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Perth is one of the most beautiful capital cities in Australia and there is plenty to see and do. However, if you’re looking to get out of the city for a day or two, there are some incredible day trips or weekend getaways from Perth that are an absolute must! These Perth day trips and weekend getaways are sure to help you plan your next adventure!
Top Perth Day Trips & Weekend Getaways From Perth
Western Australia is a state that inspires you to get outdoors and explore. The capital of Western Australia is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do, yet sometimes it’s nice to get outside of the city center.
With so many incredible day trips and weekend getaways from Perth, it’s hard to know where to start!
Thankfully there are some downright incredible attractions and regions within a couple of hours of Perth. National Parks, winery regions, and breathtaking beaches are just some of what you will find on the outskirts of Perth and beyond.
We have grouped some of the Perth day trip ideas, tours and weekend escape ideas that are perfect for anyone who is looking to explore beyond the Perth region for the first time or is a local looking for somewhere fun for their next adventure near home.
Before you set off on your day trip or weekend getaway from Perth, there are a few essentials that you will need to take with you.
Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are all essential for protecting yourself from the Western Australian sun. Make sure to also pack plenty of water and snacks, especially if you’re heading on a long drive. And even more so if that drive is with kids!
Accommodation In Perth
Before you head off on your perfect day trip, make sure you have the right kind of Perth accommodation for your stay. With a range of options from camping and caravanning to apartments and hotels, there is something for everyone!
For these Perth day trips, we’ve put together the best places to visit within 2.5 hours of Perth. When it comes to taking a day trip, anything longer will mean you are spending more time on the road than at your end destination so we’ve added those to our weekend (or longer) getaways below instead.
Any of these day trips would also make wonderful extended stays for a night or two, or longer!
So first up, here is a list of the best day trips from Perth to get you beyond Perth city and explore the great southwest!
1. Rottnest Island
This beautiful island is located just off the coast of Perth and is a popular spot for swimming, snorkelling, fishing and cycling. With its many pristine beaches and bays, Rottnest Island is a must-visit for any nature lover!
For many people, Rottnest Island is a favourite spot for Perth day trips or weekend getaways from Perth due to its quiet atmosphere and beautiful surroundings. There is plenty to do in the great outdoors and you can easily get around by bike or bus.
You can visit Rottnest Island via a short ferry ride and make your own way around the island, or join a guided tour from Perth or Fremantle instead.
Here are some of the best Rottnest Island full day tours:
The Swan Valley is located just 25 minutes from the Perth CBD and is Western Australia’s oldest wine region. With over 70 wineries, restaurants and cafes to choose from, the Swan Valley is the perfect spot for a Perth day trip.
You can reach the Swan Valley region by road or catch a Swan River cruise from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty. This is the only cruise that departs a capital city and takes you to an award-winning winery region.
In fact, there are so many ways to experience Swan Valley. Winery hopping in a horse-drawn carriage or being chauffered in a classic car or simply joining a winery tour from Perth.
Enjoy a picnic on the banks of Swan River at one of the many beautiful natural areas in the region, bringing with you some of the local produce and handmade delights from the region – cheese, olives, chocolates and of course, wine.
Or you can enjoy bike riding, water sports, wildlife watching and seeing the wildflowers.
If visiting Swan Valley with kids, visit Caversham Wildlife Park, where you will find one of Western Australia’s largest collections of native Australian wildlife plus an array of farm animals too.
Here are some great Swan Valley day tours from Perth:
Yanchep is located only 50 minutes from the Perth CBD and offers some of Western Australia’s best bushwalking trails. There are also plenty of great swimming spots, lakes to fish or canoe in, wildlife spotting and even kangaroo watching!
The national park is also a great spot for bird watching and you might see some of the more than 100 species that call Yanchep National Park home.
You might be lucky enough to spot koalas in the trees above as you wander through Yanchep National Park.
Yanchep Lagoon is a great place for a swim for the whole family and if you’re feeling more adventurous, head to Crystal Caves for a guided tour. This is the closest cave to Perth.
Fremantle Prison is an interesting place to visit, stepping back in time and hearing how the prison operated during its many eras. There are several tours available, including a night tour if you dare.
Fremantle is a perfect place to enjoy craft beer and great food, with Little Creatures Brewery and many wonderful restaurants lining the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour.
Fremantle Markets are a must-visit between Friday and Sunday, with live music, local produce and plenty of handmade wares to discover.
Or head to Cappuccino strip for the best coffee or brunch just like the Perth locals.
