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Amazing Day Trips From Perth, Australia

Visitors are forgiven for not wanting to venture outside Perth.  Laid-back and liveable with wonderful weather, beautiful beaches and an ‘eclectic mix of city culture and stunning nature’, Perth is a vibrant and energetic city with relaxed and informal surrounds.

Overflowing with world class restaurants, bars and cultural activities, Perth also boasts pristine beaches and expansive parklands. It truly is the city with something for everyone.

But there are also a number of attractions nearby which make a trek outside of the city worthwhile.

Margaret River

A bit of a trek from Perth, Margaret River overflows with both the best wine in the country, and adventurous outdoor activity!

Things to do in Margaret River include underground caves, amazing surf, whale watching, bushwalking and vineyards galore, what sets this town apart from other wine region towns is the sheer volume of things to do.

It is where Perth locals retreat to for their weekend city escapes, and boasts a stunning array of natural attractions worth visiting year round.

At Mammoth Cave

Photo credit: Graeme Churchard

Rottnest Island

Only a short ferry ride from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty, Rottnest is an idyllic island playground – car free and carefree!

With 63 pristine white sand beaches, 20 beautiful bays and multiple coral reefs and wrecks, Rottnest is a haven for swimmers, snorkelers and surfers; the water ‘teeming with tropical fish and colourful corals’.

 On dry land visitors can explore the island’s colourful maritime, convict, colonial and World War II heritage, or simply relax with an afternoon of shopping, golf or tennis, followed by lunch at one of the many cafes or restaurants.

Bicycle is the best way to get around this car free island, and bicycle hire is available at the ferry terminals and on the island itself. You can also jump on and off the Bayseeker Bus which tours and visits some of the more isolated parts of the island.

Rottnest Island

Photo credit: Pedro Szekely

Beelu National Park

One of the largest and most established National Parks in the rugged Darling Ranges, Beelu National Park is a picnicker’s paradise, and a bush walker’s dream.  It is the perfect getaway for those escaping the city in search of tranquil nature, and offers much to see and do for those of all ages and interests.

A Discovery Centre providing informative and interactive activities for both adults and children alike (aimed at increasing environmental awareness), a beautiful weir, heritage listed buildings, an old water pumping station, gorgeous picnic areas, and bushwalking trails which cater to all ages and levels of fitness – Beelu National Park is the perfect escape to nature.

The Beelu National Park day walk is also taste for the Bibbulum track – one of the world’s greatest long distance walking trails, stretching 1000km from Kalamunda on the outskirts of Perth, to the historic town of Albany on the south coast.

Wave Rock

One of Australia’s most famous natural landforms, right up there next to Uluru, the Wave on Hyden Rock is a colossal surf wave of multicoloured granite which looks as if it could crash onto the bush below at any moment! 14 metres high and 110m long, the rock is believed to have been formed over 2700 million years ago; it’s shape a result of gradual erosion over many centuries.

Wave rock is a 4 hour drive from Perth, but well worth the trip.

Wave Rock. Photo by Don Pugh.

Wave Rock. Photo by Don Pugh.

Perth’s Waterfall Walks

Perth’s surrounds are full of plunging waterfalls, and perfect bushwalking weather all year-round means travelers have no excuse to miss the excitement of listening to, finding and watching a spectacular waterfall.

Serpentine Falls in Serpentine National Park (an hour drive from the city) is a premiere natural attraction which is very popular on hot summer days. Walking trails provide the perfect escape back to nature, offering picturesque views to the coast before leading you deep into the Jarrah forest, and past cascading waterfalls. Cost is $11 for parking; the falls is a great place for a picnic or a barbeque, and more adventurous spirits may choose to jump into the rock pools from the clifftops.

Other popular waterfall walks just outside of Perth include Lesmurdie Falls (30 minute drive from Perth), Sixty Foot Falls (45 minute drive), Noble Falls (45 minute drive), and Hovea Falls and National Park Falls (both situated in the John Forrest National Park which is 26kms east of Perth).

The Pinnacles

Plan a full day for a trip to the Pinnacles, and pack plenty of water.  Located 200km outside of Perth, this awe inspiring natural attraction in the heart of the desert is well worth the journey.

The Nambung Pinnacles in Cervantes are thousands of rock spires which stand in the middle of the golden sand desert.  These magnificent limestone structures rise as tall as three and a half metres, each with their own unique character.  Some appear jagged, some smooth, and others sharp edged; all in various shapes, sizes and distortions.

Emus stroll freely through Nambung National Park, offering visitors and tourists alike the opportunity for wild wildlife encounters.

The Pinnacles, WA

Photo credit: Rob Chandler


It is said that the coast comes alive in Rockingham – not only is this stunning coastal town a hotspot for Perth locals and tourists alike, but pods of dolphins and other marine wildlife regularly frequent the shores. One of the best destinations in Australia for marine life encounters, visitors to the island can either swim with the dolphins, or decide to simply watch them from the dry viewing platform of an island ferry.

