23 Ideas for the Best Day Trips from Perth

There is so much to see in Perth, but there are so many interesting and unique places to explore outside of Perth. Whether you are thinking of short road trips from Perth or a longer all day adventure, there’s something for everyone in this list. Let’s explore 23 ideas for great day trips around Perth. 

Table of Contents

Top Picks: The Best Perth Day Tours

Short on time? Here’s my recommendations for the best Perth day trips and tours.

trips around perth australia

  • Explore the otherworldly desert full of towering limestone pinnacles
  • Enjoy dinner in the desert
  • Stargazing through a telescope

Rottnest Island Day Trip

  • Explore pristine bays and turquoise beaches
  • Meet the cute quokkas
  • Cycle around the island

Visit the Swan Valley on a Day Trip from Perth for wine tastings at wineries

  • Wine tasting at 4 different wineries
  • Cheese board & chocolate tasting
  • Visit a local microbrewery

Day Trip Perth Planning 

To make the most of your Perth one day trip, make sure you are organised before you depart. Some of these spots might get busy later on, so I prefer to get there early.

My day trips Perth essentials include plenty of water, picnic lunch and snacks, a hat and sunscreen and a great road trip playlist! 

You can do a self drive day trip from Perth basically all year round, but make sure you have adequate sun protection in summer and wet weather gear in winter.

Some of these spots may require a national park ticket. You can purchase these on entry to the park (make sure you have a physical debit or credit card for the machines), or buy a park pass beforehand. 

Park fees are currently $17 per vehicle (2024). Cheaper rates apply for concession card holders.

Buckle up, you’re all set for day drives from Perth now!

How to Get Around

Day trips from Perth by car are featured a lot on this list, as there isn’t public transport readily available. For most of these day trips, a car will be necessary to get to around. For each day trip, I’ve provided a suggestion for a tour that provides transport where possible.

If you need to hire a car, I recommend Discover Cars as they are a large aggregator that offers the best prices from all the big rental companies, plus they offer free cancellation.

Compare the best range of car hire options from Perth

The Pinnacles 

The Pinnacles are located within Nambung National Park, open all year round near the seaside town of Cervantes, 2 hours north of Perth.

The park contains thousands of limestone bright yellow Pinnacles in a desert that covers around 190 hectares.

If you’re interested in a self-drive itinerary, check out the perfect Perth to Pinnacles Road Trip .

Once you reach the Pinnacles, uou can drive or walk through the desert in the 4km loop. The loop is unsealed but suitable for 2WDs, with marked areas to pull over and get out to walk through the pinnacles. 

trips around perth australia

Make sure to visit the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre (open 9.30am – 4.30pm) to learn more about the fascinating geology and natural occurrences that led to the formation of the Pinnacles and the desert.

There are a few options for Perth day tours.

One of the most highly rated day tours from Perth is the Pinnacles Desert Sunset and Stargazing Tour , which reviewers have said is “one of the best excursions we chose while in Australia.”

trips around perth australia

On this tour, you’ll get to stop in Lancelin and try your hand at sandboarding. Your local guide will take you on a beach walk, showing you native plants used by the Aboriginal people as food and medicine.

Continuing on your adventure to the Pinnacles Desert, where you enjoy a BBQ dinner with a glass of Margaret River Wine in the middle of the desert as you wait for the sun to set over the Indian Ocean.

Then, its time for the main event… using a telescope and astro-binoculars to take in spectacular views of the starry night sky – a truly bucket list worthy experience!

Click here to check prices and booking availability

Another recommended tour is this daytime tour that includes a stop to see the koalas at Caversham Wildlife Park, seafood lunch in Cervantes, sandboarding in Lancelin (including transport on a 4WD bus through the dunes!) and a guided tour through the Pinnacles Desert.

trips around perth australia

Click here for more information on this fun day tour.

Travel time: 2 hours Distance: 190 km Location: North of Perth

The Pinnacles is one of the first stops on my suggested Exmouth road trip itinerary – check out the full guide for this epic road trip from Perth!

Rottnest Island 

One of my favourite activities in both summer and winter is to take a day trip to Rottnest Island. 

Rottnest Island is one of the best places to visit near Perth – in fact, some people fly to Perth just to visit this beautiful island with its renowned beaches and friendly quokkas!

There are so many things to do on Rottnest, so make sure you read my detailed guide on how to have a perfect day trip . Highlights include snorkelling, swimming and of course, seeing the adorable quokkas! 

Little Salmon Bay

When you book your ferry ticket, it includes a visitors fee for the island. You can also choose optional extras like bicycle hire (the main way to get around the car-free island) or a bus tour of the island.

Ferries depart from Perth CBD, the port town of Fremantle and Hillary’s Boat Harbour (30 minutes north of Perth). The easiest way to get to Rottnest is by catching the ferry from the Perth CBD, or Fremantle (you can get the train directly from Perth to Fremantle).

  • From Perth: Rottnest Island Ferry
  • From Perth: Rottnest Island Ferry + Bicycle Hire
  • From Fremantle: Rottnest Island Ferry
  • From Fremantle: Rottnest Island Ferry + Bicycle Hire
  • From Perth or Fremantle: Rottnest Island Ferry + Bus Tour

For all you need-to-know about planning the perfect day trip to Rottnest, read my dedicated guide here . I share my one-day Rottnest itinerary as well as options for guided tours and things to do during your visit.

Travel time: From 30 mins Distance: 20 km Location: Off the coast of Perth

Swan Valley 

One of the shorter day trips in Perth, the Swan Valley is an iconic wine region 30 minutes away. With world class wineries, breweries, distilleries, artisan food merchant, handcrafted wares and endless dining options, the Swan Valley is one of Perth’s best day trips. 

Some of my favourite wineries in the Swan Valley are Mandoon Estate, Sandalford Estate and Lancaster. My pick for breweries in the area is Homestead Brewery (at Mandoon Estate) and Bailey Brewing Co.

Consider taking a tour to make the most of the day (and save someone from being the designated driver!). With options for half-day, full-day and even a boat cruise up the Swan River into the Swan Valley, there are options for everyone.

  • Half-Day Swan Valley Tour : Visit four wineries and sample a variety of wines. A cheese board is included, plus boutique chocolate sampling and a visit to a local microbrewery.
  • Ultimate Full-Day Food and Wine Tour : Indulge in some of the best wine and gourmet food the Swan Valley has to offer on this five-star rated day trip from Perth.
  • Swan Valley Gourmet Wine Cruise : Enjoy a relaxing day on the water while seeing Perth from the Swan River. You’ll cruise from Perth to the Swan Valley while enjoying gourmet snacks and a wine tasting on board before visiting the iconic Sandalford Winery for a behind the scenes tour and grazing table lunch.

Travel time: 30 mins Distance: 25 km Location: East of Perth

trips around perth australia

Penguin Island & Shoalwater Marine Park

Penguin Island is a small island located just off the coast of Rockingham, less than a 1 hour drive from Perth.

Accessible by a five minute ferry ride, the island is part of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Parks. As the name suggests, there are colonies of wild Little Penguins that inhabit the island.

You are unlikely to see one of the wild penguins during the day though! Instead, head into the Penguin Discovery Centre to see the Little Penguins up close. 

trips around perth australia

Penguin Island is open daily from mid September to early June. It is closed during the penguin breeding season (late June – early September).

Other things to do on the island include swimming, kayak tours and wildlife cruises.

Here’s my pick for some of the most popular day tours Perth has to offer!

  • Glass Bottom Boat Cruise + Guided Nature Walk: Spot Australian sea lions and look out for dolphins on a 60-minute cruise before joining a guided walk around the natural landscapes of Penguin Island
  • Swim with Dolphins Day Tour : enjoy a memorable day snorkelling and getting up close with wild dolphins!
  • Sea Kayak Adventure: Skip the ferry and kayak over to Penguin Island! Includes a guided tour of the Penguin Discovery Centre. Suitable for beginners to experts.

In December 2022, I went on the new Three Islands tour which is a snorkel, wildlife spotting and seafood lunch cruise. It was an awesome day out snorkelling with a guide and spotting wildlife – we saw sea lion, dolphins and even a manta ray!

You can view a short video of my experience here .

Travel time: 45 mins Distance: 50 km Location: South of Perth

trips around perth australia

Close to Perth is the historic town of York, one of my top picks for a short trip from Perth.

Located in the Wheatbelt Region, York is a small town renowned for its colonial architecture and heritage buildings.

When visiting York, be sure to explore Avon Terrace and the surrounding streets and admire the quaint historic buildings. Walk across the Suspension Bridge, taking in views across Avon River. 

Look for a new read at Barclay Books, browse homewares at Honey and Fig and check out some of the local museums in the area. 

York is also home to Perth’s best canola fields in the flowering months of August and September. From September, the wildflowers begin to bloom in the region.  

Travel time: 1.5 hours Distance: 100 km Location: Inland (east of Perth)

standing in a field of canola

Black Diamond Lake

One of my favourite summer self-drive day trips from Perth will have you heading south to Black Diamond Lake . This popular swimming spot is located near the small town of Collie.

Known for its incredibly vivid blue water, this lake is busiest in the summer months and long weekends.

There are no facilities at Black Diamond, so make sure you bring all you need for the day with you, including camp chairs or picnic rug.

Make sure to bring your floatie and any other water gear like stand up paddle board or kayak! 

While in Collie, make sure to stop by the Wellington Dam Mural.

Travel time: 2 hours Distance: 200 km Location: South of Perth

Man kayaking in black diamond lake

Ferguson Valley 

The Ferguson Valley is a picturesque region south of Perth nestled amongst rolling green valleys and wineries. Ferguson Valley is home to the quirky Gnomesville , some amazing wineries and natural attractions in Wellington National Park. 

Read my detailed guide on things to do in Ferguson Valley.

You could combine a visit to the Ferguson Valley with Black Diamond Lake or alternatively, spend a weekend exploring this beautiful region. 

trips around perth australia

Caversham Wildlife Park

This is one of the best family trips Perth has to offer. Young kids especially will love this outing as they will get to meet a variety of native wildlife. It also one of the shortest day trips from Perth, at just a 30 minute drive from the Perth CBD.

Caversham Wildlife Park is located inside Whiteman Park. They offer a variety of daily attractions such as meeting the wombats, cuddling and getting a photo with a koala, kangaroo feeding, farm shows and more. They are open every day of the year except Christmas Day.

If you require transport, consider joining this Wildlife and City Highlights Tour which includes a tour of the wildlife park, lunch in the Swan Valley and Elizabeth Quay tour.

Otherwise, tick off three major Perth day trips on one tour with this full-day Pinnacles Desert, Koalas and Sandboarding 4WD Tour .

Travel time: 30 minutes Distance: 25 km Location: North of Perth

trips around perth australia

WA’s largest inland town, Northam is another country town home to many heritage listed buildings. Explore the town’s heritage on foot, while perusing the craft and thrift stores. 

Northam is also the only place in Perth where you can do a very special experience – hot air ballooning at sunrise over the countryside. Click here for more information if this sounds up your alley.

Make sure to visit the Northam Silo Art – there are two murals here. The bright and colourful work by HENSE is one of my favourites on the Public Silo Trail . 

Please note the CBH Northam Grain Terminal is a fully operational site, with trucks and loading equipment in use. The site is not open to the public, and is best viewed from Toodyay Rd.

(When I visited in 2019 it was on a public holiday and the site was not operational so I accidentally drove right in and took photos out the front)

You can combine a visit to Northam with York as they are just under 30 minutes apart. If visiting during spring, you could also go wildflower chasing. There are many wildflower hotspots near Northam and York!

Travel time: 1 hour 20 mins Distance: 95 km Location: Inland (east of Perth)

northam public art silo

Mandurah & Lake Clifton

Mandurah is WA’s largest regional city, less than one hour from Perth. This waterway city sits on the coast and has an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour!

In Mandurah, explore Dolphin Quay and visit the many restaurants and cafe’s on the water. Don’t forget an icecream stop at the ever-popular Simmo’s Ice Cream. For 15 ideas and inspiration for things to do in Mandurah, check out my dedicated guide on Mandurah here .

trips around perth australia

The best way to explore Mandurah’s waterways is on this one-hour scenic cruise with guaranteed dolphin sightings! Click here for more information and booking availability.

Another popular cruise that the whole family will love is this Pirate Ship Adventure cruise . Board the pirate ship and explore Mandurah’s canals while dolphin spotting. It will be a memorable trip with lots of laughs on board with your pirate crewman. Click here for booking information.

In December, Mandurah lights up with some of the most extravagant Christmas light displays which draws crowds from Perth and surrounds to see the festive displays.

trips around perth australia

Giants of Mandurah

From November 2022 to November 2023, Mandurah is home to the incredible Giants of Mandurah display by renowned international artist, Thomas Dambo. These magnificent, imaginative interactive displays are hidden around Mandurah – and free to visit!

trips around perth australia

A fun way to explore the Mandurah foreshore and boardwalk is via e-bike or e-scooter – visit The Bike Kiosk next to the Visitors Centre!

trips around perth australia

Lake Clifton

A further 30 minutes south of Mandurah is Lake Clifton . Here you can view thrombolites – some of the earliest forms of life on earth. There is a boardwalk out to the Lake from which you can view the thrombolites and learn more about these fascinating micro-organisms.

trips around perth australia

Travel time: Around 1 hour Distance: 70 km Location: South of Perth

Serpentine Falls

Serpentine Falls is located within Serpentine National Park (park entrance fees apply). This is a beautiful spot for a Perth day trip for the whole family. Pack a picnic lunch and bring a floatie as you can swim in the water hole at the base of the falls.

There is a grassy picnic area and shaded picnic tables, with gas barbeques also available. 

Make sure to get here early, as the place gets busy particularly in the summer months. 

Options for bush walks include the Falls Walk trail (<1km), Baldwins Bluff Nature Track (6 km) and Kitty’s Gorge Walk track (14 km). 

Travel time: 50 mins Distance: 65 km Location: South of Perth

trips around perth australia

Mundaring Weir

Take a scenic drive out to the Perth Hills and visit the Mundaring Weir, an important part of Perth’s heritage. At the base of the weir you can visit the No 1 Pump Station museum to learn more about the history of the weir and the man who was the driving force behind it, C.Y. O’Connor.

trips around perth australia

You can grab a traditional pub lunch or drink at the Mundaring Weir Hotel which often has live music on weekends.

From Mundaring Weir, you can either hike or drive to the South Ledge Golden Lookout for a fantastic view of the Mundaring Weir from across the bushland.

Last year I joined a guided sunset hiking tour with Off the Beaten Track. We went on a leisurely hike for 5km on the Bibbulum Track, spotting wildflowers, native birds and even a kangaroo.

We celebrated the end of our hike with a gourmet platter and some sparkling wine to toast a wonderful afternoon while watching the sunset.

trips around perth australia

Travel time: 45 mins Distance: 40 km Location: Perth Hills

John Forrest National Park 

One of the best national parks near Perth, John Forrest National Park is a great option for a day trip from Perth.

This park located the Perth Hills was Western Australia’s first proclaimed national park. Today, the park is home to two waterfalls, a dam, numerous walking trails and even a tavern. Park entrance fees apply.

Spend the morning exploring the park. Take an easier trail such as the Falls Walk (2.5 km) or Glen Brook Trail (2km), or tackle the more challenging but scenic Eagle View Trail (16km).

Have a picnic or enjoy a pub lunch at the John Forrest Tavern which is frequented by kangaroos ( 2022 update: unfortunately the John Forrest Tavern is now closed due to redevelopment! – bring a picnic lunch instead)

Travel time: 35 mins Distance: 30 km Location: Perth Hills (east of Perth)

trips around perth australia

Bickley Valley 

An off the radar competitor to the famous Swan Valley wine region, Bickley Valley is a charming area nestled in the Perth Hills. 

Check out one of the many wineries on the Bickley Valley Wine Trail, or head to one of Perth’s cideries found in the region.

There are options for bush walks before you tuck into an afternoon of wining and dining. Check out the Bickley Reservoir Walk, Whistlepipe Gully Trail or tackle a section of the Bibbulum Track. 

Save the driving, and join a small group on a Small Group Wine & Cider Tour of the Bickley Valley.

During this full day tour you’ll sample your way through the best of the Bickley Valley wines and artisan cider. Enjoy a winery lunch with paired wines and cider tasting.

You’ll visit three boutique wineries and a cider house on this small-group tour. The perfect choice to explore the Bickley Valley without needing to rent a car. Click here to enquire about availability of this tour.

trips around perth australia

Araluen Botanic Gardens

Araluen Botanic Gardens is a great spot for a family day out. The park is beautiful all year round, but especially in autumn and spring. In Autumn, the entire park turns shades of different burnt orange and red, while in spring over 150,000 tulips blossom to life.

The Springtime Tulip Festival runs from mid-August to the end of September.

At other times of the year, visit Araluen to enjoy the variety of natural landscapes and enjoy a day out in nature. Bring a picnic blanket and basket, go for a hike or just simply explore the landscaped spaces across the park.

Entrance fees apply, more information here .

To make a day of it in the Perth Hills, visit Naked Apple cider nearby for lunch or a tasting paddle.  

Travel time: 40 mins Distance: 35 km Location: Perth Hills (east of Perth)

trips around perth australia


A notable Perth day trip location as you can visit both the Yanchep National Park and Yanchep Lagoon. You could also combine this with a visit to Lancelin sand dunes in the morning, and exploring Yanchep on the way home in the afternoon.

Yanchep National Park is one of the best spots near Perth to see Australian wildlife.

There is a dedicated koala viewing area, and kangaroos are known to frequent the park grounds. The National Park is also home to Perth’s only public cave, the Crystal Cave. Park entrance fees apply at Yanchep National Park.

A half-day tour is available that includes transport from Perth. On this tour you’ll get to enjoy a bush walk, explore Crystal Cave and take in the wildlife sightings as you explore Yanchep National Park.

Head to the coast to swim and snorkel in the incredible Yanchep Lagoon. Protected by a large reef, this naturally formed lagoon is a great spot for the family to swim in.  

Travel time: 50 mins Distance: 55 km Location: North of Perth 

Aerial view of a natural lagoon


There is so much to do and see in Fremantle that it’s worthy of a day trip in Perth. 

It wouldn’t be a trip to Fremantle without a visit to the Freo markets. The Fremantle Markets are a weekend market with specialty shops and gourmet food option. 

trips around perth australia

Most visitors to Fremantle should explore the Fremantle Prison , which is considered one of Perth’s main tourist attractions. Make sure you explore the Fremantle Esplanade, which includes the Instagrammable Ferris Wheel. From here, you could head to the iconic Little Creatures Brewery or Bathers Beach House for lunch. 

Enjoy a brew pub lunch at Little Creatures Brewery or join a behind-the-scenes brewery tour (including a guided beer tasting).

Museum lovers have no shortage of options, with the WA Maritime Museum and WA Shipwrecks Museum in the area. 

From August to November, you can join a luxury whale watching cruise from Fremantle and be part of the largest humpback whale migration in the world.

Travel time: 30 mins Distance: 20 km Location: South of Perth

Ferris wheel at Esplanade Park Fremantle

Lesmurdie Falls

Lesmurdie Falls is one of Perth’s best waterfalls. It is located in Mundy Regional Park, and is best visited in winter or spring for guaranteed water flowing down the falls.

You can park at either the top of the waterfall and hike your way down to the base of the falls, or park near the bottom for a shorter hike. The longest hike is about 3km, so it isn’t too strenuous but the terrain can be rocky and steep in parts.

At the top of the falls is a lookout platform that offers a great view of the city skyline in the distance.

Travel time: 25 mins Distance: 20 km Location: Perth Hills

trips around perth australia


The small seaside town of Lancelin is a great coastal day trip from Perth. Water sports lovers will have no shortage of things to do with the wave and wind creating ideal conditions for surfers.

The best thing to do in Lancelin is check out the incredible Lancelin sand dunes and have a go at sand boarding! You can hire sand boards when you get there from the base of the dunes, or book onto this fun and adventurous ATV and sandboarding tour .

Read more about Lancelin in my guide here .

Travel time: 1.5 hours Distance: 125 km Location: North of Perth

Standing on top of a dune with a sandboard

Jurien Bay 

An hour’s drive further north from Lancelin is Jurien Bay.

Jurien Bay is a popular day trip destination or weekend trip. Jurien Bay offers unique activities such as skydiving and swimming with sea lions. Enjoy the beautiful beaches, checking out both the old and new Jurien Bay jetties. More ideas for things to do in Jurien Bay can be found in my detailed guide .

10 minutes north of Jurien Bay you’ll find the sheltered Sandy Cape area, which offers swimming, snorkelling and even stand up paddle boarding.

Sandy Cape is a popular camping area, but can also be be visited as a day trip. 

Travel time: 2 hours 20 minutes Distance: 220 km Location: North of Perth

trips around perth australia

Bells Rapids

Bells Rapids is a popular picnic and bush walking spot located in Brigadoon in the Perth Hills. One of Perth’s most popular day trips, Bells Rapids is also dog friendly. 

Walk along the Avon River as you navigate the River Walk (2.5km) or Goat Walk (3km) trails.  

There is also a hidden waterfall in the area, which you can see from the Bells Lookout from Campersic Rd. 

Travel time: 45 minutes Distance: 35 km Location: Perth Hills (east of Perth)

trips around perth australia

Wave Rock 

Some might say Wave Rock isn’t really a day trip destination, but I’ve done it before! This is definitely a longer drive, but it do-able as a day trip if you plan it right. You can also stop here on the drive from Perth to Esperance .

Wave Rock is a natural landmark caused by millennia of wind, rain and erosion. It is truly an iconic and unique thing to see in Western Australia. In the area, you can also visit the Hippo Yawn rock and the salt lake, Lake Magic. 

When I did this as a day trip, we made sure to leave Perth around sunrise so we could be back before dark. Alternate between drivers and be prepared with a good podcast or playlist! 

Alternatively, consider joining a tour! This cultural tour takes you to both York and Wave Rock with a guide in one day.

Travel time: 3.5 hours  Distance: 330 km Location: Inland (east of Perth)

A woman admiring the Wave Rock


The seaside town of Busselton is worth a day trip or overnight weekend trip if time permits. 

The main attraction in town is the iconic Busselton Jetty. The second longest jetty in the world, the Busselton Jetty stands at 1.8 km long. Tickets are required to walk out along the Jetty ($4 Day Pass), or catch the Ferry train ($14 return per adult). 

trips around perth australia

Enjoy some of the many seaside restaurants and cafes located along the foreshore. My pick is the brewpub Shelter Busselton, with great beers and delicious food options. Rocky Ridge Brewing Co is another great casual option. 

Busselton is the gateway to the Margaret River Region, with many amazing wineries in the region. Otherwise head to the nearby Flametree Wines for a tasting. 

Alternatively, book onto a tour that takes you on a day trip to Margaret River. This tour takes you to Busselton Jetty, the famous Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse as well as a cave tour to Mammoth Cave.

It’s a long day trip, but you can rest on the coach ride and is good for those who are short on time, but still want to get a taste of the delights of the Margaret River Region. Click here for the full itinerary to see if this tour is right for you.

Travel time: 2.5 hours Distance: 220 km Location: South of Perth

Summary of Best Day Trips From Perth, Australia

That wraps up my list of 23 Day Trip Perth Ideas. There are no shortage of options for self drive day trips from Perth! With many options for short drives from Perth, some of these ideas for longer options could be done as a weekend trip from Perth.

Buckle up and enjoy these best day trips Perth, WA has to offer. Happy travels and safe driving! 

