Perth is famously known as the world’s most remote city. So, you’d be forgiven for thinking that getting anywhere means a long drive in a car.
Whilst long car trips are something us West Aussies take in our stride; the good news is that there are plenty of options for a day trip from Perth without spending too much time getting there.
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Rottnest Island offers the perfect day trip from Perth almost any time of the year. Rottnest Island is a quick ferry trip from either Perth, Fremantle or Hillarys Boat Harbour.
Once on the island there’s plenty of things to do. Explore the stunning beaches by bike or bus, go snorkelling and see the gorgeous locals – the quokkas. Read my detailed guide on how to have the perfect Rottnest Island day trip here.
For ferry tickets and tours to Rottnest Island click here.
A short drive away from Perth city will get you to the beautiful Swan Valley. The Swan Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions and makes for an indulgent day trip from Perth. Best of all you can get there without the hassle of a long drive.
Meander along the 32km long Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail and sample the many wineries, breweries, cafes, gourmet shops and galleries along this scenic loop.
Tip: It’s best to choose a cooler day to explore the Swan Valley as it’s always hotter than along the coast. Also, try to avoid going on a Monday as many things are shut.
For Swan Valley Wine Tours click here.
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 many waves? 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 rock-pools that are perfect for swimming.
If it’s not too hot, take the 16km Kitty’s Gorge walk trail in Serpentine National Park and visit the historic town of Jarrahdale on your way home.
Tip: Plan to arrive before 11 am on weekends and public holidays as the rangers frequently close the park to new visitors after this time during the busy seasons.
Yanchep National Park
Another easy day trip close to Perth is Yanchep National Park.
Here you can see Kangaroos and Koalas and come face to face with these cute Australian marsupials.
Although not native to West Australia, you can get a close-up view of Koalas along the 240 metre Koala Boardwalk. There’s also no shortage of western grey kangaroos who are guaranteed visitors at dawn and dusk.
Bring a picnic and walking shoes and make use to the picnic spots and walking trails for the perfect day trip around Perth. There are also caves to explore, historic buildings and you can learn more about the local Noongar culture at the Wangi Mia Meeting Place.
Tip: Go for a swim at nearby Yanchep lagoon in the morning – one of Perth’s most beautiful beaches. See my article on the things to do at Yanchep National Park here.
Less known than the more famous Swan Valley, the Bickley Valley in the Perth Hills makes for a fantastic Perth self-drive day trip that even Perth locals are yet to discover.
Set among rolling hills and winding roads behind the township of Kalamunda, the Bickley Valley is home to a growing number of boutique wineries, fruit orchards, quaint eateries and the Core Cider House. You’ll definitely feel like you’re much further than the 30-minute drive from Perth city.
Tip: Leave this one for the weekend, as many places are only open Saturday and Sunday.
For a Bickley Valley tour that includes cider, wine and whiskey tour click here.
Along with Serpentine Falls, this is another great spot for a day trip from Perth that lets you cool down on a hot summer day. Lake Leschenaultia has plenty of shaded areas for a picnic. There’s enough to keep both young and old active all day. Rent a canoe, swim to the pontoon, or walk or cycle around the lake.
Bring a picnic and make the most of the picturesque surroundings. See more on Lake Leschenaultia here.
Tip: Have a drink and dinner at nearby Parkville Tavern for a great end to your day out.
The historic port city of Fremantle is an eclectic mix of old and new and not to be missed on any trip to Perth. Discover why it’s one of the world’s best-preserved 19th-century ports as you wander around the historic west end precinct. Visit West Australia’s oldest public building the Round House and watch the world go by at any of the many cool and hip cafes.
Tip: Visit on a Friday, when the Fremantle Markets are open in the evening and not as busy as on a weekend.
Penguin Island and Shoalwater Marine Park
Located south of Perth, Rockingham and the surrounding Shoalwater Island Marine Park is a haven for outdoor lovers. The marine park includes Penguin Island and iss home to an abundance of marine life.
You can swim with dolphins, paddleboard or kayak with seals or visit Penguin Island to see the worlds smallest penguins. For more on Penguin Island, read my detailed guide here.
Tip: End the day at Rockingham foreshore and have a meal anywhere along Syren Street.
York is an easy 1.5-hour drive from Perth and makes for a lovely Perth one day tour that feels like a step back into time. The quaint, historic town has a long pioneering history that is on vivid display around the historic town.
Don’t miss aa visit to the Residency Museum or the York Motor Museum. Then, indulge in a pub lunch and browse the many vintage shops along York Terrace. Read on here for a full list of things to do in York.
Tip: Visit Mount Brown lookout for a 360 view of the Avon Valley.
Pinnacles, Nambung National Park
The Pinnacles Desert in the Nambung National Park is one of WA’s most impressive geological formations. The Pinnacles are a 2-hour drive north of Perth along the picturesque Indian Ocean Drive.
Once you’ve wandered around this impressive lunar-like landscape, head to nearby Cervantes for a seafood lunch at the Lobster Shack. See the article How to visit the Pinnacles for a full guide on how to make the best of your trip.
Tip: Take a walk to the Pinnacle Lookout for amazing views of the Pinnacle Desert and the Indian Ocean.
John Forrest National Park
For a dose of nature, head to John Forrest National Park in the Perth Hills. Take a walk through the eerie railway tunnel and enjoy a hike on one of many walking trails throughout the park. Afterwards, have a picnic and make use of the may picturesque picnic tables and benches. The highlight though is the super friendly Kangaroos who are usually found hanging outside the Wildflower Tavern. See more on John Forrest National park in this post.
Tip: Leave this one for a cooler day and visit Lake Leschenaultia instead if it’s too hot.
Mandurah is an easy one-hour drive from Perth best known for it’s waterways, estuary and dolphins. It’s recently also been awarded as Australia’s best tourist town 2023.
Mandurah has a great range of activities year-round that makes the most of its beautiful natural surroundings. Explore the waterways and canals on your own BBQ boat, rent a SUP or kayak, go dolphin spotting or take a road trip to see the beautiful Giants of Mandurah – an outdoor gallery featuring huge wooden sculptures. You can also visit the oldest organisms in the world at Lake Clifton.
Tip: Have an ice cream at popular Simmo’s Ice Creamery on Mandurah Terrace.
Dwellingup is a picturesque little timber town tucked into towering jarrah forests. The tourist town is best known for its outdoor adventures and calls itself the ultimate trail town.
It’s a fantastic location for bushwalking, mountain biking and river rafting and also has an array of cafes, galleries and small shops.
Tip: For a great family experience, take the trip on the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway which is a unique way to experience the region in a heritage train.
There you have it! 10 easy ideas for a great Perth day trip. Have you got any favourites that you’d add to the list?
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