In Perth, urban living meets the sea and bush. Although it is the largest city in Western Australia by far, it has the relaxed, friendly vibe of a country town. There is a diverse range of things to see and do, from island escapes and hiking trails to boutique wineries and art galleries.
While the city has all the facilities and conveniences you expect from a modern metropolis, a strong connection to country still comes through. There are many opportunities to engage with local Indigenous culture and most residents spend their leisure time outside, doing a range of activities including cycling, camping, hiking and water sports. There are lots of places to try these out, even if you’re only in town for a few days.
Originally a British colonial settlement, Perth has some history shaped by Imperial convicts. Today their stories are shared alongside the experiences of Indigenous people, at some of the key museums and historical buildings. This allows visitors to see, hear and understand the complete history of Western Australia.
- 20 Things To Do In Perth
- 1- Visit Kings Park
- 2- Explore WA Museum Boola Bardip
- 3- View An Art Gallery
- 4- Experience Optus Stadium
- 5- Relax At The Beach
- 6- Wander Around Fremantle
- 7- See Fremantle Prison
- 8- Learn At The WA Shipwrecks Museum and Round House
- 9- Explore Whiteman Park
- 10- Visit Perth Mint
- 11- Go Surfing
- 12- Go Small Bar Hopping
- 13- Walk Blackwall Reach To Point Walter
- 14- Go Wild At Penguin Island And The Shoalwater Marine Park
- 15- Sample Local Produce in the Swan Valley
- 16- Experience Rottnest Island
- 17- Spend The Day At Hillarys Boat Harbour
- 18- Have Fun At Outback Splash
- 19- Get Active At Perth Wake Park And Aqua Park
- 20- Explore Yanchep Crystal Cave
- 20 Things To Do In Perth
20 Things To Do In Perth
1- Visit Kings Park
In the heart of Perth lies Kings Park, one of the largest inner-city parks in the world.
This vast bushland was set aside in the 1800s by a small yet influential group of people, who wanted future generations to experience nature in the city.
Take a stroll along Hacketts Path and the Lotterywest Skywalk to see spectacular views of the CBD, before paying your respects at the State War Memorial or enjoying a meal at the iconic Fraser’s Restaurant.
For kids, the Rio Tinto Naturescape and May Drive Parkland are two of Perth’s premiere play spaces.
Kings Park is along Fraser Avenue, Perth.
2- Explore WA Museum Boola Bardip
Renovated and reopened in 2020, WA Museum Boola Bardip houses pieces from throughout history and tells the story of Western Australia.
In fact, the words “Boola Bardip” mean ‘Many Stories’ in the language of the local Indigenous people, the Wadjuk Nyoongar.
As well as experiencing exciting guest exhibits, you can explore local innovations, wildlife and even see the skeleton of a blue whale.
Entry to the museum is free and it’s open daily.
WA Museum Boola Bardip is in the Perth Cultural Centre, at the corner of James and William Street, Perth.
3- View An Art Gallery
The Perth CBD and neighbouring Northbridge have several fantastic venues where you can view traditional, cultural, and modern art.
Within the Perth Cultural Centre is the Art Gallery of WA and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.
Between the two venues, you can experience an expansive collection of art from different time periods.
If modern street art is more your scene, head down to Wolf Lane or go on a tour with the awesome crew from Oh Hey WA.
Perth Cultural Centre is at the corner of James and William Street, Perth.
4- Experience Optus Stadium
Optus Stadium is a must-see for any true sports fan.
There are concerts and games held at the stadium throughout the year, and The Ozone offers a tour that goes through all areas, including the West Coast Eagles, Fremantle Dockers and Perth Scorchers changerooms.
If you want to go to the top, the HALO tour takes you up to the roof which has amazing views of the city and a space where you can lean out over the grounds.
The stadium also has City View Café, which is open daily.
Optus Stadium is at 333 Victoria Park Drive, Burswood.
5- Relax At The Beach
Western Australia is known for its stunning beaches.
Cottesloe Beach, Scarborough Beach and City Beach are three of the most iconic, each featuring bright blue water and fine white sand.
If you prefer calm water, Coogee Beach has pontoons with slides, a large jetty and an enclosed swimming area.