Continue Reading:

  • Fun 3, 5 and 7 Day Itineraries for Exploring Perth
  • Best Places to Stay in Perth (recommended by a local)
  • Top Luxury Accommodation in Perth

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15 thoughts on “23 Ideas for the Best Day Trips from Perth”

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Great write up, I’m from Victoria and I’ve never been to Perth. I like how you have the distance, time and cost of each place.

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10 Top-Rated Day Trips from Perth, Australia

Written by Karen Hastings Updated Oct 21, 2021 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

On the banks of the sparkling Swan River in Western Australia, Perth is one of the world's most isolated capital cities, but right on its doorstep, you'll find a dazzling array of natural wonders. Hauntingly beautiful deserts, gleaming beaches, wildlife-rich islands, and the agricultural bounty of the Swan Valley and Margaret River make rewarding places to visit outside Perth.

Distances between attractions can be vast, but the scenery is worth it. Striking rock formations rise from golden-sand deserts, and wildflowers erupt from the scorched earth in a breathtaking blaze of color from September through November.

Looking for places to visit near Perth and easy half day trips from the city? Bask on bone-white beaches with beautiful turquoise bays, or plan a trip to Perth's port city, Fremantle. With its rich convict and maritime history, art exhibitions, and heritage trails, it provides a pleasing counterpoint to all the natural attractions surrounding the city.

Wildlife is also a highlight, both in the sea and on land. Not far from the city, you can swim with wild dolphins, spot humpback whales on their annual migration, kayak with sea lions, and get up close to quokkas (small marsupials) on ravishing Rottnest Island. See all the highlights with our list of the best day trips from Perth.

1. Rottnest Island

2. fremantle, 3. caversham wildlife park, 4. yanchep national park, 5. the swan valley, 6. the margaret river, 7. pinnacles desert, 8. shoalwater bay: dolphins, sea lions, and penguins, 9. wave rock, 10. whale watching cruise, hillarys boat harbour, map of day trips from perth, australia.

Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is one of the best short trips from Perth. This popular weekend getaway, comprises a slow-paced, car-free splotch of sand with an appealing blend of sun-soaked beaches, historical attractions, and wildlife.

In 1696, the Dutch navigator Willem de Vlamingh landed on the island's dazzling shores and called it paradise. But he mistook the cute, wallaby-like quokkas for rats and named the island Rotte Nest ("rats' nest"). Today, these sweet marsupials are one of Rottnest Island's top attractions, along with its beautiful reef-fringed bays and beaches lapped by turquoise water.

Besides swimming, other popular things to do on Rottnest Island include nature walks, exploring the Parker Point Marine Snorkel Trail, fishing , Segway tours, and admiring the sea views from Vlamingh Lookout and Wadjemup Lighthouse.

Are you a history buff? Stop by the Rottnest Museum, housed in an old mill and hay store, and visit the island's historic sites.

Getting to Rottnest Island is easy. Ferries take about 25 minutes from Fremantle, 45 minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbour, and 90 minutes from Barrack Street Jetty in Perth.

Better still, you can cover all the highlights and maximize your time by hopping aboard a high-speed boat from Perth on the Rottnest Island Day Tour . This eight-hour trip includes a cruise down the Swan River along Millionaire's Row, home to some of the city's priciest real estate; a high-speed wildlife cruise around the island's secluded beaches and bays; and time to explore all its natural and historical attractions.


Fremantle is Perth's port and a reservoir of maritime and convict history. About a 30-minute drive from the CBD , at the mouth of the Swan River, it was the first site of settlement for the Swan River colonists in 1829. Today, it exudes a free-and-easy bohemian feel; many artists and creative types make their home here.

A great way to become acquainted with "Freo," as it's called by the locals, is to take a guided tram tour of the city. Once you know the lay of the land, you'll see that most of Fremantle's top attractions are within easy walking distance in the center of town.

Fine buildings with richly decorated façades, such as the Italian-style Town Hall , bear witness to the town's late 19th-century wealth, when it was a trading hub and a gateway for gold miners traveling to inland towns. For more history, don't miss a tour of Fremantle Prison , the state's only World Heritage-listed building .

Fremantle also has a rich sailing history. The Western Australian Museum's Shipwreck Galleries exhibit the sobering remains of vessels that met their match along the coast, and the Western Australian Maritime Museum proudly displays the winning America's Cup yacht, Australia II .

Other popular things to do in Fremantle include heritage trails; exhibitions and concerts at Fremantle Arts Centre; and Fremantle Markets, where the stalls have been selling arts and crafts, fresh produce, and ethnic street food since 1897. Popular whale-watching cruises also depart from Fremantle.

A fun way to access the city from Perth is on a Swan River Cruise .

Caversham Wildlife Park

Caversham Wildlife Park is a hit with animal lovers, both young and old alike. About a 30-minute drive from the city , this is a great spot to bring the little ones to see all the quintessential Aussie animals. Kangaroos, koalas, kookaburras, quokkas, echidnas, and wombats are just some of the critters you can see here.

Reptile lovers can see some of Australia's impressive pythons, as well as lizards like the lace monitor and perentie.

Interactive experiences are a highlight. You can hand-feed the kangaroos and visit Molly's Farm, with a full cast of farmyard animals. The park also offers a dose of Aussie culture, with sheep shearing and whip-cracking demonstrations. Kids will also love the zookeeper talks, which give them a chance to learn about the resident critters and get up close and personal with them.

Official site: http://www.cavershamwildlife.com.au/

Yanchep National Park

Yanchep National Park promises a fun, family-friendly day out near Perth. Walking trails, wildflowers, and plenty of wildlife are the top attractions at this wilderness area, about 50 kilometers north of Perth .

Scenic nature trails fan out through the coastal plain and circle the large lake. Choose from nine different trails, ranging from 500 meters to 55 kilometers, and look for wildlife along the way – kangaroos are common throughout the park, and koalas cling to the trees over a short boardwalk trail.

Birding is also excellent. The park's woodlands and wetlands are home to many species of birds, including black cockatoos, rainbow lorikeets, and fairy wrens. Nearby, limestone caves shelter an impressive display of stalactites and stalagmites.

To learn about the park's Noongar Aboriginal heritage, sign up for a guided cultural tour. Yanchep National Park is also the perfect setting for a picnic after a relaxing day soaking up all the natural sights. Free barbecues look out over the picturesque lake.

Official site: https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/yanchep

The Swan Valley

The Swan Valley is a haven for foodies. The journey to this picturesque pastoral region, about 14 kilometers from Perth's CBD , is as fun as the destination. From Perth, you can hop aboard a ferry and enjoy a relaxing cruise up the Swan River to the fertile farming country of Australia's oldest grape-growing region. You can also drive here in about 25 minutes.

As you explore the region, be sure to sample some of the fresh local produce and artisan foods. Grapes, asparagus, melons, strawberries, nuts, honey, citrus fruits, nougat, chocolate, and cheese are some of the local treats. The region is also home to several excellent art galleries and antique furniture stores.

Are you looking for day trips from Perth in winter? Cozying up in a Swan Valley restaurant is an appealing option on a cold, rainy day. Enjoy lunch at one of the highly acclaimed restaurants that spotlight the scrumptious farm-fresh produce. The main hub of Guildford is also a lovely spot to enjoy a Devonshire tea and admire the elegant 19th-century architecture.

This is a relaxing day trip and an easy hop from the city center. Most of the ferries and river cruises leave from Barrack Square Jetty, and if you're looking for day trips from Perth by train , you can hop the Midland Line to Guildford and be here in about 19 minutes.

The Margaret River

Although three hours is a long drive for a day trip, the Margaret River is one of Perth's best loved city escapes. Sparkling beaches, fantastic surf breaks, scenic hiking trails, and superb restaurants and galleries are among the many attractions here.

A great way to soak up the scenery is by hiking the seaside walking trail to the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse , where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet. Other Margaret River attractions include dense karri forests and limestone caves, such as Mammoth Cave , Lake Cave , and Jewel Cave , with impressive stalactites and ancient fossils.

Besides swimming and surfing, top things to do in the Margaret River include fishing, kayaking, whale-watching tours, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

After a fun day of sightseeing, be sure to savor some of the region's high quality produce and artisan foods. Fresh seafood, grass-fed meats, cheeses, and heirloom fruit and vegetables feature high on the list of local specialties.

Even though it's a long distance, a visit here is one of the best self-drive day trips from Perth – driving your own vehicle makes it easy to stop and explore whatever attractions interest you along the way.

Pinnacles Desert

In Nambung National Park, about three hours' drive north of Perth , the Pinnacles Desert is a photographer's dream. Golden sands, wind-sculpted red spires, and deep blue skies make a striking canvas for capturing images, and you can explore this otherworldly landscape on walking trails or a scenic drive.

Emus and kangaroos are among the wildlife inhabiting the park, and from August to October, colorful wildflowers carpet the parched earth. It's worth a visit to the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre while you're here to learn about the natural history and ecology of these starkly beautiful landscapes.

The park is also rimmed by ravishing stretches of white-sand beach, where you can swim, snorkel, and surf.

After exploring the desert, stop by the nearby fishing town of Cervantes, about 23 kilometers north of the pinnacles, for a delicious lunch. The beaches here are also beautiful, with many water sports on offer, including SCUBA diving, swimming, surfing, fishing, and sailing. Just south of Cervantes, Thetis Lake is home to a colony of rare marine stromatolites or living fossils.

About 26 kilometers north of Cervantes is the town of Jurien Bay with more pristine beaches, excellent diving opportunities, and wildlife-rich national parks. Along the coast here you can spot sea lions, as well as migrating whales from June through October.

To pack all the highlights of the region into one day, the Pinnacles Desert 4WD Day Trip from Perth is a great option. This 11.5-hour tour also includes an exhilarating desert sandboarding adventure and a visit to Caversham Wildlife Park, where you can get up close to koalas and kangaroos.

Penguin Island

Close-up wildlife encounters are the big draw at beautiful Shoalwater Bay in Rockingham, about 50 kilometers south of Perth . Australian sea lions and pods of dolphins swim in the clear waters of Shoalwater Islands Marine Park , and you can see them close-up on sightseeing cruises.

Over the course of decades, the crew of a customized dolphin-viewing boat habituated more than 200 wild bottlenose dolphins, who willingly swim and interact with visitors. The boat is fitted with a large rear platform, so you can easily don your snorkel gear and plunge into the water.

Prefer to stay dry? Opt for a wildlife cruise aboard a glass-bottom boat. The cruises circle the rocky shores of Seal, Penguin, and Bird Islands and offer the chance to see nesting ospreys and pelican rookeries.

You can also visit these wildlife-rich islands on a guided kayak tour . As you paddle across crystal-clear waters, the sea lions and bottlenose dolphins often splash around you at close range. After paddling with the pinnipeds, some tours offer the opportunity to watch little penguins feeding. Diving and snorkeling is also excellent on the surrounding reefs.

The Swim with Dolphins Day Trip from Perth is a great way to see some of the wildlife. A professional guide, snorkel equipment, and light lunch are included.

Wave Rock

Driving east from Perth for almost four hours through the wheat belt, you will eventually reach one of Western Australia's most striking natural monuments: Wave Rock. Named for its distinctive shape, which looks like a wave frozen in motion, the 15-meter-high rock reveals the fascinating forces of Mother Nature.

From here, a 10-minute stroll on well-marked trails takes you to Hippo's Yawn , another bizarrely-shaped rock formation with more great photo opportunities. After this, you can hop back in your car for a 15-kilometer drive to The Humps , Precambrian granite domes, and Mulka's Cave, an eroded granite boulder. Bring a flashlight to see the ancient Aboriginal handprints on its surface.

Other attractions near these rugged rock formations include a wildlife park, wildflower shop, and a somewhat incongruous antique lace collection. Though this is a long journey for a day trip, venturing into the state's arid outback gives you a sense of Perth's isolation and the vast desert wilderness that lies on its doorstep.

The best way to see all the top sites in one day is on the Wave Rock and Aboriginal Cultural Tour from Perth . This full-day tour includes a visit to the old township of York in the Avon Valley, followed by stops at all the key attractions and rock formations, including Hippo's Yawn, Wave Rock, and the sacred aboriginal site of Gnamma Holes. You can learn all about the attractions from your expert guide, and the tour includes a country-style lunch, entrance fees, and hotel pickup and drop-off.

Whale Watching Cruise, Hillarys Boat Harbour

Are you a wildlife lover? Humpback whales swim the waters off Perth from mid-September to the end of November, and you can take a front-row seat to see these gentle giants as they make their way along the coast.

Hillarys Boat Harbour, on the Sunset Coast, about 20 kilometers northwest of Perth , is the departure point for popular two-hour whale watching cruises during migration season. You can also upgrade your ticket to include a visit to the Aquarium of Western Australia , one of the many family-friendly attractions at Hillarys Boat Harbour. Here, you can walk through a glass underwater tunnel and see more than 200 species of marine creatures, including dolphins, sharks, and manta rays.

After your cruise and aquarium visit, spend some time exploring the restaurants, shops, and other tourist attractions of this large marina. Hillarys Boat Harbour is also a lovely spot for a stroll and a picnic. Bask on the calm beaches, and wander along the walking paths.

Hillarys Harbour is also one of the best day trips from Perth with dogs in tow. Let your furry friends run wild on the dog beach here year-round.

Ferries to Rottnest Island depart from Hillarys Boat Harbour, too.

Address: 86 Southside Drive, Hillarys Boat Harbour, Western Australia

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13 day trips from Perth

Travel & Touring  |  WA Destinations

Luckily for Perth locals, there are plenty of day trip destinations within two hours’ drive that will make you feel like you're nowhere near the city.

With activities like dolphin-spotting, sandboarding, hot air ballooning and fruit-picking on offer, there’s a day out to suit all ages and interests.

So whether you’re heading inland, down south or up the coast, here are 13 of our favourite day trips from Perth.

RELATED: 8 overnight getaways from Perth »

As WA’s first inland European settlement, the town of York  offers a unique insight into WA’s settler history through its heritage precinct and well-preserved colonial architecture.

Head to the top of Mount Brown Lookout for sweeping views of the countryside, which is a carpeted in bright yellow canola fields around August and September, while in the York Bushland Garden you can see local wildflowers blooming in season. In town, Penny Farthing Sweets is an old-fashioned sweet shop also beloved for its quirky memorabilia. Enjoy lunch at a café, restaurant or one of the historic pubs, or pack a picnic and head to the banks of the Avon River, then stroll down to the York wire suspension bridge, the first of its kind built in Western Australia, constructed in 1888.

One of York’s most well-known attractions is the York Motor Museum. It houses a massive collection of classic cars, Aussie race cars, motorcycles and vintage racing bikes alongside plenty of nostalgic motoring memorabilia and posters. One of its most notable exhibits is the ‘Never Never Tours’ Valiant ute that was used in the film “Crocodile Dundee”. It’s even signed by the film’s star, Paul Hogan.

  • Distance from Perth:  98km, approx. 90min drive.
  • When to visit:  September to November for wildflower season, or mid-August to September for canola season.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by ⋙↠ Priscilla Y ↞⋘ (@pea_hearts_xx) on Sep 22, 2019 at 6:31pm PDT

2. Shoalwater Islands

The Shoalwater Islands Marine Park off the coast of Rockingham  is dotted with a series of limestone islands, the largest two being Penguin and Seal Island. The park’s waters are home to Australian sea lions and around 200 local bottlenose dolphins, with tours that can take you out to swim and snorkel with them.

Just a short ferry ride offshore, Penguin Island is home to the largest colony of little penguins in Western Australia. On the island take the 1.5km Penguin Island Nature Walk to discover some of its beaches and hidden caves.

The reefs around the islands are abundant with sea stars, molluscs and plenty of fish; an idyllic environment for snorkelling and diving. You can also explore the Saxon Ranger Dive Wreck in Warnbro Sound. If you’re planning on diving here remember to get a permit first from the Rockingham Visitor Centre.

  • Distance from Perth:  27km, a 40min drive.
  • When to visit:  All year round, but ferry tours of Shoalwater Bay operate from mid-September to early June.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by ʙʀᴏᴅɪᴇ ʜɪɴᴇ | ᴘʜᴏᴛᴏɢʀᴀᴘʜʏ (@brodie_hine_photography) on Jan 25, 2020 at 1:05am PST

Once the state’s most prominent coal mining town, the picturesque shire of Collie  is today filled with crystal-blue lakes, riverside camping spots and plenty of walking and mountain biking trails through lush forest.

The Collie Mural Trail, which features the record-breaking Wellington Dam mega mural, is one of the town’s most popular attractions. Comprised of more than 40 murals splashed across shops and other buildings around the town, each mural captures one of three themes: the history of Collie, the natural environment of the South West  region, and local Aboriginal culture. View the Collie Mural Trail map for the full list of locations.

RELATED: The story behind the Wellington Dam mega mural »

The Collie River, Glen Mervyn and Minninup Pool are must-visits if you’re eager to explore local trails and experience the town’s natural beauty. Two crystal-blue lakes, Stockton Lake and Black Diamond Lake, are popular spots for camping, picnicking and water sports.

The Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail both pass through Collie, offering world-class mountain biking and bushwalking. The trails are especially picturesque when the town’s wildflowers bloom in spring.

  • Distance from Perth:  200km, just over 2hr’s drive.
  • When to visit:  Year-round, or springtime to view wildflowers.

People floating on a blue lake

4. Kalamunda and Walliston

Kalamunda and Walliston both boast excellent bushwalking trails, orchards, wineries and national parks.

In Kalamunda, the Bibbulmun Track, Mundy Regional Park and Rocky Pool Walk offer prime trails with epic views at bushland lookouts. The weekly Kalamunda Farmers Market each Sunday is a bustling event, with plenty of seasonal fruit and veg, baked goods and flowers on offer. The Zig Zag Drive that winds through the nearby Gooseberry Hill is a fantastic spot to watch the sun setting over the CBD.

One of Walliston’s most popular attractions is the S&R Orchard. The orchard hosts an annual blossom festival in September, and summer fruit-picking sessions from December to March each year. It’s a great place for a family day out, with live entertainment, tractor rides and food vans to enjoy.

  • Distance from Perth:  29km, a 30min drive.
  • When to visit:  Winter for mountain biking in Kalamunda, or summer for S&R Orchard’s fruit-picking season.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by EMMA VAN DER MEER | PERTH (@vandermeerkat) on Dec 21, 2019 at 12:24am PST

The ‘sea to scarp’ town of Waroona is a popular spot to visit thanks to its picturesque lakes, dams and weirs. Not only great for water-skiing, swimming and paddling, the banks of Waroona’s waterways are perfect for setting up camp and staying the night. There are camping facilities at the Lake Navarino Holiday Park, Waroona Dam or Lane Poole Reserve.

The ancient thrombolites at Lake Clifton in the Yalgorup National Park are also worth a visit. Just west of Waroona, this collection of rock-like living fossils make up the largest thrombolite reef in the Southern Hemisphere, and mark one of few places in Western Australia where you can see living thrombolites.

Other popular activities include horse-riding along the Darling Range with Langford Hill Riding Farm, birdwatching at Drakesbrook Weir and fishing and four-wheel driving along Preston Beach.

  • Distance from Perth:  110km, 1hr and 15min drive.
  • When to visit:  Summer for idyllic camping and swimming conditions.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by LUCAS PICKERING || Australia (@el.picko) on Feb 5, 2020 at 2:00am PST

Enjoying this article? Check out:

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Best known for its sprawling national park that features a koala viewing boardwalk, walking trails that weave through cave systems and a population of western grey kangaroos, the town of Yanchep  is an easy day trip destination with plenty to see and do.

Hop on a guided tour to explore the fascinating Crystal Cave, snorkel at the Yanchep Lagoon reef, take a walk trail that passes the remains of a ‘Ghost House’ and pick strawberries at a nearby farm in Carabooda (open weekends in spring and summer). If you’re eager to spend the night, pitch a tent on Henry White Oval within the national park.

  • Distance from Perth:  55km, a 40min drive. 
  • When to visit:  Summer for pleasant swimming weather, or spring to pick fresh strawberries.

RELATED: National parks within two hours of Perth »

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7. Gidgegannup

Gidgegannup is a scenic area within the Perth Hills nature reserves, farming properties and fields of wildflowers in springtime. Located next to the Avon Valley, it’s a great place to hike alongside some impressive sights, such as Bells Rapids and Noble Falls.

Founded by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, the Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary offers several walk trails through jarrah, wandoo and powderbark forest to view some local endangered animal species. Join a two-hour guided walk at dusk to admire woylies, tammar wallabies, red-tailed black cockatoos and quendas in their natural habitat. The sanctuary is open from May to October each year, and bookings are essential.

If you’ve ever wanted to try horse-riding, the Zia Park Equestrian Centre is great for beginners and experts alike. The centre offers a cross country course, private riding trails through the surrounding bushland, and several large paddocks for training.

  • Distance from Perth:  42km, approx. a 40min drive.
  • When to visit:  August to November for wildflower season, or May to October to explore the Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary.

Couple walking near waterfall

8. Lancelin

Dubbed one of Australia’s best sandboarding destinations, the township of Lancelin is filled with beaches, inland walk trails and of course, crisp white sand dunes. The entire dune system stretches for 2km, and in sections, offers sandboarding down 450-degree-angle dunes. Entry is free but you’ll need to reserve your board before arriving.

Lancelin’s Back Beach is a great place to unwind after a day on the dunes. Thanks to a sandbar 20m from shore, the beach generally has small waves ideal for kids (or adults) learning to surf. It’s also a popular spot for kitesurfing, windsurfing or stand-up paddle boarding. When the sun starts to set, the dog-friendly garden at the Endeavour Tavern offers sweeping ocean views and hearty meals. As a side-trip, if you’ve never seen the Pinnacles in real life, head another 75km (or 45min) north up Indian Ocean Drive to Nambung National Park, see what all the fuss is about and grab some snaps of this very otherworldly landscape.

  • Distance from Perth:  126km, approx. a 90min drive.
  • When to visit:  Summer, or other dry months to make the most of the dunes.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Minicupcakes (@minicupcakes222) on Dec 29, 2019 at 6:04pm PST

9. Dwellingup

Set amongst picturesque jarrah and marri forests, the town of Dwellingup  is filled with hiking, mountain biking and river trails perfect for those looking to get a little closer to nature.

Dwellingup’s trails vary in difficulty. The 8km Marrinup Loop Mountain Bike Trail (and its 4km-long shortcut option) is popular for beginners and kids, and keen bushwalkers will enjoy the 18km King Jarrah Walk Trail, which traces the Murray River and weaves through lush jarrah forest.

Other popular attractions include the Captain Fawcett 4WD Trail, the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway, which offers steam train rides through the forest to the towns of Etmilyn and Pinjarra, and the Forest Discovery Centre which showcases handcrafted wooden artworks and offers cultural immersion tours with a local Binjarreb elder.

If you’re planning to spend the night, there are more than 150 camp sites within the massive Lane Poole Reserve. Popular spots include Baden Powell, Stringers, Nanga Mill and Tony’s Bend – all must be pre-booked online.

  • Distance from Perth:  108km, 1hr 15min drive.
  • When to visit:  Winter for the best conditions to canoe down the Murray River, springtime to view wildflowers on local trails, or May to October to ride the Hotham Valley Railway.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jade (@jadepress_) on Mar 5, 2020 at 11:08pm PST

10. Guilderton and Moore River

The town of Guilderton is situated on the last remaining river estuary on the Swan Coastal Plain, the Moore River . There’s plenty to do around Guilderton, including swimming, sandboarding and surfing.

