Perth is a little off the beaten track for many visitors to Australia. Despite that—or probably because of it—Perth also hides the best gems for unique experiences, whether you’re coming from overseas or touring Australia.
From historic buildings to modern architecture, from shipwrecks to pubs, from sand dunes to beaches and islands, Perth has a lot of great activities to offer. Tourists and locals alike will find some fantastic and unusual things to do in Perth that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Spoiled for options, you might spend too much time making a decision. So here’s a compilation of the best things to do in Perth to help you build your itinerary!
1. Try Drifting Like The Pros
Nothing screams ‘memorable’ more than getting a heart-pumping experience behind the wheel. This car racing experience is something that any motorsports enthusiast or thrill seeker will have a ball with. If you’re looking for things to do in Perth, Drift School WA can get you hitting the tarmac at the wheel of a bona fide drift car.
Drift School WA is an exciting experience that gives you the option to try drifting behind the wheel or riding shotgun with a professional drifter. Teens and adults can catch the high-speed drifting action at Perth’s Wanneroo Raceway with Drift School WA.
2. Visit Fremantle Arts Centre
The historic city of Fremantle is a good starting point for your trip to Perth. The aesthetic architecture of this port city definitely captivates! But no building captures the essence of Fremantle than its Arts Centre.
The Fremantle Arts Centre was originally built as an asylum and was even used as a naval base during the World Wars. Now, however, this historic site houses artists and bands for art exhibitions and workshops and live music. Visitors of all ages will find something to do at the Fremantle Arts Centre as exhibits, courses, music gigs, and other events run all year round.
Now, don’t just toss this seemingly normal experience aside. It’s no secret, after all, that the best way to experience a new location is blending in with the locals.
3. Skydive Above Perth
Ever get envious of drones getting the best shots of coastlines and beaches? Well, now you have a chance to be one. Skydive at 15,000 feet above Perth with Skydive Australia for an absolutely unforgettable view.. Enjoy the panoramic view as you free fall for a minute before floating under the canopy.
Though the skydive itself is less than 10 minutes long, this will definitely stand out as one of your most memorable experiences.
4. Go on Swan Valley Wine Cruises
As Australia is known in the world as a top wine exporter, it’s only natural to have wine tasting in your itinerary. When in Perth, try a relaxing cruise going to different wineries handpicked by the people behind Captain Cook Cruises and Swan Valley Tours.
Enjoy delectable dishes and live music while onboard, then revel in the city skyline as you journey from Perth to the Swan Valley. Depending on the cruise, you can enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the wine estate or try wine with cheese, chocolate, or even a gastronomic lunch. No need to hold back on the wine and sweet treats as the tour will ferry right you back to Perth.
5. Eat Your Way through Perth with a Food Tour
Foodie or not, you can always rely on food tours to make your trip fun. Food tours allow you to mingle with the locals without trying to strike up an awkward conversation because you already have a common ground: the delicious tucker.
With Foodi Walking Tours, you have different options for your degustation journey. To name some, Foodi has the Beaufort Street’s Progressive Morning Tea tour, where you go through Highgate cafés; and they also offer a Chocolate Lovers Walking Tour, where you visit Perth’s best chocolatiers.
Nothing ruins a trip more than eating sub-par meals every day, especially when you’re in Australia, so wear comfy shoes, ready your stomachs, and join these local food tours!
6. Try Aquaplay Tours at Rottnest Island
There is no trip to Perth complete without a visit to Rottnest Island. As a top destination in West Australia, Rotto (as the island is affectionately called by locals) boasts clear beaches and beautiful views just a few minutes away from the city. Not to mention, the world’s happiest animal, the quokka, can also be found loitering around the island.
One cool way to explore Rotto is through waterbiking. The Rottnest Island Aquaplay Tours combines the chill vibes of cycling, sightseeing, and cruising. This unique experience in Perth will allow you to explore the island’s natural environment, from the clear beaches to the unobstructed skyline.
7. Have Fun in the Sun at Cottesloe Beach
Like the Rotto, Cottesloe Beach is a key destination in Perth. Watch the sunset or sunrise over the Indian Ocean as you picnic along the shores of Cottesloe or as you wine and dine in any of the nearby restaurants.