Meanwhile, Mettams Pool in Trigg has some of the best snorkelling in Perth. Each night, no matter what beach you choose, you can sit in the dunes and watch the sun sink below the horizon of the Indian Ocean.
There are beaches along West Coast Highway, Marine Parade and Port Beach Road.
6- Wander Around Fremantle
The centre of Fremantle is a unique blend of colonial history, Indigenous culture, and art.
Freemantle is a fantastic place to just wander around and explore, starting from the Cappuccino Strip.
The streets have charming historical buildings, many of which house shops or galleries selling handcrafted, bespoke, or vintage wares.
From Friday through to Sunday the Fremantle Markets are also open.
You can try fresh local produce, buy hand handmade creations, and taste delicious snacks.
Fremantle is centred around the corner of Bannister Street and Market Street, Fremantle.
7- See Fremantle Prison
If you love history, Fremantle Prison is a must-see destination.
British convicts built it by hand back in 1852 during the original settlement of Perth, and people were continuously imprisoned there until 1991.
During the day you can do tours through the prison which focus on its convict history, the experience of prisoners who were sent there or the stories of some of the more infamous prisoners.
If you want to be more daring, enter the water-filled tunnels built by prisoners 20 m under the prison or do a night tour by torchlight.
Fremantle Prison is at 1 The Terrace, Fremantle.
8- Learn At The WA Shipwrecks Museum and Round House
On the coast of Fremantle are the WA Shipwrecks Museum and Round House, two museums that delve further into the history of the area for the cost of a small donation.
Built in 1853, the Round House is the oldest public building in Western Australia. Originally, it was used to house criminals before Fremantle Prison was built.
Underneath you can explore a short tunnel once used by whalers, before walking 300m to the WA Shipwrecks Museum.
A highlight of the museum is being able to see part of the ship and a skeleton from the Batavia, a shipwreck with a notoriously dark history.
Round House is on Captains Lane and WA Shipwrecks Museum is on Warden Lane, Fremantle.
9- Explore Whiteman Park
Whiteman Park is a huge natural parkland, jam-packed with things to do.
There are bushland walking tracks and the opportunity to see the elusive woylie on a guided “Nocturnal Woylie Walk”.
During the day there is a hop-on, hop-off vintage bus tour, which makes it easy to get between the many attractions, including the Heritage Tram Ride, Motor Museum of WA, Revolutions Transport Museum, Tractor Museum, Vintage Train Ride, playgrounds, tennis courts, pedal go-karts and Caversham Wildlife Park.
Whiteman Park is at the corner of Drumpellier Drive and Whiteman Drive East, Whiteman.
10- Visit Perth Mint
At the Perth Mint, you have an opportunity to discover more about gold.
In the original melting house from 1899, you can watch as gold is heated then poured into a solid gold bar.
Then, at The Gold Exhibition, you can see a 1-tonne gold coin worth $60 million, marvel at a collection of natural gold nuggets and touch bars of solid gold.
If you want to know more about gold production in Western Australia, you can organise a tour that combines the Perth Mint with a visit to the Newmont Boddington Gold Mine.
Perth Mint is at the corner of Goderich and Hill Street, East Perth.
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11- Go Surfing
If you haven’t tried surfing before, the beaches in Perth are a picturesque place to learn.
Go Surf offers lessons throughout the year, with qualified staff who want to share their love of surfing.
They’ll guide you through how to catch a wave and progress to standing up.
Once you’re feeling confident, they also offer board hire so that you can take to the waves yourself.
Leighton, Mullaloo and Trigg beaches are good places to practice your newfound skills.
Go Surf is based at Leighton Beach and Scarborough Beach.
12- Go Small Bar Hopping
Over the past few years, the Perth bar scene has had a transformation, with a huge number of small bars opening in the CBD and Northbridge.
Spend a night out, bar hopping between locations depending on what your scene is.
Some of the more unique spots are Hula Bula Bar, Caballitos, Wolf Lane, Toots and Foxtrot Unicorn.
Don’t forget, you’ll need to be 18 and up to enjoy the venues.
Most small bars are in the Perth CBD and Northbridge area.
13- Walk Blackwall Reach To Point Walter
Along the Swan River is a section of rocky limestone cliff called Blackwall Reach, which ends at Point Walter.
Aside from being a nice walk, the cliffs along this section are popular with locals jumping into the water from “Chickens” and “Big Drop”.