One of the best ways to explore Moore River is by paddling. There are a few options for canoe or kayak hire in Guilderton, and the river can be paddled upstream for about 12km, until Boobabbie Bridge. There are more than 100 species of birdlife on the Moore River waterway, so be sure to keep an eye out.

For keen fishers, Guilderton Beach is a great place to cast a line. Tailor, flathead, herring, mulloway and whiting can all be caught from the shore. There’s also a fishing boardwalk at Stephens Crescent.

  • Distance from Perth:  92km, 1hr drive.
  • When to visit:  Summer for pleasant swimming, paddling and fishing weather.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ryan Chatfield (@_ryanchatfield)

11. Serpentine and Jarrahdale

Wineries, waterfalls and forest trails – if you don’t have time to drive to WA’s Southern Forests region, take a 60min drive south-east of Perth for a day in the Serpentine/Jarrahdale region.

Pack a picnic and spend a lazy day at Serpentine Falls in Serpentine National Park. If you have the time and energy, the walk trails through the park will reward you with some stunning scenery and views, including from the granite outcrop at Baldwins Bluff Trail.

Not far away, the small town of Jarrahdale has a rich history and even has a small museum in the old post office.

To feel like you really are ‘down south’, head to Millbrook Winery in Jarrahdale. Set on a chestnut farm with 20 stunning acres of vineyards and an award-winning restaurant, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported somewhere else entirely.

If you’re a mountain bike enthusiast, bring your bike out for a day on the MTB trails at Langford Park . There’s a large network of trails here suited to all skill levels. The park also has a picnic area with tables and barbeques.

  • Distance from Perth:  60km 1hr 15min drive to Serpentine
  • When to visit:  July to November for wildflowers, winter and late spring for waterfalls
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Millbrook Winery (@millbrook.winery)

12. Mandurah

Once a popular seaside retreat for Perth locals, Mandurah tends to fall off the radar a bit these days as a daytrip option from Perth. But it’s taken a national award to remind us all just how much Mandurah has to offer.

In September 2023, Mandurah was named Australia’s Top Tourism Town as part of the Australian Tourism Industry Council’s ‘Top Tourism Town’ Awards. When you take a good look around, it’s not hard to see why.

Waterfront dining options range from fine dining to casual, with lots of options for fresh seafood.

With an estuary twice the size of Sydney Harbour, you could spend a lot of time just exploring Mandurah from the water.

And there are so many interesting ways to do just that. You can take a dolphin tour to meet the estuary’s resident dolphins, bring a crab scoop and find your own lunch in one of Mandurah’s famous crabbing spots. You can also dine out right on the water in one of the barbeque boats available for hire.

Mandurah has some excellent bike trails and if you don’t feel like bringing one, you can hire one once you’re there, with electric bikes also available for hire.

  • Distance from Perth:  70km 1hr 5min drive
  • When to visit:  Year-round
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Visit Mandurah | Relaxed By Nature 💙 (@visitmandurah)

13. Swan Valley

An easy 35min trip from Perth, the Swan Valley has some of WA’s oldest grape vines and wrapped around them is an ever-growing array of restaurants, cafes, breweries, and gourmet food sellers offering everything from cheese and chocolate to olive oils.

But food and wine is only part of the story. In addition to the world-class wineries the region is famous for, the Swan Valley has so much to offer families too. Have a swing at the18-hole Supa golf course, or give mini golf a shot.

There are three different animal attractions, including Caversham Wildlife Park , the West Australian Reptile Park and the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm .

For something a little different, Swan Valley Station incorporates a boutique nursery, coffee shop and picnic grounds where you can spread a rug or relax on the lawn in a beanbag. There’s also a lake stocked with silver perch, marron and yabbies where you can actually fish for the perch and take home your catch.

At the Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery , in addition to browsing local Aboriginal artworks and giftware, you can also sample bushtucker at one of the bushtucker talks and tastings, and buy produce made from bushtucker, including jams and relishes.

  • Distance from Perth:  25km 35min drive
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Swan Valley (@theswanvalley)

Last updated: October 2023

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Backpacking in Australia

10 unmissable day trips from perth western australia.

Perth is a great city to use as a base for exploring Western Australia, and there are lots of Perth day trips you can do to see more of WA without straying too far.  Some day trips from Perth are best done as a tour so you can sit back and relax while someone else drives you the long distances, while others are easily done independently.  Here are my favourite things to do near Perth for you to enjoy!

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Where to Go 1 Hour From Perth

These day trips are within easy reach of Perth CBD, and most are accessible using public transport or are easy self-drive day trips from Perth.  In most cases, I could have included them in a post about the best things to do in Perth, but as they take a bit more time I wanted to share them in a different post dedicated to day trips from Perth instead!  

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Adorable Quokkas at Rottnest Island near Perth

Rottnest Island / Wadjemup

This beautiful island is a ferry ride off the coast of Perth and definitely should be on your Perth itinerary.  It is one of the best places in Australia to see quokkas, a very cute marsupial that looks a bit like a cross between a rat and a wallaby, and has beautiful beaches to enjoy too.

The name Rottnest comes from a Dutch captain who said the island was overrun with large rats – which were in fact quokkas.  Getting a Quokka Selfie is now an Australia bucketlist staple thanks to celebrities like Roger Federer posting about it on Instagram.

Quokkas are everywhere on the island, although they are mainly nocturnal you’ll find some hopping around during the day too, but the best time to spot them is in the evening so take a late ferry back if you can.  Remember that they are wild animals so don’t touch or feed the quokkas! 

My Quokka Selfie at Rottnest Island - A Faulous Day Trip from Perth

Rottnest Island also has great significance for Aboriginal people.  The island used to be connected to the mainland and was inhabited long before Europeans arrived here.  The Aboriginal name for the island is Wadjemup, and you should stop into the Wadjemup Museum to learn more about the history and the prison which used to be on the island.

I’d recommend buying ferry tickets and hiring a bike to explore the island on your own, or you can join a bus tour of the island (sit on the left-hand side for the best views).  If you enjoy snorkelling, bring some gear or hire a snorkel set as there are some fabulous underwater spots around the island too.


Fremantle, or Freo to the locals, is an attractive town around 30 minutes south of Perth by train, or a scenic ferry ride along the Swan River .  You can also take a ferry from Fremantle to Rottnest, which is a bit quicker than the ferry from Perth. 

Try to plan your visit here on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday when the famous Fremantle Markets are open and the town comes alive.  It is much quieter during the week but still pleasant to visit with plenty of independent shops, galleries, bars and restaurants to enjoy.  I loved wandering around Freo, or you can take a walking tour to learn more about the city.

Fremantle Prison is a World Heritage Site and is now a museum about the history of the prison, which was built by convicts sent over from Britain.  The prison closed in 1991 and you can visit part of it for free, or join a guided tour to see inside more of the buildings.

If you decide to spend the night in Freo and make a weekend of it, a unique accommodation is the Fremantle Prison YHA which is in part of the old prison buildings, with dorms in cell blocks and an additional area for private ensuite bedrooms.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: The Best Free Things to do in Perth WA

Visit UNESCO Listed Fremantle Prison on a Day Trip from Perth

Penguin Island and Rockingham

Around an hour south of Perth is the seaside resort of Rockingham, and a bit further along the coast you’ll find Penguin Island.  So-called due to the colony of little penguins who live on the island you can take a ferry to walk around the island and visit the penguins in the rescue centre. 

It is very rare to see the penguins in the wild as they are shy creatures, and the ones in the visitor centre were injured and unfortunately wouldn’t survive in the wild.  These penguins are fed regularly throughout the day when you can learn more about them from the keepers.

To get to the island you can take a ferry from the mainland, or join an hour-long Dolphin, Penguin and Sea Lion Cruise which takes in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park around the island.  I loved this, and although we sadly didn’t see any dolphins on my cruise we saw several sea lions and lots of birds including nesting ospreys.


The cruise ticket includes ferry transport to and from Penguin Island and the informative guides shared lots of fun facts and stories about the wildlife here.  You can also snorkel and swim in some places around the island but there is no food and drink available, just basic toilet facilities. 

There is a café on the mainland by the ferry terminal or head to Rockingham for a meal.  Rockingham is also a popular place for divers, with a dedicated Dive Trail taking in several wrecks just off the beach.

Unfortunately, it isn’t very easy to get to Penguin Island without a car, but you can get a bus into Rockingham and then an Uber, or an Uber from Rockingham train station.

Cute Penguin at Penguin Island - The Best Perth Day Trips

Mandurah is less than an hour south of Perth, and you can get there on the Mandurah train line – although with your own car you’ll be able to explore much more of the area around the city which is renowned for its nature reserves and dolphin watching.  

Enjoy the harbour area, take a dolphin-watching cruise or even ride on a pirate ship , then head out into nature for hiking, biking and more around Collins Pool.  You can also visit the thrombolites at Lake Clifton, where there is an observation boardwalk overlooking these living rock-like organisms.

In 2023 don’t miss visiting the Giants of Mandurah outdoor exhibition.  Danish artist Thomas Dambo worked to create five large wooden giants that have been hidden in different locations around the area to help people to discover places they wouldn’t normally visit.  The Giants are due to be in place until November 2023.

The Beach at Mandurah - Day Trips from Perth

Swan Valley

One of the most popular day tours from Perth is a Swan Valley wine tour.  Swan Valley is home to some of the oldest wineries WA and Australia and while it is easy to drive yourself, to make the most of the wineries in Swan Valley you’ll need a designated driver who won’t be drinking – so joining a tour is the best way to go if everyone likes a tipple or you’re a solo traveller like me.

I joined the Ultimate Swan Valley Wine Tour on Viator and had a great day at several wineries, sampling lots of different wines as well as cheeses, delicious chocolates, a cider at a local brewery and chomping down a tasty lunch with another glass of wine!

I met some lovely people on the tour and with our tour guide we could all relax and enjoy the drinks without having to drive back so I would recommend doing the same.  The wine tour I chose didn’t include a river boat tour, but other Swan Valley wine tours like this one do, then you transfer to a mini bus to visit the wineries.

Wine Tasting in the Swan Valley is a Popular day Trip from Perth

Hit the Beach at Cottesloe

Cottesloe Beach is one of the best beaches near Perth, and while there are sandy beaches all up the coast, south of the river at Fremantle and down to Rockingham and beyond, Cottesloe is a popular choice for good reason. 

The beach is wide and sandy, and there are several excellent restaurants and cafes to get something tasty to eat for lunch or dinner.  Alternatively, bring a picnic with you to enjoy on the beach. 

Take care while swimming though, there is a shark net at Cottesloe and a quick search of Cottesloe shark attacks helped me decide to stick within the yellow buoys marking out the safest place to swim. 

As well as the sandy beaches there are some grassy areas shaded by trees, and some grass terraces which are more sheltered if there is a wind blowing across the beach. 

It’s easy to get to Cottesloe from Perth, you can hop on the Fremantle train line and get off at Cottesloe station then walk around 15 minutes to the beach, or take a bus or a combination of train and bus. 

If you do pass through Cottesloe station, make sure you pop into La Bomb Cookies for a decadent cookie treat – they are soft, gooey and enormous with flavours like biscoff and Ferrero to choose from.  YUM!

The last train back to Perth is in the early hours of the morning so you can also make the most of the nightlife in Cottesloe.  The Cottesloe Beach Hotel Verandah bar is a nice place to watch the sunset with a drink, and they have events on like a pub quiz on a Friday night and a DJ over the weekend.

Cottesloe is also a lovely place to spend a night a two and perfect for a weekend getaway from Perth.  I stayed at the Cottesloe Beach Hotel and loved going for a morning swim at the beach just across the street.

Hit the Beach at Cottesloe near Perth

Caversham Wildlife Park

For animal lovers, this has to be one of the best things to do in Perth.  Unfortunately, getting here with public transport takes forever and also involves a 40-minute walk from the closest bus stop so you really need a car or to use an Uber to get here.  For that reason, I’ve classed it as a day trip from Perth as you’ll need at least half a day to visit. 

I spent several hours here and learned a lot about the native wildlife in Australia.   I even got to meet a wombat called Calli, a koala called Stevie and hand-fed a kangaroo as you can enter into the kangaroo enclosure as they hop (or lie) around.

Love at First Koala - Claire standing next to a koala at Caversham Wildlife Park near Perth

Of course, I would rather see all of these animals in the wild and I don’t usually condone interactions with wild animals like this but the animals at Caversham are all rescues or were born in captivity to parents who were rescued.

For example, Calli’s mother was killed when she was hit by a car, but she was rescued from her mother’s pouch and hand reared so she is pretty chill around people.   Caversham hope that allowing visitors to get close to the animals will help educate them on the plight of these creatures and teach us how to protect them.

As well as complying with State and local regulations for displaying captive animals, Caversham Wildlife Park are also members of the Zoo & Aquarium Association (ZAA) and have been successfully assessed under the rigorous ZAA Accreditation Program for positive animal welfare.

After doing my research I felt confident that the animals here are well cared for and that I wasn’t doing them any harm – obviously do not get this close to animals in the wild!  You can learn more about the park and plan your visit here .

Where to Go 2 Hours from Perth

Nambung national park & the pinnacles.

Nambung National Park is around 2 hours drive north of Perth, and is known for sandy beaches and unusual rock formations in the desert.

You can actually drive around the Pinnacles on a marked driving route, with parking spots where you can stop and get out to walk around and see the pinnacles up close. 

Alternatively you can park at the Visitor Centre and head out on food.The Desert View Walk Trail is a 1.2km loop walk (allow 45 minutes to complete it), although there is no set path to follow as it is sandy underfoot there are markers along the trail to guide you. 

Make sure you take plenty of water and precautions to avoid sunburn and heatstroke – this is a desert after all!  There isn’t a huge amount to see or do at the National Park once you’ve seen the pinnacles, so allow about an hour for this and then combine your trip with something else on the way back to Perth to make a full day trip.

Hangover Bay is a nice place to stop for a picnic or a swim and snorkel before heading back to Perth.  There are a couple of picnic tables with shade and toilet facilities here too.

If you don’t have your own transport there are Pinnacles tours from Perth like this one which also includes additional activities like sandboarding in the dunes at Lancelin and visiting Caversham Wildlife Park (although briefly), or this day tour which combines the Pinnacles with a Swan Valley wine tour .

Alternatively, a Pinnacles Desert Sunset and Star-Gazing tour is a fabulous option for an afternoon and evening trip from Perth, which also includes sand boarding and dinner, as well as learning about native plants at Hangover Bay beach.  

I visited the Pinnacles as part of my 7-day Western Australia tour to Exmouth, which you can learn more about here .

Rock Formations at the Pinnacles 2 Hours Drive from Perth

Longer Distance Day trips from Perth

These trips would be best to take a few days if you have the time, but there are day tours available if you’re in a hurry!  

Margaret River Wine Region

Margaret River is a renowned wine-producing region, with more than 200 wineries – many of which have “cellar door” wine tastings available.  To really make the most of the wine you’ll either need one volunteer who won’t drink to drive you around, or join a Margaret River wine tour.

There are day tours to Margaret River from Perth , but there is so much to do in the area that they tend to be a bit rushed once you’ve taken into account the 2 hours plus drive time from Perth then again on the way back.

A better option to explore Margaret River would be to spend several days in the region and take day trips from Busselton, Dunsborough or wherever you are staying.  There are wine-tasting tours available or you could hire a car to explore on your own.  I’d actually recommend doing both, especially if you’re planning a weekend getaway from Perth!

I joined a Margaret River wine tour from Busselton where I stayed, and it was fabulous.  We went to 4 different wineries, each with a distinctive style and all with excellent wines to try.  We also stopped off at the Margaret River Chocolate Company to snaffle some samples there and a brewery too.

Aside from wineries, Margaret River has some wonderful beaches, such as Hamelin Bay where you can swim or snorkel with huge rays which swim in the shallows, and Canal Rocks and Kathleens Seat which is a lovely beach with interesting rock formations.  These areas could potentially be visited on one day tour, but hiring a car gives you much more freedom and flexibility to go at your own pace.

Busselton Jetty in the Margaret River Region

I was really torn about whether to visit Wave Rock, but as I didn’t want to drive myself I finally decided it was too far to do on a day trip.  You can take a day tour to Wave Rock from Perth, but it is a long drive – about 4 hours if you go directly from Perth. 

This Wave Rock day tour from Perth stops off at the historic town of York along the way, with a couple of other stops en route, and takes around 13 hours in total, so it really is a full day trip! CHECK PRICES AND AVAILABILITY  

If you have more time, I’d suggest hiring a car and turning it into a road trip from Perth to last two or three days so you don’t have to drive as far in one day, and don’t risk driving at dusk when there is a higher risk of animals crossing in front of you. 

Wave Rock - a rock formation that looks like an ocean wave - Long Distance Day Trips from Perth WA

I hope this selection of the best day trips from Perth has given you plenty of inspiration to explore more of Western Australia, whether just for a day, for a weekend getaway from Perth or for a longer Perth road trip.  There is plenty to see in WA, but don’t underestimate the distance between places.  Especially when you head north from Perth, there is a whole lot of road before you find the next place to visit!

Wherever you’re heading, remember to take plenty of water and sun protection – enjoy!

Where to Stay in Perth

I’ve picked out some highly rated but great-value accommodation options for you.

Cheap Hotels in Perth

Pensione hotel perth.

After flying for 16 hours plus, I wanted a good nights sleep and time to get over my jet lag, so booked this lovely cheap hotel in Perth.  Pensione Hotel Perth is great value and gets great reviews too for the staff, with reception open 24 hours a day. 

It’s in the CBD, a couple of minutes walk from the main shopping street in Perth, 5 minutes from the station and about 10 minutes from Elizabeth Quay.  The hotel is clean and comfortable, and they are currently renovating the rooms floor by floor to make them even smarter. 

There’s no breakfast available but with a fridge in every room you can buy snacks to keep cool for breakfast or other food on the go. >>>CHECK PRICES AND AVAILABILITY


Hostels in Perth

Hostels are the cheapest places to stay in Perth, and some get excellent reviews too. 

Spinners Hostel

I spent a couple of nights at Spinners Hostel Perth and loved the vibe here.  I had booked a mixed room but the guy on reception moved me into a 4 bed female dorm which was lovely.  The room was clean with comfy beds, and 2 pillows per bed was pure luxury!

On Friday night the hostel arranged a BBQ night which was a great way to meet people and another bonus free food, so I had a great time here.  It is about 10 minutes walk into the centre of Northbridge and another 5 to the CBD. >>>CHECK PRICES AND AVAILABILITY


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Hi! I'm Claire Sturzaker, a 30-something foodie traveller who loves to enjoy the best of a destination without breaking the bank. I'm here to help you and all women backpackers to plan their best budget travel adventure. I am an avid supporter of female solo travel, and took my first solo trip 20 years ago! I love to write about travel, hostels, backpacking and van life.

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Australia Your Way


Taking some day trips from Perth is a good way to see a little more of Australia’s biggest state while you are visiting, even on a short trip. And although there’s heaps of stuff to do in the metropolitan area, there’s a huge variety of day trips from Perth as well. So if you’re looking to get out of the city for a day or two, read on for our favourites.

Rottnest Island

The swan valley, pinnacles desert, serpentine national park, penguin island, margaret river, wave rock / katter kich.

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The beautiful city of Perth is the capital city of Western Australia, and one of Australia’s most interesting cities. Straddling the Swan River, right beside the Indian Ocean, Perth is home to just over two million people.

The local Noongar Aboriginal tribes have lived in the area for almost 40,000 years, while the modern settlement (originally known as the Swan River Colony) was founded by English settlers in 1829.

Today, modern Perth is one of the largest and wealthiest cities in Australia, owing much of its prosperity to the mining and natural resources companies based in the city.

10 Day trips from Perth

The most popular day trips from Perth are those to Fremantle and Rottnest Island with the Swan River , a close second. But don’t stop there. If you have time why not check out a few more from our list of the ten day trip destinations near Perth?

To round out our list, we have included a couple that is less well known by visitors to the city but a great chance to Serpentine National Park and Penguin Island, which will give you a chance to explore some of the natural beauty close to town.

Distance from Perth: 33km | View Rottnest Island tours

One of the most popular day trips from Perth is a visit to Rottnest Island. Located about 18 kilometres off the coast of Perth, Rottnest is a large sandy island approximately 19 square kilometres in size.

Australia, coast and vegation on Indian ocean in Rottnest Island, bicycles are a usual mode of transport

With gorgeous white sandy beaches, colourful coral reefs, fascinating history, and beautiful walking trails, Rottnest Island is a genuine paradise. And even better, it’s home to one of Australia’s most famous animals, the ultra-cute quokka.

Almost exclusively found on Rottnest Island, quokkas are a small type of wallaby, roughly the size of a domestic cat. They’ve become Insta-famous due to their friendliness and almost impossibly large smiles, and close encounters with the lovable animals (particularly “quokka selfies”!) is a highlight of any visit to Rottnest. But remember, they’re a protected species, and feeding or touching them is strictly forbidden.

We have written detailed advice on visiting Rottnest Island either on a tour or using public transport, but if you want to sort out a quick tour now, consider one like these that include snorkeling and cycle hire.

Distance from Perth: 20km | View Tours of Fremantle

Fremantle is a port city, located about 30 minutes southwest of Perth, right where the Swan River empties into the Indian Ocean. Originally settled as a separate colony near Perth, these days Fremantle (or Freo, as the locals call it), has been largely swallowed up by the continuing sprawl of suburban Perth.

Freemantle heritage building Western Australia

But there’s a lot here for a fantastic day trip. Fremantle’s streets are lined with well-preserved heritage buildings, dating back as far as the convict era and the gold rush era as well. The best way to see the city is to join a walking tour . They also have a hop-on hop-off trolley bus, or you can book a 3-hour cycling tour if that’s more you think. There’s a great variety of architectural styles here, including the Round House, constructed by convicts in 1830, and the oldest remaining building in Western Australia. Nearby you’ll find the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison, one of the Australian Convict World Heritage Sites. Craft beer fans will love the Little Creatures Brewery – one of Australia’s first craft beer breweries. You can join a brewery tour, and Freo is also home to some fabulous historic pubs. We joined a well-priced pub tour where we visited 3 pubs, learned more about the pubs and the areas. Tip : If you’re visiting on the weekend, be sure to check out Fremantle Markets .

Distance from Perth: 30km | View Swan Valley Day Tour

Located about 25 minutes to the northeast of downtown Perth, the Swan Valley area is Western Australia’s oldest wine-growing region and one of the most popular Perth day tours.

Perth day trip to Swan Valley

Centred around the Swan River’s upper reaches, the valley area includes the historic town of Guildford and several other smaller villages. There are over 40 wineries in the Valley, with various top-notch drops, including Verdelho, sparkling Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Petit Verdot, and Shiraz. Some of the highlight wineries here include Houghton, Sandalford, Faber, Tyler’s Vineyard, and many others.

But it’s not all about wine! The Valley’s fertile soil and excellent climate make it the perfect place for agriculture and other produce. There are several craft breweries in the Valley, along with gin distilleries, beekeepers, coffee roasters, a chocolate factory, olive groves, a lavender farm, and several cheese farms as well. There’s such a great variety of produce in the Swan Valley, it’s enough to satisfy even the most discerning tastes!

Distance from Perth: 200km | View our preferred Pinnacles tour

Australia is jam-packed with some of the world’s most unusual and impressive natural formations, and, of course, the area around Perth is no exception. The Pinnacles are a large area of weathered limestone pillars situated in a sandy desert.

It’s best to avoid visiting the Pinnacles during the middle of the day in summer, as the heat can be extremely intense.

