15 Exciting Things to Do in Perth, Western Australia

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We’ve been telling you how much we loved our six month trip through Western Australia and that you need to head west and not just stick to the east coast of Oz.

And that goes for Perth too, the capital city of WA. It’s a young city that continues to evolve.

visit perth
Sunny skies

The Perth city centre has been revitalised over the years adding more cafes, restaurants and especially the small bar scene, and the monster waterfront development, which looks like a mini-version of Darling Harbour in Sydney, is sure to add a lot to the city.

Perth has an attractive setting on the Swan River and nearby to several stunning beaches that are a lot less crowded than its east coast counterparts, which also adds tremendous appeal.

Throw in the mad AFL sporting culture, which I missed out on seeing a game unfortunately, and cricket at the famed WACA and Perth makes for a great short break, or for a base to have extended travel in Western Australia.

We didn’t have all that long in the city itself, but I’m sure we’ll be back, and below is our top picks for things to do in Perth with kids.

Things to do in Perth, Western Australia

1. See the skyline from Kings Park

Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia

Kings Park has a stunning location overlooking the Swan River and offers sweeping views of the Perth city skyline.

The park covers more than 400 hectares and is the largest inner city park in the southern hemisphere, and is even larger than New York’s Central Park.

Walk amongst the treetops on the elevated bridge, wander the pathways, the botanical gardens, the open grassy areas and picnic amongst the gum trees. F0r eats and drinks there’s also a kiosk, the Botanical Cafe and Fraser’s Restaurant.

Kings Park also has several large playgrounds for the kids to enjoy with cafes attached for that essential takeaway coffee whilst they play.

It’s also free, which makes it one of the best things to do in Perth.

2. Catch a sunset at Cottesloe Beach

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Perth’s sunsets are legendary. If you haven’t seen the sun set over the ocean, Western Australia is where it’s at.

Cottesloe is a beach-side suburb about a 15-minute drive from the Perth CBD and is one of the best places to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean.

Cottesloe crystal clear waters make it a popular place for swimming, snorkeling, and surfing and a great spot for families to have picnics under shady Norfolk Pines. It’s definitely one of the top things to do in Perth with kids.

3. Take a Walking Tour of Perth

Perth is a city made for walking. It’s flat, has wide streets and footpaths, and one of the best ways to start a visit to any new destination is with a walking tour to get your bearings and insider tips from a knowledgeable local.

I walked Perth with two feet and a heartbeat as we strolled through the city streets and laneways of the CBD learning about the history, culture, heritage, and colourful past of the city and experienced attractions on and off the tourist trail.

They also do a small bar tour every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

4. Take a Swan River Cruise

visit-perth

Make the trip from Perth down to Fremantle via a relaxing cruise on the Swan River. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the city skyline, the many sailing boats, and marvel at some of the most expensive real estate in the country – the mining boom has treated Perth well.

Consider a cruise at night when the glittering city lights are reflected on the river.

5. Day trip to Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island, Perth, Western Australia

Rottnest Island is incredible. Located 18 kilometres off the coast it’s a premier island getaway with over 60 picturesque beaches and bays.

Rotto, as the locals call it, is best explored by bicycle, there are no cars on the island making it a relaxing and enjoyable experience for people of all ages. Other activities on the island include tennis, golf, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and diving.

Take the short ferry trip over. Our favourite beaches are the Basin and Pinky Beach. And get up close to the cute little marsupial the quokka, found only in Western Australia.

6. Hit the beaches – in the MORNING!

Scarborough Beach, Perth, Western Australia
Scarborough Beach

Perth has some excellent city beaches such as Scarborough, Cottesloe, City Beach, Trigg, Sorento, and Leighton, but Perth does get a little windy in the afternoons.

By 2pm, the famous Fremantle Doctor breeze has rolled in off the Indian Ocean making your beach day somewhat less pleasant.

So if you’re heading to one of Perth’s beautiful beaches, make it a morning event, unless you’re going late in the afternoon to take in one of the magical sunsets.

7. Explore historic Fremantle

Fremantle, Western Australia

I’m still trying to figure out if the historic seaside port of Fremantle is a suburb of Perth or its own city? Help me out! But I do know it makes for a great day trip.

Freo” is located just 30 minutes from downtown Perth and is dotted with cafes, bars, seafood restaurants and is known as the ‘world’s best-preserved example of a 19th-century port streetscape’ with heritage buildings and a fascinating convict and maritime history.

Grab a coffee on Cappuccino Strip, wander the markets, visit the old prison, and don’t miss the Little Creatures Brewery on the water for delicious wood-fired pizzas and great craft beer.

8. See a performance at Perth Concert Hall

I haven’t been to a performance at the Perth Concert Hall myself, but I’ve been told several times, and have read, that the acoustics are incredible, even better than at the Sydney Opera House.

9. Eat at the Greenhouse

Greenhouse Restaurant, Perth, Western Australia

The Greenhouse, located on St George’s Terrace is one of Perth’s hot restaurants. First of all, it’s a very interesting building architecturally and the concept is about operating better places for people and the whole place is geared toward sustainability.

