How To Do Perth On A Shoestring
Perth as a holiday destination is often overlooked by Aussies in favour of the bustling east coast, and it’s hard to understand why. What the Western Australian capital lacks in crowds, it makes up for with endless white beaches, spacious parklands and scenic bush.
The best part? Many of the most popular things to do are free, and the ones that aren’t are available on Groupon. Tourists (and locals who are yet to explore their city) will lap up this list of things to do and see in Perth, all at a price that won’t hurt the hip pocket.
1. A gastronomic journey
Hire a car and travel to the picturesque Swan Valley, the state’s oldest wine growing region located only a 25 minute drive from Perth’s CBD. Activate cruise control and take the scenic 32km Food and Wine Trail to feast the senses at fresh produce vendors, distilleries and wineries like Jane Brook Estate where you can stop to enjoy a picnic lunch among the vines.
Whet your appetite for what the region has to offer with a wine, beer and chocolate tasting tour. Including transfers from Perth, this experience from Alavant Tours takes visitors to four wineries and a brewery with plenty of tastings along the way. If you’re still hungry, take a speed grazing tour with award-winning Taste Bud Tours. Loosen your belt buckle as you visit more than 25 locations within 4.5 hours, including Harris Organic Wines and Morish Nuts.
2. Swims, sand and sunsets
The Sunset Coast is the name given to the white sandy beaches that stretch north from Perth as far as the small fishing town of Lancelin, 127 kilometres away. With most days bathed in sunshine and summer temperatures hovering around a balmy 31°C, beachgoers are spoilt for choice with the likes of Cottesloe, City Beach, and Scarborough.
If swimming seems too mainstream, try kitesurfing, snorkelling or scuba diving. And stick around long enough to witness the sunset over the Indian Ocean. The burnt evening sky is truly something to behold, and makes for excellent social media fodder (no filter required).
3. A park fit for a king
Just a stroll from the CBD lies Kings Park and Botanic Garden, a stunning 400 hectares carpeted in native wildflowers and plants. One of the world’s largest inner city parks, almost two-thirds of the green expanse is home to native bushland as well as 80-something bird species, walking trails, an Aboriginal Art Gallery and the State War Memorial. Time your visit around the Kings Park Festival in September for a month of activities like guided walks, live music, and the annual native plant sale.
4. Thrills and spills
Late September heralds the start of the season at Adventure World, a theme park that boasts Perth’s only rollercoaster. Spend a day tackling all 25 attractions including Dragon’s Kingdom and the world’s steepest funnel water slide, the Kraken.
Swap your screams for a pair of sea legs on a seasonal whale watching tour with Echo Adventure Tours Hillarys. The annual humpback whale migration presents a window of opportunity to take close and personal shots of the friendly giants, if you’re quick enough.
Opt for a day trip out of the city and head south to Mandurah for a scenic dolphin cruise. This 90-minute experience on calm protected waterways is a favourite among wildlife lovers and history buffs who can indulge the captain’s tales of Mandurah’s past.
Scribbling down an itinerary? Check Groupon first for other must-do experiences in Perth, as well the latest in food, drink and beauty deals.
Natalie is a writer, food enthusiast and fitness lover. She is regularly mistaken for Kristen Stewart, just with a wider range of facial expressions and less interest in getting bitten.