Wild landscape view of the pinnacles desert near Perth in Western Australia. The desert contain thousands of limestone formations called pinnacles

There’s a huge number of pinnacles in the area, with a huge variety of shapes and sizes. Some are quite short, while others stand up to five metres high! The Pinnacles are best experienced by visiting the Pinnacles Desert Lookout and Drive located within the national park. However, it’s highly recommended to stop at various points along the way and see these magnificent formations up close. But remember, they’re fragile structures and should never be touched or climbed on!

Where: The Pinnacles are located in Nambung National Park, about 250 kilometres northwest of Perth – roughly a 2.5-hour drive.

Recommended Day Tours to the Pinnacles and Nambung National Park

It’s a big day of driving if you head out yourself, so best with 2 drivers. One of these day tours lets everyone relax and take in all the sites along the way.

Check out this guide to photographing the Pinnacles  that is worth a read if you are planning a visit to this area.

Distance from Perth: 220km | Drive and join this tour in Busselton

South of Perth, at the northern end of the Margaret River region, is the fascinating town of Busselton. A great day trip from Perth, Busselton has a surprising amount to offer. The highlight attraction here is the incredible 1.8 kilometres Busselton Jetty, considered one of the world’s longest wooden structures. Originally built to serve the busy port, today, the Jetty is a tourist destination with a railway, underwater observatory, shops, and cafes.

Busselton Jetty Day from Perth

Busselton is also a great place to hit the water, with white sandy beaches and wonderfully clear, calm water. There are excellent opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, skiing, kayaking, or diving, while if you feel like heading further offshore, there’s plenty of whale watching tours available as well. And of course, don’t forget to visit the Busselton Museum , located inside the Old Butter Factory – the oldest dairy in Western Australia!

Where: Busselton is a 2 and a half-hour drive from Perth – it’s 3.5 hours by public transport so you might be better off renting a car if you don’t have one or booking a tour from Perth

Distance from Perth: 220km | Many pinnacles tours include Cervantes

Cervantes is a small cray fishing town on the coast of Western Australia, about 200 kilometres north of Perth. A popular weekend getaway spot for Perth locals, Cervantes is also one of Perth’s best day trips. It’s the gateway to Nambung National Park and the Pinnacles (mentioned above), but Cervantes also has much more to offer.

Stromatolites Lake Thetis Western Australia

There’s a fascinating Street Art Trail through the town, featuring 23 pieces of art on various topics – from the ocean to the town’s famous namesake, Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes. There are great spots around town for surfing, swimming, boating, kayaking, snorkeling, and fishing. There is also some fantastic hiking in the area. And of course, don’t miss Lake Thetis and its Thrombolites, just south of town. Lake Thetis has extremely high salinity levels, similar to conditions in primeval Earth. This allows for the development of stromatolites and thrombolites, some of the earliest known living organisms, and essentially living fossils. There’s a fascinating walk around the lake with excellent information signs, and it’s definitely one of the most intriguing things to see in Cervantes.

Where: It’s about a 200km drive, and while it can be done on public transport, it involves a bus and a train and takes close to 4 hours, so you need to be keen!

Distance from Perth: 50km | Self Drive

A drive to Serpentine National Park is one of Perth’s most popular day trips. With iconic red cliffs, green trees, and a lovely creek, Serpentine National Park is centred on Serpentine Falls, where water cascades over the smooth granite surfaces into a large plunge pool. It’s a great place to have a swim and enjoy the gorgeous environment.

Serpentine Falls day trip from Perth

There are plenty of walking trails in the Park as well, with lots of diverse flora and fauna to enjoy – particularly in spring when the wildflowers are blooming and the wildlife is most active. One particular highlight is the Kitty’s Gorge Walk, where you’re likely to see possums, wallabies, echidnas, and more. Kangaroos are also very common in the National Park and are renowned for closely investigating visitors’ picnic lunches! Although Serpentine National Park is a fantastic place to visit, its proximity to Perth means that it’s also extremely popular. The park has fairly limited capacity and closes when full, so it’s a great idea to arrive early on warm sunny days. To avoid disappointment, try to get there before 10 am (and ideally even earlier!) to grab your spot in this wonderful slice of WA.

Where : about 50 kilometres or a one-hour drive southeast of Perth. No public transport services the area so you will need a car (or a friend with a car) to check it out.

Distance from Perth: 53km | Local bus or Self Drive

Penguin Island is a small sandy island located just off the coast of Western Australia near Rockingham, 30 minutes south of Perth. A diminutive 12 hectares in size, Penguin Island is famous for its large population of 1,200 little penguins, the world’s smallest penguin species. Since the island is only 600 metres offshore, it’s possible to reach via kayak, swimming, private boat, or just walking across the sandbar at low tide (though the latter is discouraged by the authorities).

Penguin Island

On Penguin Island itself, you’ll find a largely unspoiled paradise where birds and small animals are free to roam. There are interesting caves, cliffs, rock arches and platforms, and of course some fantastic beaches as well. Don’t miss the Penguin Island Walk Trail, a 1.5-kilometre hike that loops around the island, visiting the main observation points. The Island is open from September until early June and is completely closed for the winter penguin nesting season (though minimal, access is occasionally available). With such a short distance to travel and so many great things to see, Penguin Island is definitely one of the best Perth day tours available and an excellent addition to any holiday itinerary. Cruises are also available around the island, looking for wild dolphins and Australian sea lions commonly seen in the area. This one-hour glass bottom cruise with Rockingham Wild Encounters is a great adventure and very affordable too!

Where : It’s a fifty-minute drive from Perth to Rockingham and then a five-minute ferry ride from nearby Shoalwater. You can take a bus (551 or 552) from Perth to the Shoalwater Marine Reserve.

Distance from Perth: 280km | See our favourite Margaret River Tour

The Margaret River region was founded in the mid-19th century as a timber logging operation. These days, Margaret River is famous for both its incredible coastline and its reputation as one of Australia’s best wine regions.

The coastline faces the Indian Ocean, with beautiful national parks and some amazing surf breaks. But it’s the wine-growing that put Margaret River on the map.

Margaret River Wineries

Most of Margaret River’s wine producers are small scale boutique operations, but produce a large share of Australia’s premium wines. The main grapes produced here are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc, Chenin blanc, Merlot, Shiraz, and Verdelho.

There’s plenty of incredible wineries in the area, but some of the highlights are Cape Mentelle, Robert Oatley, Voyager Estate, Howard Park, Leeuwin Estate, and Flametree Wines.

Where : is about 270 kilometres south of Perth, and while you can easily spend several days here a day tour from Perth is a great way to see the region if you are short on time.

Recommended Margaret River Wine Tours There is a wine tour for every budget in Margaret River . If you make your own way, there pop into the visitors’ centre for recommendations on local operators. If you are planning, we like these.

Distance from Perth: 350km | See our favourite tour to Wave Rock

The incredible Wave Rock is one of the largest waves in Australia, but surprisingly – it’s nowhere near the ocean! It’s located in the town of Hyden, east of Perth. And what is it? As the name suggests, it’s a massive rock, shaped like a wave!

You can include a detour to Wave Rock on your return drive from Albany if you plan to explore the South West on your trip to Western Australia.

Wave Rock Western Australia

Wave Rock stands an impressive 15 metres high and stretches out for 110 metres, curving and overhanging the whole way like the perfect surf breaker. Formed over millions of years, Wave Rock is known as a “flared slope”, where the local groundwater has progressively eroded the granite above. It’s a great spot for a day trip from Perth, particularly in the springtime when the wildflowers are blooming. Don’t miss the nearby Mulka’s Cave, with ancient Aboriginal rock art paintings, along with other rock formations like The Humps and the Hippo’s Yawn.

Where : Wave Rock is 335km west of Perth, and its best explored on a tour where experienced guides can show you highlights along the way that you are bound to miss

Got a question? Head over to our Australia Travel Tips Facebook Group and ask a local.

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A 10-day trip of colourful attractions

Pink lakes, black flowers and bright yellow moonscapes: Western Australia might be best known for its gorgeous beaches, but this trip will have you seeing the whole rainbow.

By Fleur Bainger

Did you know you can find several bright  pink lakes  in  Western Australia ? What about thousands of bright yellow spires, rising from enormous sand dunes? From the deep green of ancient forests to multi-coloured carpets of neon wildflowers, this 10-day road trip will deliver a rainbow-coloured experience.

What to expect

  • Colourful carpets of neon wildflowers
  • A pink lake the colour of fairy floss
  • The Insta-famous Valley Of the Giants
  • Time: 10 days
  • Distance: About 1800km
  • Transport: car, public transport (bus)
  • Nearest major city: Perth, Western Australia

From Perth: A 10-day trip of colourful attractions

From Perth: A 10-day trip of colourful attractions

Day 1: Wander through wildflowers right in the city centre

Kings Park Botanic Gardens, Perth, WA © Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority

Kings Park Botanic Gardens, Perth, Western Australia © Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority

When you picture the heart of a capital city, you imagine skyscrapers, clogged traffic and billboards, right? Wrong. In  Perth 's urban core lies one of the largest inner-city parks in the world – and it’s coated in colour.  Kings Park is bigger than New York City’s Central Park and each September, many of the state’s 12,000 wildflower species blossom, dotting the grounds in fierce shades of yellow, pink, blue, red, green and even black. Year round, native plants – including a 750-year-old boab tree – fill the urban bush, parting to grant spectacular, elevated views of the Swan River. The annual  Kings Park Festival runs throughout September but the wildflowers can often still be seen well into October and free walking tours are offered daily, year-round. Look out for the kangaroo paw, a two-toned plant that resembles its name. Pro tip: the commuter buses along St Georges Terrace in the city centre will take you on the five-minute journey to Kings Park for free – just tell the driver where you’re headed. Bring a picnic rug and join the locals on the lush grass of the  Botanic Garden , overlooking a breathtaking city panorama. After walking along the suspended treetop bridge, 52 metres (170 feet) above the forest floor, exit Kings Park and head to South Perth for a sunset with a difference. Witness the peach-hued reflections mirrored on Perth’s city skyline from a glamorous perch at the new rooftop bar at Crown Towers,  Hi Line .

Day 2: Photograph weird yellow spires rising from the earth

The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park, WA © Richard Rossiter

The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park, Western Australia © Richard Rossiter

Every year, about 50 new species of wildflower are discovered in Western Australia, most of them observed in the dry, flat Wheatbelt region north of Perth. Boisterously colourful, the blooms are found throughout the state – and you’re headed to see them today. Begin your wildflower hunt in  John Forest National Park , a 45-minute drive from Perth’s centre to its surrounding hills. There, look carefully for splashes of colour among the grasses and shrubs, and make friends with the resident western grey kangaroos – they’re quite relaxed around people. You’ll soon get the knack for spotting flowers such as banksias, grevilleas, triggerplants and heart-leaf flame peas; some are large, others tiny, and many are intricately detailed, like nature’s haute couture.

Next, drive north for 2.5 hours to the fishing town of  Cervantes , stopping along the way to explore the low scrub; you’ll need to get out of the car to track the flowers down. The annual bloom starts half way up the state in late June and, like a slowly curling wave, moves down the map until November, when the last petals disappear at the close of spring. September is the best time to spot them.

Stop in at the popular  Lobster Shack for lunch and savour the state’s sublime seafood, then take a tour of the lobster processing facility. Double back along the Indian Ocean Drive to  Nambung National Park , home to the eerily extraordinary  Pinnacles : natural limestone formations that push up from the yellow sand like weathered spires. Thousands are spread across a wide, bare plain, resembling an alien landscape – you can drive or walk along a trail through them, getting nice and close, with views of the ocean in the background (it makes for fantastic photos). Spend the night in Cervantes.

Day 3: Pose in a sea of pink

Wildflowers in bloom, Turquoise Coast, WA © Tourism Western Australia

Wildflowers in bloom, Turquoise Coast, Western Australia © Tourism Western Australia

Set off in a south-easterly direction towards  Toodyay , a country town with character bearing a surprisingly high number of pubs, cafes and antique shops. The journey should take about 2.5 hours; on the way, pull in to  Julimar Conservation Park and start hunting for orchids. To wildflower enthusiasts, these are masterpieces, both for their graceful formations and for their rarity – spotting the blooms becomes a game. Continue on to Toodyay and soak in the quirky personality. The town boasts an all-year-round Christmas shop,  Christmas 360 and has a 1950s style  cafe dedicated to Coca Cola memorabilia – both are worth a look (and the cafe’s milkshakes are good).

Found just outside town,  Pelham Reserve in spring often looks as though the ground has been painted pink. The wildflowers creating the very Instagrammable colour are called everlastings and they feel like dry, shiny paper to touch. When winter rains are plentiful, the everlastings carpet the ground, leading to York gum and jam tree woodlands. There are picnic tables beneath the khaki canopy – bring a snack and savour it to the sound of birdsong before travelling the pretty 80 kilometres (50 miles) drive back to Perth.

Day 4: See more shades of blue than you knew existed

Rottnest Island, near Perth, WA © Tourism Western Australia

Rottnest Island, near Perth, Western Australia © Tourism Western Australia

Feel the thrill of taking off from a watery runway in a  seaplane , leaving the Swan River in your wake as you fly past central Perth’s skyscraper frontage to nearby Rottnest Island . The colours shift from the river’s steel-blue to the island’s rim of glass-like turquoise, met by mottled patches of green seagrass, coral gardens and navy. The journey is over all too fast – it only takes 15 minutes to reach Rottnest – but the Swan River Seaplanes experience includes a low-level scenic flight of the island and an all-inclusive, activity-rich day trip. See the sights, learn the (sometimes dark) history, snap a selfie with a quokka – the ultra-cute, grinning Rottnest marsupial – and have a lazy lunch while gazing at crystalline water. Then you’ve got another fabulous flight with an aquatic landing on the Perth side to look forward to. Rottnest Island

Day 5: Explore Australia’s only biodiversity hotspot

Koomal Dreaming, Margaret River, WA © Koomal Dreaming

Koomal Dreaming, Margaret River, Western Australia © Koomal Dreaming

Margaret River is known (and loved) for its  wine , its  waves and its  whales , but don’t overlook its other impressive offerings. Wildflowers push through the forest floor, shooting tiny stars of colour through the green; they decorate the tops of coastal shrubs that move in the maritime breeze and cluster in the branches of tall native trees, showering down fine petals like a fine, sweet-smelling snow. Take yourself on an easy walk of the  Cape to Cape Track 's northern end – you can choose short sections, and the stretch between  Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and Smiths Beach is rife with wildflowers – or join a fun and informative guided  walking tour or an award-winning  4WD tour that includes a wine tasting, and learn more than you ever imagined about Western Australia’s extreme biodiversity. Fun fact: 70 per cent of the state's flowering natives are found nowhere else in the word.

Margaret River is not only full of natural spectacles; it's also brimming with age-old wisdom and cultural wonder. Koomal Dreaming  offers unforgettable experiences that leave you with a profound understanding of the water-lapped land. Expect your skin to prickle as the deep warble of a didgeridoo fills the air of the ancient Ngilgi Cave . Feel the pride as you learn the art of fire-making and savour the flavour of kangaroo seared over the flames. From foraging for exquisite bush ingredients to interpreting ancient artifacts within Naturaliste National Park , visitors often describe Margaret River's Aboriginal experiences as 'an awakening.'

Day 6: Stand beneath a 60-metre (196-foot) tall tree

Boranup Forest, Margaret River region, WA ©  Elements Margaret River

Boranup Forest, Margaret River region, Western Australia ©  Elements Margaret River

Head south, travelling deeper into the Margaret River region, to where the trees grow taller overhead and the wildflowers dot the ground beneath. Mix in the wildflower spotting with a mountain bike ride through the bush to some of the region’s famous wineries. The  Sip n Cycle Winery Tour guides you from cellar door to cellar door on two wheels, cycling in a relaxed fashion to appreciate both the wine and the glorious scenery it’s produced in. The tastings are modest, given you’re handling a bike, so afterwards, you’ll be able to drive to the breathtaking stretch of sky-scraping karri trees known as  Boranup Forest in  Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park . The trees – up to 60 metres (196 feet) tall – are distinctive for their pale white trunks, while colour pops from tiny wildflowers lurking beneath. Take the unsealed scenic detour via Boranup Drive and turn your face to the sky.

Day 7: Walk on air beside 400-year-old beauties

Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, Walpole-Nornalup National Park, WA © Tourism Australia

Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, Walpole-Nornalup National Park, Western Australia © Tourism Australia

The wilderness hotspot of  Walpole is a three-hour drive from Margaret River, passing through tall tree forests all the way. Stop at the former milling town of  Pemberton for lunch and visit the towering  Diamond Tree on the town’s outskirts on your way south – climb up to the fire lookout cabin at the top if you’re brave. Your key destination for today: the oft-Instagrammed  Valley of the Giants , where the huge, red tingle trees cluster with wildflowers at their toes. The largest measure 22 metres (70 feet) around the trunk, and they reach 40 metres (130 feet) into the sky, living for some 400 years. Unless you’re afraid of heights, go on the  Tree Top Walk , a suspended, see-through walkway leading you through the forest canopy for 600 metres (2,000 feet), and moving in unison with the branches. It’s like walking on air. Afterwards, reward yourself with a pause at  Singlefile Wines (try the signature chardonnay), near the pretty coastal town of  Denmark .

Day 8: Step off the edge of a cliff

The Gap, Albany, Western Australia © Tourism Western Australia

The Gap, Albany, Western Australia © Tourism Western Australia

The  Bibbulmun Track stretches for nearly 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from Perth , and its tail end links Denmark with the neighbouring bayside city of Albany . In the morning, pick any short section and within minutes of stepping into the bush you’ll be seeing those familiar twinkles of colour. The wildflowers here are small and shy, but worth seeking out. Get up close and focus on the fine details – Mother Nature’s artwork makes for excellent macro photography. There are some 8,000 wildflower species in this area; see how many you can find before following the trail eastward to  Stirling Range National Park near Albany . Rare orchids love this area, as do some 1,500 other species of native plants, all fringing numerous walking trails.

Afterwards, drive to  Torndirrup National Park and get your hair blown back at  The Gap , where a viewing platform juts out over a clifftop, granting a pulse-quickening view of the raging ocean below.

Day 9: Marvel at a bright pink lake

Rainbow Lakes, Esperance, Western Australia © Golden Outback

Rainbow Lakes, Esperance, Western Australia © Golden Outback

The five-hour drive to  Esperance is best broken up with a venture into  Fitzgerald River National Park. The UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve is regarded as one of the richest wildflower havens in the world – nearly 20 per cent of Western Australia ’s plant species are found here – and it comes alive from September to November. Look for the bright reds and yellows of banksias and bottlebrushes, the hot pink of hakeas, and the delicate fronds of feather flowers. Watch for native animals, too, such as the endangered dibbler – if you’re quiet, you might see one – and head to  Point Ann to see whales in the bay. Pull yourself away because the archipelago-facing town of Esperance awaits, and with it, a huge drawcard. The region is home to an abundance of pink and rainbow lakes, ranging from pops of yellow and orange to pastel pink and deep red, contrasting with their grassy borders. Board a scenic flight with Fly Esperance to experience the colourful spectacle from above.

Day 10: See kangaroos on a white sand beach

Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, Esperance, WA © Tourism Australia

Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, Esperance, Western Australia © Tourism Australia

It’s hard to believe that kangaroos can be found lazing on the beach at  Lucky Bay , so best you go and see it for yourself. About 60 kilometres (37 miles) east of town, these iconic animals stand out well against the powdery white sand, which is so pristine that it squeaks when you walk in bare feet along it. The backdrop of transparent blue water only adds to the spellbinding nature of the scene – we guarantee you’ll be snapping as many photos as your memory card can handle. Back in Esperance , walk along the paved track that traces the foreshore then take the short trip to the airport and fly back to Perth.

Explore more nearby

Red Bluff, Kalbarri National Park, Coral Coast, WA © Greg Snell

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trips around perth australia

11 Exciting Short Breaks and Weekend Getaways from Perth (2024)

Last Updated on 19 February 2024 by Ariana Svenson

Perth weekend getaways are so varied and wonderful that you will find it difficult to decide which direction to head. We’ve included eleven of our favourite weekend getaways from Perth, and some we have planned for the future.

There are so many things to do in Perth that sometimes we forget there are many amazing Perth getaways to be explored. Whether you are looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway from Perth, these are our recommendations.

While I currently travel with my kids, I’ve made some suggestions for romantic getaways and Perth weekend getaways for couples you will love, just in case you can make time for a quick escape.

Who Are We? 

We are a family of four: an adventurous mother and three kids. We love getting out and about and have discovered that when we take a family weekend getaway from Perth, we are so much “better” in the following weeks. By this I mean, we are happier, more present and in better spirits overall.   

As locals, we have visited all these places on weekend escapes and love discovering new gems to share with you all the time. 

girl in forest lagoon, weekend getaways from Perth

Great Weekend Getaways From Perth

A weekend getaway is the perfect opportunity to provide that circuit breaker from our everyday lives.  Sometimes, we get bogged down in routine or work, and the weekends pass during chores around the house or weekend sports.  

These short breaks from Perth provide a chance to disconnect, reconnect with family, and discover the wide variety of things to see in the local area.   

We have limited travel time to 3 hours each way (e.g., 6 hours total), the maximum amount of travel we would personally want to do over a weekend.  

This means we have included Margaret River (which comes in just over 3 hours) but not places further afield, like Pemberton or Albany.  

This is a personal choice; if you have the energy, the world is your oyster; you can go as far as you like! 

What’s the best way to enjoy these short escapes from Perth?

If you are a Perth local then it’s a no-brainer that you will take your own car to explore. If you are a visitor to Western Australia, then we highly recommend hiring your own car. This way you will be able to go at your own pace and also visit a larger number of attractions on this list.

If you aren’t confident hiring a car, or travelling alone, then we have sprinkled a range of interesting and highly recommended tours throughout the information to give you some ideas!

New Norcia National Park, 11 Exciting Short Breaks and Weekend Getaways from Perth

Best For:  Short break and history buffs 

Driving Time (one way – with no stops):  1.5 hours 

New Norcia is an easy 2-hour drive from Perth, making it the perfect place for a weekend escape from Perth.  It is a fascinating visit for lovers of history and beauty. 

Without a doubt, the New Norcia buildings are one of the architectural wonders of Western Australia.

You have many options when travelling to New Norcia, as you will travel through the charming Swan Valley, a romantic getaway in its own right.  You could do some wine tasting en Route if you have a designated driver. 

For kids, we are keen to visit the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm .

If your family has older kids, we’d head to Gingin, check out the wonders of space through a fully retractable roof at the Gingin Observatory, and then head next door to the Gravity Discovery Centre for a solar-system walk. Don’t miss the Leaning Tower of Gingin!

Forest Discovery Centre, Dwellingup things to do, whats on in Dwellingup WA

Gingin town also has a new playground, park areas and a historic waterwheel. From the historic town of Gingin, New Norcia is a short 1-hour drive through picturesque farmland.  

If your family enjoys playing mini-golf, a stop at Caladenia Mini Golf Park is in order (though a bit out of the way).   Besides an 18-hole mini-golf course, animal feedings and an excellent restaurant are on-site. 

The Moore River National Park is also well worth a visit.

Located on the banks of the Moore River, New Norcia is the only monastic town in Australia, and was founded by Benedictine Monks in 1847.  Today, the Benedictine Monks still own and operate the settlement.  

The town is gorgeous and peaceful, with olive trees and many historic buildings.  Take a stroll along the river walk, eat at the local establishments, and visit the missions interpretive center and gift shop.  

Not to be missed is the Museum & Art Gallery , which houses religious art from Europe and memorabilia from the mission and monastery.