The exterior of the building is clad in corrugated iron covered by a vertical garden with about 4,000 terracotta pots filled with ivy and strawberry plants.

It has 420 straw bales in its walls and ceiling, a rooftop garden that provides produce for the kitchen and bar, and recycled furniture throughout.

The quality of the food is amazing and varied, especially loved the wood fired pizza.

10. Soak up the sunshine

Perth, Western Australia

Perth is the sunny city and enjoys more hours of sunshine than any other city in Australia: 3,000 hours a year and 8.8 hours a day.

Average summer temperatures hover around the 30 degree celsius mark.

That’s one reason you’ll see the locals living active lifestyles walking, biking, and enjoying the many parks and beaches. Soak it up

11. Enjoy the pace of life

Perth offers a relaxing and easy going lifestyle surrounded by the Swan River, Kings Park, and endless stretches of gorgeous beaches. Compared to Australia’s other major cities of Sydney and Melbourne, Perth has a lot less people and a slower pace of life.

Although peak hour traffic can be heavy and starts earlier than normal, around 2pm which coincides with the 5pm knock off work time on the east coast of Australia. Something to be aware of.

12. Small Bar scene

Perth has experienced economic and social growth with many new developments and cultural precincts emerging. In particular, the small bar scene and new restaurants.

In the CBD Bars worth considering are Helvetica and laneway gem Andaluz. Join the cool crowd at The Aviary or the vintage feel at Hula Bula. Also in the city is 399 Bar. In the hip neighbourhood of Northbridge there’s Ezra Pound Bar and The Bird Wine Bar.

13. Hillarys Boat Harbour

Hillarys Boat Harbour, Perth, Western Australia

Hillarys is an impressive Boat Harbour development with a lot going on. There’s numerous attractions to keep the kids happy with the swimming beach, water slides, playgrounds, trampolines and mini-golf.

For us parents there’s a range of cafes, shops, restaurants, cycle paths plus all the boating and water activities. Spend an hour or a whole day and watch the sun go down over the ocean.

14. Eat at Duende

Duende is a tapas-style restaurant occupying a corner block in the suburb of Leederville that left a lasting memory in my mouth. And the modern decor brings with it a good vibe along with the nice range of Mediterranean influenced dishes.

Their motto is “everyday for everyone” and they feature an all day breakfast/brunch option till 4pm. Some of Duende’s classics include grilled tapas, bar bites, deli sliced meats, cheeses and desserts, and lots of vegetarian choices.

15. Bike or walk along the Swan River

You’ll see lots of bikers and walkers in Perth, and why not with the climate and scenery on offer year round. The communities of Bassendean, Bayswater and Belmont boasts over 28 kilometres of river foreshore.

Walkers can stroll along the Swan River foreshore and cyclists you can even take your bike on a train as a number of bike rides connect from train stations along the Midland Rail Line.

Where we stayed in Perth

Mantra Hotels in Perth, Western Australia

We stayed in a two bedroom apartment at the Mantra on Hay Street which was conveniently located to the CBD, and the WACA if you’re in town for a cricket match.

Just a 10-minute walk and we were at the Hay Street Mall and everything the Perth city centre has to offer.

As a family we prefer to stay in apartments in city centres to have access to a full-kitchen, laundry facilities and separate bedrooms for the kids. And I must say the Mantra was a lovely upgrade from our camper trailer we occupied on our road trip around Australia at the time, just quietly!

The Mantra on Hay has one, two, and three bed apartments plus hotel rooms.

For a unique and local experience consider booking with Airbnb. From budget, mid range and high end properties, Airbnb has you covered. Click here to view all properties available in Perth.

Related Post – Best places to stay in Perth

Plan Your Trip to Perth

Booking accommodation in Perth

Booking flights to Perth

  • Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches millions of flights. Once you find your best deal, book directly through the airline (no extra fees).

Booking a Car Rental in Perth

  • RentalCars.com is the world’s biggest car rental booking service that compares all the major brands like Hertz, Avis, Alamo, and Europcar.

Tours in Perth

 

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What can you add to this list of things to do in Perth? Please share in the comments below.

39 thoughts on “15 Exciting Things to Do in Perth, Western Australia”

    1. Thanks for sharing Anne. As far as wineries go we spent most of our time in Margaret River. But I’d like to check out those breweries you mention!

  1. Having grown up in Perth I feel very lucky to call it home. Cottesloe beach is stunning; there’s nothing better than watching the sun go down on a lovely summer’s evening. AQWA in Hillary’s is nice, as are some of the national parks in the surrounding area.

    1. And what’s t a great airbnb, lodge, hotel to stay? I don’t know anything about Perth yet but we are planning our trip in January, any recommendations for a beautiful stay incl parking?

  2. I haven’t made it to WA at all yet- clearly a failing on my part.

    If Tigers finish top 4 and we are going to Perth for the first week of finals I’m definitely considering making the trip over for that and scheduling a little bit of sightseeing in. But that is probably me being hopeful!

