When looking at the map of Australia, it might seem like Perth is quite isolated from most of the action happening on the Southeast Coast of the country. Many tourists end up not even venturing out there.
But it’s more than worth it just to fly over the outback in the middle! Check out what all there’s to see in and around Perth and rest assured that you’ll have enough to do for a full week.
Of course, the best way is just to arrive, wander around and discover. But below I’ve listed a few places that you won’t want to leave out! Otherwise do all the wandering you can :)
Kangaroo Island (Heirisson Island)
Especially if it’s your first time in Australia, you absolutely must see some kangaroos in person. Here on the Kangaroo Island they move freely in a large fenced off area. You can slowly approach them and you can even pet them if you dare but make sure you don’t get punched in the face! I don’t know if kangaroos indeed do punch people, but that’s how the story goes.
One thing to be aware of on the Kangaroo Island, particularly if you come in summer is the mosquitoes! They are everywhere. Cover up or wear a repellent, otherwise you’ll be eaten alive. The mosquitoes were the only disturbance when we visited the island with friends and they hindered the kangaroo experience quite a bit.
Of course! Perth is a beachside city and you should absolutely make use of that. However, beach going can differ from your ‘normal’ vacation routine. See my tips on how to best enjoy beaches in Western Australia here.
The two main beaches are:
Perth City Beach
This is the closest beach to the Perth city center and it’s nice enough for a stroll and a swim. The amenities here are good, you can easily get a locker for your personal items as well as drink and food. There will always be plenty of people around.
Cottesloe is a much more picturesque beach featuring a long unobstructed seashore with beautiful white sand. The beach is on the wilder side and thus more pristine. There are even amenities like an outdoor workout area and occasional beach bars – you just need to walk a bit as they are spread out from one another.
Perth City Centre
Make no mistake, Perth has a lovely vibe. It features modern shopping alleys, comfortable grassy nooks where you can hang out on bean bags and watch movies… Plus malls, banks, hotels, lively pubs… there’s everything. And statues of kangaroos!
I experienced Perth during Christmas with the decorations all lit up and the town did look magical.
Swan River Shore
The Swan River flows through Perth in a wide riverbed and eventually mixes in with the ocean. If you get lucky, you might even see dolphins when walking along the Swan River as they like to swim in the brackish water.
Enjoy walking through the Langley Park along the river shore, and if you need a beer or two, the relaxed Lucky Shag will provide both the booze and the views that you seek J It’s one of a few establishments where you can walk in wearing flip flops.
A park worth travelling for. That’s the impression the Kings Park had on me. I’ll never forget the tall majestic gum trees, the baobabs and other diverse species… You see, the Kings Park is essentially an outdoor botanical garden. Or, more precisely, a mixture of all a park could be: a botanical garden, grassed parkland and natural bushland.
Even New York’s Central Park can’t compete – Perth’s Kings Park is the largest inner city park in the world thanks to its size of 4 km2 (1,000 acres)!
There are beautiful views from the Park. Check out the view of Perth’s business district from a little bridge above the Aboriginal Art Gallery.
That coveres the absolute must sees in Perth. But a lot of other interesting places also lie within 30 minutes away! Here’s a small list for you:
Wineries in the Swan Valley
The lush Swan Valley is rich in wineries and producers of honey and olive oil. It’s quite amazing, actually. You drive through the area and see all the signs pointing to all possible directions, one better than the other. Just pick one and go exploring. The smaller the winery the better though.
We visited the Ambrook Winery operated by an Italian family. Today it has grown into a large estate, even featuring weddings and other notable events.
Caversham Wildlife Park
Continue your drive through the wine-rich region of Swan Valley and you’ll end up in Caversham. On the outskirts of this town lies a Wildlife Park, which is a much better alternative to a classic zoo. The focus here is on conservation of local species.
Apart from the usual animal watching, they have special daily programs. During our visit, we were able to enter a kangaroo enclosure with all possible species of kangaroo represented. You can take a photo with a caretaker holding a wombat and watch an owl or a possum from up close. But above all – you can gently pet the napping koalas on the back.
Fremantle is another coastal city located at the mouth of the Swan River. It’s essentially a suburb of Perth (I hope no Fremantler will get mad at me for saying that). Walking through the town will reveal beautiful architecture from the 19th century. I also recommend sitting down for a cup of coffee at the famed Cappuccino Strip and relaxing while people watching.
Fremantle belongs to artists. The creative artistic vibe is omnipresent and places just look cool. Microbreweries are a thing in “Freo”. For the best local beer experience, hit the Little Creatures Brewery in the Harbor area. Have a seat in the Great Hall or anywhere you like and order a Pale Ale. You won’t regret it!
For places to stay in Perth, check out these hotels.
So there you have it, Perth sounds quite amazing doesn’t it?
And there’s much more as you can take a plenty of day trips from Perth. But about those some other time :)