On the way back to Perth from Norcia, travel via the abundant Chittering Valley.  For lunch, enjoy country food at the popular Bindoon Bakehaus .  Or, if you would like to be seated and enjoy a leisurely lunch, look at Stringybark Winery & Restaurant .

If you are looking for the best time to visit this area, the orchards are full of blossoms in the spring, or in harvest time, there is an excellent range of fruits ripe for the picking. 

Why not take some delicious local produce home?  This is the perfect way to savour your Perth weekend getaway! 

trips around perth australia

If you are travelling from late July through to November (depending on the season, of course), keep in mind that around New Norcia and Chittering, there will be displays of wildflowers.  

Why not plan your Perth weekend getaways so that you are in the area during the wildflower season?  Stop at the Udamung Brook Reserve to see Pin Cushion Coneflowers and different Dryandras.  And, if you are genuinely interested in wildflowers, Where to Find the Best Wildflowers in Western Australia is a must-read post. 

Where to Stay in New Norcia?

Sadly, the famous New Norcia Hotel closed in 2020, ending an area.  You can still choose to stay in the Benedictine community for a different experience, or why not take a look at the Bindoon Valley Escap e or Orchard Glory Farm Resort ?  Both allow you to enjoy the fresh air on your weekend escapes Perth.

kids playing on a river, Short Breaks and Weekend Getaways from Perth

Best For:  Adventure and outdoors 

We had one of the best weekend trips from Perth when we visited the small town of Dwellingup with our cousins!  We planned to go on one of the weekends that the Hotham Valley Railway was running.  

You will want to do this, too, if you have any mini mechanics or big boys in your group.  Check out our post A D ay On The Hotham Valley Railway about the Hotham Valley Railway.

hotham valley train, Short Breaks and Weekend Getaways from Perth

We spent the Saturday of our Perth weekend getaway at the Hotham Valley Railway and then at the markets operating around the rail station.  A superb hearty lunch at the Dwellingup Pub followed the train ride.

As an old mill town, Dwellingup sums up what a ‘charming country town’ is all about.  Also nearby there are several fantastic national parks to explore, including the Lane Poole Reserve.  Take a look at our Things To Do In Dwellingup W estern Australia !

Trees Adventure Dwellingup is for families who love adventure.  If you want to go flying amongst the trees on a zip line, the Dwellingup Treetop Adventure Park is for adventurers of all ages. 

trees adventure zip line, Short Breaks and Weekend Getaways from Perth

Our kids loved it, and we believe it is one of the best Perth getaways for families.  You can read our review here: Fly High at Trees Adventure Dwellingup .

Lane Pool Reserve is a lovely place to connect with nature and also the beautiful Murray River, which flows through this part of the Jarrah forest.

If you are heading back to Perth on a Sunday, don’t forget to stop at family-friendly Caraholly Orchard , which is open on Sundays.  There is a fresh produce market, food trucks, and sometimes live music.

Dwellingup Accommodation, where to stay in Dwellingup Western Australia

Where to Stay in Dwellingu

We stayed at the Jarrah Forest Lodge and also visited the Dwelling Forest Heritage Centre, which was within walking distance.  Another Dwellingup Accommodation option would be Noble River Estat e .

Ferguson Valley 

Best For:  Fine food and relaxing 

Driving Time (one way – with no stops):  2.25 hours 

If you’re looking for getaways 2 hours from Perth, the Ferguson Valley is the place to go. It’s also just 30 minutes from Bunbury.  When it comes to weekend getaways from Perth, the Ferguson Valley is a well-kept secret and the perfect spot for a recharge. 

This gorgeous valley is filled with rolling green hills, vines, wineries, and even a King – Jarrah tree.  For me,  it ticks all the boxes when it comes to a romantic or couples getaway, but it also has enough to do to be enjoyable for families.  

The most fun thing to visit in the Ferguson Valley is a crazy collection of garden gnomes that make up Gnomesville.  Fun and quirky Gnomesville is one of the highlights of the entire Ferguson Valley area.  A Guide to Visiting Gnomesville WA will help you plan a visit.

After all the sightseeing you are sure to work up a hunger.  On many of our Perth weekend getaways, food features are highly on the agenda, and the Ferguson Valley is no exception!

little boat in water

Amongst the rolling hills, there are wineries, cafes, and restaurants-  A Guide to the Luscious Ferguson Valley Restaurants, Wineries and Breweries is a great resource.  

The other major attraction in the Ferguson Valley is the beautiful and tranquil Wellington National Park , filled with beautiful forests and relaxation opportunities.  Don’t miss a visit to a romantically named Honeymoon Pool. 

For a full review of the Things To Do In Ferguson Valley check here .  Ferguson Valley is one of the best Perth weekend getaways, without a doubt.

weekend getaways Perth, Winter escapes Perth, Gnomesville, Ferguson Valley WA

Where to Stay in the Ferguson Valley?

For families, our favourite place to stay is the Ferguson Farmstay, which offers kids’ farm activities galore.  For the parents, there are stunning views and an incredible feeling of serenity.  Our Ferguson Farmstay Re view – It Was Amazing! gives you all the details. 

Also, a great resource is The Best Ferguson Valley Accommodation to Rest and Recharge .  Another option you could consider, and a touch closer to Perth, is the Harvey area.  Check out Fun Things to do in Harvey WA .

Best For: An adventure weekend getaway

Driving Time (one way – with no stops):  2.5 hours 

A new addition to this list of Perth Weekend Getaways,  I wondered whether Collie was close enough to the Ferguson Valley to be included in a post about getaways near Perth .

At 2.5 hours from Perth, Collie fits the bill for a short weekend trip and is very near the Ferguson.

Collie has been working hard to shake off its coal mining past and spruce itself up.  Not only do they have a fantastic mural trail around town with 40 murals, but Collie is a great base to visit the Wellington Dam Mural , the largest in the southern hemisphere. 

The concept to revitalize Collie is an impressive one; not only is there the mural trail and hiking trails, but it’s now considered a mountain biking hub with the most challenging trails in the state. 

Also noteworthy are the Black Diamond Lake near Collie, famous on Instagram, and Lake Kepwari.  Formerly a mine, it is now filled with water from the Collie River, making it perfect for lakeside camping, swimming and other water activities like canoeing.

Where to Stay in Collie?

The Black Diamond Lodg e has family rooms and is affordable. If you are more into camping, you might like to stay in the Wellington National Park, which is what we did.  Complete Potters Gorge, Wellington Dam, Honeymoon Pool Camping Reviews is packed with information.

bunbury murals, painting of woman, Weekend Getaways from Perth


Seriously, Bunbury is great for short breaks in Perth and shouldn’t be overlooked in preference for the more famous destinations to the south!  Yes, I am looking at you, Margaret River! Bunbury is also one of the best destinations for family weekend getaways from Perth.

In our suggestion for this short itinerary, we recommend stopping at the Thrombolites , just past Mandurah.

Bunbury City has several really gorgeous murals and a rich history.  We spent an enjoyable couple of hours wandering the small, quiet streets, finding them, before heading back to our hotel, the Quality Hotel Lighthouse , to watch the sunset and walk around the dunes near the lighthouse the hotel was named for.  

Also, this hotel gets a rave review for its indoor swimming pool.  It was featured in our post Best Family Accommodation in South West WA . If you’re looking for a weekend getaway from Perth, Bunbury is one of the best places to go.

Girl looking at the water in mandurah

Other places for families to visit in Bunbury are the recently redeveloped Dolphin Discovery Centre , which has some great new exhibits for people to understand dolphins.  There is also a wild dolphin interaction area dependent on the dolphins themselves, so a dolphin sighting is not guaranteed.

Another really enjoyable way to experience Bunbury is by walking (or the kids on bikes, if you prefer) along the Mangrove Walk around an inlet.  The mangroves are the most southern mangroves in Western Australia.

kid playing in bunbury playground

One is to visit the Wardandi Boodja ; a five-and-half-meter steel bust sculpture representing a Noongar face created by local artists

The other is to spend some time at the Bunbury Wildlife Park.  It’s described as a small park but very relaxing and friendly.  It sounds like the kangaroos are chilled out and the birds friendly.  Plus, there is a play area for kids and a café on site.

Before you go home, stock up on fresh produce from Bunbury’s Farmer’s Markets.

hotel in bunbury, 11 Exciting Short Breaks and Weekend Getaways from Perth

Where to Stay in Bunbury?

On our last getaway to Bunbury, we stayed at the Bunbury Hotel Koombana Bay , which has large rooms, great views over the Bay, and a heated swimming pool. 

We have also stayed in the Quality Hotel Lighthouse which is also close to the town centre and also features a heated pool.For families looking for a complete getaway, we highly recommend the Discovery Parks Bunbury Foreshore .   This very nice family-oriented park has a wide range of accommodations (including pet-friendly cabins!) and is located very close to not one or two but THREE amazing free playgrounds!

mother with kid in pinnacles nambung national park, Short Breaks and Weekend Getaways from Perth

Best For:  A dose of Vitamin sea 

Driving Time (one way – with no stops):  2.5 hours to Jurien Bay 

We’ve also listed The Pinnacles, in Nambung National Park, as a great one-day trip from Perth, but honestly, if you have more time, it is better.  

Without a doubt, this is one of the most awesome Perth weekend getaways!  We recently spent a weekend in the coastal town of Jurien Bay during winter.  

Even though we couldn’t delight in the sea lions or snorkelling on the Jurien Bay Marine Park, it was without a doubt a rejuvenating overnight trip from Perth. 

Even if you can’t swim during winter, the white sand beaches and views of the Indian Ocean mean that you can get a great dose of Vitamin Sea and fresh air.  We also went for a lovely walk at Lake Thetis and dodged showers at the Pinnacles! 

One of the advantages of staying overnight in either Jurien Bay or Cervantes is that you can see the Pinnacles at sunrise or sunset.  

Many say that sunrise has better light and fewer people, making it a better option.  The light on the Pinnacles at sunset is stunning, and many tour groups get the best views and then take people on a stargazing tour.

In the middle of the summer, you can enjoy the ocean at either Jurien Bay or Cervantes.  A “must do” on either the way north or south from Perth is to stop at the Lancelin Sand Dunes!  These are a great place for Insta beautiful photos as well as adrenalin as you shoot down the hills at speed.  

For all the details, read Fun Things to do in Jurien Bay WA and Things to do in Lancelin .

Where to Stay at the Pinnacles?

For weekend getaways from Perth, we’d choose to stay at the  Pinnacles Edge Resort  or the  RAC Cervantes Holiday Park .

Australian Goldfields, short trips from Perth

York Western Australia

Best For:  Winter getaway and history buffs 

If cute country chic is more your style, historic York is a better option for a quick trip or weekend trips from Perth.  Located on the banks of the Avon River. 

While York is nice to explore, you won’t want to miss absolutely gorgeous Avon Valley.  We recommend a visit in late winter and spring when the canola fields are in full bloom.  

For motor enthusiasts, you won’t want to miss the York Motor Museum .  For history buffs, definitely check out the Residency Museum which covers the Western Australian agricultural history and some time to discover the heritage buildings. 

Shoppers will want to wander the main street of York.  Visit antique shops or sit back and watch the world go by in the gorgeous little cafes.

york candy shop, Weekend Getaways from Perth

Places to Stay in York, Western Australia

Faversham House is a gorgeous historical mansion on 5-acres of Heritage parkland.  All the rooms in the main house are air-conditioned and have views of Mount Brown.  

For some a bit different, they also have rooms in the old servant’s quarts separate from the main house.

Another great York accommodation option is Lavendale Farmstay and Cottages .  This is a working farm.  The kids will enjoy feeding the animals and running around in the open space.  Each unit is self-contained, and families would like to be able to self-cater.

trips around perth australia

Hyden and Wave Rock 

Best For:  Wide open spaces

Driving Time (one way – with no stops):  4 hours 

Located in the Wheatbelt Region, a weekend trip to Wave Rock at Hyden is a good option for an overnight trip from Perth.  Better yet, a long weekend getaway as this is the most extended drive getaway on the list at nearly 4 hours to this Perth weekend getaway one way.

Sip some wine as the sun sets over Wave Rock, or float in Lake Magic to relieve the week’s stress.  Having a high density of salt, it’s impossible to sink – surreal and unreal!  Both are an unforgettable experience!

We cover everything you need to know in  Best Things to do in Wave Rock WA & Hyden Accommodation .   Facts About Wave Rock Australia – Everything you need to know! is a great resource as well.

Wave Rock Australia, Hyden WA, short trips from perth, Perth Weekend Trips

Best For:  Everyone

Travel Time (one way – with no stops):  Approx:  25 minutes from Fremantle, 45 minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbour, or 90 minutes from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty.

This beautiful island of Rottnest is the perfect weekend escape from Perth. It is one of the most well-loved vacation spots for all Western Australians. 

Rottnest Island is another place that we listed on our best day trips from Perth, but it really is just as well deserved on this list. 

In summer, you can spend your days lounging on the beach, snorkelling, or stand-up paddle boarding and then spend your evening sipping cocktails and looking over the beautiful bays, with their turquoise water and white sands. Make sure you watch one of the amazing sunsets!

With a little bit of imagination, it feels like you are in Greece!  This is one of our go-to recommendations for a romantic weekend getaway from Perth! 

Don’t rule Rottnest out as a winter getaway from Perth, either!  To start with, you can get some excellent accommodation deals that are so cheap you might want to extend your stay on Rotto to a week. These are perfect if you’re searching for the best cheap weekend getaways from Perth. 

I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve read in a few places that because of the Leeuwin Current, the water temperature is only a few degrees cooler in the winter.  If so, that makes Rottnest Island one of the great weekend getaways from Perth, even in the winter.

With no cars on the island, Rottnest is super fun for cycling around, and in winter, you escape the hot summer sun.  Don’t miss climbing Wadjemup Lighthouse for the ultimate views across the whole island.  We featured Rottnest in our Best Beaches in Western Australia post as one of the best beaches near Perth.

Rottnest Island, short trips from perth, Perth Weekend Trips, Quokkas

Where to Stay on Rottnest Island?

Accommodations on Rottnest Island vary.  You can choose anything from camping to a luxury villa with stunning ocean views.  

We recommend either Karma Rottnest or DiscoveryParks Glamping .  There truly is something for every preference and budget. The Samphire Rottnest is also an option to check out.

Busselton and Dunsborough short trips from Perth WA, short getaways from Perth

Busselton and Dunsborough

You will often see these two coastal towns listed as being part of the Margaret  River Wine Region, and they are.  However, as weekend getaways from Perth, they really need to be mentioned in their own right.  

Busselton is an easy 2 hours and 30 minutes drive down from Perth.  While Dunsborough is another 20 minutes along the shores of Geographe Bay.  

If you are visiting either place for the weekend, I would strongly suggest sticking to activities in the Busselton area, as if you start driving down to Margaret River, you will find that you spend your time in the car.

While the main attraction in Busselton is the wooden piled jetty, there are plenty of eateries and things to do for families, couples, and those on a romantic getaway. 

Busselton and Dunsborough are extremely busy during the summer when many resorts are booked well in advance. 

Again, we’ve had some wonderful weekend getaways to Busselton in late Autumn or winter and paid less for our accommodation.  

In recent years, Busselton has become home to three breweries that we’ve visited.  They are covered here in Visit a Busselton Winery and the Best Busselton Breweries!   There are also a couple of wineries. 

More resources:

Things to do in Busselton

What to do in Busselton for Families

Things to do in Dunsborough 

Busselton and Dunsborough short trips from Perth WA, short getaways from Perth

Where to Stay: Busselton or Dunsborough?

Of all the weekend getaways from Perth on this list, Busselton and Dunsborough have the widest range of accommodation options. 

These are resort towns and the majority of the distance between them is filled with resorts.  They range from 5 star through to the most basic Caravan Park style options. 

There is literally something for everyone and plenty of activities within easy reach.

We have several reviews on Busselton accommodations:

Busselton Caravan Parks

Gorgeous Pullman Resort Bunker Bay: Margaret River Luxury Accommodation

A Review – The Exclusive Beachfront Abbey Beach Resort Busselton

Broadwater Resort Busselton Review

beer tasting at a bar, Weekend Getaways from Perth

Margaret River 

Honestly, when you say ‘weekend getaway from Perth’ I think most Western Australians would immediately think of their beloved “Margs’ or “Margies” which is why I put it at the end of the list. The Margaret River is one of the BEST weekend getaways from Perth!

It’s also one of the more obvious options!  This popular spot is truly gorgeous and a great place to spend quality time with your family. 

Just 3 to 3.5 hours from Perth, Margs is one of the best places for stunning beaches, beautiful countryside, world-class wineries, and some of the most amazing luxury accommodations in Western Australia. If you’re looking for luxury Perth weekend getaways, Margaret River is the place for you.

caves margaret river, Weekend Getaways from Perth

There is so much to love about the Margaret River region for a weekend getaway.  Highlights are the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and exploring Mammoth Cave or one of the other Margaret River Caves .  Also very popular is a visit to Hamelin Bay to see the stingrays.  However, make sure you do your research as they are wild animals and don’t visit all the time.  

We also like to stop in the little town of Cowaramup to see the cows, taste produce from the local farms, and visit the sweet shop – the Candy Cow.

While Margaret River is a lovely place to sample a glass of wine or two at some world-class wineries, it is also now home to an amazing range of breweries.  You can learn more in The Best Margaret River Breweries – All Family Friendly

We’ve comprehensively covered what to do in our post How to Ace the Perth to Margaret River Road Trip .

Where to stay in Margaret River, Margaret River Farmstays, family weekend getaways Perth

If you are looking to stay in Margaret River, there are so many different accommodations that cater to every budget – read our blog post on the best family accommodation in Margaret Rive r for more inspiration. Traveling with a doggo?  Totally Woofable! Dog & Pet Friendly Accommodation In Margaret River comes in handy.  For a list of Margaret River accommodations and to compare prices, look here .

boy running, Short Breaks and Weekend Getaways from Perth

Options for Short Breaks from Perth

Yanchep .

When I was a child, Yanchep was most definitely considered a great spot for a weekend getaway. 

Now just 45 minutes north of the Perth CBD,  people might more correctly call it a Perth staycation or do Yanchep as a day trip.  

That doesn’t take away from the fact that there are some beautiful beaches in the area.  These include the Yanchep Lagoon and Yanchep National Park. 

Yanchep National Park is an absolutely lovely place to connect with nature, see some koalas, and do a cave tour.  In addition, there is a Trees Adventure in Yanchep offering thrilling ropes courses. 

mandurah, getaways in perth

Where to Stay in Yanchep?

Sometimes you just need to change your perspective in order to reset and recharge.  That’s what short trips are all about.  I have great memories of staying at Club Capricorn as a kid.

Club Capricorn Resort features 2 outdoor swimming pools, 4 tennis courts, a restaurant and a bar.  Guests can enjoy a soak in the heated spa pool or relax in the sauna.


Also, now part of Perth’s ever-expanding urban sprawl is Mandurah, about 45 minutes south of Perth.  Being such a short drive, you can really maximize your time doing the things you love. 

We’ve attended a couple of weddings in Mandurah and stayed in some great places!  Each time we get home, I feel like I’ve travelled a million miles away. 

If you stay in an apartment on the canals of Mandurah, you certainly can conjure up a European feel.  

There is loads to do to fill up two days easily.  There are also some great eating spots in the central part of Mandurah.

For families, the accommodations I have recommended below are all within walking distance of the Mandurah Esplanade Playground. 

We’ve packed our scooters and headed up there each day.  The kids have loved the murals around town. 

Still on our list is the Pirate Boat Cruise or a cruise of the Mandurah waterways at Christmas (it books out really fast). 

Places to Stay in Mandurah?

A few places worth checking out are the Atrium Hotel Mandurah , the Dolphin Quay Apartments , and Mandurah Ocean Marina Chalets . 

people in front of a tunnel

Perth Hills 

Like Mandurah and Yanchep, the Perth Hills are now technically part of Perth.  It is about a 50-minute drive from the Perth CBD.   However, as you travel east and upwards to the hills, you get a sense this weekend will be all about the great outdoors!  We like the Perth Hills for a winter escape. 

It is also home to some beautiful Perth Waterfalls and walks, and these are most spectacular in the winter months.  Spring and Autumn are also the best times to visit with plenty of wildflowers. 

Also of note is the Araluen Botanic Park and its wonderful Tulip Festival, which is held each September.  Given you can spend the whole day there, why not stay overnight and do some exploration in the Perth Hills the next day?

For example, you could do the Bickley Valley Wine Trail or visit the Lesmurdie Falls.  

Places to Stay in the Perth Hills? 

We recommend checking out the Avocados Accommodation .

things to do in Margaret River, Margaret River with kids

The Verdict – The Best Weekend Getaways from Perth

As you can see, there are so many different weekend getaways from Perth.  Short breaks from Perth are not hard to come by.  

Whether you are on a couples weekend or a weekend getaway from Perth with the entire family, there is something on the list for everyone.  

Often the destinations that are great for kids have activities and sights to keep adults entertained as well.

If you’re looking for some destinations further afield or a longer trip, make sure you read about the best Western Australia road trips from Pe rth and our South West Australia road trip ideas .

Do you have anything to add to our Best Weekend Getaways Perth post? If so, please leave us a comment below!

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[…] For other weekend getaway ideas from Perth read Exciting Short Breaks and Perth Weekend Getaways. […]


Easy day trips close to Perth

trips around perth australia

Perth is famously known as the world’s most remote city. So, you’d be forgiven for thinking that getting anywhere means a long drive in a car.

Whilst long car trips are something us West Aussies take in our stride; the good news is that there are plenty of options for a day trip from Perth without spending too much time getting there.

Table of Contents

Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island offers the perfect day trip from Perth almost any time of the year. Rottnest Island is a quick ferry trip from either Perth, Fremantle or Hillarys Boat Harbour.

Once on the island there’s plenty of things to do. Explore the stunning beaches by bike or bus, go snorkelling and see the gorgeous locals – the quokkas. Read my detailed guide on how to have the perfect Rottnest Island day trip here.

For ferry tickets and tours to Rottnest Island click here .

Swan Valley

A short drive away from Perth city will get you to the beautiful Swan Valley . The Swan Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions and makes for an indulgent day trip from Perth. Best of all you can get there without the hassle of a long drive.

Meander along the 32km long Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail and sample the many wineries, breweries, cafes, gourmet shops and galleries along this scenic loop.

Tip: It’s best to choose a cooler day to explore the Swan Valley as it’s always hotter than along the coast. Also, try to avoid going on a Monday as many things are shut.

For Swan Valley Wine Tours click here .

 Serpentine Falls National Park

You know those hot days when you want to cool down but just don’t feel like going to the beach –  too sandy, too sunny, too many waves? That’s exactly when Serpentine Falls is the perfect place to go for a cool down. This is a great natural attraction with a waterfall and rock-pools that are perfect for swimming.

If it’s not too hot, take the 16km Kitty’s Gorge walk trail in Serpentine National Park and visit the historic town of Jarrahdale on your way home.

Tip: Plan to arrive before 11 am on weekends and public holidays as the rangers frequently close the park to new visitors after this time during the busy seasons.

Yanchep National Park

Another easy day trip close to Perth is Yanchep National Park.

Here you can see Kangaroos and Koalas and come face to face with these cute Australian marsupials.

Although not native to West Australia, you can get a close-up view of Koalas along the 240 metre Koala Boardwalk. There’s also no shortage of western grey kangaroos who are guaranteed visitors at dawn and dusk.

Bring a picnic and walking shoes and make use to the picnic spots and walking trails for the perfect day trip around Perth. There are also caves to explore, historic buildings and you can learn more about the local Noongar culture at the Wangi Mia Meeting Place.