    Rottnest Island looks especially amazing!

    1. Britt….You have to go to Perth and Cheer on Richmond!!! That would be awesome and a great excuse to visit Perth 🙂

      Yep, Rottnest is one of the best places in Australia, period, let alone in Perth!

  3. Thanks for reminding me of some of the things that I just forget to get out and do in my ‘home town’. Perth is a great city for being outdoors, like you say, and for me the best bit is just being able to get on my bike and cycle. There are so many cycle paths with great bars and cafes to stop at along the way 😉 Hope you guys come back to explore more one day soon.

  4. Maria Cristy D. of Cagayan de Oro city, Philippines

    Perth, a lovely, cool and peaceful city.. yea, Kings Park, the best relaxing place. so lovely to stroll around the midst of gardens abound with all types of flowers while having d glimpse of Perth skylines..

    The cruise at the Swan river, so exciting while having a little sip of different wines and looking at all wonderful structural designs alongside and getting a know of that luxurious residential bldg. of d richest Filipina woman married to an Australian in Perth.

    Having studied in a short-term course at Perth’s CURTIN UNIVERSITY, a famous educational center on Medical and related sciences…so full of resources…smart trainors and facilitators…modern buildings too… went educational tours to different hospitals /clinics /quarters/institutions having Adolescent and Reproductive Health Programs…so impressive, a lot of learnings, an overflow of materials and references…

    taken an enjoyable train ride from Perth to Bunbury City in Australind? been here 2001 yet…that was quite a good service….

    don’t miss a site visit to one that contributes to Perth’s economic boom, their silver-mining industry…you could order a personalized gift items there….. and many more attractions…

  5. Watch dolphins at mandurah . Enjoy a coffee at serpentine dam cafe while watching blue wrens and 28,s ( a parot native to W.A.) that will eat out of your hand . See the stromalites ( living fossils) at lake clifton and at lake richmond . Take a walk round point peron . Take a walk along our longest jetty at bussleton .

  6. You have forgotten to visit another beautiful island in Perth. I think Penguin Island is wonderful, also White man Park .

  7. Shame you didn’t mention Rockingham. North facing beach so protected from afternoon winds and penguins island is a must, but for the full experience swim with the wild dolphins.

  8. These are some of our families favourite places, besides those already mentioned.
    The Bicton baths,
    The Freo Maritime Museum and fishermans harbour,
    Point Walter-walk the sandbar,
    Yanchep national park,
    John Forrest national park,
    Lesmurdie Falls,
    Core cider house,
    Swan valley wineries
    There’s many more I can’t think of.

  9. A “Pinnacles Magic” tour with Travel Western Australia is a great day out. You get to taste some delicious Australian foods for morning tea in Yanchep National Park after seeing kangaroos and koalas; go sand boarding down huge white sand dunes and; stroll through the magical Pinnacles Desert.

  10. Arrived in Perth last October at the start of a trip by car, train and ‘plane to Rockhampton in Queensland visiting many Aussie friends I’d met during my travels around the world. Took a week travelling to Albany then back to Perth via the coast. Rather than satisfy my need to see the SW I left Perth determined to return and explore more fully. One needs to realise that the SW corner is still a huge area with so much to to hold you. Loved it all, even though I did it solo. I do miss my Green and Gold Lover.

  11. Great article Craig! Been looking forward to visiting Perth in a couple of months and this just made it easy for me when it comes to what places I should go to. Thanks!

  12. This is a good list – Perth is increasingly getting more attractions making it a great place to visit and live! I find that over the summer months in particular, there is so much to see and do with regular activities hosted by the different cities, and the various festivals held as well. Would also recommend the Swan Valley, Fremantle Prison, Rottnest Island and Victoria Park cafe strip to visit as well. Amazing beaches, fantastic cafes and small bars, plus new attractions starting up all the time… Perth, you’re alright!

  13. Travelers who love nature would instantly fall in love with Australia for its pristine beaches and vast coastline. Some of the Australian beaches that are a must visit are the Trigg Beach, Cottesloe Beach, and Scarborough Beach.

  14. Hi Craig, I am planning a holiday to Perth during mid April

    This is my first visit to Perth. Can you advise me
    The weather in Perth when I visit. Is it hot during the day n cooling during the evening. What type of clothing is appropriate up pack god my trip. Are there any places of interest that you would recommend for our trip.

    Thx & rgds
    Serene

    1. It depends on what time of year you visit. Summer will be hot day and night. Winters are mild but that depends on what you’re used to for winter. This post will give you ideas for your visit or you can search Perth or Western Australia in the search bar to find specific things you’re looking for as it’s a big area with loads to explore.

  15. This is an awesome list. Really comprehensive and accurately represents a lot of cool things to do in my home city. The great thing about Perth is that it’s such a driveable city that you can take a lot of easy great day trips out as well

    Thanks so much for showing how great Perth and WA is. It’s a very underrated part of Australia!

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