tourists alike and commonly appear on post cards and tourism brochures. It is also one of the top spots for watching sunset too.
Like other beaches in Perth, Cottesloe Beach offers pristine white sand and clear blue water. What makes Cottesloe Beach stands out from other Perth beaches then? Well it is the grassed terrace area that lines up along the beach as well as landmark building that houses Indiana Teahouse restaurant that adds to a beautiful setting. The tall pine trees known as Norfolk Island make it even perfect for picnic and relaxing as it provides the much-needed shading during the summer months. It is no wonder that everyone in Perth enjoys to spend weekend afternoon at Cottesloe Beach.
There are also grassed park area before the beach which is great place to relax, meet some friends, watch the sunset, or have a picnic. Across the road, you’ll find a row of cafes and restaurants selling ice cream and fish & chips alongside a number of surf shops bustling with activity.
Cottesloe is beautiful to go any time especially during the summer months, however the best times are late in the afternoon to catch the stunning sunset across the horizon of Indian Ocean. If you happen to be there in March, check out Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. It transforms the beach into the most incredible outdoor art gallery.
If you have the time, we recommend you set aside a good one or two hours here. With more than 150 stalls, there is always something that will catch your attention. From fresh local produce and handcrafted novelty products, this weekend market (opens Friday – Sunday only) is a must-go place when in Fremantle.
Fremantle Prison is a World Heritage site, which was built by convicts in the 19th century.
Just a thirty-minute drive Perth’s CBD, sits Fremantle; known as the first place the Swan River Colony settled in 1829.
In use until the 1990s, Fremantle Prison now runs daily tours that teach visitors about the building’s history, everyday life for convicts, and the many escapes that took place over the years.
Tour prices are more than affordable, at roughly $21.00 for a single tour. If you’re brave enough, you can also opt for the spooky ‘Tunnels Tour,’ which involves punting through a labyrinth of underground tunnels.
Perth’s city quay is an up and coming attraction for tourists. At present, it contains easy access to ferries, which will take you to the other side of the river, or as far as Fremantle if you prefer to take this route rather than the train, bus, or car.
Elizabeth Quay also hosts some of the cities best events, such as the Perth Festival, Fringe Festival, and many markets and fetes.
Year-round, trendy alfresco bars sit on the waterfront, offering food, drink, music, and good vibes. A favorite of mine is The Lucky Shag, which has the perfect outdoor seating area right on the jetty.
Right now, developers are building a Hilton hotel and luxury living apartments, so it’s only going to become more impressive to experience.
Head south from Perth to Shoalwater in Rockingham followed by a short ferry trip you’ll then reach the home of Little Penguins. On the island, there is Discovery Centre where you can watch Penguin feeding demonstrations.
For those who are more adventurous, you can take a kayaking tour and find yourself paddling alongside dolphins and seals in the surrounding Shoalwater Marine Park.
Sitting nicely where the Indian Ocean meets Swan River, Fremantle is a port city rich with its architecture and history. Its well-preserved 19th century port streetscape that dates back to 1829 is something to experience and appreciated.
Just 25 minute drive from Perth city, Fremantle offers picturesque setting coupled with unique architecture. Not only that, there are many things to see, do and explore while you are there.
Head to Fremantle Market for fresh local produces, crafts and souvenirs. Grab a coffee at any of the cafes along Cappuccino Street. Shop for more souvenirs at E-Shed market. Learn a bit of history at Fremantle Prison and The Roundhouse.
Fishing Boat Harbour
Whether you just want to sit by the harbour or dine in one of the many restaurants, the Fishing Boat Harbour is a great place to spend a couple of hours when in Fremantle.
Uniquely positioned within the calm waters of the harbour, it is surrounded by several world-class seafood restaurants. Try fresh fish & chips at Cicerrellos or Kailis and sit outside on the boardwalk for a laid-back atmostphere. The symbolic statues along boardwalks are also part of the attractions. You can also see fish in the water near the dock.