Tip:  Go for a swim at nearby Yanchep lagoon in the morning – one of Perth’s most beautiful beaches. See my article on the things to do at Yanchep National Park here .

Bickley Valley

8 easy day self-drive days trips Perth

Less known than the more famous Swan Valley, the Bickley Valley in the Perth Hills makes for a fantastic Perth self-drive day trip that even Perth locals are yet to discover.

Set among rolling hills and winding roads behind the township of Kalamunda, the Bickley Valley is home to a growing number of boutique wineries, fruit orchards, quaint eateries and the Core Cider House.  You’ll definitely feel like you’re much further than the 30-minute drive from Perth city.

Tip: Leave this one for the weekend, as many places are only open Saturday and Sunday.

For a Bickley Valley tour that includes cider, wine and whiskey tour click here .

Lake Leschenaultia

Along with Serpentine Falls, this is another great spot for a day trip from Perth that lets you cool down on a hot summer day. Lake Leschenaultia has plenty of shaded areas for a picnic. There’s enough to keep both young and old active all day. Rent a canoe, swim to the pontoon, or walk or cycle around the lake.

Bring a picnic and make the most of the picturesque surroundings. See more on Lake Leschenaultia here.

Tip:  Have a drink and dinner at nearby Parkville Tavern for a great end to your day out.

The historic port city of Fremantle is an eclectic mix of old and new and not to be missed on any trip to Perth.  Discover why it’s one of the world’s best-preserved 19th-century ports as you wander around the historic west end precinct. Visit West Australia’s oldest public building the Round House and watch the world go by at any of the many cool and hip cafes.

Tip: Visit on a Friday, when the Fremantle Markets are open in the evening and not as busy as on a weekend. 

Penguin Island and Shoalwater Marine Park

Located south of Perth, Rockingham and the surrounding Shoalwater Island Marine Park is a haven for outdoor lovers. The marine park includes Penguin Island and iss home to an abundance of marine life.

You can swim with dolphins, paddleboard or kayak with seals or visit Penguin Island to see the worlds smallest penguins. For more on Penguin Island, read my detailed guide here .

Tip: End the day at Rockingham foreshore and have a meal anywhere along Syren Street.

Faversham House York WA

York is an easy 1.5-hour drive from Perth and makes for a lovely Perth one day tour that feels like a step back into time. The quaint, historic town has a long pioneering history that is on vivid display around the historic town.

Don’t miss aa visit to the Residency Museum or the York Motor Museum. Then, indulge in a pub lunch and browse the many vintage shops along York Terrace. Read on here for a full list of things to do in York. 

Tip: Visit Mount Brown lookout for a 360 view of the Avon Valley.

Pinnacles, Nambung National Park

Pinnacles Western Australia

The Pinnacles Desert in the Nambung National Park is one of WA’s most impressive geological formations. The Pinnacles are a 2-hour drive north of Perth along the picturesque Indian Ocean Drive.

Once you’ve wandered around this impressive lunar-like landscape, head to nearby Cervantes for a seafood lunch at the Lobster Shack. See the article How to visit the Pinnacles for a full guide on how to make the best of your trip.

Tip: Take a walk to the Pinnacle Lookout for amazing views of the Pinnacle Desert and the Indian Ocean.

John Forrest National Park

For a dose of nature, head to John Forrest National Park in the Perth Hills. Take a walk through the eerie railway tunnel and enjoy a hike on one of many walking trails throughout the park. Afterwards, have a picnic and make use of the may picturesque picnic tables and benches.  The highlight though is the super friendly Kangaroos who are usually found hanging outside the Wildflower Tavern. See more on John Forrest National park in this post. 

Tip: Leave this one for a cooler day and visit Lake Leschenaultia instead if it’s too hot.

Mandurah is an easy one-hour drive from Perth best known for it’s waterways, estuary and dolphins. It’s recently also been awarded as Australia’s best tourist town 2023.

Mandurah has a great range of activities year-round that makes the most of its beautiful natural surroundings. Explore the waterways and canals on your own BBQ boat, rent a SUP or kayak, go dolphin spotting or take a road trip to see the beautiful Giants of Mandurah – an outdoor gallery featuring huge wooden sculptures. You can also visit the oldest organisms in the world at Lake Clifton.

Tip: Have an ice cream at popular Simmo’s Ice Creamery on Mandurah Terrace.

Dwellingup is a picturesque little timber town tucked into towering jarrah forests. The tourist town is best known for its outdoor adventures and calls itself the ultimate trail town.

It’s a fantastic location for bushwalking, mountain biking and river rafting and also has an array of cafes, galleries and small shops.

Tip: For a great family experience, take the trip on the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway which is a unique way to experience the region in a heritage train.

Perth day trips

There you have it! 10 easy ideas for a great Perth day trip. Have you got any favourites that you’d add to the list?

You may also like:

The best weekend trips from Perth

How to choose the best Perth airport transfer for you

Scarborough Beach accommodation options and why this is the best place to stay in Perth

Disclaimer – This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclaimer here .

WA Explorer

WA Explorer

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The best walks in Perth


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I was hoping to go to Bickely Valley this weekend as I have not been there yet!

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You’ll love it, well worth the trip. Check out the Core Cider House and there are plenty of boutique wineries where you’ll want to stay for a glass or two. Let me know where you went.

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Thanks for this reminder. It’s ages since I last spent time in Guildford. I used to go there often and loved it.

Guildford is a lovely place to spend a day. It has a completely different vibe to other areas in Perth.

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I haven’t been to Bickley Valley or Guildford, so will definitely check these out next time I’m over. It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve been to WA!

P.s – I’m not getting post updates in my inbox, just newsletters 🙂

Amazing what a long way it is from one side of the country to the other. Hope you do make it back to WA sometime soon.

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What a great round up! I’ve never heard of Bickley Valley, thank you! There really is a lot to do around town… that doesn’t cost a bomb. Love it.

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Leschenaultia looks beautiful! I have to organise a trip there. I have to agree that the Rockingham foreshore/penguin Island area is almost unbeatably beautiful – I love it there.

Iz – http://www.izzywears.com

Thanks Izzy, me too. I don’t get to either place enough but both a great spots, especially on a nice summer’s day when you need a swim. The beaches around Rockingham are beautiful.

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Love it! Bickley is really good in spring, or a sunny day in winter when everything is green. There’s a couple of good restaurants there as well.

I love the Bickley Valley and there are plenty of places that I still haven’t been too. One of the winery owners told me that the prettiest month in the Bickley Valley is November.

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[…] is so much to do on the amazing West Coast, in the beachside towns, the city centre or a short drive from Perth. Snorkel coral reefs, dive shipwrecks, explore history, sail on Perth’s beautiful […]

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[…] incredible geological structures are located in Nambung National Park and are easily reached on a day trip from Perth. Pinnacles are unique limestone formations that were created over tens-of-thousands of years and […]

[…] Island is one of Perth’s most loved tourist attractions and makes for a great Perth day trip any time of the year. The island is a haven for nature lovers with a wide range of unique things to […]

[…] Feral Brewery is a bit further north than the others, so it makes for the perfect Perth day trip when you’re looking to just stop in at one brewery for lunch or dinner, rather than a having few. […]

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Home » Oceania » Australia » 12 Amazing Day Trips to Take from Perth | 2024

12 Amazing Day Trips to Take from Perth | 2024

Perth is one of those cities that is overflowing with activity and adventure. It is packed with both tourist hotspots and hidden local gems – Perth is designed for active lifestyles. It’s got everything from beaches to deserts and cultural attractions, all under a blue sky of moderate year-round weather!

One of the best things about Perth is how much there is to do around the city’s borders. We’re talking desert hikes, wine farms, and tropical snorkeling adventures, all within a few hour’s drive of the city center.

Depending on how long you spend in Perth, I highly recommend taking a day tour to explore a bit more of Western Australia. Not sure where to start when it comes to day trips in Perth? These are my favorite spots to visit on day tours around the city.

trips around perth australia

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Getting Around Perth, and Beyond

Half-day trips from perth, full-day trips from perth, final thoughts.

Perth is a stop-off on any successful Australian backpacking trip . It is easy to get around, has some incredible sights, and a pretty hectic nightlife.

Perth is very pedestrian friendly with wide pavements, and plenty of cycling lanes. The city is connected by a load bridges from east to west. There are a bunch of riverside cycling loops that are clearly marked and signposted, too. I always say, there’s so much to see in a city that can’t be experienced when you’re taking public transport. 

However, if walking or cycling isn’t your thing, the best way to get around the CBD (Central Business District) is by using the free Central Area Transit Bus (CAT) , which operates regular loops around the downtown shopping and cultural attractions.

The entirety of Perth is connected with efficient and affordable public transport run by TransPerth . Buses, trains, and ferries link the suburbs to the CBD. There are three main stations in the city center: Perth Station, Perth Underground, and Elizabeth Quay. 

The inner city is within a Free Transit Zone (FTZ)- you can get around the city for free! These buses usually run every 5-15 minutes from 6am to 7pm. Ferries can connect you to Rottnest Island (one of the best day trips from Perth) and along the Swan River.

Like any big city, Perth has its fair share of taxis and ride-share vehicles. Although they’re more pricey, they are the safest option for a late-night lift or for transporting lots of luggage.

If you rent a car, parking in the CBD can be difficult. Take note of these three public parking locations which offer free three-hour parking on weekends and public holidays:

  • His Majesty’s Car Park 
  • Cultural Centre Car Park 
  • Pier Street Car Park

A full day trip in Perth can be too time-consuming for a short vacation. When you are staying in central Perth , half-day trips come in handy. They still get you out of the city but won’t take up a whole day of your trip, and are usually a little less pricey because of it.

Day Trip to Fremantle

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The city of Freemantle is seen as a bit of an extension of Perth. Although it’s separated by the Swan River and is technically its own city, Fremantle is only a half an hour’s drive from downtown Perth. You can even catch a ferry from Perth, adding a bit more excitement to this half-day trip from Perth.

Fremantle is known for its maritime history, and being home to the largest convict prison in Australia – and that says a lot seeing as though the entire country used to be a prisoner colony. Known as Perth’s Port City, it is also a very inclusive, artist-friendly city known for supporting local and international artists. You’ll find there are a range of street art and art gallery tours advertised around the city.

This is a great half-day trip for a quick weekend visit to Perth.

Suggested trips: Fremantle Lunch Tour

Swan Valley

Day Trip to Swan Valley

Swan Valley lies just north of Perth. Although it’s only 30 minutes drive from downtown, this pristine natural valley seems miles away from city life, making it an excellent destination for a full or half-day trip from Perth. 

Swan Valley is the oldest wine region in Western Australia, yet still has a small-town atmosphere. The area is super authentic, with family-run coffee roasteries, breweries, and wineries going about their daily business in and amongst the tourist rushes.

If you’ve rented a car, you could easily drive yourself and explore without a guided tour. You could even catch a bus to the valley, if you’re willing to take the longer route up. Alternatively, there are loads of different tours that provide transport from Perth and include lunch. Some even include a boat cruise on the Swan River, which flows from the valley into Perth.

A trip to the Aboriginal-owned Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery is definitely worth your time, and will give you a sense of the wholesome inclusivity of the Swan Valley region.

Suggested trips: Swan Valley Winery Experience with Lunch and Swan Valley Cruise, Winery, Cheese, and Lunch

Exploring Perth includes a lot of big city life. A day trip is a great way to experience new places, food, and scenery. Take a look at these day trips in Perth that will get you out of the hustle and bustle.

Margaret River

Day Trip to Margaret River

Margaret River is one of those places most tourists have heard about – it’s a must-visit when in Perth ! The town is located three hours south of Perth and is famous for its world-class surfing waves and wine farms. A fun combination, if you ask me!

In fact, Margaret River plays host to one of the most prestigious and anticipated World Tour Surfing competitions. During the event, surfers and spectators flock to the boardwalk to watch the world’s top surfers take on some pretty heavy waves.

But there’s more to do and see than big waves. For over 50 thousand years, the region has been the traditional homeland to the Wadandi (Saltwater) People. Locals ask visitors to respect this native homeland, and take in the calm vibes and ancient history as they explore.

Other than the wild ocean, the area is made popular by its wine and food experiences, and art scene. There’s so much to do, from indulging in high-end restaurants to abseiling the dramatic cliff faces, or taking in the views in the Boranup Karri Forest. It’s pretty much an outdoor-lovers paradise.

Suggested trips: Margaret River Highlights Tour with Wine and Cheese

Busselton and Chapman Hill

Day Trip to Busselton and Chapman Hill

Just a two and a half hour drive south of Perth, Chapman Hill is a beautiful rural area, inland of the Margaret River coastline. Busselton is a small city, with a long history as one of Australia’s most loved beach destinations. It’s a local favorite for half-day trip from Perth. 

The up-and-coming Margaret River wine region has helped grow the city’s tourism, bringing a ton of new restaurants, shops, and attractions to Champan Hill. It is also home to the longest wooden pier in the Southern Hemisphere, which juts 6040 feet into the ocean!

While the city’s historic European settlement shaped the way the buildings and land look today, the area is home to local Noongar Aboriginal populations from the Wardandi and Bibulman ancestral groups. So, not only is it a beautiful beach spot, it’s also packed with history. 

Only about 100 people live in and around Chapman Hill, which means it is still peaceful.

Suggested trips: Busselton Coastal and Wildlife Eco Tour

Julimar State Forest

Julimar State Forest is a national park known for its incredible off road 4X4 tracks. It’s pretty much an adventure playground for four-wheel-drive vehicles. The forest is still relatively unpopulated as a tourist destination, which makes it even more enjoyable for a camping or hiking visit.

It’s only an hour and a half drive north of the city, putting it right up there as one of the best day trips from Perth. The drive along the Great Northern Highway alone is a pretty spectacular experience, so make sure you pack some snacks and enjoy the journey.

Once you arrive in Julimar State Forest, it will feel as if you’ve been transported into a scene from Jurassic Park. Dense shrubbery and tall trees cover the hilly landscape, making for beautiful views in every direction you look.

Aside from being one of the best locations for an off-roading 4X4 experience, there are also a few walking trails and camp sites in the park.

Day Trip to Shoalwater

Australia is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and its one of the best things to do on a sunny day. With this reputation, city beaches can get super busy. For a little uncrowded beach getaway, Shoalwater is less than an hour’s drive from Perth. As a matter of fact, Shoalwater is an outer suburb of Perth, within the city of Rockingham.

The bay is protected within the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, which comprises many small islands, including Penguin Island and Seal Island. 

Whether you’re visiting with a significant other or bringing along your young kids, Shoalwater is a family-friendly location where you can watch dolphins, sea lions, and penguins in their natural habitat. 

Take a boat cruise or jump in the water with a snorkel to get up close and personal with the ocean wildlife. The dolphins are used to humans, and will happily swim next to you. That is, if you’re willing to brave the cold!

You could also hire out a kayak to paddle along with the dolphins as they cruise through the crystal clear water.

Feel like extending this day trip to an overnight one? Check out this comfortable home by the sea in Rockingham.

Suggested trips: Seal Island and Penguin Island Kayak Tour

Day Trip to Toodyay

Toodyay is a historic farming town on the Avon River only 53 miles northeast of Perth. The town is connected to the city by rail, which will take you just under two hours. Toodyay has a unique history of European settler populations and indigenous Aboriginal populations, worth checking out! 

While it’s known for being a melting pot of historical attractions, there’s plenty to do and see here if you visit with young kids too. There is the Toodyay Miniature Railway, which is located in Duidgee Park, and The Toodyay Fairytale Farm where youngsters can interact with friendly farm animals and enjoy the fresh outback air.

Of course, there are loads of great eateries and museums on this Perth day trip for the adults.

Suggested trips: Toodyay Sights Tour with Dinner and Stargazing

One of the main reasons I love Australia is because of the incredible wildlife occupying pretty much every corner of the country. Mandurah is a small coastal city located about an hour south of Perth, well known for its beautiful waterways, canals and holiday-town feel. It’s a popular hotspot for local getaways, and from the moment you arrive, you’ll feel like you’re really on vacation.

On top of its laid-back atmosphere, canals and world-class cuisine, Mandurah is home to the Peel-Harvey Estuary. This nature reserve is packed with wildlife and migratory waterbirds that make their way to the area every summer. There’s also a huge dolphin population in the estuary, who put on a spectacular show for those on the shore. The best spot to see the dolphins is from Halls Head Beach.

The Creery Wetland Nature Reserve and Lake Clifton Thrombolites are two more beautiful spots to explore. You’re guaranteed to spot some incredible birds, marine life and wild life.

Suggested trips: Dolphin and Views Cruise

Rottnest Island

Day Trip to Rottnest Island

A visit to Rottnest Island is probably already on your Perth itinerary , and is one of the most popular day trips from Perth.

The island is a small, car-free island just off the coastline. It has magnificent coral reefs, untouched beaches, and shipwreck sites. It is pretty much paradise on earth.

From watching wildlife thrive in their natural habitats, lounging on white-sand beaches, and exploring calm protected lagoons, it has an incredible laid-back vibe, that will have you wanting to stay longer. 

Only a 90-minute ferry ride away from the city in the beautiful Indian Ocean, it’s an easy place to visit for a day trip or for a laid-back night or two. Only around 150 people live on the island, which makes sense from its wonderfully untouched vibe. 

Most people visit to explore the coral reefs that grow around the many shipwrecks. The snorkeling and diving around the island is out-of-this-world. However, there are a ton of walking trail networks to explore, natural attractions, and special events hosted throughout the year. 

Suggested trips: Rottnest Island Full-Day Bike and Ferry Trip and Rottnest Ferry and Adventure Boat

Day Trip to Lancelin

Lancelin offers the perfect combination of the beach and the desert. This otherworldly place is loved for its white-sand beaches and expansive sand dunes surrounding the coastline.

Naturally, the coastal town welcomes seasonal tourists to its shores every year, giving it a holiday atmosphere like no other.

Other than the untouched beaches, the main attraction is the Lancelin Dunes, which are a hotspot for sandboarding and 4X4ing. There are a bunch of quad-biking and 4X4 tours offered for a fun family day trip from Perth.

The town is tiny with less than one thousand permanent residents. There are a couple of places to buy grub here, too, including some seasonal food trucks.

Suggested trips: Private Sandboard and Quad Bike Adventure 

Yanchep National Park

Yanchep National Park Perth

Yanchep National Park is a coastal region just an hour north of Perth. It is easy to visit without a guide or tour. You can simply arrive and purchase a day pass. Yanchep National Park is open every day, and is home to some beautiful caves, trail walks, and picnic spots.

In fact, there are over 400 caves in the park, the most well-known being Crystal Cave, Yonderup Cave, and Cabaret Cave. Golf enthusiasts can also indulge in some golfing fun, and there are even campsites where you can pitch a tent and get a BBQ going for lunch. 

If you’re familiar with the area, you’ll know that there aren’t too many koalas left in Western Australia. However, there is still a tiny colony of koalas living in Yanchep. If you’re super lucky, you might just get to see one of these cuddly native marsupials in their natural habitat.

Yanchep is also home to western grey kangaroos, who are much easier to spot than the elusive koalas. The best time to see them is when it’s cool in the early morning or evening.

If a Perth day trip to Yanchep isn’t enough time for you to explore, check out this bright and modern home in Yanchep town.

Pinnacles Desert

Day Trip to Pinnacles Desert

Last but certainly not least, we have the Pinnacles Desert. Only two hours’ drive north of Perth, the desert is located in the Nambung National Park. It is home to incredible limestone rock formations that make up what I like to call a ‘photographer’s dream landscape’. 

Each of these rock structures date back 25-30 thousand years, making them one of the most historic and exciting geographical attractions in Western Australia. The combination between deep blue skies, golden yellow sand, and alienlike stone structures creates a super impressive backdrop for a photo.

The ancient structures are a sacred place for a local aboriginal tribe, so it’s essential that visitors respect the space and its natural beauty. You might also run into a western grey kangaroo, emu, or local reptiles and birds.

Suggested trips: Full Day Pinnacles Desert

trips around perth australia

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Don’t Forget your Perth Travel Insurance

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

trips around perth australia

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Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Phew! Now, if that isn’t a good selection of day trips from Perth, then I don’t know what is.

Taking a day trip when you’re visiting Perth is a great way to see more of what Western Australia has to offer without bouncing from one accommodation to another. The city is ideally located between the beach, vineyards, deserts, and local historic towns.

Depending on how long you have to play with on your vacation, I recommend starting with some full-day tours close to the city. One of my favorites is, without a doubt, Rottnest Island, where you can enjoy the laid-back beach scene without traveling too far. If you have a bit more time to spare, you could try fit in a desert visit and a forest adventure for the perfect outdoor trifecta.

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Alexandria Zboyovski

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Travel to and around Perth

Perth’s extensive transport options will help tick off your list of must see & do’s by land, sea, river and air. Let the locals show you Perth most enviable lifestyle. Join a day tour or extended package tour, from four wheel drive adventures to luxury coaches. 

Transperth buses and ferries will get you to and around Perth, and in metropolitan areas, Perth’s blue, red, green and yellow CAT buses offer free and frequent transport services to many of the city’s highlights. A good network of train lines get you into and out of Perth city, taking you west to Fremantle (Walyalup), north to Joondalup, east to Midland and south to Armadale and Mandurah (Mandjoogoordap). Perth has an excellent network of roads and all major car hire companies have an office in the city or at Perth airport.

Getting to Perth by air

Perth is well-serviced by approximately 18 international airlines, with direct flights from the UK, Middle East, South Africa, New Zealand and Asia.

Domestic flight Flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Darwin operate regularly, with the flight time from Sydney to Perth averaging four hours. Upon arrival in Perth, a variety of private airport shuttle bus companies will take you from the domestic and international airports to several pick-up and drop-off points near accommodation and public transport terminals throughout Perth city.

Domestic flight routes, Perth Airport

Road-tripping to Perth

Three of Australia’s ultimate 4WD adventures and long-distance road trips connect Perth to the rest of Australia. Cross the vast  Nullarbor Plain  on the Eyre Highway, or cut through the Red Centre on the  Outback Way  to WA’s Golden Outback, then take the Great Eastern Highway to Perth.

You can even traverse the tropical north on the  Savannah Way  to Broome / Rubibi, and hug the coast heading south to WA’s capital. Take one of the world's greatest train journeys, starting from Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide, across the vast Nullarbor Plain to Perth. Hop aboard the legendary Indian Pacific for a three-day rail adventure on the longest straight railroad on Earth.

Budget travellers can opt to take the ultimate road trip by bus, coach or tour, travelling from Adelaide, across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth. During the summer months, November to February, the historic port city of Fremantle / Walyalup features on world cruise itineraries. That brings you just a 30-minute shuttle bus or train ride away from Perth.

Tourism Western Australia acknowledges Aboriginal peoples as the traditional custodians of Western Australia and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We celebrate the diversity of Aboriginal West Australians and honour their continuing connection to Country, culture and community. We recognise and appreciate the invaluable contributions made by First Nations peoples across many generations in shaping Western Australia as a premier destination.

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Australia Tours & Trips from Perth

Find your perfect adventure! We have 38 tours of Australia that start in Perth, Australia. The most popular month is September, and tour lengths range between 1 and 25 days.

38 Australia tour packages from Perth with 168 reviews

6 Day Perth to Exmouth Coral Coaster (One Way) Tour

6 Day Perth to Exmouth Coral Coaster (One Way)

During the booking process I had a few problems with payment, but the team was super sweet to fix it for me and even called me to keep me appraised of the process. The tour in itself was so incredible, I was sad when it was over.

