How do you choose the right number of days for your Perth Itinerary? This is always a hard question to answer. perth is like a mini Australia in many ways – It has wine, wildlife, beaches, great food and nature in all its glory.
Ideally, visit Perth for at least 3 days. Even better visit for 5 days. Or visit for 7 days and add in some of Perth’s biggest and best day trips (like a Rottnest Island Day Trip) whilst still sleeping in the same boutique hotel every night.
My Perth Itinerary will cover what to do if you have 3 days in Perth, what to do if you have 5 days in Perth and then a 7 day itinerary for Perth Australia.
You can then move activities around between the different days as works best for your planned Perth itineraries.
- Perth Itinerary: How to get to Perth and get around
- Getting a Visa for Australia
- Perth Suggested Itinerary Day 1 – Explore the best of Perth
- Day 2 – Visit Rottnest Island
- Organised Tour Options
- How to get to Rottnest Island
- Top 3 Things to do on Rottnest Island
- Where to Eat on Rottnest Island
- Day 3 Itinerary Perth: Visit Fremantle
- Perth Itinerary Days 4 & 5: Enjoy some of Perth’s close day trips
- Go Wine Tasting in the Swan Valley
- Head to the Perth Hills
- Day 6: Eat your way around Perth’s suburbs
- Perth Itinerary 7 Days: Take a Big Day Trip
- Things to know before you go to Perth
- Boutique Hotels in Perth
- When to Visit Perth
- Who Paid for What in this Post
Perth Itinerary: How to get to Perth and get around
Perth is located on the southwest coast of Western Australia on the Swan River. Do remember that Australia is big and a flight from sydney to Perth takes five hours (although it is usually much faster on the way back due to winds).
Perth is an international airport and most major airlines fly to Perth after a stopover in Asia.
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There was considerable publicity of late when Qantas announced a direct flight from London to Perth taking 16 1/2 hours. I personally have not taken this flight yet but Australian friends have and all have been very positive about the flight and particularly that they felt their jet lag was much better than normal.
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But if you are staying in Perth for longer than a couple of days then I would highly recommend hiring a car. Perth is a very easy city to drive around and there is generally loads of parking.
If you are from a big city you may find the frequency of Perth public transport a little frustrating. Also, this is a sprawling city so the locals will be driving most places!
Getting a Visa for Australia
Unless you have New Zealand citizenship you will need to get a visa for Australia. However, the good news is that the online visa for Australia is a quick and easy process!
The entire online process only takes about 5 minutes. The most requested type of visa is the eVisitor which can be used for business or tourist purposes. The eVistor covers multiple entries over 12 months and stays of up to 3 months.
If your nationality doesn’t fit the criteria for the eVisitor then you can apply for an ETA visa (Electronic Travel Authority). This option is slightly more expensive whilst providing the same access as the eVisitor.
And there is a separate process if you are looking for a working holiday visa for Australia.
Perth Suggested Itinerary Day 1 – Explore the best of Perth
There is plenty to see and do in the heart of Perth itself. A great way to kick off a stay in Perth is to head to the beautiful Cottesloe Beach for a quick swim and breakfast. Cottesloe beach is halfway between Perth and Fremantle.
Cottesloe beach is loved by both locals and tourists with its stunning white sands and relaxed feel. Loads of cafes line its main street but I highly recommend heading to Il Lido. I enjoyed eating at Il Lido so much that I went their twice on my last trip to Perth!
One of the best ways to learn about Perth and to get a feel for its CBD is to take a tour. I took the Coffee, Culture and Art tour with local company Two Feet and a Heartbeat where I learnt that the Perth city centre has been rejuvenated in the last 15 year.
You will get a chance to see the lovely kangaroo sculptures in Stirling Gardens, see the local street art and visit waterfront development Elizabeth Quay – all whilst learning the history of Perth.
In the afternoon head to Perth’s Kings Park. King’s Park is bigger than Central Park and could possibly be the biggest botanic garden in a city in the world at over 400 hectares! This beautiful park also has some stunning views of the city of Perth as well as the Swan River.
The park has several cafes and restaurants and a fantastic gift shop with lots of stunning local contemporary art and crafts.
Day 2 – Visit Rottnest Island
Lovely little Rottnest Island is just 18kms from the centre of Perth. It is one of my favourite day trips in the world and loved by locals as much as tourists.