Swim, surf, or dive in the clear waters of Cottesloe beach and enjoy the fine, white sand afterwards. If you visit in March, you may even get to take pictures with some unique artworks. Sculpture by the Sea is an outdoor exhibit held annually where artists take their giant sculptures and dot them along the beach’s coastline. This is something you won’t want to miss!
8. Swim through the Coogee Maritime Trail
If you’re feeling adventurous, journey underwater through the Coogee Maritime Trail. This unique experience will touch on the archaeological and maritime stories of Perth, particularly the Omeo Shipwreck.
Imagine a trip to the museum but instead of walking around the exhibition, you get to swim around a shipwreck, and your fellow museum-goers are marine wildlife. I’m sure this will be one for the books!
Perth has been blessed with an incredible turquoise coastline. As such, watersports—snorkelling, surfing, kitesurfing—are a big thing. From competitive sports to relaxing water activities, Perth sure knows how to utilize its beautiful waters. One of the more exciting water activities in Perth is kitesurfing, because you get to take on two elements at once: water and wind. It’s like combining surfing and paragliding, and once you get a hang of it, the sport is a breeze.
Soulkite can hook you up with kitesurfing, whether you want private or semi-private lessons or whether you want one-hour or five-hour sessions. Try kitesurfing in Point Walter or Applecross on the Swan River with the friendly faces at SoulKite!
10. Experience AQWA
Let’s admit it. You don’t go to Western Australia without taking a dip in the water. But if the beach is too cliché for your itinerary, why not snorkel with sharks?
The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA) offers an amazing experience of snorkelling with sharks and other marine animals in their Shipwreck Coast Aquarium. This marine life attraction can also give you a unique underwater look of the Southern Ocean through its famous Underwater Tunnel, treat you to a one-of-a-kind Glowing Ocean Exhibit, and awe you with its deadly marine creatures in the Danger Zone Exhibit.
11. Fly via Corsaire Scenic Flights
Corsaire Aviation offers scenic helicopter rides from Jandakot Airport, Crown Towers, and Hillarys Boat Harbour to name a few. Though each take-off point has its own merit, taking a ride from Hillarys is probably the best, especially when you have limited time in Perth.
Hillarys Boat Harbour already offers different must-dos like the AQWA, fast ferries to Rottnest Island, arcades, and restaurants to name a few. Why not add a helicopter ride to your itinerary while you’re at Hillarys!
Regular rides last 10 to 50 minutes, but if you’re planning something special, Corsaire Aviation also offers other more exciting tour packages like a fly-and-dine to Leeuwin Estate, low-level flying to the Pinnacle Desert, and even a grand entrance at Abrolhos Islands on a helicopter.
12. Catch and Cook Your Own Rock Lobster
Food will never taste as good as when you catch it! Fortunately, Blue Juice Charters can hook you up with a Catch and Cook Rock Lobster Tour. You’ll learn how to catch a live lobster and have the option to enjoy your catch with a Seafood & Champagne BBQ at Hillarys Marina. Or, the guys at Blue Juice can take you to Rottnest Island for a private dining experience.
13. Have Fun at Strike
If you’re done with fun in the sun, try to take your energy indoors at Strike. Enjoy bowling, escape rooms, laser tag, karaoke, and food and drinks all under one roof. Strike has several locations in West Australia, so drop by if you’re close. This is a great activity for a rainy day in Perth, or one that the whole family can enjoy.
14. Enter the Fremantle Prison
Tours at the Fremantle Prison are sure to tickle your fancy if your taste in excitement is leaning towards the historic and esoteric.
The Fremantle Prison is listed as a World Heritage tourist attraction, so it is a must-see in Perth. There are several tours you can join, such as Convict Prison, Behind Bars, True Crime, Tunnels Tour, and Torchlight Tour. If you don’t have a strong stomach or are faint-hearted, you may want to skip this; but if you’re brave enough, this is a great immersive learning opportunity.