There are loads of free things to do in Fremantle as well, from the WA Shipwrecks Museum and historic buildings to the art gallery, the oldest building in Western Australia – The Roundhouse, and splashing around at Bathers Beach.
Distance From Perth: 22 km south
Drive Time: 30 minutes
5. Penguin Island
Head 45 minutes south of Perth and ride the 5-minute ferry off the coast into the heart of the spectacular Shoalwater Islands Marine Park to find yourself at Penguin Island.
The ferries depart hourly between 9 am and 3 pm, with daily penguin feedings at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm with park rangers.
This incredible island paradise is a wildlife wonder with your chance to see the world’s smallest penguins up close. As well as this, you can join a cruise and see pods of dolphins and Australian sea lions.
On the island itself, you can swim, picnic, snorkel and explore the nature trails before catching the ferry back at your leisure – whether you plan to spend half a day or a full day at the island.
This is a magical day trip just a short drive from Perth to see wildlife in their natural habitat!
Distance From Perth: 50km south
Travel Time: 45 minutes + short ferry ride
Costs: $35 for adults & $25 for kids for ferry
6. Sepentine Falls
If you’re looking for a beautiful day trip from Perth that doesn’t involve driving too far, head to Serpentine Falls.
Just a 50-minute drive south from the CBD, these falls are located within Serpentine National Park and make for a lovely picnic spot on a warm day.
Serpentine Falls is a beautiful spot for a picnic with the family. You can also swim here although it does get really busy in the summers months so arrive early!
There are also a few different nature walks and hiking tracks through the national park.
Distance From Perth: 65 km south
Drive Time: 50 minutes
Costs: $15 per vehicle National park fee
Just over an hour south of Perth, Bunbury is the second-largest city in Western Australia.
With its close proximity to the beach, beautiful parks and gardens and interesting attractions, there is plenty to see and do in this coastal town.
Take a stroll along gorgeous Ocean Drive and enjoy the views of Koombana Bay.
Along Bunbury Foreshore, you will find the Dolphin Discovery Centre – an aquarium that also organises dolphin tours into Bunbury Marine Park. The aquarium is great fun for all ages, with lots of interactive displays and some very cool marine creatures.
Koombana Playground is a fantastic playground and will easily entertain the kids for ages. There are picnic and BBQ areas here, or a great cafe next door.
This is also a great spot for a swim during the summer months.
Distance From Perth: 168 km south
Drive Time: 2 hours
Just under 1.5 hours from Perth, Lancelin is a small coastal town that offers a unique experience – sandboarding!
If you are looking for something active to do with the family, you can hire a sandboard from almost every store in town. We hired ours from the service station on the way into town, heading south.
Then head to Lancelin sand dunes for a load of fun! These towering dunes are great for tobogganing, bodyboarding and (of course) sandboarding.
Here you will also find buggy and motorbike experiences if you are looking for something even more daring!
There are also some great spots for fishing, swimming and surfing in Lancelin, as well as places to eat and drink.
Costs: Free. Sandboard hire varies from $10 per hour.
10. Pinnacles Desert & Cervantes
Just over a 2-hour drive north of Perth, Pinnacles Desert is home to one of Australia’s most beautiful natural wonders. These limestone and sandstone rock formations make you feel like you’ve stepped onto the moon, or at the very least, an actual desert with the golden sands surrounding you!
Located within Nambung National Park, you can access the Pinnacles Desert on foot and by car with tracks for both.
It costs $15 per car to enter the national park for the day and it is well worth it. But do make sure you dress for comfort and that you get out and explore.
The walking track takes you on a loop around the desert, including a lookout point with ocean views.
What is especially fun is following the emu tracks in the sand. You may even get lucky enough to spot one. We only spotted a kangaroo on our visit, during our driving loop but it was still a lot of fun searching!
The Pinnacles Discovery Centre is a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs afterwards as well.
At nearby Cervantes, you will also find the Lobster Shack for delicious seafood meals, factory tours and wildlife boat tours. Lake Thetis and its stromatolites are another cool stop on your Pinnacles day trip.
Just over 2 hours north of Perth, Jurien Bay is a small coastal town on the Indian Ocean. Best known for its stunning turquoise waters, which you can enjoy as you stroll along the Turquoise Way Trail, taking you past the foreshore and all the way to Jurien Bay Marine Park on this 14km track.
The biggest highlight of a visit to Jurien Bay is the wildlife encounters.
Book a sea lion tour and have the opportunity to swim with these adorable sea puppies in the wild or head out snorkelling. There are several different areas to snorkel from Jurien Bay or from the nearby Boullanger Island.