There are no cars on Rottnest Island and it has 20 bays, 63 beaches and 45 kilometres of cycling paths. Artefacts pre-dating 6,500 years have been found on Rottnest Island so it appears that the Aboriginals were also big fans!
Organised Tour Options
It is very easy to travel to and around Rottnest Island independently but it does involve multiple bookings of ferry tickets and bike hire, figuring out ferry schedules and where and when to eat etc.
If you would prefer to have all of the administration taken care off for you but want to explore the island on a bike on your own the day trip to Rottnest from Fremantle or Perth does all of this and will pick you up and drop you back at your hotel.
If you would like to explore Rottnest Island from the water than this Rottnest by Sea day tour is perfect. Your boat leaves Fremantle and then it explores Rottnest Island by pulling into different bays and beaches across the day.
For those who are keen to snorkel and dive the waters of Rottnest Island this Snorkel and Sail Catamaran Adventure is perfect.
How to get to Rottnest Island
The best ferry for you will depend on where you are staying. If you are staying in North Perth then Hillary’s Boat Harbour is a good place to catch the ferry to Rottnest Island. However, there are only a few ferries for a Rottnest Island day trip from Hillary’s each day and they take 45 minutes.
The fastest route for a Rottnest Island one day trip is from Fremantle at either B-shed or North Fremantle. This route takes 35 minutes. B-shed has a nice coffee place as well as somewhere for snacks – but I was told that the Rottnest Island bakery was much better and to save room in my stomach!
Top 3 Things to do on Rottnest Island
1. Hire a Bike
Rottnest Island has 45kms of cycling paths and to me, this is the best way to explore the island. I would recommend pre-booking your bike hire. It is possible to prebook both your bike hire and ferry tickets together or hire an e-bike.
Or you can pre-book your bike hire with Pedal and Flipper and just pick it up when you arrive (Pedal and Flipper is about a 5-minute walk from where the ferry drops you on Rottnest Island).
2. Swim and Sunbathe
Rottnest Island has 63 beaches and 20 bays! And pretty much all of them are ready for swimmers and sunbathers!
The beaches in the North tend to be a bit more sheltered whereas some of those in the south are beautiful but quite rugged. Pinky’s Beach and the Basin are two of the most popular beaches. They are both lovely and nice and close to Thomson Bay!
I highly recommend the beautiful Little Salmon Bay. It is a bit farther away from Thomson Bay so not as busy and it is also a great spot for snorkelling. Geordie Bay and Parakeet Bay are also spectacular.
3. Get a Quokka Selfie
The Quokka looks like a little kangaroo and is native to Rottnest Island. The first recorded European visitor to Rottnest Island, William de Vlamingn, gave the island its name Rotte Nest (meaning rat’s nest) after he mistook the quokkas for rats.
It is no wonder that Quokkas are known as the world’s happiest animals – they live on Rottnest Island! The quokkas roam free across Rottnest Island but seem to like spending a lot of time around the bakery and then the Rottnest Hotel from late afternoon.
Rottnest Island is highly encouraging of the Quokka selfie phenomenon, even providing full details of how to get the best Quokka selfie! However, the Quokkas are wild animals so don’t touch them and don’t feed them (all very Gremlins like!!).
It is best to sit and wait and let them come to you. They are friendly little fellows and there are loads of them (between 10,000 and 12,000) so as long as you have a bit of time you are unlikely to be unsuccessful when it comes to acquiring a Quokka selfie!
Where to Eat on Rottnest Island
The majority of places to eat on Rottnest Island are clustered around the main village which is at the ferry station. There are lots of food options across a range of prices.
If you’re interested in staying the night on Rottnest Island check out its latest boutique hotel! Discovery Glamping Resort features 83 glamping tents across categories from a standard (56 square metres) to deluxe (98 square metres). Deluxe tends feature walk-in wardrobes and double vanities and some have uninterrupted views of the Indian ocean.
All of the tents have en suites and a furnished deck. The tents are made from sustainable materials and were designed to keep cool so there is no air conditioning.
⇒ Excited about Rottnest Island? It is perhaps my favourite thing to do in Perth! Read more about it in my full post on The Perfect Rottnest Island Day Trip.
Day 3 Itinerary Perth: Visit Fremantle
Fremantle is Western Australia’s chief port and is just 25 minutes west of Perth. Founded in 1829 it is still home to many streets which are virtually unchanged since the mid 19th century. Many of these streets are now home to some fantastic restaurants, shops and bars.
