It’s that time of the year again, summer is here, the holiday season is just around the corner and for many Perth-ites, this often means lots of visiting relatives and friends who are looking to escape the drab winter of Europe.
Day tripping from Perth can be a difficult feat. It’s not for nothing that Perth is called one of the most remote capital cities in the world. Try to get anywhere from Perth and be prepared to spend a good amount of time sitting in the car.
There are a few great spots though, that are within reasonable distance from Perth that are well worth a visit and make you feel like you’ve been much further away.
If you’re in need of bit of inspiration and ideas on where to send your guests, here’s a list of day trips that can all be taken from Perth – maybe just give them a good play list for the way.
Not exactly a secret tip off but there’s a reason why Rottnest Island is on top of every visitors to do list. The picture perfect beaches, turquoise water and abundant marine life makes Rottnest the perfect day trip from the city.
The best way to get the most out of a trip to Rottnest is by hopping on a bike and exploring the 63 plus beaches on the island. It’s well worth making the extra effort to get all the way out to the West End and checking out the seal colony that can be found near Cathedral Rocks. This is also a great place to take a break and have your lunch.
There’s no shortage of snorkelling spots around the island and you’ll see an abundance of marine life no matter where you submerge your head. One of the best places for snorkeling though, is at Parker Point where you can find a Snorkel Trail that has underwater plaques giving descriptions of the marine life in the area.
Before you hop back on the ferry, make sure to end the day at Rottnest Hotel with a cold drink and great views of Perth’s city skyline. You’ll also find a few friendly Quokkas here.
A day on Rottnest can be a bit pricey, unfortunately most of these costs are related to government taxes. To save a few dollars take your own bike if you can and pack your own lunch, water and any other snacks. A part from the high costs, there are no shops or kiosks on Rottnest except for Thompson and Geordie Bay.
Just a short drive away from Perth city, the Swan Valley is West Australia’s oldest wine region. Here you can explore myriad wineries, breweries, cafes and gourmet shops to make this a super indulgent day. There are plenty of opportunities for wine and beer degustations as well as chocolate tasting along the way. It’s a good idea to bring your own picnic and choose a picturesque spot such as Houghton Winery which has a very lush and green picnic area.
If you want to make it into a more active day, bring a bike and follow the cycle trails.
It’s best to choose a cooler day to explore the Swan Valley as it’s always hotter than along the coast and try to avoid going on a Monday as many things are shut.
Serpentine Falls National Park
You know those hot days when you want to cool down but just don’t feel like going to the beach – too sandy, too sunny, too sharky? That’s exactly when Serpentine Falls is the perfect place to go for a cool down. This is a great natural attraction with a waterfall and two rock-pools that are perfect for swimming. Kangaroos are frequent visitors at the picnic areas and may just want to share your lunch with you.
Plan to arrive before 11am on weekends and public holidays as the rangers close the park to new visitors after this time.
Well worth a visit despite the long drive, the Pinnacles are towering limestone formations formed over millions of years to create a lunar-like landscape. It’s best to get there at dawn or dusk when the light and shadows are at their best.
You can also visit Lake Thetis, located 1km outside of Cervantes, this is one of only a few places in the world where you can see living marine stromatolites or ‘Loving Fossils’. These are the earliest record of life on earth and the ones found here have been dated to about 3370 years old.
Break up the trip with stops at Lancelin, Wedge Island and Cervantes where you can have a delicious lunch at the Lobster Shack.
Yanchep National Park
If you’re looking for a place near Perth to see Kangaroos and Koalas other than the zoo, then Yanchep national park is a great place to come face to face with these cute marsupials. You can get a close up view of Koalas along the 240m Koala Boardwalk. There’s also no shortage of Kangaroos who are guaranteed visitors at dawn and dusk and often in between if they’re not hiding out in a shady spot somewhere.
There are also a few caves that can be explored on the Cave Adventure Tour. There are also plenty of walking trails, picnic and barbeque spots located throughout the park.