Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is one of the most remote cities in the world, but right outside its door is a bewildering variety of natural wonders. Perth is located on the banks of the sparkling Swan River. The Swan Valley and Margaret River’s agricultural bounty, as well as the desert’s haunting beauty, gleaming beaches, and wildlife-rich islands, make for worthwhile travel destinations outside of Perth.
Are you looking for easy half-day trips from the city that are close to Perth? Enjoy the pristine white sands and stunning turquoise bays, or arrange a trip to Fremantle, Perth’s port city. With its extensive convict and maritime history, art exhibits, and heritage trails, it offers a pleasing contrast to all the surrounding natural attractions. On land and in the sea, wildlife is another highlight. On beautiful Rottnest Island, not far from the city, you can kayak with sea lions, swim with wild dolphins, see humpback whales on their annual migration, and get up close to quokkas (small marsupials). We’ve compiled a list of the top day trips from Perth so you can see all the highlights.
List of short road trips from Perth
Here are some day-trip suggestions for you to take on the upcoming weekend in order to satisfy your wanderlust without going too far. Within a few hours of Perth, you can choose from a variety of less conventional options, including:
Given that Mandurah is not very far from Perth, it is tempting to ignore it, but it has a lot of potential to be an excellent day trip. Beautiful beaches can be found all along the stretch, along with some top-notch golf courses, wonderful hiking and biking routes through national parks and along the coast, wonderful small wineries, and, of course, crab fishing.
There are many excellent dining establishments in the Mandurah foreshore and entertainment district, as well as a few convenient eateries with views of the estuary, where you might even catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two swimming by.
2. Marradong Country
Marradong Country, located about 90 minutes southeast of Perth and home to cities like Boddington, Wandering, and Williams, is a little-known gem in the south. The area, which has historically been used for farming (and mining), is quickly gaining popularity for its vibrant winery scene, rolling green valleys, and small-town charm per hectare. Visit the historical Jesse Martins Village, go canoeing at the lovely Ranford Pool, walk or hike along one of the many nature-filled trails, and stop by the Wandering Tavern for a hearty pub lunch. These options merely scratch the surface, so we advise visiting MarradongTrails.com to make advance travel arrangements.
3. Chittering Valley / New Norcia
Chittering, one of a few cute little towns with lots to offer, is located northeast of Perth and is Western Australia’s entry point to the Wheatbelt. With vineyards, wetlands, and lush bushland all around, the Chittering Valley is a picturesque location along the northern hills of the Darling Range. It is also covered in amazing wildflowers and orchards during the spring, and the Chittering Spring Festival is a must-attend if you visit at that time of year.
You’ll arrive in New Norcia, Australia’s only monastic town, further to the north. Benidectine monks founded New Norcia in the 1840s, and it is now home to a number of magnificent old buildings. It’s a lovely town to stroll through; start at the museum and make your way through the shabby old streets before stopping for a snack at the New Norcia Roadhouse, which is run by the Benedictine Community.
4. Araluen Botanic Park
Araluen Botanic Park is a gem that is frequently overlooked, located in the Roleystone Perth Hills only 30 kilometres south of Perth and a great place to while away the hours. The 14 hectares of developed gardens contain a vast array of exotic plant species, most notably their tulips, which bloom profusely each spring. Every year, thousands of tourists come to the annual tulip festival, which features a spectacular display of more than 100,000 tulip bulbs. Check the visitor’s map here.
Okay, we’re stretching the meaning of “underrated” given how many people have fallen in love with Dwellingup in recent years. It’s a stunning country town encircled by gorgeous jarrah and marri forests, just over an hour and a half from Perth. With walking trails, gushing rivers, and an abundance of wildlife, it’s the ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts and a well-known mountain biking destination. Campers frequently visit Lane Poole Reserve, and the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway offers a genuine, steam-powered trip down memory lane. Due to the area’s extensive network of water bodies, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, and fishing are also very well-liked activities.
6. Cervantes + The Pinnacles
Another excursion for those who don’t mind a scenic (two-hour) drive is to Cervantes, which serves as the entryway to both Namburg National Park, which is home to Western Australia’s famous Pinnacles limestone rock formations, and the Coral Coast in Australia. Visit the Pinnacles early in the morning and then spend the rest of the day parked by the beach if you enjoy pristine beaches and fresh seafood. If Cervantes is too far north for your tastes, make your stop at Lancelin an hour earlier. This beachside resort is another haven for outdoor recreation, and there are also some sizable white dunes for sand boarders.
7. Shoalwater Island Marine Park
With penguins, sea lions, bottlenose dolphins, and a variety of seabirds as residents, this protected ocean park on the Rockingham coast is a hotspot for marine biodiversity. Although Penguin Island is undoubtedly the area’s centrepiece, there is still a lot to explore along the entire stretch if you want to avoid the crowds. You can spend the day relaxing on a white sandy beach or exploring the marine life-rich waters by kayaking, diving, or snorkelling. Point Peron and Cape Peron, another fantastic aquatic playground, are located a little further north.
York, Western Australia’s first inland town, is only 100 kilometres east of Perth and is a great place to visit if you’re interested in learning more about the more ancient history of our enormous state. A visit to the Town Hall, the Residency Museum, the former Courthouse & Gaol, and a swinging bridge for the more daring among you are just a few of the attractions it offers. Bring your hiking boots if you feel like going for a stroll. You can take a quick stroll to the Mount Brown lookout or take a more serious hike on one of the many nearby trails, which include the magnificent Avon River.
These are some of the best day trips you can do from Perth, which involves a drive. They are easy for travellers to plan and do themselves.