Things to do in Fremantle:
- Get some nice photos down at the Fishing Boat harbour and if it’s the right time of day enjoy some fish and chips by the water.
- Take an underground Tunnels Tour or Torchlight tour at Fremantle Prison
- Take a tram ride through Fremantle.
- Visit the fantastic Fremantle Markets. The market is full of interesting local suppliers selling their arts and crafts as well as some tasty food pop-ups. Fremantle Market is a great place to find a unique souvenir – check out Stunned Emu Designs.
- Take a Segway Tour around the streets of Fremantle as well as its port.
- Go shopping in the West End of Fremantle
- Enjoy a cocktail at Bathers Beach House
- Have a meal at the fantastic Bread in Common – handmade, locally sourced and just delicious in a stylish modern industrial setting.
- Tuck into some Italian food at the Iconic Gino’s
- Enjoy a beer and a tour at popular local brewery Little Creatures
Perth Itinerary Days 4 & 5: Enjoy some of Perth’s close day trips
Visit Caversham Wildlife Park
Lovely Caversham Wildlife Park is a fantastic place to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s unique wildlife! Caversham is about a 20-minute drive from the centre of Perth. There are public transport options but they are all pretty painful so I highly recommend driving to Caversham Wildlife Park Perth!
Caversham is actually a private wildlife park – it is owned by a family from Perth and receives no government funding. This means that it is often more interactive than similar parks in Australia.
The park is divided into six sections and there are a number of daily activities. Do try to plan your visit around the timings of the daily activities which are all listed on the Caversham Wildlife website.
For me, the highlight was meeting the koalas! There are generally 4 sessions of meet the koalas each day. The koalas are brought out by handlers. Visitors are then invited one by one to have some time with the koalas and are able to stroke their backs. I loved doing this!
Meet the wombat and friends is another daily session that runs four times a day. A wombat is a uniquely Australia marsupial. He is not as cute as a koala (what is??) but definitely worth checking out! Again, the wombat is held by someone from the park and it is possible to sit next to the wombat.
The friends include other typically Australian forms of wildlife like cockatoos, snakes, quokkas and possums.
Feeding the kangaroos is open all day! There are quite a few kangaroos and wallabies at Caversham Wildlife Park. Food is freely available to give them and then hopefully a good photograph!
The morning is the best time as the kangaroos and the wallabies are up and about. Don’t visit on a warm afternoon as I did as they were lounging under the trees in the shade and weren’t terribly interested in anything!
Go Wine Tasting in the Swan Valley
Only 30 minutes drive from Perth is the beautiful Swan Valley. It is filled with rolling hills, wildflowers, walking trails, some great restaurants and most importantly some great wineries!
The Swan Valley has a mediterranean-style climate plus rich soil and access to water from the Swan River, all of which make for some fantastic wine. Key varietals are Verdelho, Chenin Blanc, Petit Verdot and Shiraz. the area is also known for excellent sparkling and fortified wines.
With a first vintage in 1834, the Swan Valley is the second oldest wine region in Australia (New South Wales‘ Hunter Valley is the oldest). The climate is similar to that of Greece, Croatia and southern Spain. Indeed, many of the Swan Valley vinyards were started by families from southern Europe.
Of course, the best way to visit a wine region is without a car! I can highly recommend d’Vine Wine Tours. Breanna and Ewen, the owners of this small company, are both born and bred in Perth. Both of them have extensive backgrounds in hospitality – and extensive personal experience with the wines of the Swan Valley!
I took their full day Swan Valley Wine tour. It was very well organised with a well signed central pick up point in the Perth CBD. We then visited several wineries in the Swan Valley – and everyone on the tour received a 20% discount on any wines purchased! That is the same discount as the staff!
d’Vine also runs wine tours to the Bickley Valley, a special TGIF tour to kick off the weekend plus a special Sunday half-day tour.
And don’t leave without a visit to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory – if you can’t get down to Margaret River enjoy the best of its chocolate at this huge store and factory!
They have some outstanding ice cream, light lunches and best of all chocolate Quokkas!
Head to the Perth Hills
The Perth Hills provides a charming country Australia experience within just 45 minutes of the centre of Perth. It is home to a whopping 8 National Parks including Bibbulmun and lots of other walking and cycling trails.
This area is also home to some great restaurants and wineries. The Perth Hills is known for having some fantastic apples and is home to two great Cider Houses – Naked Apple and Core Cider. Both serve meals and make for a lovely day out.
