Perth is the capital of Western Australia and is a big city. Since Western Australia is mostly rugged and unsettled terrain, there is a host of places to visit near Perth that gives you a totally different experience. Whether you live in Perth and want to escape the metropolitan life on holiday, or want to visit the city and experience a mix of both, there is a great variety of things to do including beaches, islands, mountains, valleys, caves, national parks, forests, and much more. We already covered things to do in Perth and even covered a special post on free things to do in Perth, now we are showcasing the nearby towns and cities and their diversity. There are a host of other nearby destinations that are just a short drive from Perth where you can see the country and experience nature, swimming, fishing, camping, hiking, and bush walking.
Perth Map Photo Credit: Google Maps
Hiring a Car in Perth
Perth Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au
There are plenty of car rental locations in Perth where you can hire a car. When you hire a car, you can find the best places to visit and the best deals for your holiday. If you are in Perth City, then you can hire a car there. Other Perth car hire locations include the Perth Airport car rental or the Perth South car hire location near Fremantle or in Burswood. When you are hiring a car, be sure to share your travel plans with the car rental agent so that they can give you the guidelines, road maps, safety restrictions, and holiday travel tips. This will ensure your best car rental experience in Western Australia.
Rottnest Island Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Rottnest Island Snorkelling in the Basin Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Rottnest Island is a short ferry ride from Perth, Fremantle, or Hillary’s. Spend the day relaxing in the tranquil waters and secluded bays, explore the island by bike, and enjoy a café lunch with spectacular ocean views. Snorkle through the underwater trails and discover tropical fish of every colour of the rainbow. Tour the Wadjemup Lighthouse and from the top, see magnificent views of the island. The island is home to a host of wildlife including many birds, some year round and some migratory. September through December you can do some whale watching as they pass the island during their annual migration. Other wildlife on the island include fur seals, sea lions, and dolphins.
Sunset Coast Cottesloe Beach Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Cottesloe Beach Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Just a 20 minute drive from Perth is the magnificent Sunset Coast. The famous Sunset Coast features 19 different white sand beaches and delicious cafes, shops, and magnificent views. Activities on the beach range from the utter relaxation of relaxing on the gorgeous beaches to the adventure filled fun of surfing, snorkelling, SCUBA diving, fishing, and beach sports. Visit Hillarys Boat Harbour, Mindarie Marina, or Joondalup to find more shopping and dining.
Swan Valley Heritage Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Swan Valley Produce Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
The Swan Valley is just west of Perth and is a popular getaway for those on holiday or Perthies looking for a long weekend. The lush green hills and dips of the valley are filled with vineyards, wildflowers, and home grown produce. The Swan Valley is Western Australia’s oldest wine growing region and is one of the most popular spots in the state. There are over 150 places to dine and enjoy wine tasting fresh from the local vineyards. It is known for the 32 km Food and Wine Trail. In addition to all the great flavours, take some time to visit the quaint village shops. If you opt not to drive to Swan Valley, you can always take a boat cruise from Perth City down the Swan River to the Swan Valley.
Railway Reserves Heritage Trail Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Mundaring Weir Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
From Perth’s city centre, it is less than an hour drive to the Perth Hills. This is a place where you can relax in the countryside’s quaint cities and towns, hike tracks, bike trails, and find delight in the art galleries and craft studios. The Perth Hills is home to the Bibbulmun Track which is one of the best long distance walking tracks in the world. It stretches for almost 1,000 km from Kalamunda to Albany.
Tulips at Araluen Botanic Park Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Minnawarra Park, Armadale Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Armadale is just 40 minutes south west of Perth and is a town filled with tree laden hills, babbling brooks, colourfully blooming orchards, nature walks, and wildflowers en masse. It is decidedly very “country” for being such a short drive from the city. While visiting Armadale you should see the Araluen Botanic Park, the Bert Tyler Vintage Machinery Museum, the Armadale Outpost Telegraph Centre, enjoy gold, local produce and local eateries, or tour the specialty cheese factories.
Swimming with the Dolphins Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Kayaking in Shoalwater Islands Marine Park Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Rockingham is known as Perth’s marine playground. It is the coastline of the Indian Ocean about 45 minutes to the south of Perth. This city provides eco-tourism at its finest with all types of water adventures to be had in Shoalwater Islands Marine Park including swimming with the dolphins, kayaking, watching penguins and sea lions, glass bottom boat rides, and plenty of ocean fun or relaxation.
Yanchep National Park
Caving in Yanchep National Park Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Wildlife at Yanchep National Park Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Yanchep National Park, one of the oldest national parks in Western Australia, is both a natural and cultural meeting place 45 minutes north of Perth’s city centre. Aboriginal culture events, tours, and activities are available on weekends. One of the main attractions of the park is the Crystal Cave. Daily tours are available that take visitors inside to explore the unique features of the geology of the cave. The park is also full of wildlife including kangaroos, koalas, Carnaby’s black cockatoos, plus a host of other water birds and bush birds. You can have a picnic while visiting the park. Gas barbecues are located throughout, so it is easy to find a peaceful and scenic place to sit down, take in the beauty of nature and enjoy your lunch. If you are so inclined, overnight accommodations are available in the park with meals provided by the Chocolate Drop Tearooms and historic Yanchep Inn.
Mandurah and the Peel Region
Dolphin Quay in Mandurah Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Jumping Dolphin in Mandurah Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
About an hour or less south of Perth via the new Forest Highway is the Peel region. The Peel region is host to a number of coastal towns each with their unique ocean side charm, shops, water front cafes, and a list of boating, swimming, and ocean sports activities for you to choose from while on holiday. Crabbing is particularly good in Mandurah and a boat cruise on the waters of the estuary is a must.
Picnicking among the wildflowers in Avon Valley Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
Hot air balloon rides over the Avon Valley Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com
The Avon Valley is one of those places you visit on holiday and send postcards filled with the amazing views and picturesque country side scenery. The Avon Valley is east of Perth; it was the first inland settlement in Western Australia. So in addition to some of the most beautiful scenic views, you can experience some old world charm there as well. The country towns feature craft shops, museums, and picnic spots along the Avon River. As the sun rises, so do the hot air balloon tours. If you plan your trip in advance, you can schedule it to coincide with one of the many festivals that the Avon Valley is famous for. The restaurants and shops sell local produce including chocolate, honey, james, and olives.