Things to do in western Australia

Perth is the capital city of Western Australia, and for those lucky enough to live or travel here, it is where you will likely begin your explorations of this amazing state. There are so many things to do in Perth that it’s hard to narrow it down to 20.

There’s something for everyone here, including plenty of things to do in Perth with kids. Make every weekend awesome by going down the list once a week and exploring something new.

I grew up in the southwest of Australia and have spent many years living in Perth and constantly exploring this beautiful city and state. I hope you love it just as much as I do and are inspired to get out and enjoy all the wonderful things this city has to offer.

Once you’ve finished exploring these fun things to do in Perth and are looking further afield, check out the best weekend getaways from Perth to plan your next weekend break.

Kings Park

A perhaps little-known fact is that this beautiful inner-city park is one of the largest in the world. Bigger than both Central Park in New York and Hyde Park in London, it has a huge area of native bushland crisscrossed with walking trails, as well as containing the Western Australian Botanic Garden.

Sitting atop a large hill overlooking the city, you get amazing views of the city center and the sparkling Swan River as it snakes through the city. There are many beautiful spots to spread a picnic mat, or you can enjoy a coffee at the cafe after exploring the gallery.

The walks through Kings Park are among the best Perth has to offer, and there are also guided walks on offer that will teach you about native flora, fauna, and history. There are so many places to explore in the park, but some top spots are:

The Lotterywest Federation Walkway

The State War Memorial

Kaarta Gar-up Viewpoint

The DNA tower

The Rio Tinto Naturescape

The May Drive Parklands

Hit The Beach

Perth is blessed with some of the best beaches in the country, if not the world. You really are spoiled for choice, with most of the coastline being easily accessible from the city. Even on busy days, the main beaches closest to the town have plenty of space for everyone.

Perth beaches offer a quiet vibe, with development being limited for the most part. There are still plenty of shops to get some fish and chips or a drink, but you really feel like you’re on holiday when you look around, and all you can see is sand, sea, and trees.

There are so many beaches it is hard to be specific. However, many have nearby businesses offering surfing lessons, kite-surfing lessons (Perth is a top kite-surfing destination), stand-up paddle board hire, and snorkeling/diving. Check out our list of the best beaches in Perth to help make your selection easier!

There is a different beach that best suits each activity, so do some research, and you will find that Perth has the perfect beach for you, no matter your choice of oceanic activities.

Hike The Hills

Perth lies on a fairly flat area called the Swan Coastal Plain. The eastern border of this plain rises into the Darling Scarp, which is an ancient geological fault stretching far along the coast from north to south. This is what is known locally as the ‘Perth Hills’ and offers a perfect escape from the city for half a day or more.

The best way to explore the hills is on foot, and there are plenty of great hikes to choose from. See here for some of the best hikes in Perth, all tried and tested, with details and instructions so you can find the perfect one to suit your timeframe and ability level.

There are plenty of country-style pubs, bakeries, and forested picnic areas to enjoy after you’ve worked up an appetite. While out in the hills, make sure to look up attractions in the place where you are hiking so you can make the most of the drive out there. The article linked a list of some of the nearby attractions to each hike.

Escape To Rottnest Island

After taking a ferry from Fremantle, you will feel like you have been transported far from the stress and commotion of city life. The tranquil, turquoise seascapes and perfect white sand beaches of Rottnest are a lovely escape for a day or even a whole week.

You don’t have to stay overnight as many ferries are running all day and into the early evening. You can pack a backpack, grab a bike on the other side, and spend a day cycling around, finding stunning little bays to yourself and adorable little quokkas to befriend.

The best thing to do, however, is to make the most of your trip by booking a couple of nights on the island. Once you’re here, you really won’t want to leave, and this way, you get to take in the stunning island sunset and the chilled evening vibes of the Rottnest Hotel. Check out the hotel Karma Rottnest; this is where we usually stay when we go.

For a detailed guide of all the things to do on the island and the best places to eat, drink, and stay, check out our full Rottnest Island day trip itinerary. Ferry costs vary by date and time, and there are multiple companies, so it is hard to provide accurate information. A quick Google search will provide the answers you seek (we always use Rottnest Express).

Explore The River – Sail, Kayak, SUP

The meandering Swan River cuts right through the heart of the city and offers many opportunities for fun and adventures. Being on the water gives you a new perspective on the surrounding scenery, and the tranquillity of bobbing down the river at sunrise or sunset is unbeatable.

Funcats Watersports in South Perth offers hire of kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, but best of all are the hobby-cats. These small two-person sailing boats allow you and a couple of friends to harness the power of the wind to fly around the river with the city rising as a perfect backdrop on the opposite bank.

If slow travel and relaxation are more your thing, then check out Nauti Picnics. This company rents out electric boats, with a picnic table in the middle surrounded by comfy cushions, which allow you and a group of friends to explore the river while you feast slowly. No skippers’ ticket is required.

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