15. Tread the Karakamia Sanctuary Night Trail
Zoos are overrated. If you want to see animals native to a location, it’s better to casually bump into them in their natural habitat or join guided tours of wildlife sanctuaries. Both are possible when you’re in Australia, but the Karakamia Sanctuary Night Trail is an experience unique to Perth.
Owned by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC), the Karakamia Sanctuary hosts a two-hour guided tour that starts at dusk. Get to see wallabies, quokka, woylies, and other nocturnal animals through this spotlight tour. You not only get to experience the wilderness at night time, you also support the conservation of Australia’s endangered wildlife.
Night adventures are not very popular with tourists, so expect to tell stories about your Karakamia Sanctuary Night Walk to all your friends.
16. Slide around the Lancelin Sand Dunes
If you’re done surfing the beaches of Perth, why not try sandboarding at Lancelin? Pretend to be in an action movie as you surf down standing on your board, or pretend to be a kid again as you slide down the dunes sitting down.
This is definitely an experience to remember for anyone new to sandboarding, and is a very cost-effective family activity for those on a budget.
17. Get on the Optus Stadium Rooftop
Rooftop views are a sight to behold. If you want to see the city atop Perth’s famous Optus Stadium, then get this one on your list.
The Halo tour gets you on a harness so that you can walk around the stadium’s highest seats and even lean over the rooftop edge. For the Game Day Rooftop Experience, get ready to see the game in full view as you take the best seats in the stadium—the rooftop.
18. Walk in Nature
Take a break from the city and take a walk on the wild side with Off the Beaten Track WA. Enjoy different trails, like the easy-breezy Bells Rapid Walk Trail and Mt. Dale Circuit (short trails good for beginners) or the rewardingly intense Eagle View (15 kilometres) and Railway Reserves Heritage Trail (41 kilometres).
With all the stunning scenery found in Western Australia, a walking tour in Perth is not as tedious as it sounds. Give it a try!
19. Don’t Waste a Night and Go Stargazing
One of the top things to do when in Perth is to go see the limestone structures at Pinnacle Desert. While the site is indeed a sight to behold and is very instagrammable, what would make it more memorable is to use it as a backdrop for your stargazing escapade. Because you’re in a desert, light pollution won’t be a problem, so you can get the best view of the stars above the Pinnacle Desert.
If you’re not keen on bar hopping at night in the city, this is something to pass your time productively. Convenient if you’re also only spending a few days in Perth.
20. Hop on a Hot Air Balloon
Have you ever thought that an exhilarating experience can also be relaxing? If not, you’ve probably never tried a hot air balloon ride. Well, Perth might be the perfect place to try it!
Windward Balloon Adventures offers hot air balloon rides over the Avon Valley from April to November. You not only get to experience a birds’ eye-view of Perth’s natural beauty, but you can also sip and toast your champagne while on the ride. This is a great addition to your itinerary once you’ve ticked off all the other exciting experiences on this list.
When is the best time to visit Perth?
If you’re visiting Perth primarily for the beaches, summer is always good. However, expect plenty of people—locals and tourists alike—in the same places as you. October and March are good times to visit since the temperature is not too hot. You also get to see Sculptures by the Beach at Cottesloe Beach in March.
From August to November (spring to summer), you might even see some humpback whales migrating along the West Australian coast. Many activities in this list are available all year round, so there’s really no problem visiting Perth any time of the year.
What can couples do in Perth?
If you’re outdoorsy, go for any of the many beaches in Perth. Watching the sunset on the shore or at a beachside restaurant is romantic for sure. If budget permits, you can even go on a helicopter ride above and around Perth. If you want a relaxing couples’ getaway, however, try a cruise, a wine tasting tour, or a simple walk around Fremantle and end the night in any of the top-rated restaurants in the city.
What are the top tourist attractions in Perth?
Since Perth is situated on the coast of West Australia, its top tourist attractions are the beaches—Cottesloe, City Beach, Coogee, Scarborough, and the beaches of Rottnest Island. Some of the best attractions in the city are the Bell Tower in Barrack Square, the Perth Mint, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, the Swan River, and Elizabeth Quay; while some of the best natural attractions in Perth are the Pinnacle Desert, the Lancelin Sand Dunes, and Penguin Island.