Perth is the capital city of Western Australia, and is situated in a lovely spot by waters of the the Indian Ocean. Beautiful sandy beaches, islands, riverside parks and gardens and historic seaside towns surround this city and play a key role in its charm. In recent years, Perth has truly come of age as more and more Australians have realised the beauty of the city and its many offerings within driving distance nearby – despite its remote location – and tourism has flourished as a result.
Here are 10 reasons why you should consider making Perth your next holiday destination!
The weather can often make or break a holiday but this city is lucky to have a moderate climate with warm sunny days all year round. Winter here is quite mild with daily temperatures still hovering around the 20 degrees mark making it a perfect retreat for visitors escaping cooler climates. Summer can deliver scorching temperatures above 30 degrees, but with several beaches nearby to cool off at and nearly every venue with air conditioning, the conditions are bearable.
The sub tropical climate makes outdoor activities viable all year round. Beachside camping or national parks, island stays, walks, picnic in the park, festivals, markets, and beach days – the possibilities are endless when you have reliable weather on your side when planning a holiday.
Life in Perth is laid back and relaxed and you will pick up on that vibe when you visit the city. With a smaller population, great weather year round and a convenient location to stunning beaches it is no wonder that the lifestyle is coveted by visitors that come here. Whether you are travelling here for a relaxed getaway or you prefer active holidays filled with cultural activities and natural experiences- there is something to suit everyone.
Visitors will find it easy to navigate around the city on foot, cycling, driving or on public transport. There are three main train stations in Perth that are located within the city centre near the shopping and tourism precinct at The Esplanade, Perth Underground and Perth Station. A free public transport zone also operates within the city precinct so that you may hop on and off buses as you wish.
The city also has a number of pathways that are suitable for walkers and cyclists particularly around the Swan River. Unlike other cities, Perth is a compact city with easy accessibility to major tourism attractions, beaches and parks and gardens.
3. Natural Experiences
Perth is filled with many natural experiences that get you outdoors amongst nature and wildlife. One of the lesser known activities that you can do in Perth is to meet wild kangaroos on Heirisson Island. It is amazing to think that this nature reserve is relatively close to Perth CBD yet you can walk around the island amongst wild kangaroos where they are left to roam free around the island as they please. These kangaroos are used to human interactions and are friendly and curious creatures but as always proceed with caution and give them space. Even if you don’t see kangaroos, this island is a great place to have a picnic by the Swan River and go on some short walks or rent a bike and go for a ride. Public transport or bicycle and walking paths are the best way to access the island.
Penguin Island also comes highly recommended, as it is a hub of activity for marine life. Here you will find penguins of course but the area is also haven for dolphins, stingrays and pelicans and best of all you will experience them in their natural environment rather than in a controlled environment such as a zoo. Join wildlife cruises to see penguin colonies and dolphins up close. In season, you can also swim with dolphins or take part in whale watching cruises.
4. National Parks
Just a short distance from Perth is The Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park. Here you will find the famous Pinnacles- natural limestone structures that stand up to five metres tall and were formed approximately 30, 000 years ago. The national park houses the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre which has fascinating information and displays that explain the natural phenomena and the region’s wildlife, flora and fauna. Enjoy wide open spaces here and marvel at the 17, 000 hectares of natural habitat for many native animals and bird life.
Another day trip that is worthwhile visiting is the Wave Rock. This unique rock formation is one of Australia’s most famous rock formations shaped like a wave in the surf – hence the name. The granite cliff is 15 metres high and 110 metres long. The cliff has been formed over many years due to nature water erosion that have left the top of the cliff overhang the base. In Spring, you can also find wildflowers and orchids around the base of the rock.
Fremantle is a historic port city that has figured out how to honour the old while blending the new with an emerging food scene, blend of handcrafted beers, quirky boutiques and a creative arts, theatre and live music scene. Fremantle is only 30 minutes from the city via car or train but you may prefer to take a scenic river cruise along the Swan River instead and gawk at the palatial houses and landmarks on the river.
You could easily dedicate a day here exploring the markets or the Fremantle Arts Centre. If you fancy learning about the history of a city then you should definitely head to the world heritage listed Fremantle Prison which houses some interesting characters for 136 years. The Western Australian Maritime Museum is also a popular stop. Step inside submarines, commercial pearl boats and see handcrafted sail boats situated at Fremantle’s current working harbour. Other notable mentions are the Port Beach, Leighton Beach and South Beach for their views of Rottnest Island and adjacent snorkel sites.
6. Cottesloe Beach
Cottesloe Beach is THE beach in Perth that locals and tourists alike head to for swimming, snorkelling and surfing. It is also popular when the Sculpture by the Sea festival in March turns the city beach into a free outdoor art gallery for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.
Cottesloe Beach is 14 kilometres from the city and frequent buses and train can have you here in less than 30 minutes. This is also one of the best places in the city to catch the sun dipping into the Indian Ocean and photographers can always be found capturing the colourful sunsets here. Many holidaymakers looking for a beach escape choose to make Cottesloe Beach their base for the duration of their stay.
7. Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island is a playground for marine life and is only 18 kilometres from Fremantle making it perfect for a day trip. Explore the many beaches, bays, snorkel sites and hikes on this island. Don’t be surprised if you come across a quokka or two on your travels as they live on the island and are usually seen in the afternoons.
New Zealand Fur Seals often visit the island and a viewing platform has been built to watch them play on the rocks and in the bays below. Not to be outdone by the seals, Bottlenose Dolphins are spotted feeding and surfing year round and Humpback Whales and their calves play in the protected waters of the island from September to December.
Visit the island on a day tour and take part in eco cruises, scenic flights, segway tours, bike tours and more.
8. Swan River
The Swan River runs directly through Perth City before joining the sea and a river cruise is one of the best ways to capture glimpses of the Perth skyline. The calm water river cruises transports travellers to the port city of Fremantle. Along the way, marvel at the views and the lavish riverside homes and city landmarks that you will pass.
Walking and cycle paths are a great way to get outdoors and discover the city and you will also find plenty of those alongside the Swan River.
9. Margaret River
For something different head to Margaret River- 3 hours south of Perth. The region boasts over 150 wineries and breweries, many award winning restaurants serving the freshest organic gourmet food. Its unique coastal location makes it a great day out at the beach with 50 beaches to choose from.
Winery tours are most popular in this region because they combine the region’s best food, wine and natural scenery keeping everyone happy.
10. The Pink Lake
Ok, so we cheated a little bit with this one. The Pink Lake is located in Esperance, approximately 720 kilometres from Perth, however the city is a gateway for tours or scenic flights to the lake. There is no Photoshop at work here, the lake does really get that pink and has gained popularity in recent years thanks to attention on social media. The lake gets its colour from natural phenomena because of high concentrations of algae in the water and the best way to experience this one of a kind lake is from up above in the air with scenic helicopter flights from Esperance. There are also cruises and tours for a closer view.
For further suggestions of activities and tours that you may do when you are in Perth visit our main experiences page.