Perth is the fourth biggest city in Australia with a population of almost 1.9 million. It is also one of the most isolated big cities in the world. In fact the nearest city is Adelaide which is 2100 km away.
Perth is also the sunniest city in Australia with about 3200 hours of sunshine annually.
Now we present our list of the top 10 fun things to do in Perth and around the city.
1. Kings Park
This park attracts about 6 million visitors every year and is amongst the largest city parks in the world. It covers an area of 400 hectares or 1000 acres and was opened in 1895. Within the grounds of the park is the botanic garden which came into being in 1965 and has an area of some 17 hectares or 43 acres. Here you can see many hundreds of different native flora and dozens of different birds.
The park also boasts some of the most spectacular views of the city and Swan River from its elevated position. One of the important features of Kings Park is the State War Memorial. It contains an 18 m tall Cenotaph and other memorials dedicated to those who have died in different battles.
2. Hillarys Boat Harbour and AQWA
These two attractions are located next to each other and are situated on the coast approximately 25 km north of the city. Hillarys Boat Harbour is more than just a place to moor boats, it has many different and interesting shops selling such items as clothing, sweets, surfboards, wooden carvings and much more. There are also many restaurants and takeaways.If you are looking for things to do in Perth with kids, go to AQWA. The Aquarium of Western Australia is one of the largest aquariums in Australia and home to thousands of marine animals. There are many different tanks displaying all sorts of marine life and also a moving walkway where you can come face to face with sharks and stingrays and many other fish both big and small. Outside there is also a small touch pool, where you can touch fish living here.
3. Swan Valley
Among top things to do in Perth we have to mark visit to the Swan Valley. The area know as the Swan Valley is about a 25 minute drive north-east of the city. The area is home to many vineyards and wineries, many of which offer free wine tasting and some have a gift shop and restaurant.
Another must see (and taste!) is the Margaret River Chocolate Company situated on West Swan Road.
This is heaven for lovers of chocolate and you can taste milk, dark and white chocolate free! There is also a huge amount of different chocolate for sale. Also you can choose from different flavours of ice creams and there is a restaurant. This is truly the best place among things to do with kids in Perth.
In the Swan Valley you can find many different restaurants and places selling specialised goods such as honey and lavender. The kids will enjoy this area too with activities such as mini golf.
Another wonderful attraction is Whiteman Park. Here you will find tractor and car museums plus a few small shops selling a lot of home made items.
One of the most popular attractions in this area is the Caversham Wildlife Park. Here you will find more than 2000 animals and birds including the two main animals of Australia, the kangaroo and koala. There are many kangaroos here that are usually lazing around and visitors are free to walk among them and touch and feed them. The koalas are in a special area and usually there is one that you can stroke under the watchful eye of a keeper.
There are many exciting things to do around Perth. Fremantle is located next to the ocean about 30 minutes drive south-west of the city. It is also a port and one of the busiest in Australia handling mostly cargo ships but also a number of cruise ships.
One of the main attractions in Fremantle in the Maritime Museum located at Victoria Quay and is open daily 9.30 am – 5.00 pm. There is a souvenir shop and cafe. In the museum you can find many interesting facts about the history of sea life in Western Australia.
Fremantle is also well known for its many cafes and coffee shops, but you can also find souvenir shops and many other interesting shops selling all kinds of different things.
One of the most popular attractions is a tour of the old Fremantle prison. This prison was built by convicts in the 1850s and was the main prison until its closure in 1991. The building is now included on the World Heritage List. Another must do in Fremantle is visit fishing boat harbour for some delicious fish and chips!
5. Beaches in Perth
What about free things to do in Perth. One of the most famous and popular free sites in and around Perth are its beaches. With so much coastline there is never a problem finding somewhere to swim or relax. The beaches are clean white sand and the ocean a wonderful clear turquoise colour.
The most popular and well known of the many beaches is Cottesloe Beach which can be found about 14 km from the city and about 8 km north of Fremantle. There are many restaurants and cafes in the area as well as different shops.
6. Rottnest Island and Penguin Island
Not far off the coast are two islands popular with locals and tourists. Some lovers of nature consider that the best things to do in Perth is visiting Rottnest Island and Penguin Island. The largest is Rottnest Island which is 11 km in length and has a width of 4.5 km and is situated about 20 km west north west of Fremantle. It’s a popular place to stay for a few days or just to visit for a few hours. Some of the activities include, walking, cycling, swimming or just relaxing on one of the many beaches. There are a number of different walk and bike trails to choose from. There are a large number bird species and one of the symbols of the island is the quokka, a small marsupial roughly the size of a cat.
Rottnest can be reached by ferry from either Barrack Street jetty in the city, Hillarys Boat Harbour or Fremantle.
Another interesting island is Penguin Island, located less than 1 km from the coast in Shoalwater Bay near Rockingham. The island is home to a colony of ‘Little Penguins’ the smallest species of penguin in the world. The population of penguins is about 1000 but they can be quite hard to spot in the wild. However, there is a special discovery centre where you can see them swimming and also being fed by a wildlife officer. This happens three times a day. You can see other types of seabirds on the island and sea lions and dolphins can sometimes be seen in the area.
The island can be reached by a 5 minute ferry ride from Rockingham Wildlife Encounters on the corner of Arcadia Drive and Penguin Road, Shoalwater.
7. Swan River Cruises
If you are searching for things to do in Perth this weekend, set off on a Swan River Cruise. One of the best and most relaxing ways to get great views of the city and surrounds is by going on a river cruise.
There are a few different cruises to choose from. One of them is a very scenic cruise from the city to Fremantle. On the way you can see many large homes worth millions of dollars, yacht clubs, and a lot of wonderful natural scenery. Approaching Fremantle is always interesting as you can get very close to huge cargo and sometimes passenger ships.
If you like wine you might be interested in a wine cruise to the Swan Valley, where you can enjoy wines as you make your way up the Swan River. Another popular cruise is the lunch cruise. Here as you cruise up river you can enjoy a wonderful array of hot and cold foods, deserts, wines and juices.
8. Aviation Heritage Museum
For people with an interest in aviation this museum is a must see. The museum is located in the suburb of Bull Creek which is only about a 20 minute drive from the city. There are more than 20 aircraft on display including such famous names as the Lancaster, Dakota and Tiger Moth. Also there are aircraft engines and many other displays that look back at the history of aviation.
The museum can be located on Bull Creek Drive, Bull Creek. The opening hours are from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm daily.
One of the most popular coastal towns is Mandurah. It is situated about 70 km south of Perth and can be reached by train from the city which takes about 50 minutes.
Mandurah is surrounded by the ocean and many waterways which are popular for boating and fishing. There are many fine parks for you to have a picnic or barbecue or just relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
A popular part of the town is the Mandurah Ocean Marina where you can find shops, cafes, restaurants, market stalls and boardwalks all next to the ocean.
A popular way to see this area is by going on a cruise of the waterways. Lunch and dinner cruises are available so why not enjoy a meal as you sit back and take in the views?
10. Araluen Botanic Park
One of the most beautiful parks can be found away from the city in the suburb of Roleystone about 35 km south east of Perth. These wonderful gardens are full of different plants such as azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons and roses, also magnificent trees like the ash, cedar and of course eucalyptus. In spring the park becomes a mass of colour with the blooming of thousands of tulips and other flowers.
There is also a shop and if you are feeling hungry why not have a tasty meal in the tearooms which are built like a log cabin. You can sit inside or out and enjoy the views of this wonderful park.