Feature by Max VeenhuyzenDay trips from Perth

Long days, good weather, big smiles: summer in Western Australia sure is grand.

Published December 2019

It’s also the perfect time of year to hit the road and spend the day exploring. Here are some of our favourite day trips, whether you’re travelling by car, boat or even air.


Fremantle might be less than half an hour from Perth, but the port city’s boho, maritime spirit offers a different take on life in WA. While the famous Cappuccino Strip buzzes on weekends, dedicated cafes such as Hush Specialty Coffee and Micro Lote keep residents caffeinated. A strong calendar of events ensures there’s a permanent buzz around live music venue Freo.Social, while the Fremantle Arts Centre celebrates creativity in its many forms. Once you’ve done admiring the area’s historic buildings and hotels, you could do worse than settling in for dinner at Bread in Common or Manuka Woodfire Kitchen, two of the best of Fremantle’s bustling restaurants.

Bread in Common
Bread in Common, Fremantle


The Swan Valley’s first vines were planted in 1829, making it Australia’s second-oldest wine region. The valley doesn’t just have history on its side: it’s also just a 30-minute drive from Perth’s CBD. While wine remains a strength – among the big-scale cellar doors, Sandalford and Mandoon Estate lead the way, while Talijancich, John Kosovich Wines and Lamont’s are among the area’s favourite smaller, family-owned operations – craft breweries such as Feral Brewing and Elmar’s are also popular. Drop by Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery to immerse yourself in local Aboriginal culture.

Mandoon Estate & Homestead BreweryMandoon Estate & Homestead Brewery, Swan Valley          


Less than an hour from Perth’s city centre, the Darling Ranges and its many villages and enclaves provide rich pickings for independent travellers. Start your self-drive adventure in the historic town of Mundaring before heading onto landmarks such as the Mundaring Weir and the Perth Observatory near Bickley. For those that prefer their attractions a little less man-made, consider the area’s many hikes and walking trails, including the 1000km-long Bibbulmun Track that stretches down to Albany. Local wineries, cideries and cafes, meanwhile, are on-hand to feed and water the weary: chief among an impressive lot is Millbrook, a beautiful winery restaurant with its own kitchen garden.

Mundaring Weir, Perth Hills


Two words: quokka selfie. Although these cute, photogenic marsupials are Rottnest Island’s most famous drawcard, the island – locally referred to as Rotto and a 90-minute ferry ride from the city (25 minutes from Fremantle) – has more to offer visitors than just plenty of photo ops. Spectacular beaches and bays make ideal rest-stops for walkers and cyclists working their way around the island (Rottnest is a car-free zone). Looking for somewhere to admire the scenery with a little less physical exertion? Pinky’s Beach Club at new eco-resort Discovery Rottnest Island fits the bill nicely. Air and helicopter transfers are also available.

Quokka at Rottnest Island
Quokka at Rottnest Island


A luxury Swan River Seaplanes tour whisks guests from the city centre to Margaret River in just an hour, meaning more time exploring the region’s world-class wineries (bonus: you’ll also enjoy a scenic flight and be back in Perth in time for pre-dinner drinks).

Swan River Seaplanes over the South West

Swan River Seaplanes over the South West

Take a look at this road trip from Perth