The Best Day Trips From Perth By Yourself
Next to all the fun things to do in Perth solo, there are many exciting places to visit around Perth. Unique landmarks, rock formations, native wildlife and birdlife, living fossils, quirky places, and food and wine regions make it an ideal day trip. Furthermore, Perth’s gorgeous Mediterranean-like climate and the two oceans have shaped the 50km coastline that stretches from the Northern suburbs to Fremantle and further south to Busselton, Margaret River, and Augusta Perth, a hub for great self-drive trips. Here are my picks for the best day trips from Perth by car.
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Located 200 km north of Perth, in the Nambug National Park, the Pinnacles Desert is a scenic drive with eerie limestone pillars up to the 4-meter height that creates a surreal landscape and the perfect escape from the city buzz.
You may drive around them by car, wander on foot, and stop to take photos. The best time to visit is just before sunset when the sunlight reflection does the magic and adds the glowing reds and yellow nuances for picture-perfect scenery. The Pinnacles are perfect for one day trip from Perth city.
The Yanchep National Park
If you like nature and want to see Kangaroos and Koalas in the wild, the Yanchen National Park must spot native Australian animals. For active travellers, walking in the deep forests is a great idea. Also, you can extend your day road trip to Lancelin to enjoy a superb ocean view from the summit of white dunes and rent a sandboard if you feel adventurous. A worthwhile place outside of Perth that you can combine with the Pinnacles trip.
Hillary Harbour and the Northern Beaches
Perth is famous for its beaches. While the most popular sites are in the city, they are pretty busy. If you prefer a more peaceful and rewarding experience, hit the road for a short self-drive north of Perth to Hillary’s Harbour.
From there, you can bike through the coastal cycling path. Make sure you stop at the many boardwalks to soak in the pristine landscape from Ocean Reef’s lookout. Likewise, you can sit and relax at Hillary Harbour, where you find all types of shops, restaurants and funky cafes. A boat tour out to the ocean to dolphin watching is also an attraction among visitors and the perfect way to end your day trip and enjoy the sunset.
If food and wine are one of your interests, then Swan Valley is the place for you. This is a trendy area for wine tastings and food production outside Perth. Many cellar doors have on-site restaurants, too, in beautiful orchards, so the combination is ideal for epicurean travellers. This is a beautiful scenic drive out of Perth, but if you don’t fancy driving by yourself, I recommend going on a guided day trip to the Swan Valley with King Mini Charter Bus to visit wineries, cheese and chocolate factories and more local producers.
Another option for a day out to the Swan Valley is to go on a boat tour from Elizabeth Quay. They also include lunch and they have great informative commentary throughout the journey. It is a great experience to learn about the Swan River’s history and how Perth and its region developed over time.
Perth’s southbound sites have many delightful sites for one gorgeous day trip from Perth city. Busselton is just at the doorsteps of the Margaret River Region. It’s a bit of a drive, but worth it if you plan in some pit-stops along your way. Leave early morning to make the most of your trip to Busselton.
Busselton is famous for its 1.8 km long jetty, making it one of the world’s longest piers. The main attractions are the marine aquarium with see-through platforms and walls and the history display. Take a fun train ride to the end of the jetty, visit the aquarium and walk back to shore.
If you like things out of the ordinary, then a visit to Gnomesville is the place to visit around Perth. I saw this quirky place a few years ago and loved it. Set in the Ferguson Valley, at the Dardanup’s roundabout, you will stun by this collection, which has turned into a massive display of garden gnomes over a decade. Visitors kept adding their pieces as a holiday donation or in the memorial of loved ones.
Nowadays, it counts +10 thousand garden gnomes. And there are gnomes in all sizes and shapes: climbing on trees, sitting on clogs, flying a plane, or simply standing around.
There is also a Gnomesville Detention Centre for the naughty ones. This short drive south of Perth is worth it, and you can tie it in with a lovely day trip to nearby Bunbury.
Lake Clifton is located only 70 km south of Perth. This is a unique place to visit near Perth and not to miss out on when travelling south of Perth. Lake Clifton is a natural lake, and the peculiar things are the Thrombolites, round rock-like formations under the water, which are living fossils.
They are believed to be the oldest and first form of life on earth and are very similar to the famous Stromatolites you can see at Hamelin Pool in Shark Bay (Northwestern Australia). So this is another excellent place you can combine with a short day trip from Perth to Mandurah.
Last, you cannot leave Perth without seeing the little Quokkas on Rottnest. These cute marsupials are the icon of Rottnest island. Take a morning ferry from Fremantle and spend a day on Rottnest Island, the quirky island off Perth’s coast.
Hire a bike and cycle and soak in the peacefulness of this amazing car-free haven; cycle to the lighthouse, and around Rotto, there are over 60 beaches and more tiny bays to stop at.
Alternatively, you can hop on and off the bus that takes you on a round trip of Rottnest Island, or if you have more time, book a boat tour to see dolphins and explore marine life. I recommend going on weekdays to avoid the crowds that flock to Rottnest at the weekend.
Plan your Day Trips From Perth
If you plan to tour Perth’s surroundings, finding the best accommodation is essential, maybe overlooking the Swan River, so that you can easily plan your activities and day trips from a great central spot.
No matter when you visit Perth, Western Australia, there is no shortage of things to do. These are all great places to visit on easy and fun day trips from Perth city.
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First published in 2017, last updated in June 2023
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