The Harbour became well known as the site of the America’s Cup when it was held in Fremantle more than 30 years ago. It is still functions as a working port for fishermen, which is why you able to see the massive fishing vessels as well as a variety luxury boats anchored up.
It has proximity to other Fremantle attractions such as Shipwreck Galleries, Bathers Beach, Fremantle Esplanade and Skyview Wheel making it a perfect hub to rest in between the attractions.
On weekends the place is very busy, and if you eat outside on the boardwalk, be careful with the seagulls. They are known to steal food from plates. The moment you look the other way, that’s the time they strike.
Lots of wonderful cafe’s and restaurants to get a great meal and an Ice Cream shop thrown into the mix too. Wonderful sculptures to see and . Lovely to walk around and enjoy
Blue Boat House
The Blue Boat House has become a widely-known symbol of Perth.
When we call a place “Instagrammable”, we mean tourists flocking to it just to get, well, a shot with it. There might be a queue, as tourists waited to have their photos taken against the iconic backdrop that is Crawley Edge Boatshed aka the Blue Boat House.
Nature-loving travellers will appreciate the breathtaking landscaped vistas here.
On the way back to the city (from Margaret River), take a break from the long drive and soak in the unbeatable scenery. Climb the rocks. Close your eyes and listen to the crashing waves. Stay during sunset. We promise a sensorial experience worth coming back for.
Cape Lavender Teahouse
The unassuming, empty cafe feels like a random stop initially, but what we experienced was something you have to check out. Decked in purple and lavender-focused decor and rooms, find comfort in the feel-good space. According to the teahouse, lavender is used to soothe, heal and relax (bring home souvenirs in the form of soy candles, oils and lotions).
You have to try the freshly-made scones; they are soft inside and crisp outside (not going to lie, but they’re the best I’ve ever had). Wash it down with their special Devonshire tea. If you’re up for more: There’s the lavender ice cream and milkshake too.
The Perth Mint
We Kicked off the day with a bit of local (and national!) history.
The tour of Perth Mint is fascinating. Learn about the history of gold rush in Australia – about someone who stumbled upon giant nuggets of gold is quite astounding.
We watched a short film explaining the importance and value placed on gold throughout history. After the video, our guide showed us to the world’s largest gold bullion – a one tonne 99.9% solid gold coin! The enormous Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Gold Coin stands at 80cm tall and is more than 12cm deep.One Tonne Kangaroo Coin
We moved on to roam the exhibition part of the tour, where we could try and lift a gold bar, examine real gold nuggets found in Australia and abroad, and even find out our weight worth in gold! This part of the tour is great fun to explore the meaning and cultural value of gold and how it became the most iconic precious metal. It’s hard to believe we were really standing amongst such priceless artefacts and memorabilia!
We then moved on to the final part of the tour – a gold pour! Seated in the melting house built in 1899, we chose seats that gave us a centrally eye-level view to witness it all. Our guide introduced what he would be doing, as well as a few health and safety instructions (pretty much summarised as don’t touch it and don’t distract me). The room went completely black, as he opened the glowing pot of molten gold that seemed like a burning chasm of fire. As he explained his steps, he swiftly and calmly completed the pour to create a solid bar of gold that began to cool after being dipped in water. Seeing this traditional technique is fascinating, we loved every second! There’s something about an element of danger that is strangely entertaining isn’t there?!
Exiting the room, our tour was sadly over. However we were allowed more time to explore the gold exhibition if we wanted. We watched the continuing work being carried out in the modern-day area of the mint (imagine trying to do your job with tourists constantly staring at you!). Although the coins made at Perth Mint are not in circulation, it is still owned by the government and they do work with collectors and customers as Australia’s official bullion mint, and the coins produced are legal tender. The dedicated attention to detail and extreme care taken to ensure quality in the Perth Mint is astounding. I was blown away at how intricately the team work, and how knowledgeable every member of staff is about all things precious!
