The city and surrounds of Perth has something to offer every holiday. If it’s sunshine, pristine beaches, winding rivers and rolling hills you are after, you are guaranteed to find it all here. For a slice of culture, the markets, nightlife and restaurants will suit you to a tee, offering an abundance of choices for the most selective tourist. Home to attractions as diverse as the landscapes surrounding this pretty city, you will need to base yourself here for at least a week to take in everything there is to offer here.
As the capital of Western Australia, Perth is also widely known for its pristine beaches which stretch up and down the far reaches of the coast. This region is also an underwater paradise, with the whale shark (the world’s largest fish) an attraction for divers, and friendly dolphins that swim to the water’s edge for tourist’s entertainment. There is every type of landscape within a short driving distance. But the best thing at the end of the day is that can return to Perth to relax and enjoy the culture of the city before you start another day trip filled with adventure.
The Perth Zoo is a must-see attraction, and is home to over 1600 species. Located just five minutes from the city on the banks of the Swan River, you will discover an abundance of interesting animals such as the Lemur, Siberian Tiger, Western Quoll and the cute Numbat. The children will love it here and it is open every day of the week so there really is no excuse.
The majestic Swan River meanders into the Swan Valley offering extensive wineries and stunning art galleries. This is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway or day trip and is suitable for couples or the whole family. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a drive into the lush valley which acts as a contrast from the beaches and aquatic attractions closer to the city. Spring is also a wonderful time to visit this region with the ‘Spring in the Valley’ festival bringing life, colour and vibrance to the valley, with wildflowers literally everywhere you look.
Another great picnic idea is to head out to the famous King Park, which is located only a short walk from the city. It spreads over Mount Eliza, and is the perfect way to enjoy the panoramic views of the river dotted with catamarans and yachts. Take a stroll through parklands or enjoy the magnificent botanical gardens that make this area so unique.
Just across from Perth is Rottnest Island, which is just as popular with tourists as locals. Although the name may not sound so appealing, the clear waters, great fishing spots and the cute quokkas that seem to own the island, will instanly draw you in and make you never want to leave. The best way to see Rottnest is to leave you campervan on the main land and get on a push bike. This will make for a peaceful and tranquil adventure like no other. You are bound to find your own private beach with over sixty to discover, or alternatively you can pay a visit the Rottnest Musuem. Be sure to bring your snorkels and you will be delighted with the underwater world albeit with shipwrecks and coral reefs.
If you are staying at Rottnest overnight at one of the villas or camping sites, make sure you watch the spectacular sunset from the Quokkas Arms Pub. It truly is one of the best spots in the country to watch the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.
Just half an hour out of Perth, you will come across Fremantle, which is a port city that needs to be seen for its heritage buildings, museum and authentic shopping. The markets here are extremely popular with locals and tourists alike, with every type of cuisine available, and trendy cafes lining the streets.
South from Perth you will find Mandurah. This beautiful town is known for its Ocean Marina surrounded by cafes, shops and parklands. This is a great place to enjoy a day cruise out into the ocean to look out for dolphins, pelicans and water birds. Every type of water activity is available here, and it is a fishermans delight with an abundance of marine life.
Rockingham has everything families and water lovers could possibly want, with plenty of safe beaches, and sailing, snorkelling and surfing all enjoyable past-times. Two of the favourite attractions here would have to be dolphin viewing tours that allow you to almost interact with the dolphins. Also taking the ferry out to Penguin Island is a must to see the fairy penguins in their own environment. This is a wonderful city to stay for a while to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and aquatic life.
Perth is also known for its swans. One of the most unique places to see the white swans is at Northam, which also has the longest suspension bridge in Australia. Nestled on the Avon River a lot further inland from the city, you can also enjoy a spot of white water rafting, canoeing and hot air ballooning.
Venture deeper into the hinterland, and you will come across the Avon Valley National Park, which is an ideal destination for a day trip of weekend escape. Take a drive inland to York, where you will find an array of museums, galleries and old buildings. There is plenty of bush camping here and friendly towns scattered throughout the valley. Another scenic drive is from Beverley to York via County Peak, with picturesque views over the lakes and countryside.
Perth is unique and beautiful in so many ways that it is impossible to list them all. The friendliness of the people, the diversity of wildlife and marine life so close together, and the loveliness of the country make this a destination that will capture your heart and imaginations for many years to come. It is a truly fantastic base to visit Western Australia more extensively, so make sure you start planning a self drive itinerary here soon.