Perth to Broome Adventure Tour

  • Overland Truck

Perth to Broome Adventure

best tour I've done in Oz!

Australia’s West Coast & Ningaloo Reef – 8 Day Boutique Comfort Tour Tour

Australia’s West Coast & Ningaloo Reef – 8 Day Boutique Comfort Tour

Perth to Exmouth & Return Tour

Perth to Exmouth & Return

The tour was all in all amazing. I would have loved to stay at a few stops a bit longer then 20 minutes, but I definitely recommend this tour!

Hike Western Australia\'s Cape to Cape Track Tour

  • Hiking & Trekking

Hike Western Australia's Cape to Cape Track

6-Day Esperance & Margaret River Adventure Tour Tour

  • Coastal Walks
  • Christmas & New Year

6-Day Esperance & Margaret River Adventure Tour

This was everything I was expecting and a whole lot more! Starting with our excellent guide, Carlos and ending with sights and experiences, I’ll probably never experience again. A GREAT trip!

10 Day Perth to Adelaide Adventure Tour Tour

10 Day Perth to Adelaide Adventure Tour

Was a great tour. Loved all the included activities. Tour guide Jodie was amazing and always upbeat no matter what was thrown at her.100% would do this tour again or any tour with nullabor travler

Best of Perth, Margaret River & Rottnest Island Tour

Best of Perth, Margaret River & Rottnest Island

Perth 7 Days All-Inclusive Touring Grand Packages Tour

Perth 7 Days All-Inclusive Touring Grand Packages

Eli from Delightful Travel was excellent. Always helpful and quick to respond to any queries. I found it confusing when I was contacted by TourRadar.

7 Day Perth to Exmouth Explorer Loop Tour

  • Coach / Bus

7 Day Perth to Exmouth Explorer Loop

Wir hatten eine tolle Tour !

Best of Western Australia - 8 days Tour

  • Walking Adventure

Best of Western Australia - 8 days

South Western Escape (2024/2025, 11 Days) Tour

  • In-depth Cultural

South Western Escape (2024/2025, 11 Days)

  • €100 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Perth to Exmouth, Karijini & Return Tour

Perth to Exmouth, Karijini & Return

I had a wonderful time on my trip to Exmouth and Karijini National Park from Perth. Everything was well organized, the accommodations were clean and the food was great. Our tour guides were very good. A big thank you to Aaron and Sue. I'm still impressed by Sue's knowledge, easygoing way and dealing with problems. Aaron is a funny guy who is always in a good mood and has a cheeky saying on his lips. Both worked great together as a team and made the trip unforgettable for us. However, the tour could be two days longer, so that there is more time in the Karijini, for example. Unfortunately, that fell short. The driving hours on the website would also have to be adjusted, we were always on the road much longer. Otherwise everything else was perfect and I always felt safe with Sue and Aaron.

4 Day Perth to Monkey Mia Coastal Loop Tour

4 Day Perth to Monkey Mia Coastal Loop

4 Day Albany, ANZAC, Tree Top Walk and Margaret River Tour

4 Day Albany, ANZAC, Tree Top Walk and Margaret River

Our driver/guide (David) was amazing.Great personality.Learned so much. The tour itself was great-very good variety of activities Accommodation and food were also very good Highly recommend this trip

What people love about Australia Tours from Perth

A great tour with an excellent driver/guide, Carlos, full of information, well organized and sensitive to our needs. Lots of wonderful places to see and experience from sunrise to sunset. Long bus rides at times and a full bus so little room to stretch out. But worth traveling the distances. Highly recommend the one way tour and fly out from Exmouth
Amazing tour! Very knowledgable tour guides (Lucy and Tom), great food and we visited some of the most beautiful places on earth :) Would definitely recommend doing this tour!!

Tours starting from Perth

  • Perth to Perth tours (18)
  • Perth to Exmouth tours (5)
  • Explorer from Perth (29)
  • Family from Perth (21)
  • Active from Perth (8)
  • In-depth Cultural from Perth (6)
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Horrific news for family of missing Aussie brothers who disappeared in Mexico on a surfing holiday

After a desperate search for two Aussie brothers missing on a surf holiday in Mexico with an American friend, the families have been given the worst news.

Tragic details link drug cartel theory in Mexico ‘execution’ of Aussie brothers

‘We’re desperate’: Aussies’ wedding chaos

Big step in bringing Aussie brothers home

Big step in bringing Aussie brothers home

Bodies of slain surfers begin journey home

Bodies of slain surfers begin journey home

Three bodies found in northwest Mexico have been identified by relatives as being two Australian brothers and their American friend who vanished during a surfing trip, authorities have confirmed.

Perth-born Jake and Callum Robinson, aged 30 and 33, and American friend Jack Carter Rhoad, 30, were reported missing last week while camping in the notorious state of Baja California.

Their bodies were among four found 15m down a hidden well over the weekend, which was located near the last known campsite of the trio.

“The state prosecutor’s office confirms that the bodies found in the well in the area known as La Bocana, south of Ensenada, correspond to Jake and Callum (Robinson), of Australian origin, as well as the American (Jack) Carter,” officials said in a statement released on Monday afternoon.

“The confirmation comes once the victims’ relatives were able to identify them, without the need for genetic tests to be performed.”

Earlier on Monday, Baja California’s Attorney-General Maria Elena Andrade Ramirez said it was believed the men were shot in the head while resisting a robbery.

Jake (right) and Callum Robinson (left) from Perth, were in Mexico on a surfing trip. Picture: Instagram.

Ms Andrade Ramirez said a murder investigation was underway after the bodies were discovered in the well on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean almost a week later.

Three suspects have been charged with offences akin to kidnapping.

“The attackers drove by in their vehicle,” Ms Andrade Ramirez said.

“They approached, with the intention of stealing their vehicle and taking the tyres and other parts to put them on the older-model pickup they were driving.

“When they (the victims) came up and caught them, surely, they resisted.

“And these people, the assailants, took out a gun and first they killed the one who was putting up resistance against the vehicle theft, and then others came along and joined the fight to defend their property and their companion who had been attacked, and they killed them too.”

The burnt-out truck hired by the trio was found near where the bodies were discovered.

Ms Andrade Ramirez said the well in which the bodies were found had been covered with boards, making it “literally almost impossible to find”.

In posts on social media, Callum Robinson’s partner Emily Horwath shared a series of tributes to her boyfriend from loved ones over the past two days.

They described him as “one of the most beautiful and loving souls”, with Ms Horwath saying Callum was “one of one”.

“I’d give anything for one more koala hug,” she wrote in one post.

“My heart is shattered into a million pieces. I don’t have the words right now.”

Callum with his partner Emily Horwath.

Chilling detail about brothers’ Mexico map

It comes after a guilt-stricken friend of one of the Australian brothers revealed he gave the duo a hand-drawn map leading the them to the location where they would last be seen.

It comes as Mexican authorities have revealed new details about the suspects who killed brothers Jake and Callum Robinson, and their American friend Jack Rhoad.

San Diego photographer Randy Dible is guilt-stricken to hear the news about his neighbour and friend Callum. Just three weeks ago Dible had told Callum about his favourite surfing location in Baja, the quiet yet stunning La Bocana.

Callum was in search of good surf spots and was enthusiastic, so Dible drew him a map on a napkin. He almost joined him but had to cancel when a job came in.

“I told him about this place because I’d been travelling down there all over that country for 30 years so I know it like the back of my hand and I knew just where to go,” Dible told The Australian .

“And he was murdered in that exact spot.”

He says that a part of him wishes he had gone on the trip as perhaps he could have prevented it all. However, the biggest regret he has is telling his friend about La Bocana.

“I wish I’d never met up with him that day, I feel really bad. I feel guilty. It’s just starting to hit home.”

Rescue workers and Mexican authorities search a waterhole where human remains, believed to be two missing Perth brothers, near La Bocana Beach in Baja California State, Mexico. Picture: Guillermo Arias / AFP

Another close friend to Callum, Hayley Jacobs has spoken of seeing him the morning he left for Mexico. However, she had a feeling something was very wrong when he failed to make contact throughout the trip.

“I didn’t hear from him and like my mum asked me if I heard from them and I was like ‘I think he’s mad at me?’” she told Nine.

“I don’t know what’s going on but I think he’s mad at me, like something doesn’t seem right.”

She said her friend was a truly special person who “lit up a room”.

“If we’re at a restaurant and we were having dinner and he asked for the waiter’s name, he would write his name down in his notes and his phone and how he knows how he met him and how he connected with him,” she said.

“He showed me the notes and it was hundreds of people that he met.”

She said while he was based in America playing lacrosse, his goal was to return to Australia and start a family.

Shell casings were found at the campsite were the trio was last seen, a surfing spot known as La Bocana at Santo Tomas, local media reports.

Formal identifications of the bodies found in the well are yet to be completed, but friends of the Robinson family have begun donating to a GoFundMe page .

It has attracted more than US$80,000 (AU$121,000) in the first day.

Three suspects arrested

On Saturday, authorities identified the three suspects as Jesús Gerardo Garica Cota (alias El Kekas), his partner Ari Gisel García Cota, and his brother Cristian Alejandro García, according to local Spanish language media outlet Zeta Tijuana and Talk Baja.

They have all been charged with a crime equivalent to kidnapping, officials said. It was unclear if they might face more charges.

Mexican media claim this burnt-out vehicle belonging to the missing trio were found several kilometres from the search site.

Earlier on Friday, the Baja California Attorney-General said three Mexican nationals – two brothers and a 23-year-old woman – had been detained in connection with the surfers’ disappearances, and that they were allegedly found to be in possession of methamphetamines and other illegal drugs when they were arrested.

Local media also reported that the female suspect had a phone belonging to one of the Australian brothers.

A fourth body, believed to be that of the ranch owner who had been missing for several weeks was also found in the area on a cliff at Punta San José, in Santo Tomás, Ensenada, during a search for the missing surfers. His death is not thought to be connected to the other bodies found in the well, according to officials.

Callum, Jake and Mr Rhoad, from San Diego, were last known to have been in Rosarita, in the Baja California region.

Prior to human remains being found in the well, local police located an abandoned campsite with traces of blood and a tooth – where the men are believed to have stayed, according to Zeta and 7News.

“A white pickup vehicle was located, as well as other evidence,” the state prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

The investigation was being coordinated with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Australian and US consulates, it said.

Perth brothers Jake (L) and Callum Robinson (R) pictured with their parents Martin and Debra. Picture: Instagram

The bodies are yet to be formally identified but authorities say they’re confident they know who the victims are, as they await forensic test results to confirm their suspicions.

“I’m saying it’s a very, very high probability that it is them,” Ms Ramírez told 9News, referring to the Australian brothers and their friend.

“They were in a state of decomposition.

“That is why we have to run the genetic tests.”

Callum’s university team Stevenson University Lacrosse claimed in a social media post the pair had been killed.

“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of our dear teammate and friend, Callum Robinson,” the club said.

“From his days leading us to victory on the field to his unwavering commitment to academic excellence, Callum was a true inspiration to us all.”

The club said Callum had played a pivotal role in the team’s Division III National Championship in 2013, and had amassed “equally impressive academic achievements”.

He was remembered players and friends. Picture: Instagram,

“But, beyond his accolades, Callum will be remembered for his infectious spirit and larger-than-life personality,” the club said. “With his beautiful long hair and charming smile, he truly embodied the nickname ‘big koala’ — warm, friendly, and always there to lend a helping hand.

“Though he may be gone, Callum’s legacy will live on in our hearts forever.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time. Rest easy, Callum. You will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.”

News of the young man’s apparent death, which is yet to be formally confirmed, was widely shared by the club, its members, and many more.

In an Instagram post, his teammate Will Manny thanked Callum for “showing everyone how to smile big, laugh hard and enjoy life:

“Callum Robinson, Jake Robinson and Jack Rhoad – Rest in Peace – and to your families, the lacrosse community is here for you,” he said.

Brett Hiken described the young player as “one of one” who he said he was lucky to have “gotten to love and know”.

“You made everyone feel like family and everyone was your best friend,” he said.

“Our best memories were always with you. Truth is, everyone wanted to be like you but no one was even on the same planet.

“It was a honour to get be your friend. The room turned every time you entered without even opening your mouth.

“Love you like the brother you are and most importantly thank you. Everyone gets to live, but man not everyone truly lives. You certainly lived.”

Earlier, a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman confirmed the Australian embassy in Mexico was working closely with the AFP and local police.

“DFAT recognises this is a very distressing time for the family and is in regular contact with them to provide support,” they said.

“Owing to our privacy obligations we are unable to provide further comment.”

A rescue worker descends into a waterhole where human remains were found near La Bocana Beach, Santo Tomas delegation, in Ensenada, Baja California State, Mexico. Picture: Guillermo Arias / AFP

The tragic developments came as Debra and Martin Robinson made their way to the area where their sons were last seen.

The couple said Callum had been living in the US to follow his dream of becoming a professional lacrosse player.

“He is widely known in the US as the Big Koala,” they said.

“We think of him as our big, soft, friendly giant.”

Jake only left Australia two weeks ago to visit his brother.

“It was a trip of a lifetime to see his brother, before shortly taking up a new position at Geelong Hospital in Victoria,” the parents said.

“Callum and Jake are beautiful human beings. We love them so much and this breaks our heart.”

They said Jake had worked in regional hospitals across Australia.

Jake and Callum had attended the Coachella music festival before going to Mexico to surf. Picture: Instagram

Jake and Callum had attended the Coachella music festival before going to Mexico to surf.

“Jake is such a gentle soul and would want no harm,” his parents said.

“Our only comfort right now is that they were together doing something they passionately love.

“We ask people to keep them in their thoughts and prayers and to continue to respect our privacy at this distressing time.”

The three bodies were found 15m down the well. Picture: Guillermo Arias/ AFP

The Department of Foreign ­Affairs and Trade said they were continuing to provide consular assistance to the family.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the brothers’ disappearance as “a really concerning situation”.

“Our embassy in Mexico is working with local authorities as well to try to ascertain what has happened here,” he told Seven’s Sunrise program on Friday.

“We certainly hope that these brothers are found safely but there is real concern about the fact that they’ve gone missing.

“Their mother is obviously very distressed about this and we just hope for a positive outcome.”

While popular for surfing, Baja California has plagued by gang violence, including the infamous Tijuana cartel.

– With NCA newswire

An Aussie bride getting married next weekend says she is an “emotional wreck” after the collapse of another airline left guests without a way to the nuptials.

A significant step has been made in bringing the Australian brothers who were killed on a surfing trip in Mexico home.

The bodies of two Perth brothers who were killed on a surfing trip in Baja California have begun their journey home.

Perth brothers Callum and Jake Robinson went for a quick surf weekend in Mexico. How did it go so wrong?

It was meant to be an idyllic surf adventure down Mexico's north-west coast. 

Australian doctor Jake Robinson, 30, flew over to San Diego, where his older brother Callum was based. 

Both athletic, outdoorsy adventurers who shared a love of the waves and adventure, they decided to grab a friend — American Jack Carter Rhoad — and head south for a quick surf jaunt. 

Like so many before them, they were lured by Baja California's crisp, sparkling waves, as well as the chance to camp on rugged and remote beaches among the wildflowers. 

Here, beaches are often referred to by their latitude and in late April, the men visited the K38 surf break. 

Rodrigo Leal Bravo from the local surf shop remembers them coming in to buy wax. 

"They were excited about their surf trip and they were on their way south," he told the ABC. 

He noticed the strong bond between the Australian brothers. 

"Their fraternity was so admirable," he said. 

Two young men in sunglasses smiling

Callum told Rodrigo they were heading to Punta San Jose, a remote spot which was about three hours drive from the surf shop. 

It's only accessible by unsealed roads and the mobile tower coverage is patchy at best, but Rodrigo says he wasn't concerned for their safety

"I did not think anything should happen to those big strong guys, right?" he said. 

But when Callum didn't show up to work in San Diego after the weekend, loved ones were confused, then concerned, and then finally panicked. 

Three bodies have been found where Callum, Jake and Jack went missing — though they are yet to be formally identified. 

"All three bodies meet the characteristics to assume with a high degree of probability that they are the American [Jack] Carter Rhoad as well as the Robinson brothers from Australia," said Baja California's state Attorney-General María Elena Andrade Ramírez.

Mexican authorities have also detained two men and a woman in connection with their disappearance. 

As the case is investigated, a devastating picture is emerging of what may have gone wrong on the scrubby cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 

A weekend jaunt south of the border 

Callum shared glimpses of their Mexican surf trip on his Instagram account. 

The first photo shows their white Chevvy packed with boards and towels right near the water's edge. 

"....and it begins," Callum wrote as the caption, along with a surfer emoji and a picture of the Mexican flag. 

He then added more snapshots of their journey — taco stands, brightly coloured buildings, and Jack beaming with a boom box on his shoulder. 

A composite image of Instagram stories taken in Mexico

The stories ended abruptly with a picture of Playa San Miguel, a crop of yellow daisies growing at the edge of the sand. 

They were reported missing about two days later, but in Baja California, timelines can be difficult to piece together. 

As each wave crests and breaks, as each taco is procured from a local food stand, and as each sunset melts over the Pacific, the days start to blend. 

Locals and tourists alike have vague memories of seeing a pair of Australian brothers and their American friend riding the waves on the northern Mexican coast in late April, but exact dates are difficult. 

Callum, a 190-centimetre-tall athlete with cascading brown hair, turned heads everywhere he went. 

A man with long shaggy hair stands near a graffitied wall

"I remember seeing one guy that ... could have been like, a rugby player or division one football player," visiting American surfer Austin Pickle told the ABC. 

"They were smiling and you know, doing like the friendly surfer [chatty] thing. But yeah, nothing super strange.

"And then I just paddled in. I never saw them again." 

Ana Cristina Heym Cárdenas works in a cafe about an hour north of Punta San Jose.

She believes one of the men — probably Callum — came in the afternoon of April 28 to ask if she could break a 100-peso note so he could buy a taco from the stand outside. 

She was shocked to later hear that they disappeared. 

A woman in glasses and a Billabong hoodie stands at a coffee shop counter

"It's not normal here — [the] disappearing of three people in this way and burning their car and all this," she said. 

"We know that some areas here in Baja California, they're dangerous.

"We feel very sad because there are good people here [in Baja] who like international tourists. We don't want other people thinking that it is too dangerous for people."

A gun, a burned-out car and a missing phone 

It's every parent's dream for their children to stay close in adulthood.

But Debra Robinson sensed something was wrong when her sons stopped picking up their phones during their holiday together in northern Mexico.

Two young men pose with an older man and woman on a boat

In late April, she got on a Baja Facebook group, posted a picture of her boys together and issued a plea.

"They were due to book into an Airbnb in Rosarito after their camping weekend but they did not show up," Ms Robinson posted. 

While others in the group tried to reassure her, reminding her that mobile reception in the area is patchy and roads are often unreliable, she insisted their disappearance was "out of character".

"Callum is a type one diabetic so there is also a medical concern. Please contact me if you have seen them or know their whereabouts," she wrote.

"Please please please."

Callum, Jake and Jack were soon reported missing, and Ms Robinson marshalled foreign agencies and police to search for her sons. 

A woman holds a press conference

While Baja California is plagued by drug cartels, crimes against foreign tourists are relatively rare, and well-populated areas are considered more safe. 

"It is an atypical, exceptional case," Attorney-General María Elena Andrade Ramírez told the ABC. 

"We have a tourist influx and a similar case has not occurred."

Yesterday, it was confirmed that three bodies have been discovered in what's described as a well close to where the men were last seen.

Emergency workers stand around a hole in the ground

Forensic investigations are continuing to take place to formally identify them.

The details are not yet known, but at some point, Jake, Jack and Callum were separated from their belongings — including their Chevy, their tents and at least one of their phones. 

This week, that phone was traced to a 23-year-old Mexican woman, who has since been arrested. 

Her romantic partner and his brother have also been detained, and Ms Andrade Ramírez says they "may be directly or indirectly related to the investigation". 

All three suspects were allegedly in possession of illicit drugs, but this incident does not seem to be linked to organised crime. 

Another key part of the investigation is likely the remote ranch where the brothers' burned-out car was found.

Burnt out car Baja California

The property is several kilometres from the initial search site and is located south of the city of Ensenada.

"We have secured a cell phone and a firearm," Ms Andrade Ramírez said. 

"The firearm was discovered in the pick-up truck belonging to an individual currently under investigation

"A criminal scene has already been processed where we found evidence that someone burned the remains of tents, clothes, drink bottles and some evidence related to this case." 

At this stage, investigators are treating this as a potential robbery gone wrong, with the suspects allegedly trying to steal the victims' car. 

"This aggression seems to have occurred in an unforeseen, circumstantial manner," Ms Andrade Ramírez said. 

"We pledge that this crime will not go unpunished."

'They were together doing something they passionately love'

With three bodies discovered — but yet to be identified — the Robinsons are on their way to Mexico for a task no parents should ever have to complete. 

The fact that crimes against foreign surfers are exceptionally rare in Mexico is no comfort when your babies are the unlucky ones. 

A man with long hair holds a surfboard

So far, the case appears to have eerie similarities to the slaying of two Perth-born surfers in Mexico in 2015. 

Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman were on the trip of a lifetime, surfing down the Baja California coast. 

But when they arrived in the badlands of Sinaloa, they were stopped, robbed and then killed by a gang.

But most surfers will tell you, chasing the best waves sometimes takes you to some dangerous places. 

"[Punta San Jose] is a beautiful place with perfect waves," Antonio Otanez from the Baja Surfing Association told the ABC.

"But it's very lonely there. And it's like one hour [away down] a dust road. There's no [phone] signal there."

Mr Otanez said the local surf community has been left devastated by the news, but no-one is hurting more than Jake, Jack and Callum's parents.

"Surfing is a passion they both share," Ms Robinson said of her sons. 

"Our only comfort right now is that they were together doing something they passionately love.

"We ask people to keep them in their thoughts and prayers."

A man with shaggy hair in the water at sunset

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A trio of tourists on a surfing trip in Mexico were living an idyllic life. They were posting photos of themselves on the beach, on rooftops, drinking beer, listening to music as they explored the country’s scenic coastline.

Then, they disappeared.

Here’s what we know about what happened:

Who were they?

The men who were killed were Australian brothers Callum Robinson, 33, his brother Jake, 30 , and their American friend Jack Carter Rhoad, 30.

Callum was a high-level lacrosse player. He played Division III college lacrosse at Stevenson University in Maryland.

TOPSHOT - Rescue workers, forensics, and prosecutors work in a waterhole where human remains were found near La Bocana Beach, Santo Tomas delegation, in Ensenada, Baja California State, Mexico, on May 3, 2024. . The FBI said on Friday that three bodies were found in Mexico's Baja California, near an area where two Australians and an American went missing last week during a surfing trip. "We confirm there were three individuals found deceased in Santo Tomas, Baja California," a statement from the FBI's office in San Diego said without providing identities of the victims. (Photo by Guillermo Arias / AFP) (Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)

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“He lived an extraordinary life, but what is most impressive about Callum is what a loyal friend he was. Once you were his friend, you were friends for life,” said Stevenson University lacrosse team coach Paul Cantabene.

“My heart is shattered into a million pieces,” wrote Callum Robinson’s girlfriend, Emily Horwath, in an Instagram post.

His brother Jake was a doctor, and Jack Carter Rhoad founded an online apparel company in San Diego called Loma Apparel. He also worked for a consulting company called ITCO Solutions.

Rhoad had recently proposed to his girlfriend, and his final Facebook post, from July 2023, showed pictures of the proposal.

What were they doing in Mexico?