Then, once you arrive at Point Walter, walk out to the end of the sand spit, drink coffee at the coffee shop or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding with SoulKite.
Point Walter is at the end of both parts of Honour Ave, Bicton.
14- Go Wild At Penguin Island And The Shoalwater Marine Park
Only five minutes from the shores of Rockingham is Penguin Island, named after the colony of little penguins who call it home.
You can get there via boat or by walking and swimming across the sandbar at low tide.
Get up close and personal with these cute little creatures at the Discovery Centre, then spend some time exploring the island.
Afterwards, take a cruise or even try snorkelling through the Shoalwater Marine Park.
There you might see wild dolphins, rare Australian sea lions and a fossilised ancient forest.
The Penguin Island Ferry leaves from the Shoalwater Foreshore Mersey Point, Rockingham.
15- Sample Local Produce in the Swan Valley
If you consider yourself a foodie and love fresh produce and locally made products, you will want to visit the Swan Valley.
Found on the northern edge of Perth, this compact wine region is filled with small farms, vineyards, gourmet providores, breweries, orchards, and distilleries.
There are many guided wine tours to choose from, or simply drive yourself through the valley and see where the journey takes you.
The main roads in the Swan Valley are West Swan Road and the Great Northern Highway, Herne Hill.
16- Experience Rottnest Island
Internationally renowned for being the home of the selfie-loving quokka, Rottnest Island is only a short boat ride away from the Perth mainland.
You can get to the island using the daily ferries that leave from Hillarys and Fremantle, or by chartering your own private yacht.
Once you get there, you can explore the island by foot or bike, visiting the different coves and jumping in for a snorkel and swim.
Some of the best spots are The Basin, Pinky Beach, Salmon Bay and Armstrong Bay.
If you’re lucky, you might spot a seal or dolphin.
The ferries for Rottnest Island leave from Victoria Quay, Fremantle, and Hillarys Boat Harbour, Hillarys.
17- Spend The Day At Hillarys Boat Harbour
It is easy to spend the day at Hillarys Boat Harbour as there is so much to see and do.
The boardwalk is covered in boutique shops and a huge range of restaurants to suit every palate and budget.
In summer, enjoy a swim at the marina beach and try out the fun park rides and aqua park inflatables.
Alternatively, go to the beach next door, Sorrento, for a quick dip in the ocean.
Sharing a carpark with Hillarys Boat Harbour is AQWA, the Aquarium of Western Australia.
Here, you can interact with, and learn about some of WA’s unique marine wildlife.
Hillarys Boat Harbour is at the corner of Hepburn and Whitfords Avenue, Hillarys.
18- Have Fun At Outback Splash
North of Perth, in the unassuming area of Bullsbrook, is Australia’s most exciting waterpark – Outback Splash.
Towering a massive six storeys, the huge range of water slides and water features are perfect for cooling down on a warm Perth day.
Aside from the waterpark, Outback Splash also has a mini-golf course, a series of different sized mazes to get lost in and some adorable native Australian wildlife to meet.
Outback Splash is at 1635 Neaves Road, Bullsbrook.
19- Get Active At Perth Wake Park And Aqua Park
Perth Wake Park is Western Australia’s only cable wakeboard park.
Their friendly staff will start by helping you learn to stand up on the beginners’ cables.
Once you’re up and feeling confident, you can head over to the large cable on the main lake.
The Perth Wake Park has all equipment you need, either to hire or buy.
There are three levels of board for hire, some of which can be used to tackle the jumps and obstacles littered around the lake.
On the same premises is the Perth Aqua Park, a massive inflatable fun park with over 100 different obstacles.
With 50-minute sessions, there is plenty of time for you to exhaust yourself jumping, swimming, and sliding.
Perth Wake Park is at the corner of Mundijong and St Albans Road, Baldivis.
20- Explore Yanchep Crystal Cave
Most of Perth sits on top of a natural limestone foundation.
Up at Yanchep Crystal Cave, you can explore the only underground cave in Perth that is open to tourists.
Within the cave, there are dripping stalactites, growing stalagmites and a mirror-smooth lake.
Your tour guide will be able to teach you all about the cave’s history, geology, and ecosystem as you progressively get deeper into the earth.
The Crystal Cave is in the Yanchep National Park, Yanchep.
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