Ferry’s run at regular intervals from Rockingham to the neighbouring Penguin Island, home to 1,200 fairy penguins, making up the largest colony on Australia’s west coast.  It is also home to the largest colony of Pelicans in Western Australia, as well as 50 other species of seabirds.  A glass-bottom boat also operates offering 45-minute cruises to the nearby Seal Island, home to the rare Australian sea lions.


It’s not only the picturesque rolling countryside and pastures which draws people to York, but also the town’s colonial charm.   One of the earliest inland European settlements for Western Australia’s first colonists, York has retained much of it’s heritage, boasting many well preserved Victorian and Federation buildings and churches.

This historic town is a favorite escape for those wishing to indulge in nature, history, arts and crafts, and not to mention adventurous outdoor activity.  Don’t let the myriad of antique stores or tranquility of the Avon Valley fool you – York is full of adrenalin; the place for hang gliding, skydiving and horse trekking, amongst other adventurous outdoor pursuits.  

Drive the Great Eastern Highway for an hour and a half to reach York. 

York Town Hall. Photo by Ashul.

York Town Hall. Photo by Ashul.

 About Megan Claire

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.


  1. Thank you for sharing those great recommendations Megan. Besides Perth and Fremantle, I was only able to visit the Margaret River area and the Pinnacles from your list. The only unfortunate thing I remember was that the area seemed to require renting a car to get around. But at least now I know that it will be well worth coming back and seeing more… :)

    • I think renting a car is definitely the best way to get around the area – mainly because a lot of the destinations I mentioned are in the middle of the desert, so far away from public transportation and the city – but as you said, well worth it!!

      Safe travels – I hope you can get back to Perth at some point!

    • Thanks, it’s on my list, especially because I found the west coast of Australia much more rewarding than the east! So I will be back in Perth eventually, for sure… :)

  2. Have lived here over 20 years and havent seen half of these, how shameful. Going to get through this list, thanks heaps!

    • That’s always the way though isn’t it!! Try asking me which sites in Canberra and the surrounding regions I’ve visited!! Glad to help!

  3. Great list, I’ve lived here 18 months now so managed to tick all but wave rock off. I’d add Lancelin in as a good stop off on the way to the Pinnacles, great Sandboarding on the sandunes there!

    • Awesome tip, thanks Tamzin! We’re back in Australia this June/July so will have to go pas Lancelin – love great sand dunes!! Happy Australia Day!

  4. Hey Megan, thanks for recommending these places. Margaret river and Rockingham are on my list and will plan them soon.

    Did you try the Rottnest Island Cruise on the Rottnest Island? I’ve heard it’s amazing to go on the cruise and see the white sand and clear water.

    • You’ll love both Margaret River and Rockingham. There’s so much to do!

      The Rottnest Island Cruise is still on our list of things to do – I’ve also heard it’s amazing though. We’re hoping to plan a trip to Perth for later in the year. Let me know if you beat me to it, would love to see photos!

  5. Comprehensive post! You could also add Pemberton and the Valley of the Giants to the list, really enjoy that area. In fact it’s pretty hard to go wrong around Perth, Albany is also a great spot to get away for a while. I actually wrote a post about Perth recently, you can check it out here, should hopefully give your readers some more info: :)

    • Thanks Pete! Havent yet been to the Valley of the Giants or to Pemberton, so will definitely add them to our list for the next time we visit – thanks for the tip!

      I used to work for a couple who owned a hotel in Albany and they’ve made it sound so amazing! I really hope to just rent a campervan and spend a month or so driving around WA!

      Thanks for your link – will head on over to your site now :)

  6. A great post covering many of the top attractions of Perth… some I haven’t seen myself. Good photos too, thanks!

    • Thanks Tracey! Hope you have the opportunity soon to finish off the list!

  7. Last time I was in Australia I discovered the east coast, I guess it’s time for the west coast now :-)
    Thanx for the tips. I especially love the sight of those pinnacles and the wave rock.

    • Definitely time for some west coast exploration! Though I’m guilty of that too – it took me years of living in Australia and holidaying around the east coast before I got to the west. It’s out of the way when compared to the rest of Australia, but it’s so worth the trip!

  8. Each summer we visited family in Rockingham on Cape Peron. Really good place to teach the kids (especially boys) to fish.

    • Sounds like a fantastic spot for a summer vacation! Hope this summer is a great one & that the fish are biting!

  9. Great tips, I live here and haven’t even heard off Beelu Nat Park, been to York or seen Wave Rock! Margaret River is a bit far for a day trip but once you get there you’ll want to stay longer than a day anyway.

    • You could definitely spend whole weeks in Margaret River! And I find the same thing about my home town in Hobart and Canberra (I moved at 14 so I count both :D!) – tourists come through and rave about these amazing places essentially within my own backyard but I’ve never been!

      Seems to be always the way that we’re super quick to jump on a 20 hour plane but haven’t yet explored our own State! Glad we could highlight some new day trip options for you :D!

  10. You are my inspiration, I own few blogs and very sporadically run out from post :). “Yet do I fear thy nature It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness.” by William Shakespeare.

    • Thanks Genga – glad you enjoyed the post :)

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