Perth has been Australia’s boom town for over a decade, with the mining industry attracting workers from interstate and overseas, and the city completely transforming from a sleepy backwater town to a vibrant metropolis complete with a thriving café and bar culture, world-class festivals, and great mall and boutique shopping. There’s plenty of fun things to do in this beautiful city, and some of them are hidden gems that even many locals don’t know about! Check out our list of the best things to do in Perth:
Spend A Day In Fremantle
The laid-back vibes of Fremantle can’t be beaten, so spending a day meandering through the heritage streets is a must. Hit up the markets on the weekend for delicious local produce, the best egg sandwiches and quirky handmade goods, then cross the road to The Old Synagogue for a long and lazy lunch. Walk it off along the Cappucino Strip (South Terrace) and through Esplanade Park before a beer and some frites at Little Creatures or an all-out feast at The Sunshine Harvester Works. Once the sun has gone down you can cap off the day’s adventures
Hop On A Ferry Bound For Rottnest
You’ll definitely want to avoid it during school holidays, but any other time Rottnest is an island paradise, and it’s only a 25-minute ferry ride off the coast of Fremantle (90 minutes from Perth). Unless you’re super short on time, a day trip won’t quite cut the mustard in our books. A weekend spent among its sandy shores will see you returning to the mainland relaxed and ready to take on whatever life throws at you. There are loads of things to do, our top picks include staying in an eco tent at Discovery, snorkeling the bays, trying to nail the quokka selfie and relaxing at Karma Spa.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden
With beautiful views of the Swan River and Darling Range, Kings Park and Botanic Garden is an oasis of peace near the heart of the city and one of the largest inner-city parks in the world. Almost two-thirds of this 1,000-acre park is a natural bush, with a diversity of native plants and birds. Dedicated to conservation, the botanic garden spotlights plants from Western Australia and other Mediterranean climates such as South Africa and California. Highlights include an acacia garden, the peaceful Place of Reflection, and a water garden that recreates a Darling Range creek.
Atop Mount Eliza, with stunning views over the city, the Kings Park War Memorial is a poignant tribute to servicemen from Western Australia. Walking trails weave through the park, and you can even wander through the treetops at the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, suspended in a canopy of eucalyptus trees. Other park features include ponds, play areas, and panoramic viewpoints. After a stroll through the park, pop into Aspect of Kings Park, a retail precinct of gift shops and galleries highlighting local artists. Fraser Avenue Lookout dishes up delicious views of the city, and, at night, the park is the perfect spot for a romantic stroll with twinkling views of the city lights.
Address: Fraser Avenue, West Perth
Local Aboriginals believe the rainbow serpent, “Waugal,” created this winding river. To Perth locals and tourists alike, it’s the perfect setting for outdoor fun. You can picnic in the riverside parks, bike or hike along the many trails, cast a fishing line, sail, swim, or kayak. To see some of the posh houses of the riverfront suburbs, hop aboard a relaxing river cruise between Perth and the historic port of Fremantle. Another popular day trip is a cruise upriver to the fertile shores of the Swan Valley, Western Australia’s oldest grape-growing region. Here, foodies can sample fresh local produce and scrumptious artisan foods at the highly acclaimed restaurants. Most ferries and river cruises depart from Barrack Square Jetty.
Sun lovers can choose from a bevy of beautiful beaches in and around Perth. Less than a 15-minute drive from the city center, pine-fringed Cottesloe is one of Perth’s most popular beaches, with its clear waters and thriving café culture. Port Beach is also a favorite, and City Beach has a children’s playground and plenty of picnic nooks.
For families, the sheltered inlets on the snaking Swan River, such as Como, Crawley, and Point Walter are top choices, as well as Rockingham Beach and the sheltered shore at Hillarys Boat Harbour. Trigg Point has one of Perth’s best and most reliable surf breaks, and Scarborough is another top spot to ride the waves. Farther afield, the shores of Rottnest Island and Penguin Island offer excellent snorkeling and are great for fun family day trips.