The three men were on a surfing trip in Baja California and were expected to check into an Airbnb in Rosarito on April 27 but never showed up, according to Debra Robinson, Callum and Jake’s mother.

The three arrived in Mexico on April 26 for their idyllic beachside trip. Callum Robinson posted photos of the trio drinking beer on a rooftop, as well as pictures of the men at the beach and in a rooftop Jacuzzi.

Locals march to protest the disappearance of foreign surfers in Ensenada, Mexico, Sunday, May 5, 2024. Mexican authorities said Friday that three bodies were recovered in an area of Baja California near where two Australians and an American went missing last weekend during an apparent camping and surfing trip. (AP Photo/Karen Castaneda)

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Their disappearance triggered a manhunt and investigation by local Mexican police, the FBI and the Mexican marines.

What happened?

Mexican authorities have determined that the three men were killed by thieves who were looking to steal their white pickup truck in order to sell its tires.

The Chevrolet truck was posted in the first picture Callum Robinson shared when the men arrived in Baja California on April 26. It had a California license plate.

The bodies of the victims were found about 4 miles from where they were killed, just south of the city of Ensenada. A tent the men were staying in, as well as their burned-out truck, was found nearby.

María Elena Andrade Ramírez, chief state prosecutor of the state of Baja California, said investigators discovered their bodies 50 feet deep in a remote well.

Inside the well was a fourth cadaver as well, she said.

Three Mexicans are being held in connection with the case, the prosecutor said.

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What does it mean for tourists?

The killings have set off pitched discussions over safety as well as the prioritization of solving the homicides of other tourists killed in Mexico.

On the Talk Baja Facebook group, concerned surfers and potential visitors to the Northern Mexico state have discussed whether they should still visit the area.

The U.S. State Department said in its 2023 report that Americans should “reconsider” travel to Baja California due to kidnapping and crime. The “reconsider” category is the second-worst category, after the department’s “do not travel to” recommendation.

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The photos of the foreign surfers who disappeared are placed on the beach in Ensenada, Mexico, Sunday, May 5, 2024. Mexican authorities said Friday that three bodies were recovered in an area of Baja California near where two Australians and an American went missing last weekend during an apparent camping and surfing trip. (AP Photo/Karen Castaneda)

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Noah Goldberg covers breaking news for the Los Angeles Times. He worked previously in New York City as the Brooklyn courts reporter for the New York Daily News, covering major criminal trials as well as working on enterprise stories. Before that, he was the criminal justice reporter for the Brooklyn Eagle.

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3 bodies found in Mexico identified as 2 Australians, American killed in carjacking on surfing trip

SAN DIEGO — The remains of three people found near the Mexican fishing port of Ensenada are those of missing surfers from Australia and the U.S. who were killed in an apparent carjacking, authorities said Sunday.

Family members made the identifications in person at the behest of Baja California state prosecutors, the state attorney general's office said in a statement Sunday obtained by NBC San Diego . The bodies had been recovered from a remote well about 50 feet deep, authorities said.

The attorney general’s office said the bodies, found in La Bocana, south of Ensenada, are those of Jake and Callum Robinson, of Australia, and Carter Rhoad, of the U.S.

At least two of the three were believed to be living in San Diego, authorities said, according to NBC San Diego.

mexico surfer victims

The Ensenada medical examiner's office said Friday the three victims were killed by gunshot wounds to the head.

At a news conference Sunday, prosecutors said that the motive was carjacking and that the assailants may have been particularly focused on the wheels of the pickup truck used by the missing surfers.

The three were at a makeshift encampment during a fishing and surfing trip south of Ensenada, where the Baja coast rapidly becomes remote and filled with surprises for surfers seeking relatively rare rides.

Prosecutors said they found the trio’s encampment, including tents, spent gun shells, bloodstains and marks indicating bodies had been dragged.

Three people were being questioned in connection with the case, authorities said. Two of the three, a man and a woman, were held on methamphetamine-related allegations, they said, and the third was the subject of a kidnapping warrant.

Surfers missing protest

Chief state prosecutor María Elena Andrade Ramírez said previously there may be evidence, including a victim's cellphone in the possession of one of the three, that might connect the trio to the case.

A fourth body was discovered with the three in the well and may be part of an unrelated case, authorities said.

On Sunday, Andrade Ramírez met with the three men's parents, her office said in its announcement identifying the bodies.

She reassured them, it said, that she was committed to ensuring those responsible face the full weight of the law.

Three bodies believed to be those of two Australian brothers and an American who disappeared on a surfing trip in Mexico have bullet wounds to the head, authorities said Sunday.

The three men were considered missing on April 27 when they did not return to an Airbnb rental closer to the border, in Rosarito, Debra Robinson, the mother of Jake and Callum Robinson, said on Facebook.

Cartel and big-city street violence attributed to the drug trade in places like Tijuana has been seen as rare in the world of Baja tourism, which requires off-road-capable vehicles and the ability to start a campfire.

The peninsula’s Pacific coast has been a staple destination for U.S. surfers for 60 years, but the U.S. State Department has more recently urged Americans to avoid Baja travel as cartel violence has spread.

trips around perth australia

Dennis Romero is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital. 


Supported by

After 3 Tourists Go Missing, Bodies Are Found in Baja California

Mexican authorities recovered the three bodies as a search went on for two Australian tourists and a U.S. citizen who disappeared while on vacation.

An overhead view of three pickup trucks and a group of people in an off-road area along the sea.

By Emiliano Rodríguez Mega

Reporting from Mexico City

A dayslong search for three missing tourists who disappeared near a surfing town close to the U.S.-Mexico border ended tragically on Friday as the authorities said that they had located three bodies in a water hole.

Two Australian brothers, Callum and Jake Robinson, and their friend, Jack Carter Rhoad, a U.S. citizen, had been on vacation surfing and camping along the coast near the Mexican city of Ensenada when they disappeared on Saturday.

Debra Robinson, the mother of the brothers, said in a social media post on Wednesday that they had booked an Airbnb in another coastal town north of Ensenada but never showed up there.

“Reaching out to anyone who has seen my two sons. They have not contacted us,” she pleaded to the more than 120,000 members of a community Facebook page created for people interested in touring Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.

She added that Callum was a Type 1 diabetic.

The state’s attorney general, María Elena Andrade Ramírez, said in a news conference on Thursday that prosecutors were investigating three people related to the case but that crucial time had passed since the disappearance of the three men.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the last few days that they were reported missing,” Ms. Andrade Ramírez told reporters. “So, that meant that important hours or time was lost.”

In an interview, Ms. Andrade Ramírez said that after close examination of a 50-foot-deep water hole in La Bocana beach, near the town of Santo Tomás, Mexican authorities found three male bodies early on Friday. The already decomposed remains, she added, “meet the characteristics to assume with a high degree of probability” that they are the Robinson siblings and Mr. Rhoad.

Researchers will perform DNA tests to confirm the findings.

Prosecutors also believe that the three people tied to the deaths tried to seize the victims’ vehicle. When they resisted, Ms. Andrade Ramírez said, one man took out a gun, opened fire and then tried to dispose of their bodies. That person has been arrested.

“This aggression seems to have occurred in an unforeseen, circumstantial manner,” she added. “We pledge that this crime will not go unpunished.”

Human remains of a fourth male body, which has not yet been identified and is not connected to this case, was also found at the same site.

In 2022, 192 American citizens died in Mexico, State Department figures show , but most of those deaths were accidents or suicides. Only 46 were ruled as homicides.

The big waves in Baja California have long attracted throngs of surfers and travelers, many of whom have dealt with rising crime rates for nearly two decades.

But record levels of violence have hit the state in recent years. Government data shows that Baja California currently holds first place in vehicle theft and second place in homicides, most of which are related to drug dealing or organized crime, Mexico’s secretary of defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, said this year.

An official familiar with the investigation, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said a white pickup truck that the missing tourists had been traveling in was found charred near La Bocana beach. Other belongings and pieces of evidence were also being analyzed, the official added.

The swift effort to find the tourists was a rare exception in a country where nearly 100,000 people remain missing, according to the latest count provided by Mexican officials in March.

A majority of cases remain unsolved. Family members and volunteers are left on their own to follow up on leads, but the presence of cartels and a lack of support from the authorities make searching a dangerous mission .

The recent case in Ensenada recalled an episode in 2015 in which two Australian surfers, Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas, were killed as they drove across Sinaloa, another state in northern Mexico. Local authorities arrested three people who said they shot the two friends after they resisted a robbery. Their bodies were found inside their van, which had been doused in gasoline and set on fire.

Emiliano Rodríguez Mega is a reporter and researcher for The Times based in Mexico City, covering Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. More about Emiliano Rodríguez Mega

Bonza fleet’s grounding extended – as it happened

This blog is now closed.

A Bonza 737 MAX aircraft in Melbourne.

That's it for today, thanks for reading

Here are the main stories on Thursday, 2 May :

The final arguments in the Mehreen Faruqi v Pauline Hanson case were heard in the federal court ;

The Victorian premier, Jacinta Allan, lashed the opposition for calling her “nasty” during a heated question time and said it did not demonstrate leadership in terms of respect for women;

Bonza passengers will remain in limbo as planes remain grounded ;

Robert Farquharson , who was convicted of murdering his three sons in Victoria, plans to launch a new appeal ;

Woolworths records a worse-than-expected March quarter financial results;

The NSW cybercrime squad is investigating an alleged data breach affecting more than one million club and pub patrons; and

Two Australian brothers have been reported missing in Mexico .

We look forward to seeing you here for more news tomorrow.

Daniel Hurst

Parliamentary report calls for new law enshrining trade principles

The Australian government should enshrine in law some key principles for negotiating trade agreements, according to a new report from the parliamentary joint standing committee on trade and investment growth.

The report stems from a request made by the trade minister, Don Farrell , shortly before Labor held its national conference in Brisbane last August. He asked the committee to conduct an inquiry into the process for negotiating trade deals. Unions have long been critical of key parts in the process, including the lack of legislated safeguards and transparency before free trade agreements are signed.

The committee, chaired by Labor MP Steve Georganas , has made eight recommendations that it argued would “strengthen Australia’s approach to negotiating trade and investment agreements, contributing to better outcomes and ensuring that agreements are of greatest benefit to the Australian community”.

These recommendations include that the Australian government “require an independent review, including modelling and analysis, to be undertaken on each proposed or under review trade and investment agreement”. Australia should “seek to include human rights, labour and environmental chapters in its trade agreements” and should “seek to not include provisions in trade and investment agreements that waive labour market and skills testing or include investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions”.

ISDS provisions are controversial because of the potential for foreign investors to sue Australia over the impact of policy decisions.

The committee also called on the government to “establish a legislative framework for the negotiation of Australia’s trade and investment agreements” - a recommendation that could be contentious because of the potential to bind future Coalition governments.

The final report said elements of the process for negotiating trade deals, including stakeholder consultation and reviews of its impact, could be enshrined in law.

It said it would not be appropriate to be “highly prescriptive in ruling certain provisions in or out of future trade and investment agreements” but there were “certain exceptional commitments that are fundamental to the public interest that could be appropriately enshrined in a legislative framework”. That could include “broad principles in relation to maintaining consistency with international rights and standards, and retaining the ability to regulate in the public interest across key policy areas”.

Elias Visontay

Bonza was almost bought by Australian buyer before administration: report

As administrators determine the future of Bonza following the abrupt repossession of its aircraft on Tuesday, the company that provided maintenance services to the budget airline has said a local buyer was on the cusp of taking the airline over from US private investment firm 777 Partners.

Speaking to the industry news outlet Australian Aviation , Bradley Davren , the CEO of AVCRO which has provided maintenance, repairs and overhaul to Bonza since it launched last year, said the airline had developed a sustainable business model before entering administration.

Davren told Australian Aviation that a “very serious commitment” had been made by the unnamed local backer before the airline’s five remaining Boeing 737-Max 8 aircraft – procured through lease deals part owned by 777 Partners – were repossessed on Tuesday morning by a new company set up in April, Phoenix Aviation Capital , that owned a controlling stake in the aircraft leases. Davren said:

They were in a position where ultimately the current owner could have just shifted that liability away from themselves and the airline would have kept moving fat, dumb and happy without issue ... The lead backer, to my understanding, is very well-known and would absolutely do wonders for multiple reasons. Yet to be seen if that eventuates, but had that outcome come to fruition, I suspect you would have seen Bonza kick into overdrive.

Davren also sought to rubbish suggestions Bonza’s business model had been unviable or that it had issues with finances:

The airline was trading with absolutely no credit issues. Obviously, we would be one of their largest creditors. They were never on stop credit with us. They never even appeared to be trending in that direction, and in fact, it’s unfair to the employees if this is wound up, to suggest that this is the reason why ... Their load factors are fantastic.

Earlier on Thursday, administrators announced Bonza would remain grounded up to and including Tuesday 7 May. Discussions are continuing to find a potential buyer to save the airline. A further update is scheduled today.

You can read more here:

US official warns on nuclear “shortcuts”

A senior US official has warned against “shortcuts” to nuclear disarmament as the Australian government considers signing a treaty imposing a blanket ban on nuclear weapons.

There is no sign that the government is about to join the relatively new agreement, known as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), and it is not supported by any of the existing nuclear weapons states.

But Labor committed in its party platform to sign and ratify the TPNW after taking account of several factors. Earlier this week MPs and senators from across the political spectrum vowed to press the government to join the TPNW, saying “history is calling”.

Paul Dean , the principal deputy assistant secretary in the US State Department’s bureau of arms control, deterrence and stability, held a virtual press briefing today. Guardian Australia asked him whether he had any message for the Australian government as it considered whether it could sign the TPNW.

Dean replied that he understood “the frustration globally with the pace of disarmament” but added that it was “important to really understand that there are no shortcuts available in nuclear stability and nuclear disarmament”.

He said the US was committed to pursuing “negotiations in good faith toward disarmament”, but said this would require Russia “to engage constructively in arms control”. He added:

I think, by the same token, we need a good-faith interlocutor on the side of the PRC [People’s Republic of China] to make some progress in managing a complicated nuclear deterrence relationship in a way that really minimises the risk of misunderstanding, misimpression, miscalculation that can lead to poor decision-making and unnecessary and costly arms races .

Faruqi v Hanson case adjourned

Amy Remeikis

As part of his closing arguments, Mehreen Faruqi’s counsel, Saul Holt , has addressed his earlier accusation that Pauline Hanson was “lying under oath” when she said she did not know that Faruqi was a Muslim at the time she sent her tweet telling her to “piss off back to Pakistan”.

Hanson gave evidence that she did not know Faruqi’s religion in September 2022, and only learnt it sometime before she submitted her affidavit to the court in January this year.

Holt put to Hanson that was “a lie”, given Faruqi was the first female Muslim senator, 97% of the Pakistani population are Muslim and Faruqi has worn Muslim “garb” in the senate.

Hanson said she did not know, had not seen Faruqi in a burqa or hijab, had never asked Faruqi or anyone their religious status and it “didn’t cross her mind” to include that she didn’t know Faruqi’s religion when she dictated her tweet in her affidavit.

Justice Angus Stewart makes reference to a Guardian article which covered Faruqi’s first speech to the parliament , which included she was Muslim. The article has not been accepted into evidence (thus far) and Justice Stewart says he “wouldn’t infer that Senator Hanson reads the Guardian” but that it might have been reported more widely.

Holt says that he believes Hanson wasn’t telling the truth about not knowing Faruqi’s religious status for three reasons:

that the pair are colleagues in the Senate and “the likelihood of her knowing something about Senator Faruqi would have that kind of an inferential case would be high”;

that Hanson knew Faruqi was from Pakistan; and

that Hanson has demonstrated “an intense interest in Islam, Muslims and particularly Muslims in power” and therefore bearing in mind “all of those things” “the notion that she didn’t know that Senator Faruqi was a Muslim in that case is is so unlikely that your Honor would would at least not accept her evidence”.

Hanson’s counsel has since submitted that “it would be wrong to assume that Senator Hanson was at the speech in question” [Faruqi’s first speech] but he can’t go further than that (and say that she absolutely wasn’t) because anything that happened in the chamber is not allowed in this court case.

The court is adjourned. Justice Angus Stewart will deliver his judgement at a date to be set.

Priya Nadesalingam , who spent four years in detention with her family, is speaking to ABC Afternoon Briefing about the government’s proposed deportation bill.

The family has been back in Biloela for two years now, and was asked about her reaction to the proposed legislation:

I am very sad, my heart is broken… There are thousands of people like me and my family. Please do not force people to leave Australia, put [them] in jail… These people are part of the Australian community, just like we are.

Bonza’s grounding extended amid uncertainty over future

As we flagged earlier , budget airline Bonza’s planes will remain grounded for a further five days at the least, after it entered voluntary administration.

All Bonza flights up to and including Tuesday, 7 May have been cancelled. In a statement, the administrators said:

Whilst the administrators are continually in discussions with the lessor of the company’s fleet and relevant parties regarding resumption of operations, those discussions are occurring daily and will continue to take place over the forthcoming days and into next week. The administrators and the company appreciate the impact this is having on customers and employees. A further update is scheduled to be issued later today.

You can read more below:

Emily Wind

Many thanks for joining me on the blog today, Nino Bucci will be with you for the next little while. Take care.

Natasha May

Returning to the vaping Senate inquiry

Scott Weber, the CEO of the Police Federation of Australia , is telling the Senate vaping inquiry that the sale of illegal vapes is a “huge issue” but police do not have the capability or numbers to tackle it.

Weber says vapes present a “health issue that has now turned into a criminal one”. However, police “don’t know what to do”.

Weber says a clearer national licensing scheme is needed so that police can enforce it in the same way they do liquor, which reverses the onus on the vendor to prove that they have the right to sell it. He says police need more training, education and capability to be able to address illegal vapes - but at the moment police officers don’t have the time either.

The federal government would need to fund dedicated police officers to the issue as currently there are police shortages across the country whose priorities are issues like violence, he said.

Birmingham said government should plan to visit Solomon Islands soon

The shadow foreign minister, Simon Birmingham, says Penny Wong should visit the Solomon Islands “where appropriate” and he would be prepared to visit, too, following the election of its new prime minister , Jeremiah Manele .

Speaking to ABC Afternoon Briefing, he said:

Ultimately we would expect the Albanese government to want to, and to seek to, engage with a new government in the Solomon Islands as quickly as they reasonably can – respectful of the need for [a] new prime minister to get their feet under the table and respectful of the timelines they may have in mind … We will be willing as an opposition to cooperate in any engagements where appropriate.

Shadow minister for foreign affairs Simon Birmingham.

Social services minister responds to data showing 50% of people applying for domestic violence payment are rejected

The social services minister, Amanda Rishworth, was asked about data published by Guardian Australia that half of people trying to access emergency financial support for domestic and family violence are having their claims rejected:

Speaking to Afternoon Briefing on the ABC, Rishworth said it was “not the only payment that’s available” and added:

… The eligibility is deliberately focused on people when they are leaving a violent circumstance.

Q : So are you concerned that 50% of people are still being knocked back?

Rishworth said the program will assess eligibility and “ if someone is not eligible for the program, they will be diverted to other services and support”.

There are many reasons people [are not] eligible for the program. Some reasons are people withdraw their application, they no longer need the financial support. So – lots of reasons people may not progress. But this is an important part of the system, but not the only part of support in the system.

Minister for social services Amanda Rishworth.

Andrew Wilkie wants ACCC to investigate Qantas ‘carrier charges’

The independent MP Andrew Wilkie has written to the ACCC calling on it to investigate Qantas “carrier charges” on frequent flyer tickets.

In a letter to the ACCC’s chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb , Wilkie said he was concerned the charges are “an underhand[ed] means for the airline to actually charge for flights despite the customer’s understanding that such flights are paid for with points”.

He said carrier charges are “not itemised or explained” and “vary considerably with the route, class of travel and airport of origin”:

Customers can only find out how much they will be when making a booking as they are not listed anywhere. I would not be surprised if many loyal Qantas customers do not realise they are being charged by the airline for using their well-earned loyalty points.

Wilkie called for the ACCC to investigate the carrier charges “with the view to banning” them or “at least ensuring they are published and readily available to customers prior to booking flights”.

Qantas planes.

Faruqi agrees with commonwealth arguments that Hanson tweet not political communication

Continuing from our last post: Leneham finishes and Faruqi’s counsel, Saul Holt, is now making his arguments on these issues.

Holt mostly agrees with the commonwealth, arguing Hanson’s tweet was not political communication just because she is a senator. Holt:

It is an angry slur that could have been written by anyone regardless of their status as a senator or otherwise. And the way in which that was justified was by [Hanson’s counsel] Mr Smark was to make a rhetorical submission that politics … involve[s] a silencing of one’s opponents and assaulting one’s opponents or offending one’s opponents as part of the persuasive process.

And it might be accepted that Australian politics is no different from politics in many other parts of the world in that respect. But:

... Is there some inherent component of it which requires it to be racially abusive? And the answer is no.

Commonwealth wrapping up arguments at Faruqi v Hanson case

At the end of his submission to the federal court, the barrister representing the commonwealth attorney-general Craig Leneham has just finished his arguments on why the constitutional validity of section 18c or 18d of the racial discrimination act does not apply in this case.

What does it come down to according to the commonwealth? After going through all the precedents, Leneham says:

We say [it] would comfortably lead your honour to reject any suggestion that the very high threshold test is satisfied in this case by our friends [Hanson’s counsel]. They just haven’t met that significant burden.

The burden being, how Pauline Hanson’s tweet to Mehreen Faruqi telling her to ‘piss off back to Pakistan’ was protected political speech, or falling under the implied right of freedom of speech.

The commonwealth says, in our view, it’s not. And therefore Hanson’s argument that the legislation Faruqi brought this case with is a block to her freedom of speech, or political communication, should be rejected.

More to come in a moment.

Youth minister responds to pro-Palestine encampments

The minister for youth, Anne Aly, has responded to the growing number of pro-Palestine encampments being established at universities across the country. Speaking to ABC’s Afternoon Briefing just now, she said:

The right to protest is a cornerstone of our democracy and something that I support, however I draw the line at where protests become intimidating or violent and it concerns me that there are students on campuses that are feeling unsafe on-campus. It concerns me as a former academic who has worked at university campuses for much of my working life ... The education minister, Jason Clare, has written to vice chancellors – all universities have a code of conduct for students and staff and it is important that the universities enforce the code of conduct. If these protests are becoming violent or are making people on-campus feel unsafe in any way, it is absolutely unacceptable and there has to be a line in the sand here.

Youth minister Anne Aly.

The Bureau of Meteorology has published a weather update for the weekend, flagging widespread rain for NSW and thunderstorms spread across large parts of the state:

Weather Update: Widespread rain for New South Wales this weekend. Video current: 12pm AEST 2 May 2024. Know your weather, know your risk. For the latest forecasts and warnings go to our website https://t.co/4W35o8iFmh or the BOM Weather app. pic.twitter.com/UImf0KVGFV — Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) May 2, 2024

Bonza passengers in limbo as planes grounded for longer

Bonza passengers will be grounded for almost another week as the budget airline’s administrators talk with the lessor of its fleet, AAP reports.

Administrators Hall Chadwick confirmed today there would be no flights until at least Wednesday – five more days than previously expected.

The firm would continue to talk with the lessor of Bonza’s fleet and other parties about the “resumption of operations” into next week, a spokesman said.

Customers with bookings during this period are advised not to travel to the airport. Customers scheduled to travel during this time are requested to make alternative arrangements with other airline carriers.

Hall Chadwick was expected to give another update later today.

A Bonza 737 MAX aircraft in Melbourne.

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