The Best Day Trips From Perth
Although Perth is the most isolated city in the world with long travel distances, you will be surprised at the variety of things to do in the city of Perth and places to visit nearby. And there are many opportunities for fun day trips. Its ancient landscape offers many curious travellers who can discover unique landmarks and rock formations, native wildlife, abundant birdlife, living fossils, premium food and wine regions, and quirky places nearby.
Furthermore, Perth’s gorgeous Mediterranean-like climate and the two oceans have shaped the 50km of coastline that stretches from Northern suburbs to Fremantle and further south to Busselton, Margaret River, and Augusta Perth, a hub for great self-drive trips.
I love Perth and have travelled it extensively on my solo adventures in Australia.
Here is my compilation with eight top rewarding day trips from Perth.
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 truly surreal landscape and the perfect escape from the city buzz. You may drive around them by car or 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 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, it is a great idea for walking in the deep forests. Also, you can extend your day road trip to Lancelin to enjoy a superb view of the ocean from the summit of white dunes and maybe rent a sandboard if you feel adventurous. A worthwhile day trip from Perth that you can combine with the Pinnacles.
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 and drive up north of Perth to Hillary’s Harbour.
From there, you can take a bike ride 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 just outside Perth. Many cellar doors have onsite restaurants, too, in beautiful orchards, so the combination is ideal for epicurean travellers. You can visit cheese and chocolate factories to honey, dairy producers and much more.
This is a beautiful scenic drive out of Perth, but if you don’t fancy driving by yourself, I recommend going to the Swan Valley on a boat tour from Elizabeth Quay for the informative commentary. 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 to choose from for one gorgeous day trip from Perth city. Busselton is just at the doorsteps to the Margaret River Region. It’s a bit of a drive, but worth it if you plan in some pit-stops along your way. 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 visited this quirky place a few years ago and loved it. Set in the Ferguson Valley, at the Dardanup’s roundabout, you will stun at 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 worthy it, and you can tie it in with a gorgeous day trip to nearby Bunbury.
Lake Clifton is located only 70 km south of Perth. This is a unique place to visit and something 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 that you can combine with a short day trip from Perth to Mandurah.
Last but not least, 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 your day on the famous island off Perth’s coast.
Hire a bike and cycle and soak in the peacefulness of this car-free haven; cycle to the lighthouse, and around the island, 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, or if you have more time, book a boat tour to see dolphins and explore marine life. I do recommend going on week-days to avoid the crowds that flock to Rotto at the weekend.
If you plan to tour Perth’s surrounds, finding the best accommodation is important, maybe overlooking the Swan River, so that you can easily plan your activities and day trips from a great central spot.
Check this site for the best accommodation options in Perth.
No matter when you will visit Perth, Western Australia, there is no shortage of things to do. These are all great places to visit in and around Perth on easy day trips that are good to take throughout the year.
You can hire a car for a self-driving experience, use public transportation whenever possible, or join an organised tour to some of these places.
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