While Perth has a lot to offer, everyone that visits the city should also plan at least one or two day trips from Perth. After all, the area is full of charming towns, stunning natural sights, and dream getaway destinations for wine lovers. And of course, it is impossible not to mention, that the happiest animal in the world, the quokka, happens to live on a nearby island.
Day tours are the ideal way to see more of the area, but if you have more time, you should consider a weekend getaway from Perth. All destinations listed below can be visited as a Perth day tour or weekend trip, so it is up to you.
I had the chance to visit some of these destinations during and after my Western Australia road trip and absolutely loved exploring them. To ensure that you get the best tips about more amazing Perth day trips, I asked fellow travelers to share everything you need to know about the destinations if you want to have an amazing trip.
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20 minutes south of Perth
There are a lot of things to do in Fremantle and it’s one of the best day trips from Perth. Fremantle is located just around 20 minutes from the city center of Perth and is one of the best weekend getaways from Perth. The town is known for its art community, museums, and markets. Come here for coffee shops, affordable drinks, and stunning beaches. The Sail and Anchor is one of the best lunch spots in town with great deals on food and drinks, especially locally-brewed tap beer.
Activities in Fremantle:
Fremantle is a little beach town very close to the city of Perth and easily reachable via public transport. There is even a metro station that connects Fremantle to the city center. In Fremantle, you can easily get around using the free Cat buses which go to important sightseeing spots.
Where to stay in Fremantle: The town has a great selection of budget hostels or smaller hotels. The Fremantle Bed and Breakfast is the perfect choice if you’re looking for something a little bit nicer although it’s definitely not the most affordable choice. The Fremantle Hostel Backpackers on the other hand is much more budget-friendly and great for meeting other travelers and finding travel buddies.
Explored by Victoria from Guide Your Travel
2. Guildford & Swan Valley
20 minutes northeast of Perth
Guildford is one of the small towns that make up the Swan Valley, Western Australia’s oldest wine region. Not only is Guildford one of the most charming and historic towns in Western Australia but it is also one of the best weekend getaways from Perth.
Only a mere 20 minutes from downtown Perth, this weekend getaway from Perth is accessible via the Midland train line. Once in Guildford, however, you will want your own set of wheels to ensure you can make the most of your time in the Swan Valley as many of the region’s attractions are located in the farmland that surrounds Guildford.
The best way to explore Guildford and the Swan Valley is by drinking and eating your way through the area. The fertile soils of the Swan Valley are home to some of the best wine and produce in Western Australia.
Highlights from the region include wine varietals such as a Malbec from John Kosovich Wines, chocolates from Whistler’s Chocolate Company, the weekend Swan Settler’s Market, and the iconic Alfred’s Kitchen, the longest-running roadside burger restaurant in Perth.
Another great way to explore the town of Guildford is with the 1.8-kilometer Guildford Heritage Walking Trail. This walk takes you past the mirage of preserved and historic homes and buildings found throughout Guildford.
Basing yourself in Guildford while visiting the Swan Valley also gives you the opportunity to stay at the Rose and Crown, Western Australia’s oldest operating hotel. The Rose and Crown is also across the street from Willing Coffee for your morning coffee fix!
Explored by Kelli from The Vanabound Tales
3. Rottnest Island
25 minutes west of Fremantle / 90 min from the Perth Barrack Street Jetty
Rottnest Island is located 18 km off the coast of Perth and is an incredibly beautiful island with turquoise water, 20 bays, and 63 stunning beaches. It is the ideal day trip from Perth if you do not want to drive and want to be surrounded by natural beauty.
While the island is not that big, it offers its visitors a lot. You can snorkel close to wrecks, go scuba diving, go surfing, bike around the island or enjoy a relaxed day at the beach. And of course, you can take a #quokkaselfie with the happiest animal in the world. After all, the small wallabies are seemingly everywhere. Additionally, Rottnest Island has two pink lakes.
