Enjoy beaches, bushlands, world-class wines and ocean sunsets, all within 30 minutes from Perth.
You can easily experience all of Perth’s ‘must sees’ and ‘must dos’ in as little as five days, including the panoramic views from Kings Park, Fremantle history, Rottnest’s beautiful beaches, Western Australia’s oldest wine region, and the dolphin playgrounds of Rockingham and Mandurah. Go discover what makes it one of the world’s most liveable cities.
Best time: September to March (to coincide with the wildflowers, festivals and best of the beach weather)
- Kings Park & Botanic Garden
- Rottnest Island
- Swan Valley
- Perth beaches
The view from Kings Park
Morning: Perth to Kings Park
Begin your day the way many Perth locals love to start theirs, by taking in the iconic cityscape on a morning walk, run, drive or cycle along the
Swan River foreshore.
From here, it’s just a short hop up to the best views in the city from
Kings Park and Botanic Garden – one of the largest inner city parks in the world. Catch the free CAT bus, make the ten-minute drive, or take the 25-minute walk from the centre of Perth.
Head for the information centre, at the end of Fraser Avenue, to pick up maps and find out about regular
guided walks and cultural tours.
A visit between August and September brings the added bonus of spring blooms, when the park is filled with Western Australian wildflowers.
Afternoon: Kings Park to Perth
Lunch in Kings Park, or head back to Perth and discover the hidden gems of the West End, laneways and arcades – from chic fashion boutiques and quirky cafes, to cool small bars.
Perth’s award winning chefs plate up the finest fresh local produce with premium wines. Check out the
Australian Good Food Guide for restaurant options.
Book an early table and catch a show at
Perth Concert Hall,
State Theatre, Heath Ledger Theatre or
His Majesty’s Theatre.
Fishing Boat Harbour, Fremantle
Morning: Perth to Fremantle
Fremantle and its beautifully preserved 19th century port streetscape, is just a 30-minute drive or train ride from central Perth. Or you can take the scenic route via the
Swan River, on a cruise from
Barrack Street Jetty.
Head for the Cappuccino Strip to ponder the impossibly long list of morning coffee options before hitting the history trail to World Heritage listed
Fremantle Prison. On an insightful guided tour of this maximum security gaol you’ll learn of the conditions endured by convicts and the daring escapes during its 136-years of operation.
In striking contrast, a visit to the modern architecturally designed
Western Australian Maritime Museum gives unique views of some of the most awe-inspiring vessels in maritime history.
If you’re visiting on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday, experience the aromas, produce and crafts of
Fremantle Markets – shoppers and visitors have been drawn here for more than a century.
Feast on fresh fish and chips at Fremantle’s
Fishing Boat Harbour for lunch. It’s been the best place to grab the catch of the day since the early 1900s.
Or sample some local handcrafted beers at one of the city’s brew houses, alongside a tasty small bites menu and a lively family-friendly atmosphere.
Spend the rest of the afternoon soaking up Freo’s free-spirited attitude – it’s a mecca for artists from the worlds of fashion, music, performing arts, painting, Aboriginal art and sculpture. Explore the boutiques and galleries and check out the
calendar of events for arts festivals.
Evening: Fremantle or Cottesloe to Perth
Select from Fremantle’s eclectic mix of bars and restaurants, or take the 15-minute drive to Perth’s iconic
Cottesloe Beach for drinks and dinner beside an Indian Ocean sunset.
Cycle, swim and paddle around Rottnest Island
Morning: Perth to Rottnest Island
Head out to Perth’s idyllic island playground – a car-free Class A reserve known as
Rottnest Island, or ‘Rotto’ for short.
A morning ferry from Fremantle will get you there in just 25-30 minutes. Regular ferries also run from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty and
Hillarys Boat Harbour.
At only 11 by 4.5 kilometres, Rottnest is easy to explore in a day. Pick up maps and guides from the
Rottnest Island Visitor Centre and choose your preferred method of transport – the
Bayseeker Bus, bike hire or walking.
Before leaving Thomson Bay Settlement, stock up on water and picnic supplies at the island’s bakery, cafes or general store.
Head up to
Oliver Hill to discover some of Rottnest’s military history, or follow the coast to pretty
Little Salmon Bay.An in depth perspective
"#quokkaselfie: How to Pose Like a Quokka"
Afternoon: Rottnest to Perth
Take your pick from the island’s 63 white-sand beaches and 20 clear bays for a lazy picnic lunch.
Little Parakeet Bay is a picturesque spot for a swim and snorkel.
Keep a look out for Western Australia’s cutest marscupial, the quokka, seeking shade under the trees and shrubs.
Return to Thomson Bay and head for the cafes or bars for an afternoon drink, taking in the view of Perth’s city skyline from across the Indian Ocean.
Head back to the jetty to catch the afternoon ferry back to Perth, Fremantle or Hillarys.
