Located on the western coast of Australia, Perth is known for its sandy white beaches and booming restaurant scene. Once largely bypassed by tourists, Perth has gained popularity as a travel destination for foodies, wine lovers, and adventure seekers. Known as a family-friendly destination, Perth meets the expectations of any discerning traveler. With fantastic hotels and restaurants and a rugged Australian feel, Perth almost feels like your own oasis. Here are four perfect itineraries for Perth.
Perth is a perfect city for families looking for fun outside of theme parks, and the balmy weather makes it a great city to explore outdoors. The Perth Cultural Centre is a fun and educational place to take your kids, with a large beach installation. But for the real thing, nothing beats heading west to Cottesloe Beach. Just 15 minutes from the city, Cottesloe is a great place to surf, snorkel, or just laze around on a sunny day in between exploring the esplanade. For something different, head out to Shoal Water Islands Marine Park and snorkel with sea stars, urchins, and even sea lions on Seal Island.
Right outside the city, Landsdale Farm is a small farm with a sensory garden and lots of farm animals for your kids to play with. Cavensham Wildlife Park is also a great destination where you can play with kangaroos and wombats in their natural habitat. For more activities, the Aquarium of WA and The Great Escape Waterslide Park can be a fun refuge for kids when it gets too hot. Farther north along the coast is City Beach, where you can get some of the city’s best fish and chips at Clancy’s Fish Pub or Hillary’s.
There are some fantastic kid-friendly cafés to explore. Sprolo has an award-winning Blacklist Coffee roaster and a full area for kids to play in and delicious pandan waffles for when they get hungry. If you have happen to be in Fremantle before visiting Cottesloe beach, try Ootong and Lincoln for the best Aussie breakfast in the area. The maize porridge and egg toastie are fun and delicious. The Sorrento Beach Shack near Hillary’s Boat Harbour is the most picturesque with great breakfast for kids and parents to enjoy. Try the bacon and eggs!
For Adventure Seekers
Just 45 minutes from Perth by ferry, Rottnest Island is a popular stop lovers of the great outdoors. From snorkeling to surfing, finding your own refuge on this beautiful island is easy. Start with the Rottnest Express Eco Adventure Tour and tour the island’s wild side. Geronimo Sky Diving is the ultimate tandem skydive from over 14,000 feet above Rottnest Island, so get ready to scream your lungs out.
If you’ve always wanted to try wakeboarding , head out to Perth Wake Park, just outside the city center. The only cable wakeboard park in Western Australia, it offers lessons for beginners as well as obstacles for advanced riders. If you want to get away from the city, the Peel Region is full of adventures with world-class golf courses and diving expeditions. Try fishing, white-water rafting, dolphin watching, and even windsurfing on more than 50 kilometers of Western Australia’s finest coastline. Flyboarding and Jet Skiing are a must for those who like to live life in the fast lane before winding down at one of the wineries or excellent restaurants like Redmanna Waterfront or Catch 22.
For Wine Lovers
Margaret River may have a legion of fans when it comes to Australia’s best wine region, but if you’re looking for something closer to the city, Swan Valley is equally rewarding for oenophiles. Located just 25 minutes from Perth, Swan Valley is known as Western Australia’s oldest wine region. Family-run wineries rub shoulders with big international wine producers with award-winning restaurants and cafés dotting the entire region.
Mandoon Estate is one of the better known wineries in the region with award-winning wines. From fine dining with an imaginative menu by chef Michael Hartnell to handcrafted beers from the Homestead Brewery, it’s easy to spend a day at Mandoon Estate. Coward and Black is the perfect spot for chocolate lovers looking to learn more about pairing or making wine and chocolate. Tyler’s Vineyard is famous for their grenache grape, whereas the boutique winery Ugly Duckling is fun for a light lunch and a glass of chardonnay. Olive Farm wines is a great place for those who want to taste up to 25 different wines with their wine flights—the cheese barrel café next door is a must too. If you’re into organic wine, be sure to stop at Harris Organic Wines, Australia’s only organic distillery and winery; their vodka and brandy are equally exciting to taste.
If you happen to be in Perth during the summer, Upper Reach Winery offers not only award-winning wine but also twilight concerts and great food. With more than 150 wineries, restaurants, breweries, and distilleries, the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail is a great self-guided tour to Aussie wines.
FOR FOOD LOVERS
With the recent proliferation of restaurants around Perth, it is safe to say you won’t go hungry while you’re here. For great gourmet food experiences, self-professed food lovers can venture out to either the Swan Valley or Margaret River, but if you feel like keeping things simple, the city of Perth is a gourmand’s oasis waiting to be discovered.
Start your trip with a visit to Perth City Farm, a not-for-profit urban farm in the business district. Immerse yourself in local food culture with a cooking class at Taste Budds and learn to make anything from gnocchi to Persian food. For lunch, Bib and Tucker is a classic spot by the beach. At dinner, Perth offers a range of options to suit anyone’s discerning palate, from modern Italian at Lalla Rookh to typical modern Australian fare at Matilda Bay Restaurant in Crawley. For the ultimate dining experience, Restaurant Amuse is the place to snag a table, with a tasting menu that changes with the seasons.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Perth Guide