What to get up to in Perth, whether you’re searching for a marine encounter, adventurous activity or are just looking to unwind with a good tipple in hand.
Despite being remote, Perth is definitely not quaint. Boasting a population of 1.8 million people, it is considered to be one of the fastest growing cities in Australia – so get in before everyone else catches on!
From heritage-style buildings to its roaring nightlife, Perth offers everything from historical walks to fun-filled experiences. Its suburbs are also a treat for the beachy keen with sun-soaked sands and parks aplenty.
Thinking of heading to Perth? There’s plenty to fill your itinerary. Here’s a snapshot:
Top things to do in Perth
Wander through Kings Park
Overlooking the city of Perth and the Swan River, Kings Park is a must-visit spot if you're visiting the city.
There's no entrance fees and it's the perfect place for an afternoon picnic or a break after walking around the CBD. Plus, the views are hard to beat.
The park is also home to the Perth Botanic Gardens, which is home to more than 3,000 varieties of native flora.
Swim at Perth's pristine beaches
The city of Perth is blessed with a stunning coastline along the Indian Ocean. It's beaches boast clear-blue water and white sand and are easily accessible from the city centre.
Explore the otherworldly Pinnacles
A must for any first-timer to Perth who loves to explore the great outdoors are these arresting Pinnacle limestone formations.
Day trip tours operate daily so you can witness the natural beauty that surrounds Perth including these Pinnacle formations.
Stroll along the Busselton Jetty
Busselton is home to a family-friendly beach, numerous water activities as well as an incredible underwater observatory that needs to be seen to be believed.
Descend eight metres below the surface to see the majesty of the marine life as it swims by in a flurry of colour.
Wander around Fremantle
Fremantle is steeped in the history of Australia’s convict past.
It is the birthplace of the "Freo" Swan River colony and is home to Fremantle Prison, one of the most notorious prisons of the British Empire.
Wander around on your own or, for a fully immersive experience, book a tour with an expert to learn the history behind this Australian landmark.
Spot wildlife on Penguin Island
Easily accessible by ferry from Perth, Penguin Island is home to the largest colony of little penguins in the country.
Enroute to the island, you’ll likely see sea lions and dolphins playing in the open water and if you want, you can pack your day to the brink with a side-trip to nearby Pelican Island. It’s exactly what you think it is.
Take the ferry out to Rottnest Island
Minutes away from Perth by boat lies this alluring island paradise. Essentially, it’s one giant nature reserve complete with white sand beaches and hidden coves just begging to be explored.
For families and nature lovers, Rottnest Island is famous for being home to the Aussie quokka while for surf-heads you won’t have to venture further than Strickland Bay for surf breaks that’ll really help you kick it up a notch.
Cars aren’t allowed on the island, so your best bet to get around is to walk or bike it. Whichever you choose, you’ve got to see it.
Marvel at Wave Rock
This unusual rock formation is made of granite that’s been carved into the shape of a wave by erosion over time, hence the name. It’s also one of the most remote places that you can Instagram from and is definitely worth the post.
Surrounded by other natural landmarks and sacred sites such as Hippo’s Yawn and Gnamma Holes, max out your trip by penciling out the day for a journey through the Western Australian countryside to soak up these sites. Some tours even tack on a trip to the historical township of Avon Valley and if you travel between September and November you might be lucky enough to catch wildflowers in bloom.
Explore the Margaret River region
If there’s only one winery you manage to hit up while in Perth, it’s got to be Margaret River. Sip wine on a winery tour, savour handmade chocolates and other local produce and walk the bridge over Margaret River for a day well done.
Choose to extend your stay and you can add more adventurous activities to your itineraries, including overland hikes and limestone caves and sea cliff explorations.
Spot dolphins in Rockingham
Perth and its surrounds is not short on dolphin encounters but to swim with these magnificent creatures our pick is Rockingham.
Located 45 minutes south of Perth, it’s one of the most ideal locations to have a close encounter with these cheeky mammals in the wild.
It’s also a haven for water and sporting activities including swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, kitesurfing, stand up paddleboarding, jet skiing, wakeboarding, skydiving, fishing… the list goes on.
Go wine tasting in Swan Valley
If you can’t make it to Margaret River to wine and dine the night away, the next best thing is Swan Valley.
Easily accessible from Perth, if features wineries, breweries and distilleries.
Best events to attend during the year:
- Sculpture by the Sea: This annual arts exhibition travels between Cottesloe Beach in Perth and Bondi Beach in Sydney. In Cottesloe, artworks hug the coast from the sea wall to North Cottesloe. Cottesloe Beach, March
- Perth International Arts Festival: Featuring theatrical and musical works from local and international artists, as well as family events and workshops, Perth International Arts Festival is a celebration of culture and talent. Various locations, February–March
- Night Noodle Markets: Featuring mouthwatering dishes served from hawker stalls, the Night Noodle Markets is a popular sensory journey through the Asian continent. On top of delectable dishes, the festival features live music sets, lion dances and a lantern garden installation for that must-have Instagram pic. Elizabeth Quay, March–April
- Eat Drink Perth: Perth’s gastronomic food festival hosts over 90 events over six weeks. Expect everything from long-table degustations to yum cha picnics in the park. Various locations, March–April
- Fringe World: This is the largest summer arts and cultural event on the Perth calendar. Held over 31 days, it’s a dynamic display of circus performances, theatrics, dance, music and amusement park rides. Various locations, January–February
- Perth Science Festival: Being the home of Scitech (from The Terminator, geddit?), Perth wouldn’t be complete without a jaw-dropping science festival. Over 50 interactive stalls will amuse and amaze both young and old. Perth Cultural Centre, August