Sample wine and cheese at Lancaster Winery, Swan Valley
Morning: Perth to Swan Valley
Just a 25-minute drive from the city brings you to the wineries and microbreweries, gourmet treats, fresh produce, arts, crafts and beautiful bushlands of the
Swan Valley – Western Australia’s oldest wine region.
Your day of indulgence begins in Perth’s oldest inland town,
Guildford, where you can pick up a free map of the
Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail at the
Swan Valley Visitor Centre.
If you have a designated driver for the day, let them take you cellar door hopping. Verdelho, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet and fortifieds are among the specialties of the region.
Some of the wineries offer alfresco dining beside the vineyards, pairing their wines with fine fresh local produce.
Appreciators of hand-crafted beers will also find plenty to tempt their palate at the region’s boutique breweries, many serving light bites and hearty fare for a lazy lunch in the beer garden.
Afternoon: Swan Valley to Perth
Follow lunch with a sugar hit from the Swan Valley’s makers of fine sweet treats, including chocolate, nougat, nuts, ice creams and sorbets.
The region is a hotspot for arts and crafts too. Browse the galleries and workshops for unique pieces by local sculptors, painters, potters, printmakers and woodworkers.
If you’re travelling with children, there are lots of fun ways to keep them entertained, including
Caversham Wildlife Park,
Outback Splash Family Fun Park (home of The Maze),
Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail and many more.
To return to Perth, head to Guildford and retrace your tracks west along Guildford Road.
Dolphins near Rockingham
Morning: Perth to Rockingham
Setting off early on the Kwinana Freeway south from Perth, allow at least 45 minutes for the journey to
Rockingham, so you arrive in time for a dolphin swim or watching tour from the jetty.
Tours depart daily from September to early June, and are from three to six hours, depending on dolphin activity and sightings on the day.
With a string of cafes and restaurants lining Rockingham’s waterfront, lunch or afternoon tea is just a short stroll from the jetty.
Afternoon: Rockingham to Mandurah
For more marine encounters, take the short drive south to
Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. Ferries and wildlife cruises to
Penguin Island operate daily between 10am and 3pm (September to June), introducing you to Western Australia’s largest colony of little penguins, as well as rare Australian sea lions and a variety of seabirds.
Or, make the 20-minute drive south to
Mandurah, where wild dolphins are frequently spotted year-round in the calm blue-green waters of Mandurah’s bay and connecting waterways. You can also encounter them on a short dolphin cruise.
Spend the rest of your afternoon browsing the shops, galleries and cultural centres that line the city’s shoreline, or enjoy some of the many other water-based activities on offer – crabbing, fishing, swimming, kayaking, boating, bird watching... the list goes on.
Evening: Mandurah to Perth
Dine out at a waterfront cafe or restaurant, or in true local style, tuck in to a fresh feast of fish and chips on the manicured lawns of Mandurah’s foreshore and don’t forget to keep your eye out for more dolphins in the bay.
Join the Kwinana Freeway heading north from Mandurah and you’ll be back in Perth within an hour.
Important Travel Information
- Be Sun Smart. Always apply sunscreen (at least +15 SPF), wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and drink plenty of water. If you’re visiting in the warmer months (December to March), seek some shade between 11am and 3pm. See
Cancer Council WA for more advice.
- Surf and marine conditions can vary significantly. Always read safety signs and swim between the red and yellow Lifesaving flags. Get more tips from
- Be aware that drivers are subject to alcohol limits that are strictly enforced. Moderation is always advised.
- Public car parks generally charge hourly fees in the heart of the city. You can opt to park on the outskirts and use the free Fremantle CAT (Central Area Transport) Service.
- Fremantle can also be accessed by train or bus from Perth city. Go to the
Transperth website for timetables.
- All dolphin tours by boat are subject to weather conditions.
- The dolphins are generally very consistent in their habits and behaviours. However, as they are wild animals, sightings and interactions are not 100% guaranteed. See the tour operators’ terms and conditions for details.
*Distances marked with * include travel from Perth-to-Port by road and Port-to-Rottnest by ferry.
**Distances marked with ** are based on travel via bicycle.
Perth & Surrounds|
Perth to Kings Park
Perth to Fremantle
Fremantle to Cottesloe
Cottesloe to Perth
Perth to Rottnest Island (via Barrack Street Jetty)*
Perth to Rottnest Island (via Fremantle)*
Perth to Rottnest Island (via Hillarys Boat Harbour)*
Thomson Bay Settlement to Oliver Hill (via salt lakes)**
Thomson Bay Settlement to Oliver Hill (via Little Salmon Bay)**
Oliver Hill to Little Parakeet Bay**
Perth to Guildford
Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail
Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail**
Guildford to Caversham Wildlife Park
Guildford to Bullsbrook (Outback Splash Family Fun Park)
Perth to Rockingham
Rockingham to Shoalwater
Rockingham to Mandurah
Mandurah to Perth
Find out more about
Head to the Experience Perth website for more itineraries and further information on things to see and do in the region.Find Out More