Activities on Rottnest Island:
There are no cars on Rottnest Island, so renting a bike is the best option. However, you can only use the small shuttle bus to get around. Be sure to stock up on water and food before you leave the settlement, as there is no fresh water in the other parts of the island.
While there is an airstrip on the island, most people that visit Rottnest Island take the ferry. The ferry ride from Fremantle takes 20 minutes, while the ferry ride from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty takes 90 minutes. While longer, it does include a cruise along the Swan River and often allows you to see the local dolphins.
Where to stay on Rottnest Island: There are limited accommodation opportunities on Rottnest Island, but staying on the island is well worth it. After all, its pristine beaches are ideal sunset picnic locations, and having more time will allow you to explore everything the island has to offer. If you love glamping, the luxury tents of Discovery Rottnest Island are ideal for you. If you prefer a normal hotel or even a dorm room, you should stay at Rottnest Island Authority.
1 hour south of Perth
The riverfront town of Mandurah about 70 km south of Perth makes a perfect day trip. The pretty harbour is home to a handful of waterfront restaurants, but it’s the canals that snake out from the estuary that usually tempt tourists.
Not only are they home to some very beautiful houses, but a thriving colony of around 120 dolphins also live in the waterways – and they love to come and see people on boats. You can hire mini boats to sail around the harbour yourself or join the incredibly popular dolphin cruise from Mandurah Cruises. They don’t guarantee dolphins will appear on every cruise, but when they do they tend to stay a while jumping in the wake of the boat.
If you are in Perth over the festive season, the Christmas lights in Mandurah are also famous for their extravagance and again, you can take a cruise around the houses to see them; definitely one of the more fun things to do when going on a day trip from Perth.
Finish off your trip with a pizza and glass of wine with a view at Brewvino Bar – and keep your eyes peeled. Some dolphins even come this close to shore.
How to get there: Take the train from Perth Underground or Elizabeth Quay station. Once you get to Mandurah, jump on the 569 or 568 bus from outside the station for the short 15-minute ride to the boat jetty. The cruises are very popular so definitely book your dolphin cruise ticket before you set off.
Explored by Helen from Differentville
1:20 h east of Perth
The historic town of York is located 1.5 hours inland of Perth that can be visited as a day trip or weekend getaway. York is a small town and one of the earliest inland European settlements in Western Australia, renowned for its colonial architecture and rich heritage.
Wander down the main street in town, Avon Terrace, admiring the historic buildings. It’s hard not to miss the iconic Town Hall, which remains almost as it was in 1911. Other notable buildings include the York Post Office, York Motor Museum, and Fire Station, the latter of which is now a bookstore. Walk or drive past the old York Flour Mill, where you can stop in for a coffee or lunch break at the Flourmill Café. Other things to do in York include visiting the Suspension Bridge which sits over the Avon River.
Visitors to York in August and September will be amazed by the sight of golden canola fields planted by local farmers. Note it is illegal to enter the fields, but you can stop for a photo along the roadside or visit the purpose-planted field for tourists at PetTeet Park.
For the more adventurous, hike to the Mount Brown Lookout (7.5 km return walk) which offers panoramic scenic views over the rolling farmland around York.
How to get there: Public transport and taxis are not available in York, so this trip will require a car.
Where to stay in York: Most of the accommodations in York are self-contained or bed and breakfast style options. Faversham House or The Grand House are quality options. Closer to the main street in town, options include The Nosh & Nod or Suites on Avon.
Day trip from Perth suggested by Tess of Tessomewhere
1:30 h north of Perth
For some reason, the charming fishing town Lancelin and its sand dunes are overlooked by many travelers. A fact that could not be more surprising, as Lancelin is one of the best day trips from Perth and a haven for water-sport lovers.
The beaches are amazing spots for those that love to surf and SUP, but also for other activities like snorkeling, swimming, and boating. And if you are an experienced scuba diver, you might want to explore the wrecks along the coast of Lancelin.