Before we turned into Gollum with a new-found obsession for precious metals, we left the Perth Mint and continued on our day. Overall, I’d say it is well worth the visit and so much fun to learn a little bit about such a fascinating part of history. The interactive elements and real visual aids made the trip interesting from start to finish, I’d highly recommend it! Our tickets for the tour cost $19 each for the tour and gold pour, and took us just over an hour in total. An hour well-spent and at under $20 it’s definitely a very affordable activity!
11.30am – Explore The Art Gallery of Western Australia & The Cultural Centre
Ticking another city-visit box, we visited the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Sat right in the heart of the cultural centre of the city, it’s a large complex of exhibitions ranging from aboriginal paintings to modern installations and everything in between.
Meet with Cute Quokkas at the Rottnest Island
Located off the coast of Western Australia, Rottnest Island is a picturesque place where you can find the native Quokkas in abundance. You can also take guided Quokka-spotting walks that take about 45 minutes. Additionally, there are excellent opportunities for snorkelling, camping and biking amidst the scenic natural trails. Also, don’t miss taking the Oliver hill train ride and tunnel tour, dropping a line off a local Jetty and surfing at Strickland Bay.
Visit the Art Gallery of Western Australia
Founded in 1985, the Art Gallery of Western Australia features some of the most notable art collection in the whole of Australia. The State Art Collection hosts one of the world’s finest collections of indigenous art along with Australian and International art and design. Visited by over 4, 00,000 people annually; the gallery boasts over 17,000 works of art.
Relax by the Beach
The whole of Australia is known for its excellent beaches, but it is only in Perth that you can enjoy your beach time away from the usual tourist hustle and bustle as hardly any tourists venture this far on the west coast. Beachcombers can make the most of their time in Perth by visiting the best known Cottesloe Beach or Trigg Beach. Surfing-enthusiasts will have a great time at Scarborough Beach. If you are looking for a nude beach, Perth has that too – Swanbourne Beach.
Caversham Wildlife Park Adventure
Get the native animals of Australia in this park! Caversham Wildlife Park is a family owned park, containing most of the native wildlife in Western Australia.
You will be in touch with several distinct reptiles, plants, birds, marsupials, and mammals. You are allowed to have one on one interaction with the animal through feeding wallaby, kangaroos, and joeys.
The park enjoys its privacy of keeping their unique animals only to be experienced by those visiting the park. The park gets you filled with unique interactive sessions with the wild animals.
Cottesloe beach is one of the unique beaches along all the shores in Perth.
It stretches along the beautiful shinning sand from Mudurup rocks to the southern cliffs of Swanbourne beach. It gives the favorable conditions to go swimming, surfing or snorkeling, sharpening your skills in the water.
The well-maintained grass along the shore provides a beautiful surface to let you rest your body or have a superb picnic as you get the glimpse of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.
This scenic place is located along the Indian ocean’s coral coast in Nambung national park in Perth, Western Australia. The site gives you an adorable place to visit with vast sand hosting limestone pillars.
You will be able to see the 35,000-year-old limestone formations, getting a glimpse of massive dunes, a visit to a lobster farm and scenic view of white sandy beaches.
Spotting Kangaroo at Heirisson Island
Heirisson Island is the only spot in Perth City where you can watch Kangaroos hopping around freely. The island is located at the heart of Swan River and accessible via the Causeway.
Tips For A Day Trip To Perth
- Bring lots of water! In the months November to February, it can be very hot with strong sun. You need stay hydrated as much as possible.
- Have your sunglasses with you as Australian sunlight is very harsh. Try to stay in the shade as much as you can.
- Familiarise yourself with the city layout and locations of each attraction you want to go. Distances between them might be further than you expect which can make your planning go haywire.
- Maximise your day by planning out a route by combining attractions that are near to each other. This will saves you a lot of traveling times.
- Be aware of the opening hours or tour times of the attractions you’d like to visit.