If you’re heading west and want to know what’s worth including in your itinerary, here are our top seven picks of things to see and do in and around the beautiful riverside city to get the ultimate Perth experience.
1. Kings Park and Botanic Gardens
As one of the largest inner-city parks you’ll find anywhere in the world, a visit to Kings Park and Botanic Gardens is a must-do for everyone that comes to Perth. With its prime position on Mt Eliza, Kings Park offers up some seriously impressive views of Perth city and the Swan River.
Waste the day away wandering through the lush landscapes with a free guided walk, climb the DNA tower, experience the wonder of the 750 year old Boab tree, relax over a picnic lunch or enjoy a peaceful walk exploring the many memorials scattered throughout the park. If you’re there in summer, make sure you also check if the park is hosting any of your favourite acts at one of their outdoor concerts.
Visit the WA Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority website for more information.
2. Penguin Island
If you’re a lover of wildlife, you absolutely have to include a trip to Penguin Island on your Perth bucket list.
A 45-minute drive from Perth and a short ferry ride across Shoalwater Bay, Penguin Island is not only home to a colony of the worlds smallest penguins, but you can also jump on a cruise to enjoy the rare opportunity to get a truly first-class view of wild dolphins and sea lions. Make sure you remember to pack your bathers too because it’s also a great spot to go for a swim, snorkel, kayak or kiteboard.
It also makes for a great first stop on your motorhome adventure if you’re heading south from Perth to the likes of Margaret River and beyond.
Rockingham Wild Encounters offer a range of cruises, tours and experiences on Penguin Island. Visit their website for more information and bookings.
Photo credit: Penguin Island via Discovery Parks
3. Elizabeth Quay
Almost every major waterside city boasts a buzzing waterfront recreation precinct, and in Perth, that’s Elizabeth Quay.
From gondola and camel rides, a gorgeous Venetian carousel, segway tours, a family-friendly water park and playground, a range of public art sculptures and plenty of waterside bars, restaurants and casual eateries to choose from, Elizabeth Quay is sure to offer up something for everyone.
Visit the WA Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority website for more information.
4. The Bell Tower
While you’re in Elizabeth Quay, make sure you also pay a visit to The Swan Bell Tower. Overlooking the Swan River, the Bell Tower is an architecturally interesting building constructed from copper and glass housing a collection of 18 bells, forming the second largest set of change ringing bells in the world.
From the bells, to the views and the fountains, it’s a Perth landmark that’s well-worth visiting – and if you’re feeling ‘loved up’, you can also do a little sweet-something for your other half by attaching an initial-inscribed love lock to chains on sections of the Great Wall to signify your everlasting love.
Visit the Bell Tower website for more information and tickets.
No visit to Perth is complete until you’ve become acquainted with the harbour-side city of Fremantle. While functioning as the port for Perth, there’s much more to Fremantle that you’ll just love exploring.
From the Fishing Boat Harbour with plenty of restaurants, bars and entertainment to entice you, the Fremantle Markets with more than 150 stalls featuring an eclectic range of fashion, homewares and food to browse and sample and a great selection of museums and historic buildings to explore including the world-heritage listed Fremantle Prison, just try not to fall in love with the place!
It’s also a great spot to catch a ferry to Rottnest Island to snag yourself a ‘Quokka selfie’ while in WA.
Visit the Fremantle Visitor Centre website for more information.
Photo credit: Fremantle Boat Harbour via Be Fremantle
6. Cottesloe Beach
Like Sydney has Bondi, Perth has ‘Cott’. With its soft sand, turquoise water and Norfolk-lined grassy knoll, there is plenty to love about Perth’s most famous beach. An ideal spot for swimming, snorkelling, surfing or soaking in the sun, it’s also a great spot to relax and take in the picturesque sunset.
There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants to have a nice meal, or you can find a bustling bar to enjoy a refreshing drink. If you’re there in March, you’ll also be able to see the beach transform into a very impressive public sculpture exhibition when ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ heads to town.
7. Swan Valley
If you like the occasional ‘wine and dine’, you’ll find the best of it in Swan Valley. Only a short 25 minutes from the heart of Perth, Swan Valley is Perth’s oldest wine growing region and is home to a great selection of vineyards, wineries and cellar doors along with some fantastic breweries, cideries and distilleries.
Then there’s the food – you’ll find everything from cheese and chocolate makers to casual eateries, coffee shops and fine dining options which showcase the best of local produce. You will also get the opportunity to purchase some beautiful gourmet products, including dried fruit, marinated olives, truffles, ice cream, nougat and homemade chocolate.
Even if food and wine isn’t your thing, a trip to Swan Valley is still well worth it – with interesting historic buildings, wildlife encounters, cute retail stores and walking and cycling tracks aplenty, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Visit the Swan Valley website for more information.
Photo credit: Swan Valley via Western Australia Explorer