Positioned on the shores of the Swan River, Perth offers up warm weather, plenty to see and do as well as breathtaking scenery. From Harold Boas Gardens to the atmosphere of a game at Optus Stadium, there’s a near endless array of activities in Perth.
The state capital is loaded with alluring attractions for all ages and interests. There’s easy access to brilliant beaches, expansive gardens, majestic islands, alluring wineries, and history-rich precincts for starters.
And what’s more, this lively city is backed by abundant sunshine.
Tempted? Well, read on for your guide to the best things to do in Perth.
The sprawling grounds of Kings Park and Botanic Garden provide glorious CBD and river views from their elevated position. They are easily one of the best free things to do in Perth.
Highlights include the Federation Walkway, which features an arched bridge overlooking a sea of eucalypts; and the Western Australian Botanic Garden where floral delights, including seasonal wildflowers, surround you.
The Aboriginal Cultural Tours operating in Kings Park are a fantastic way to learn about the First Nations’ heritage of the area.
Among the top of the list for fun activities in Perth is a river cruise. There are ample options that glide along the Swan River and showcase sparkling scenery. If boats aren't your thing, pack a picnic and set up camp alongside the river and watch the world float by.
Or if you’re feeling more energetic, tackle the 10km-long Swan River Loop. With several entry and exit points, this popular walking-cycling path offers up endless riverside views.
Perth has plenty of enticing beaches. Whether you’re after a swim, wanting to catch some rays, a game of beach cricket or to relax with a book on the sand. There’s far too many to mention, but these beaches are not to be missed:
• Cottesloe Beach: A popular long strip of sand with a vibrant, grassy foreshore and dedicated walking path. Plenty of eateries at hand.
• City Beach: Excellent location, grassy parklands, backed by various cafés and restaurants.
• Scarborough: Beautiful waters and bustling amenities. It’s a crowd magnet for a reason.
• Trigg Beach: A favourite with surfers. Best suited to strong swimmers.
• Bathers Beach: Central within Fremantle. Generous stretch of white sand. Ideal for swimming and sunset watching.
The majestic Rottnest Island has long been a popular playground for locals, and it’s clear why.
With over 60 beautiful beaches, it's a hit for swimming and snorkelling. Biking is also popular here, and Rottnest has a fascinating past to unearth.
Yet possibly the biggest drawcard over the last few years are the super cute and friendly quokkas. They are simply adorable! You’ve no doubt seen your friends and family posting a #QuokkaSelfie after a visit to Rottnest.
Rottnest is easily accessed from Fremantle, Perth city, and Hillarys Boat Harbour.
Conveniently planted outside of Perth’s front gate – and even closer to BIG4 Perth Midland – is WA’s oldest wine region. The picturesque Swan Valley explodes with tastebud-tempting goodies.
Cellar doors, microbreweries, cideries, and distilleries are clustered alongside chocolatiers and boutiques offering all manner of sweet and savoury treats. Buzzing markets and cafés and restaurants will help to satisfy the pickiest or hungriest of appetites too.
Any overindulgence can be burned off on a walking or cycling track. There are even dedicated heritage trails that combine scenic landscapes with interesting historical finds.
Without doubt, a visit here is one of the most fun things to do in Perth.
The port city of Fremantle is another must-visit Perth attraction, and it typifies the diversity of the WA capital and its surrounds.
While just 30min from Perth city, Freo ‘feels’ so much different. Its historical vibe is rapidly evident through its striking old structures and its buzzing, yet laidback ambience is immediately gripping.
A stop at World Heritage Fremantle Prison is essential. Unearth a riveting past and explore its network of tunnels.
Elsewhere, sip coffee along the ‘Cappuccino Strip’, visit microbreweries, wander along the harbour, or view impressive street art in South Fremantle.
There are a few key museums to discover here also – more on them below.
Perth has several interesting indoor attractions that will brighten up any day, whether it’s shining or pouring outside. Try this trio for starters:
• Art Gallery of WA: Located within the Perth Cultural Centre. An impressive indigenous art collection is among its standouts.
• WA Maritime Museum: Fremantle based. A seriously comprehensive assortment that includes the winning America's Cup yacht, Australia II.
• WA Shipwrecks Museum: Absolutely fascinating Freo find. Delve into histories that are deserving of much more attention.
Contrastingly, Elizabeth Quay is a great place to be on a pleasant day or evening. The humming waterfront precinct boasts a beautiful city backdrop and features lively bars and restaurants, eye-catching artworks, promenades, and more.
It’s also a great space for families thanks to the addition of a water park and a playground.
Another popular Perth precinct is Yagan Square. Centrally located, it features various eateries, more enchanting art, and various green spaces and gardens.
