Perth is a spectacular city filled with art, culture, fine dining, excellent outdoor excursions and top-notch entertainment, but everyone needs a break from the big city sometimes. Use this guide to find great day trips from Perth that are within a short drive or in reach of public transport.
The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park in Cervantes are stunning limestone rock formations located about 200 kilometres north of Perth. You can drive to the Pinnacles or take a coach tour from the city. Cervantes is the gateway to the park and boasts the Pinnacles Desert. You can explore the area from the Pinnacles Loop, a road that can be walked or driven to see the striking limestone pillars on golden sands. You may also see native wildlife like emus on your excursion.
The Avon Valley boasts several areas with charming townships, pioneer history and tranquil countryside. You can visit New Norcia to sample artisan foods like breads and cakes before touring the cellars beneath the monastery to sample ale, or you can drive the PUBLIC Silo Trail to marvel at murals that don the sides of towering silos. Tour companies also offer balloon rides to take in the views of the valley from above. The Avon Valley can be reached by car in 1 to 2 hours.
Fremantle is a bustling waterfront city with a fascinating history, excellent dining and delicious craft beers. You’ll find several local breweries and heritage pubs, as well as the Fremantle Markets, which offer artisan goods and produce. You could also visit the Fremantle Prison, where you can tour old prison cells and learn about the convict history in the area. Fremantle is a short drive from Perth via major highways, or you can take a train.
Rockingham is an outdoor adventurer’s haven. Located only an hour south of Perth, it’s known for its wild dolphin encounters. Several companies offer boat tours that take you out into the ocean where you can get into the water and swim among the frolicking dolphins. Penguin Island, home to a colony of little penguins, is also nearby. You can drive or take a train to Rockingham from Perth.
Swan Valley, a short drive northeast of Perth, is located in the state’s oldest wine region. The area is known for its wineries that produce Verdelho, Petit Verdot and chenin blanc, as well as other wine varieties from grapes that grow in abundance in the dry, warm climate. You’ll also find an array of microbreweries with cider and beer, as well as fine distilleries. Tours are available to experience all the local offerings, along with artisan cheese and chocolate.
Busselton is a lovely area just over 200 kilometres south of Perth. It boasts one of the world’s longest wooden piers, which is the focus of many of the attractions. You can walk along the jetty to reach an underwater observatory and dine below the ocean’s surface. Busselton is also a popular spot to see dolphins playing and migrating whales that stop in the bay with their offspring. Busselton is easily reached by car from major highways.
Serpentine National Park
Serpentine National Park is about an hour’s drive south of Perth. The vast parkland has beautiful hiking trails among dense foliage, as well as excellent swimming holes with cascading waterfalls along the Serpentine River that are refreshing on a hot day. The North Dandalup Important Bird Area overlaps the park and has roosting sites that are home to an array of birds like long-billed black cockatoos, red-capped parrots, rufous treecreepers, red-winged fairywrens, western thornbills and western spinebills that are favourites of bird-watchers.
Rottnest Island can be reached by ferry from Perth in about 90 minutes. The island is known for its quokkas, a type of furry macropod with a charming smile. They often emerge to forage, so it’s best to cycle or walk around the island and spend the evening to catch a glimpse of them. You could take a free guided tour as well, which gives you the best opportunity for photos. The island also boasts numerous beaches on tranquil bays that are popular for snorkelling.
If you’re planning an excursion to Perth and want to enjoy one of these excellent day trips, Expedia can help. Check out our accommodation options in Perth to plan your fun-filled holiday.