Once you have had your fill of the ocean, you have to head to the Lancelin Sand Dunes and go sandboarding. The white sand dunes are the biggest in Western Australia and exploring them is a thrill. Aside from sandboarding, you can also explore them with a 4WD, a dirt bike, or go on a guided quad tour.
Read More: Lancelin Sand Dunes Sandboarding
How to get there: You can easily drive to Lancelin, but if you do not have a car, you can also take the bus. Hereby, the cheapest option is the bus that drives from Perth to Geraldton.
7. Pinnacles Desert
2:15 h north of Perth
The Pinnacles Desert is a part of Nambung National Park, which happens to be one of the best Australian National Parks. With its unique pinnacles, it is undeniably one of the best day trips from Perth. This natural wonderland with deep yellow sand and thousands of limestone pillars, the landscape feels otherworldly.
It is possible to explore the desert by foot or to drive along the loop that takes you through the entire area. The Pinnacles Desert is located 200 km north of Perth and best visited during the region’s wildflower season from August to October. It is most beautiful just before sunset. After seeing the pinnacles, you should also check out the nearby beach and the charming town of Cervantes.
The easiest way to get to this Perth day trip destination is by driving there. If you want to, you can even do some stops along the way and combine this day trip with a short stop in Lancelin. Alternatively, you can catch an Integrity Coach Lines bus to Cervantes.
8. Jurien Bay
2:20 h north of Perth
Jurien Bay is a beautiful seaside holiday town a little over 2 hours from Perth. If you make the day trip from Perth, expect lots of white sandy beaches and turquoise blue water. Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, and long walks on the beach will all be on your to-do list. The Turquoise Way Trail and nearby Three Bays Walkway are perfect for taking in the wonderful coastal scenery and spotting wildlife.
One of Jurien Bay’s best-known activities is going for a swim with the local sea lions. A short cruise from Jurien Bay takes you to a nearby island where you get in the water and snorkel with these puppies of the sea. Lesueur National Park has over 900 different wildflowers. The scenic drive and walks through there in spring are spectacular. At the end of the day, make sure you check out the Lobster Shack for some fresh and delicious seafood.
The most convenient way to get to Jurien Bay is to drive. The shortest route is along the coast and takes you past the turn-offs to a couple of other great weekend getaways from Perth, Lancelin, and Cervantes.
Transwa runs a bus service from Perth to Jurien Bay. The bi-weekly service leaves from the East Perth Station takes approximately 4 hours and a return fare costs around $90.
Where to stay in Jurien Bay: There is no shortage of accommodation in Jurien Bay. Through local realtors and online booking sites, you will find houses and apartments to rent. Depending on proximity to the water and the season, prices range from 200-350 AUD a day. If caravan parks are more your style, Jurien Bay Tourist Park is right next to the beach and is a great base. For campers, try Sandy Bay Recreation Park 15 minutes north of Jurien Bay.
This day trip from Perth has been recommended by Natalie & Steve from Curious Campers.
2:30 hours south of Perth
Located slightly over 200 kilometers south of Perth, Busselton is known for its pristine beaches and comforting sunshine. Many of the locals come here as their weekend getaways for a summer vacation, but it’s also a wonderful spot for day trips from Perth.
Busselton has a significant humpback whale population, making it a wonderful place to go whale and dolphin watching during the season between June to early December. Visit the Dolphin Discovery Center for all the Eco-cruise and swim encounter tour information.
The new AUDC is scheduled to open in 2022, a new landmark in town that is shaped like a whale, and it’s an aquarium with a transparent bottom for visitors to observe sea life without getting wet.
Other than beach activities, explore the many cafes and restaurants, or simply take a walk along the Busselton Jetty – it is the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere.
Activities to do during a day trip from Perth to Busselton:
The most convenient way to get to Busselton from Perth is by drive. The road trip takes about two and a half-hour yet it’s a very easy journey on the highway with breathtaking sceneries. It is possible to get there by public transportation: either hop on a South West Coach bus at the Elizabeth Quay Busport or a train at Perth Station heading to Bunbury, then transfer to a local bus that departs twice daily.
