Top 5 Perth Day Trips
Perth might be one of the most isolated major cities in the world, but it makes up for that dubious honour with a smorgasbord of day trips which will feed your senses – and your sense of adventure!
From wildlife, wineries and gourmet escapes to natural wonders and high-octane adventures, if you’ve got a day (or even just a few hours), there’s an array of amazing things to do to suit every age and interest.
Here are our top 5 Perth day trips:
Whether you’re after family fun, a big day out or a gourmet adventure, the picturesque Bickley Valley nestled in the Darling ranges has it all. A short 25km hop east of the Perth CBD takes you into the heart of this charming area which boasts a plethora of cellar doors, cider houses, distilleries and restaurants – all run by locals who are keen to share their passion and their produce.
Spring and autumn showcase the region’s rolling hills, gentle valleys, vineyards, orchards, babbling streams and beautiful bushland at their scenic best, but there are things to do all year round in the Bickley Valley. The experience feels intimate and personal with plenty of opportunities to discover local stories, hidden trails and scenic surprises.
The annual Harvest Festival is a vibrant celebration of all the good things on offer from the region and attracts visitors from far and wide, with the Perth Observatory another big attraction in the area.
You’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve landed on the moon if you choose to head north to the Nambung National Park on a day trip from Perth. This is where you’ll find the Pinnacles, thousands of limestone structures emerging from the barren, orange sand of the desert and stretching as far as the eye can see. Take a stroll through this eerie landscape and marvel at the wonders of nature as you ponder these other-worldly soldiers standing to attention.
These incredible structures were formed approximately 25 – 30 000 years ago when the receding sea left deposits of sea shells. Over time, the surrounding sand has been blown away, exposing the pillars, some of which are over three metres high.
The park is about a two hour drive from Perth and in addition to these limestone pillars, is home to an extensive array of native animals and bird life.
For a day trip that will open your heart and mind to the beauty and adventure of inland Perth, head for the Serpentine Falls. The ideal time to visit this popular picnic spot is after the winter rains, when water cascades down a sheer 15 metre granite wall into a natural rock pool below. There are also plenty of great bushwalking options in the Serpentine River Valley including the Falls Walk trail, Baldwin’s Bluff Nature Track and Kitty’s Gorge Walk Track with distances to suit every age and ability.
It’s a sensational spot to spend the day with green lawns for picnicking and kangaroo watching, and the wildflowers in Spring are particularly lovely. It’s a short 55-minute drive south-east of Perth and is a hugely popular destination – especially during the warmer months – so an early start is highly recommended!
No list of day trips from Perth would be complete without Rotto. This beloved holiday island is a favourite among young and old alike with its spectacular bays and beaches, varied entertainment options, tours and experiences to suit all tastes. Getting there has also never been easier or more convenient, so it’s the perfect place for a day trip from Perth. Do nothing or do everything. Lazy beach days, water sports and activities, energetic cycles, bush walks, gourmet escapes, cultural experiences, languid afternoons at a beachfront bar, golf, even skydiving, Rottnest really does have it all.
Penguin Island is part of the spectacular Shoalwater Islands Marine Park and is best known as a wildlife wonderland. Your ferry trip will probably will include sightings of wild dolphins and sea lions – and you can get right up close and personal with the world’s smallest penguins when you’re on the island. The birdlife is also amazing and there are beautiful nature trails and picnic areas, plus the convenience of Pengos Cafe which is open daily for casual refreshments.
Take a cruise or explore the Discovery Centre and see the adorable little fairy penguins at feeding time, held three times a day. The island’s turquoise sea and pristine white sand also make for spectacular swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, kite surfing and more – plus there are sensational photo opportunities in the rock formations and the cute little natural ‘spa’ in the reef. And because Penguin Island is only a five-minute ferry ride from the Rockingham foreshore (30 mins south of Perth), it’s the perfect destination for a spur-of-the-moment trip when you discover that the weather gods are smiling!
These are just a couple of top options for day trips from Perth – and with the most spectacular scenery to the north, south, east and (islands) in the west of the city, there’s a world of entertainment, adventure and excitement just waiting to be discovered. What’s your favourite day trip from Perth?
Amy Stutt is co-owner and sales manager of award-winning adventure tourism company, Skydive Geronimo WA.
She has a wealth of experience in the travel and tourism industry as well as several academic and professional qualifications, including an MBA from Murdoch University. Amy is a respected board member of Destination Perth and chair of its Governance, Risk and Audit Committee. She is also an active member of Women in Tourism and Hospitality (WITH) and the Rottnest Chamber of Commerce.
Since jointly establishing Skydive Geronimo WA in 2010, Amy and her husband Glenn have grown the business into an award-winning operation with a reputation for professionalism, integrity and innovation. As a result of her outstanding stewardship, Skydive Geronimo has become widely acknowledged as the premier tandem skydiving experience in Australia and has been a significant contributor to Rottnest Island’s global status as a ‘must visit’ destination.