Hopping into a car and driving around Perth is the best way to sample its treasures.
Try our 10 day itinerary to experience the best that Perth has to offer.
The jewel of Western Australia gets more daylight than any other Australian capital city, with the sun out for at least 8 hours a day.
Summers are hot and winters are fairly mild in this Mediterranean climate. Perth is famous for its uncrowded beaches, where you don’t have to fight for space. White sand contrasts with aquamarine water that’s so transparent, you can see through it. This is the west coast, so the sun sets over the ocean – a sight you won’t soon forget.
Enchanting as this is, there’s so much more to appreciate than sun and sea. Perth ranks as one of the most liveable cities in the world and it’s a hot destination for visitors.
Hopping into a car and driving around Perth is the best way to sample its treasures. There are so many options, how do you narrow it down? If you’re feeling spontaneous, you could print out a map, put on a blindfold, grab a handful of pins and leave it to fate. Or you could follow our guide that we’ve carefully prepared!
Ready for the ride? Buckle up.
You can follow our guide by driving to each location and staying there for the night. We’ve made sure you’re not driving for more than an hour from one location to the next. Click here to see all 10 days.
Alternatively, you may wish to remain based in the CBD and drive back and forth to select destinations. This is possible because the wineries, beaches and nature reserves aren’t far from the city. One of the reasons why people are drawn to Perth!
We’ve provided two distance measurements for every destination. The first measures the distance from the previous location (A to B to C). The second measures the distance from Perth city to each location (A to B and back to A).
Enjor panoramic views at Kings Park that show off the heart of the city, attracting locals and visitors alike. The park spans 400 hectares and sits alongside the central business district. Appreciate the stunning cityscape while walking, driving or cycling along the Swan River foreshore. Make sure you check out the State Botanical Gardens – nestled within Kings Park. This is the perfect spot to set down your picnic blanket and pull out some snacks, while the children play on the equipment.
MUST READ itinerary guide: Enjoy The Sights At Kings Park And Botanic Garden In Perth’s CBD
Get up close and personal with Australia’s furry, feathery and scaly friends at Caversham Wildlife Park. There are around 200 species of native wildlife at the park. Take our word for it; you’ll want to devote at least three hours to exploring the enclosures and learning about conservation. It’s best to get an early start, since there’s so much to do. You can even pat and interact with the animals!
MUST READ itinerary guide: Meet The Animals At Caversham Wildlife Park
Handmade chocolate, pure honey and signature wines. Is your mouth watering yet? Do you taste buds a favour by exploring the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail by car. Not only will you sample the finest produce in Western Australia, you’ll also treat your eyes to lush views of vineyards and farms. Talk about a sensory overload! There are a number of group tours you can book, if you feel inclined. However, the beauty of driving yourself is you can go at your own pace. The entire trail spans 32 km and takes one hour to drive through. Put aside at least three hours, if you plan on visiting more than one place.
MUST READ itinerary guide: Indulge All Your Senses On The Swan Valley Food And Wine Trail
If you have a green thumb, you’ll feel at home surrounded by 168 hectares of bushland in the nature reserve at Lake Leschenaultia. This is the perfect spot for a picnic, given the abundance of shade, lush grass and white sandy beaches. Not to mention, there’s plenty of playground equipment to keep the little ones busy. You could easily spend the entire day here. Activities include Swimming, Canoeing (canoes available for hire), Walking, Cycling, Picnics and free barbecues, Camping, Dining at reflections cafe (light meals, refreshments and coffee)
MUST READ itinerary guide: Lake Leschenaultia In Mundaring
The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA) shows off Western Australia’s spectacular sea creatures, by taking you on an underwater journey. You don’t have to go to the Great Barrier Reef to behold the beauty of coral. AQWA offers one of the largest living coral reef exhibits in the world! Located on Hillarys Boat Harbour, the privately-owned Aquarium is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Expect to spend around four hours at AQWA, if you want to visit all of the exhibits and unwind at the licensed cafe. There are also free activities and events during the school holidays.
MUST READ itinerary guide: Aquarium Of Western Australia (Hillarys Boat Harbour)
Fremantle is known for its maritime history, Victorian architecture, Australian football team (the Dockers) and remnants from Australia’s days as a British penal colony. Fremantle Prison, which housed convicts from the 1850s to 1991, now features re-created cellblocks. Take a trip back in time to see what life was like for convicts locked away in Fremantle Prison during the 1800s. Thousands of men built their own jail, after being shipped to Australia from Great Britain. The solitary cells and gallows set the scene for an unbearable system of punishment that lasted for around 140 years.
MUST READ itinerary guide: Do Time At Fremantle Prison, Followed By Ale And Pizza!
We doubt you’ll regret taking a day trip to Rottnest Island (nicknamed “Rotto” by locals) for a snorkelling tour. There’s nothing like exploring the turquoise bays to appreciate the colourful marine life that call this underwater playground home. Expect to come face to face with coral fish, lobsters, octopus, eagle rays, moon wrasse and other sea creatures. If you prefer to snorkel without a tour, you can catch a ferry, hire snorkel gear and go at your own pace. This guide highlights the best snorkelling spots, depending on your experience level. Exploring the island by bicycle is also great!
MUST READ itinerary guide: Take A Fantastic Ferry To Rottnest Island From Fremantle
Imagine spending the day feeding penguins, meeting rare sea lions and drifting over limestone reefs in a glass bottom boat. Sounds good, right? If you have young children, this is the best way to explore the glistening waters of Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. In fact, it’s perfect for aspiring David Attenboroughs of all ages! The protected area hosts the world’s smallest penguins (the largest number in Western Australia). But these tiny birds aren’t the only star attraction here. You can expect to encounter sea lions, nesting pelicans, ospreys and other sea life too.
MUST READ itinerary guide: Meet The Penguins, Dolphins And Sea Lions On Penguin Island
It’s sacrilegious to visit Perth without strolling down the white sandy shore at Cottesloe beach. For more than a century, locals have spent their weekends soaking in the sun while swimming in the calm, aquamarine sea. This is an ideal snorkelling spot, since the coral is close to the shore. If you simply want to appreciate the ocean breeze, throw down your towel in the elevated grassy area and enjoy a picnic in the shade. You can also enjoy copious amount of live music, cycle the track from Cottesloe to HIlarys, dine at many awesome cafes and restaurants, and try your hand at surfing.
MUST READ itinerary guide: Take A Dip At Cottesloe Beach
Exploring Perth Zoo is a great way to spend the final day of your road trip. Not only will you see lions, orangutans and other animals, but you’ll get the chance to learn about conservation and sustainability. Put aside some time to check out their award-winning breeding program for threatened native Australian animals too. Aim to get there early, so you can visit all the exhibitions. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, because you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Perth Zoo also features some of the most beautiful gardens in Western Australia.
MUST READ itinerary guide: Learn About Conservation At Perth Zoo
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