Western Australia’s capital is a city that offers a great blend and balance of the natural versus the urban, but when is the best time to visit? We breakdown that exact question here.
Bordered on one side by thick Aussie bush land and dissected by the lovely waters of the Swan River, Perth is marvellous, yet often overlooked, travel destination in Australia (mainly due in large part to its distance from its east-coast brothers).
Possessing a sophisticated and cosmopolitan atmosphere with a rapidly developing economy, Perth still ranks as a hidden gem in that it serves as a gateway to many stunning nearby natural attractions such as the Swan Valley, The Pinnacles Desert and Wave Rock, and it’s a vibrant and beautiful city to explore.
But just when, exactly, is the best time of year to visit Perth? In order to answer this question, we combined our own personal knowledge with that of various tourism and travel authorities who have extensive knowledge of Perth and its surrounds to come up with these recommendations.
The general consensus we were given was that the months bridging the winter and spring seasons are the best times to visit Perth due to the balance of comfortably mild weather, a cavalcade of blooming wildflowers, and typically clear skies.
If you’re looking to travel to Perth from overseas, those months, in particular, would be in August and September annually. While this paints a rather broad brush in terms of time frame, it certainly puts an emphasis on avoiding the brunt of winter as the overall goal of potential travellers to Perth. So what else makes this time of the year in Perth so special?
A brief summary of this article:
- August and September labelled the best time to visit Perth
- Season popular for its large number of annual events
- Essential spots to visit in the city: Kings Park, St Mary’s Cathedral, Scitech Discovery Centre, His Majesty’s Theatre
- Top destinations for outings/day tours/short trips from Perth: the Pinnacles Desert, Penguin Island, Swan Valley, Rottnest Island
Why Perth in August and September?
As mentioned above, the weather in Perth at this time of year is beautiful. You can expect days of as low as 8 degrees Celsius to 19 degrees Celsius in August and 11.7 degrees Celsius to 23 degrees Celsius (53 – 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit) on any given day throughout September.
While the weather is an important factor, things to see and do play a big part in why you should visit Perth in September. Throughout the month, the city comes alive with events held around the region. For those interested in all things science and families looking for something to do, the Perth Science Festival on the 12th of August is a great option.
For those with a creative flair, the Curious Collective Markets on the 13th of August won’t disappoint, nor will the two-day Perth Craft Beer Festival for those who enjoy a nice cold glass of brew.
If you’re not fussed with events or seasonal attractions and are simply to explore the city, then you won’t be let down. While there are plenty of great options to travel from Perth to nearby natural attractions during this season, many locals and visitors alike choose to simply turn their gaze towards the city instead, as there is a multitude of historic and cultural sites to visit and explore in around the CBD.
The Perth Arts Centre, The Perth Mint, and the city’s iconic bell tower, Swan Bells, are must-visits. If you’re looking to head out at night, be sure to visit the tower again to see it shining brightly as it towers over the city. Heading out of the city, you’ll definitely want to visit the nearby city of Fremantle. Fremantle is a port town that comes alive during these months and with its iconic Fremantle Markets held weekly during spring, you’ll be able to purchase some fresh produce, delicious ready-to-eat food or a handcrafted item.
Perth is surrounded by an array of famous, popular and explorable natural attractions, some of which are better to explore in this season than any other. The Pinnacles are a sight to behold and the August and September temperatures make exploring the region a comfortable and enjoyable journey as opposed to the hot and almost unbearable weather felt throughout summer. If you don’t have your own car to venture out of the city, you can book yourself onto a day tour of The Pinnacles, which travels into the region and visits a number of other nearby attractions.
On the other side of the sightseeing spectrum is Rottnest Island, a stark contrast to the desert like atmosphere of The Pinnacles. The island is a haven for beach lovers and explorers with a number of vibrant coral reefs, 63 secluded beaches and 20 bays surrounding the island as well as a rich history.
While the water may still be a touch too cold for you to swim comfortably, if you can brave it you’ll be treated to an incredible experience in the vibrant blue waters. If swimming isn’t your desired past time, don’t worry, you can spend your day cycling around the island, dining at the local restaurants, and snapping selfies with the native and adorable quokkas.
Whichever way you choose to spend your time, a visit to Rottnest Island is an essential item on any Perth itinerary. Rottnest Island can be easily reached via ferry from either Perth, Fremantle or Hillarys Boat Harbour with local operators Rottnest Fast Ferries and Rottnest Express. Keep in mind that Australian school holidays fall in September, so if you’re looking to visit or perhaps stay overnight, be sure to book your ferry transfers, tours and accommodation well in advance.
In short, if you’re looking for a comfortable time to visit Perth that isn’t too cold nor too hot then the bridging months of winter and spring are your best bet. In saying this, school holiday prices and crowds may turn people off so August beats the later part of September in this regard unless you’re looking to visit with the kids during the holiday break.
Perth and its surrounding regions such as Fremantle and Rottnest Island come highly recommended as a holiday destination and though it is a little further away from the rest of Australia, the time, effort and money invested in visiting will be well worth it.
How long do I need to visit Perth? Any other places we should visit while here?
Based on our feedback from local operators, locals and tourism authorities, most recommendations include spending 3-4 days in Perth itself. In addition to the central attractions mentioned above, one other essential stop is Kings Park, a flourishing scenic park located in the heart of the city with some of the best views and a vast array of flora, fauna and history.
However, branching out of the city is another matter entirely with many people frequently referring to the nearby Margaret River region as a destination everyone should visit.
An area famed for its combination of high-quality wines and wineries mixed in with some spectacularly rugged coastal scenery, Margaret River can be reached in around a 4-hour drive from Perth and is said to be worth 2-3 days’ worth of stay and exploration in itself.
Lastly, the Valley of the Giants is another worthwhile item to add to the greater Perth area bucket list. This is a towering forest full of giant trees that come complete with an impressive treetop walk that allows you to explore the canopies of these titanic plants.
In short, Perth allows for enough exploration opportunities that the only true limits on time spent will be your free time and your wallet. So turn your eyes westward for your next holiday and give the world’s most isolated capital city and its surrounds a visit this August or September, you won’t be disappointed.
In addition, if you’re looking for all the top things to see and do in and around Perth including activities, attractions and more, be sure to check out our main region section to browse and book online!