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Stay and play – Perth, WA

Set on the snaking Swan River, lined with beautiful beaches, and boasting ample sunshine, WA’s capital is ripe for exploration.

Beautiful beaches are a signature of Perth. Pictured: Cottesloe Beach. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Where is it?

Perth is 2695km west of Adelaide (29hr drive). By air, a flight from Sydney to Perth takes 4hr 15min, 3hr 30min from Melbourne, and 2hr 50min departing Adelaide.

Why go?

As an energetic city, Perth delivers exceptional experiences for all tastes. Its inviting Mediterranean climate is just a bonus.

For easier navigation, we’ve divided this article into three sections:

  • Essential Perth experiences
  • Free things to do in Perth
  • Attractions near Perth

Perth royally entertains. Pictured: Kings Park. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

The essentials – things to do in Perth

Bell Tower

While some locals might find it bemusing, this attraction is among the largest musical instruments on the planet. The striking structure was custom-built to house the bells of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields Church and the parish church of Buckingham Palace in Trafalgar Square, London. Climb to the top for sweeping views.

Striking: The Bell Tower is a unique attraction.


The vibrant maritime suburb is a must-visit with its trendy eateries and microbreweries, beautiful beaches, and much more. It’s also home to two of the state’s most intriguing cultural finds: action-packed WA Maritime Museum and Fremantle Prison. The latter includes fascinating guided tours. 

Fascinating Freo has loads to see and do. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Rottnest Island

Stunning beaches and bays, endless aquatic adventure, free walking tours, and various historical attractions make Rottnest a daytrip delight. And then there are thousands of those iconic and cute quokkas. Regular ferry services reach Rottnest with ease.

Just look at this little cutie! Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Perth Mint

Strike gold at the Perth Mint, which delivers a complete sensory experience. Watch a gold-pour demonstration – trust us, more exciting than it sounds – or take a guided heritage walk and follow a path that’s, well, paved in gold.

A visit to Perth Mint is money well spent. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Hillarys Boat Harbour

A local’s favourite, Hillarys is set right on the water and glistens with dining establishments, retail outlets, and water-based activities. While here, visit the popular Aquarium of Western Australia.

Head for Hillarys. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Swan Valley wine region

The state’s oldest wine district is a prime place to indulge. Dozens of cellar doors create an enviable assortment of reds and whites that dazzle the tastebuds. And this area is not just about great grapes – microbreweries, distilleries, and enticing eateries come together among beautiful surrounds.

First-rate indulgence: Swan Valley. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Caversham Wildlife Park

Also located in the Swan Valley is this leading wildlife attraction with its much-loved native animals. It’s best to time a visit to coincide with daily activities that include koala-holding and hand-feeding kangaroos.

Perth Zoo

Continue the wildlife theme with a visit to this popular zoo, home to creatures from across the world. Some seriously cool up-close encounters add more excitement to an outing within the action-packed grounds.

Koala-holding is among Caversham's gripping experiences. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Free things to do in Perth

Kings Park and Botanic Garden

These sprawling surrounds on the city’s edge create one of Perth’s most popular attractions. It has much to do with the magnificent city views gifted near the State War Memorial or atop the DNA Tower. Also thrown into the mix are dedicated walkways, kids’ play areas, 3000-plus varieties of WA plants, and much more. 

Climbing the DNA Tower is a Kings Park essential. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Perth beaches

The city is loaded with sparkling strips of sand. A trio of beaches often steal the headlines, all suited to swimming and other aquatic leisure. They are:

  • Scarborough Beach: A crowd magnet regarded as one of the best white sand surf beaches globally. Bars, cafés, and other amenities are abundant.
  • Cottesloe Beach: Supreme sand and beautiful waters are backed by grassed patches perfect for picnics and watching sunsets.
  • City Beach: White sand and aqua waters are joined by landscaped areas for BBQs, picnics, and play. 

Crowd magnet: Scarborough Beach. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

And let's have another look at Cottesloe. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Swan River Walking Trail

This 10km walking-cycling path circles around the Swan River and is a treat for the eyes. Notable sights include Elizabeth Quay, Barrack Street Jetty, and the South Perth Foreshore. You’ll get your step count right up, and the cost is measured only in calories.

The walking trail passes lively Elizabeth Quay. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Perth Cultural Centre

Art, culture, and community combine on the fringes of the city’s famed entertainment hub, Northbridge. Leading attractions here include the Art Gallery of Western Australia with 18,000-plus works and the WA Museum Boola Bardip, which has a bucketload of interesting items to view. 

You can easily go down a rabbit hole at WA Museum Boola Bardip. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Things to do near Perth

John Forrest National Park

WA’s first national park is close to the CBD and yet feels a world away from it. Waterfalls and wildlife are dotted among largely untouched jarrah forest, and various walking tracks allow easy exploration of the gorgeous scenery.

Distance: 25km east of Perth.

The state's first national park provides a feeling of being a million miles from city life.

Perth Hills

Several cute townships are clustered in these parts and reveal a marvellous mix of boutique wineries, cideries, eateries, and galleries that feature among bushland. A stop at Araluen Botanic Park is highly recommended, particularly for floral fanatics.

Distance: 35km southeast of Perth (to Armadale).

Serpentine National Park

Part of the Perth Hills area, this pretty park is highlighted by spectacular Serpentine Falls that flow into a rock-rimmed pool below. The pleasant environment is home to kangaroos and plentiful bird life, too. Throw in ample shaded areas and you have a prime picnic spot.

Distance: 65km southeast of Perth.

Spectacular: Serpentine National Park. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Perth’s Instagram essential

That award goes to Crawley Edge Boatshed, aka Blue Boat House. It’s hard to measure these things, but this Swan River attraction would surely have to rank as one of Perth’s most photographed attractions.

Crawley Edge Boatshed shines in front of the camera. Credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Random fact

Perth is closer to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, than it is to its own country’s capital, Canberra.

Perth accommodation

Looking for a holiday park in Perth? You can find your perfect stay below.

BIG4 Perth Midland Tourist Park

Park type: Classic.

This tranquil park is positioned on the fringes of the beautiful Swan Valley, 20km from Perth, and is surrounded by lush, native gardens.

You'll be kicking goals with a stay at BIG4 Perth Midland.

Cabins ranging from deluxe to budget are available alongside various caravan and camping sites, including drive-through options.

A heated outdoor spa-swimming pool, BBQ area, camp kitchen, and recreation room are among leading in-park facilities.

Tell me more

The perfect place after a busy day exploring.

Ready for your park up in Perth? Book your adventure below.

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