Where to stay in Busselton: If you are staying in Busselton overnight, consider staying in a vacation home by the ocean that offers the best of the city’s ocean view. These houses are close to the beach with a fully equipped kitchen and other facilities, at very friendly prices.
Perth day trip suggested by Knycx Journeying
10. Margaret River
3 hours south of Perth
The Margaret River has it all: good wine, fine food, excellent surfing and so much else to do. Is it any wonder then, that it’s one of the most popular weekend getaways from Perth?
Situated a 3-hour drive south of Perth, the Margaret River region is located around the town of the same name, in between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. The region first became famous for its surf breaks and is still home to the annual Margaret River Pro, but these days it’s better known as a premium wine region.
There are over 200 vineyards dotted throughout the Margaret River region, many with cellar doors open to the public. The region is best known for its Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc typically blended with Semillon. Top cellar doors include Leeuwin Estate, Voyager, and Cape Mentelle.
However, it’s not all about wine, there’s also an abundance of fine food producers. Olive oil is a highlight, along with venison, chocolate, jams, and wood-fired bread. There’s also a burgeoning craft brewing industry in the region.
In between wine tasting and dining, take a stroll along one of the region’s beaches or in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. Canal Rocks is a particular highlight, as well as the many show caves in the region.
Other Activities in Margaret River:
How to get there: It’s best to visit the Margaret River region by car. There are limited public transport connections to the area, and once you arrive you’ll need your own car to get around. Alternatively, there are some day trips from Perth, although be prepared for a very long day.
Where to stay: The Margaret River is the perfect destination to splurge on a luxury stay. Perhaps book into the 5-star Cape Lodge, surrounded by wineries, or else stay at the beachfront Smiths Beach Resort. Prefer to glamp instead? Olio Bello Glamping has gorgeous safari-style tents and you’ll be within walking distance of the olive farm’s restaurant.
Perth day tour recommended by Shandos Cleaver from Travelnuity
11. Wave Rock
3:5 hours east of Perth
With a height of 15 meters, Wave Rock is a natural rock formation that is in the shape of an ocean wave. Wave Rock is part of a solitary hill called the Hyden Rock that belongs to the nature reserve called Hyden Wildlife Park. The curved cliff face of the Wave Rock is made of granite and is an example of Flared Slope. There are many other notable rock formations near the Wave Rock such as the Hippo Yawn and the Humps. Also, Wave Rock hosts an annual Wave Rock weekend event.
Wave Rock has an aboriginal and cultural significance among the Ballardong people. According to the Dreamtime story, the Wave Rock was created by the Rainbow serpent. It was created in her wake when her body was dragged over the land after she had consumed all the water in the land.
Wave Rock is around 340 kilometers from Perth city and the road trip by car takes 3 hours 45 minutes. The closest bus stop is at Hyden, the closest town to Wave Rock, which is approximately 5 kilometers from Wave Rock. The bus journey between Perth and Hyden is around 5 hours and the buses run only once a week.
Because of the distance from Perth, it is best to visit the Wave Rock as part of a weekend getaway from Perth and stay in Hyden. There are a few hotels, motels, and caravan parks that cater to all kinds of travelers. One can also stay at Wave Rock Resort at Lake Magic.
Day trip from Perth suggested by Raksha from SOLOPASSPORT
The Best Day Trips from Perth
- Guildford & Swan Valley
- Rottnest Island
- Pinnacles Desert
- Jurien Bay
- Margaret River
- Wave Rock
Roundup: Perth Day Trips
While I have only had the chance to visit four of these Perth day trip destinations, I can only encourage you to visit them all. After all, those I have yet to see with my own eyes have been on my list for my next trip to Perth for quite a while now, and learning more about them has only made me want to visit them more. I, for one, cannot wait to go on these day trips or even weekend getaways from Perth.
P.S. If you are planning to visit some or all of these locations as part of a Western Australia road trip, you might want to use my road trip planner post to plan the road trip of your dreams.
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