Jurien Bay also has an incredible Foreshore playground – Dobbyn Park. This natural playground is huge and relatively new, along with a skate park and youth hangout area.
Distance From Perth: 220 km north
Drive Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
The Ultimate Weekend Getaways From Perth
If you are looking for weekend getaways or mini-break ideas, these destinations are a little further away from Perth and need more than a day trip to really enjoy them.
Here are some perfect places to visit for a weekend from Perth:
Just over a two-hour drive from Perth, Busselton is a Western Australia South West tourism hub.
Home to the longest wooden pile pier in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as an underwater observatory and on the doorstep of the world-famous wine trail of Margaret River – there is plenty to do and see here!
The town of Busselton itself has a beautiful central beach, a great boardwalk and plenty of cafes and craft breweries to enjoy. At the foreshore itself, you will find restaurants and Shelter Brewing Co.
There is also a massive adventure playground themed around a shipwreck and Kraken that the kids love.
The bike and walking tracks make it perfect for cycling or taking a strong along the Indian Ocean.
As for the Busselton Jetty, if you’re not keen on making the almost 2km walk to the end of the jetty… then walking all that way back again, there is a train that operates daily.
There is also a special snorkelling area at the end of the long jetty and loads of other water activities on offer, from kayaking to whale watching and diving.
Distance From Perth: 200 km south
Drive Time: 2.5 hours
Costs: Free. $4 day pass per person for jetty access.
13. Margaret River Region & Dunsborough
A little over 3 hours drive north of Perth, and just half an hour further than Busselton, you will find the famous Margaret River region and some of the best wines in Australia!
This is one of WA’s most desirable weekend escapes or even longer getaways and you will easily fill several days with all the things you can do in this region.
Aside from the many exceptional wineries in Margaret River where you can enjoy wine tastings, you will also find several breweries, chocolate factories and other local produce.
Then for the outdoor enthusiasts, Dunsborough is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Western Australia in this southwest region of the state. Meelup Beach, Eagle Bay, Bunker Bay, just to name a few.
The many Margaret River caves are also a fun experience, with several different caves in the region. Some of the most popular options are Ngilgi Cave, Jewel Cave, Mammoth Cave and Lake Cave although there are others.
A four hour and 15-minute drive from Perth and you will reach the coastal town of Geraldton.
Just like Busselton, there is plenty to keep you occupied in this region with a beautiful waterfront area with a splash park and playground. There is also a great beach here – Town Beach, which is relatively well protected from waves and a perfect place to swim with kids.
In Geraldton, you will also find plenty of great cafes and restaurants as well as a couple of museums.
During the warmer months, go snorkelling off the beach near Point Moore Lighthouse.
The islands make up a national park where you will find some rare and unique wildlife, beautiful white sandy beaches and water activities.
Distance From Perth: 415 km north
Drive Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Kalbarri is a beautiful coastal town around 6 hours drive north of Perth, making it the perfect long weekend getaway from the city.
In fact, we did our Perth to Kalbarri road trip over 5 days, spending 1 night in Geraldton, 2 in Kalbarri and our final night in Jurien Bay before returning to Perth.
The highlight for many visitors to Kalbarri National Park, which surrounds the town. Here you will find towering red cliffs, gorges, river valleys and plenty of wildlife – including kangaroos, emus and a wide variety of birds.
There are plenty of great hikes in the national park, from easy paved walks to more challenging trails that will get your heart rate up. One of the relatively easy walks is to Natures Window – a 1km return loop.
Kalbarri is also home to some lovely beaches, including Blue Hole Beach and Red Bluff Beach.
For the perfect place to stay in Kalbarri, check out Red Bluff Tourist Park. We absolutely loved our stay here and had kangaroos hopping past our cabin each afternoon before the sunset over the Red Bluff Cliffs.
Don’t miss Hutt Lagoon in Port Gregory on your way to Kalbarri. This incredible pink lake is a natural attraction you have to see to believe!
Distance From Perth: 571 km north
Drive Time: 6 hours
Costs: $15 per vehicle National park fee
If you’re looking for Perth day trips or weekend getaways, look no further than the options listed above. These are just a sampling of what this one city has to offer in terms of fun and memorable experiences that will help make your next visit unforgettable. From kayaking to whale watching and diving, each option is sure to help you create incredible new adventures seeing more of beautiful Western Australia. Which of these day trips would you most like to do?
Plan Your Western Australia Trip
Book your flights – We use Skyscanner to research and book flights. You can set up a price alert for your travel dates, plus it compares most major airlines in one place.
Car hire – Europcar are a great option for car rental.