Fremantle is regarded by many as the ‘birthplace of Australian craft beer’, so it would be remiss not to mention some of the many outstanding microbreweries to be found in various pockets of Perth.
In Freo, Little Creatures is a craft-beer stalwart with a super setup. While the newly opened 1500 capacity Gage Roads Brewery is just a ten minute walk away and serving up a wide tap selection of tasty beers with sunset views over the port.
If you don't want to pledge your allegiances to one brand ahead of your visit, why not grab a tasting paddle at the brilliantly-named Beerpourium on the main street of Freo. Wanting even more options around Fremantle? Why not check out the variety of drinks on offer at Union Brewery and Distillery or the craft brews served alongside Asian-fusion snacks at Running With Thieves.
A bit further out, Otherside Brewing has quickly emerged as a crowd favourite.
Caversham Wildlife Park houses a vast selection of Australian wildlife – including koalas, Tasmanian devils, and wombats – all within a park setting. This attraction includes up-close encounters and hands-on shows as well as keeper talks.
Elsewhere, Perth Zoo is home to fascinating creatures from around the world and delivers a hefty collection of behind-the-scenes experiences.
Opened in 2018, Optus Stadium is Perth’s shiny multi-purpose stadium. This striking building is the home ground of WA’s two AFL/AFLW teams – West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers, The Perth Scorchers in the BBL/WBBL – and hosts several other major sports and entertainment events. The likes of Manchester United, Chelsea have played friendlies here while acts such as Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Eminem and U2 have performed to adoring crowds.
While the atmosphere within the 60,000-seat stadium is electric at match time, guided tours are available outside of event days.
Make a day of it and arrive at the stadium by crossing the Swan River via the stunning Matagarup Bridge, a pedestrian suspension bridge, which looks even better lit up at night.
By arriving to the area early you can find time for a pint or beverage of your choice to calm those pre-game nerves at The Camfield. Serving up quality tap beers and sensational dishes, The Camfield comprises a brewery, five bars and a beer garden with views of Optus Stadium and plenty of screens to watch any sports action. Also, a place to celebrate or drown your sorrows after the match, the venue is set over 9000sqm, accommodating 2,500 customers as it lays claim to being the country’s biggest pub.
Alongside the various kids’ attractions within Kings Park and at Elizabeth Quay, the Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA) is a sure-fire winner for families.
There's a plethora of captivating marine activity in WA, and here you can witness so many examples of it in one place.
View sharks, turtles, rays, coral, and much more with superb viewing opportunities within the lengthy walk-through aquarium tunnel. The chance to dive with sharks is a real standout experience.
AQWA is located at Hillarys Boat Harbour, which buzzes with its shops, cafés, bars, seasonal sideshow amusements, and much more.
That's our top 12 things to do in Perth. But that is not all by any stretch. Read on if you're after extra suggestions, including what to do without impacting your hip pocket and day trips.
When looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, try the following:
• The Bell Tower: Funky building with a great observation deck. Makes for a fine photo subject, too.
• Perth Mint: Witness a gold-pouring demonstration and view the world's largest coin alongside other activities.
• Tractor Museum of WA: Machinery madness all for a small entry fee.
What better way to embrace free experiences than stopping and smelling the roses at a grand garden!
Kings Park might be the biggest magnet, but Perth has many more open spaces that are perfect for a picnic or a relaxing arvo. This trio warrants particular mention:
• Queens Gardens: Delightful East Perth park complete with water lily-covered lakes.
• Harold Boas Gardens: Shady inner-west park centred around a shimmering lake and featuring a rock cascade.
• Mardalup Park: Riverside setting once home to a gas works site. Artworks dotted around reflect this past.
Alternatively, John Forrest National Park offers a treasure-chest of natural delights, and all just 15min from BIG4 Perth Midland.
WA’s oldest national park, it features wildlife, waterfalls, wildflowers, and more that is all best viewed on a series of walking tracks.
Looking for more things to do? These excellent spots are all a 90min drive or less from BIG4 Perth Midland.
• Serpentine National Park: Variable landscapes create plenty of interest. Serpentine Falls are a key feature; best to arrive early to view.
• Rockingham: Pretty coastal city well-suited to water sports. Dolphin swims are a highlight.
• York: Charm-filled heritage township dominated by beautifully preserved buildings.
• Yanchep National Park: Scenic surrounds home to koalas, caves, and kangaroos.
• New Norcia: Australia’s only monastic town. Unique offering filled with outstanding architecture and plenty of fascinating finds.
• Margaret River: Sip through one of the country’s best wine regions. Want to stay overnight so you can really indulge? Stay at the nearby BIG4 Taunton Farm Margaret River.
Wanting to go further afield? Check out our list of 10 things you must do in South West WA for inspiration in the south of the state.