The capital of Western Australia, Perth is an underrated part of Australia. While most tourist travel towards the east coast, I can easily say the west coast brings spectacular landscapes and wildlife. Since road tripping around Perth, I’ve come up with 18 of the best experiences in Perth.
1. Rottnest Island
If you haven't heard of Rottnest Island, you're in for a treat. One of the great places Perth is known for is Rottnest Island. This island it known for its population of quokkas. These cute animals are extremely friendly and are known to let you take selfies with their smiley faces. Also on the island are sea lions, dolphins and fur seals. Feel free to snorkel, surf, skydive, cycle, rent a Segway or get in a helicopter. This little paradise does come at a cost, so be prepared to pay for the ferry, admission fees and transport on the island, but still it's one of the best things to do in Perth, so don't worry about prices.
2. Pinnacle Desert
Just a short drive north of Perth is the Pinnacle Desert. While driving past the thousands of limestone formations, it can be difficult not to stop, but feel free to walk on the moon-like landscape and take pictures. Make sure to seek out the native animals and bird life too. Some of the structures stand at 5 meters tall and were formed 30,000 years ago. While traveling from Perth to the desert, gaze in awe out your window while driving the Indian Ocean Drive.
3. Penguin and Seal Island
Who wouldn't want to see some waddling wild penguins and wild seals? This attraction is located in Rockingham, and is a great place to spend a half or full day. I recommend buying a package that lets you visit the neighbouring islands. Also, bring a lunch and relax for the day. Although not recommend, you can walk on the sandbar from mainland to Penguin Island if the water conditions allow, people have died doing this though. The island is only open from September to early June. Unfortunately, sometimes the penguins can be difficult to spot because during the daylight house the birds are spent at sea hunting for food. One hour after sunset they return to the island. Pay extra to see the Penguin Feeding at the Discovery Center on the island. You will be able to get up close to these cute little birds.
3. Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden
Anyone looking for the best things to do in Perth should check this one out. Kings Park is one of the world's largest and most beautiful city parks. It has a rich Aboriginal history and a beautiful skyline view. With bushland walk trails, gardens and wildlife you will surely have a great time. Visit the botanic garden to see more than 13,000 Australian plant species. Before heading to the park, visit Jacob's Ladder on the boundary of Kings Park, which is 242 steps from the street to the park. Get your workout in and have a nice rest in the park.
4. Perth Zoo
This 41 acre zoo is home to over 1,200 animals of 164 species. The zoo is open every day and is only 5 minutes away from the CBD. Tickets for adults run at about $33AUD. This zoo is authentic and honest; it does a great job when it comes to protecting endangered species. Either a half day or a full day, this experience will impress.
5. Visit Mandurah
Visit Mandurah to see an abundant amount of wildlife. Our favorite stop in Mandurah is Dolphin Quay, where you can rent boats, listen to live music, have a bite to eat, or go for a swim. In the marina you will be likely to see dolphins fishing.
6. London Court
Built in 1937, is one of the world's architectural treasures, London Court. This four level shopping center is located in the Central Business District of Perth. This court makes you feel like you're away from the hustle and bustle, and it will give you a taste of Britain. With quirky cafes and shops, this place is worth a visit for a few hours.
7. Fremantle Prison
One of the most fascinating cultural experiences in Perth is visiting Fremantle Prison. The prison is the largest convict structure in WA and the most intact convict institution in the nation. Fremantle was used for incarcerating criminals for 140 years. Death row, solitary cells and gallows were all used in this prison. In 1992 it opened to the public and is a tourist attraction today.
8. Perth Cultural Center
If you're looking for a place that has art, culture and community, the Perth Cultural Center is the place for you. From live music, to food, entertainment and festivals, the cultural center is the perfect place to break away from the bustle of the city.
The cultural heart of the city, it’s a place to enjoy the sunshine, learn about sustainable gardening in the urban orchard or ecosystems in the wetland, get involved in the program of activities and Perth events or use the free WiFi.
A place to chill and relax, this city is a great place to swim with wild dolphins, fish or go paddle boarding. A 45 minutes drive south of Perth, stop and have breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants. Rockingham has an astonishing beach and places to picnic. Some bring your food and use one of the electric BBQ's provided.
10. Fremantle AKA "Freo"
Another great city to visit, Fremantle is known for its history and architecture. 30 minutes southwest of Perth, it offers unique winding streets, river beaches, sunset views, nightlife, cafe's and more. Dating back from 1897, take a wander through the Fremantle Markets to get a mix of unique foods and entertainment.
Fremantle Markets is rich with atmosphere and local talent.
11. Visit a Brewery
In the mood for a cold brew? Perth has some great breweries, where you can just sit, relax, listen to music, and enjoy a cold beer. Here it a list of my favorite breweries near Perth:
The Island Brew House
Bright Tank Brewing
Golden West Brewing Co.
Whitford Brewing Co.
Northbridge Brewing Co.
The Old Brewery
12. Heirisson Island
Do you want to see some brave kangaroos? Located in the Swan River is Heirisson Island, where you can get up and close to some local kangaroos. The island is very close to the city and is a great place for a walk and the best time to visit is during kangaroo feeding times (4:30pm to 6pm) or early morning.
13. Watch the sunset at Cottesloe Beach
Looking for a great place to watch the sunset? Cottesloe Beach is one of the best places in the West to catch the sunset. There is a great viewing platform, where you can take some food, wine, relax and enjoy the views. There are also restaurants where you can eat and still have a view. Make sure to bring your camera!
14. Lancelin Sand Dunes
About an hour and a half away is a fun place for some adrenaline activities. Let loose and hire a sand board where you can sit or stand on and slide down the crystal white sand dunes. With different dune heights, you will certainly have some fun. The dunes are tucked beside a quiet seaside town, where you can get its famous Crayfish dish. You can also participate in 4 wheel driving and quad biking.
15. Barrack Street Jetty
This popular tourist destination is another great place for dining, entertainment and recreation. It offers plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants with a beautiful view of Swan River. Also, while you are here, you can climb the famous Bell Tower.
16. Calamunnda Camel Farm
Looking for some fun outdoor adventures? Take a ride on a camel at this camel farm. Rides start at $30AUD. During the trek you can stroll through the forest and the Australian bush. Not only can you ride some camels, you can go and buy camel milk products. Purchase camel soap, lip balm and cream.
17. Mount Dale Walk Trail
Get some exercise by walking this 2.5 km trail and enjoy panoramic views of the Darling Ranges. You will get to see a jarrah forest, and the trial joins up with the Bibbulmun Track, returning to Mount Dale where there is a picnic area.
18. Yagan Square
Located in Perth is Yagan Square, a hub that has cafes, restaurants, shopping and lighting displays. This lively place where locals and visitors meet, is a great place to see the Western Australian culture. Get here by catching public transport and enjoy the atmosphere.