If possible, time your trip to the Perth Hills on a Sunday to attend the Kalamunda Farmer’s Market in the Central Mall. And on the first Saturday of every month, the full Kalamunda Village Market with over 150 stalls is held in the Central Mall.
Day 6: Eat your way around Perth’s suburbs
So far this itinerary for Perth has only had one day in actual Perth! So let’s spend a day exploring more of what Perth has on offer – based on its fabulous food! Mix and match from my list below to plan a perfect foodie day!
- Head to Northbridge for Dim Sum. Northbridge is a thriving dining and nightlife area just north of the CBD. It is home to a variety of cuisines but does lean towards Asian and Italian. I highly recommend Juicy Bao Bao – don’t miss their wontons in homemade spicy sauce.
- Have fish and chips with the black Swans on Matilda Bay. Lovely Matilda Bay is just outside the Perth CBD and is a natural bay in the Swan River. It is home to many photogenic and rather pushy black swans and some great fish and chips – check out the Bayside Kitchen.
Matilda Bay is also very close to renowned Perth Instagram spot the Blue Boatshed.
- Enjoy brunch with a view in Peppermint Grove. This high-end Perth suburb has some more very photogenic boatsheds as well as the fantastic Freshwaters restaurant. Order your brunch inside and then take a seat on the lovely deck and look out over the swan river.
- Go shopping and have coffee in Subiaco. Subiaco is inner-city cool Perth style. It all happens on Rokeby road which is home to cute boutiques and high-end shops plus loads of cafes and wine bars. Enjoy a toasted sandwich Australian style at the Jaffle Shack.
- Have lunch by the seaside in Trigg. North of the centre of Perth, Trigg Island beach is home to one of Perth’s surf breaks. And the lovely Island Market restaurant where you can dine on modern Australian cuisine whilst watching the waves.
⇒ Australia is a great jumping-off point to visit beautiful tropical Samoa! Check out my post on the 9 Best Resorts in Samoa.
Perth Itinerary 7 Days: Take a Big Day Trip
I love Margaret River!! I first visited this beautiful region in Australia over 20 years ago and fell in love with it! Margaret River has everything – forests, beautiful coastline, farmland galore and some of Australia’s best wineries.
The region is deserving of its own dedicated trip but if you don’t have the time or the inclination to move from your boutique hotel take a Margaret River day trip.
Margaret River is a 3-hour drive from Perth and as it is all about the wineries I highly recommend you take a tour for this Perth day trip! Avoid six hours in the car by flying down to Margaret River and then hopping on a coach for a 5-hour tour of the region’s wineries.
The Pinnacles Desert
The Pinnacles Desert is 200km north of Perth which is about a 2 hour drive from Perth. The desert covers an area of about 190 hectares and is home to thousands of limestone Pinnacles, some of which are up to five metres high.
These extraordinary structures are over 25,000 years old, formed after the sea receded and left deposits of sea shells. The surrounding sand was moved by coastal winds over time, leaving the pinnacles exposed to the elements.
There are many options for day tours to the Pinnacles. The visit is normally combined with either a visit to Yanchep National Park to see koalas and kangaroos, or with Caversham Wildlife Park and the Swan Valley in one big day or head to the Pinnacles in the evening for some amazing stargazing.
⇒ Heading to Melbourne? Check out my posts on the best place to stay in Melbourne and the best Brunch Places Melbourne. Melbourne has some great weekends away – if you love going to a spa read my post on a Daylesford Spa Weekend and for wine and beaches Things to do Mornington Peninsula.
Things to know before you go to Perth
⇒ Perth is a long way away from the East Coast of Australia. It is a five-hour flight from Sydney to Perth. Yes, really!
⇒Don’t forget that unless you are a citizen of New Zealand you will need to get the online Visa for Australia. And there is a separate online process if you are looking for an Australian working holiday visa.
⇒ Perth doesn’t observe any daylight savings time eg it is the same time all year round. It’s time zone is Western Standard Time (WST) which is GMT +8.
⇒ Wifi is easily accessible in Perth. Most hotels, restaurants etc will have free wifi. The Perth CBD, Northbridge and East Perth all have the free “Perth Wifi” which visitors can access.
⇒ Australia has a rather uncommon 230V electricity system and is type 1. Most likely you will need an adaptor.
Boutique Hotels in Perth
Perth has some fantastic boutique hotels! Indeed, it is hard to choose amongst all of the great options – and they also tend to be very good value for accommodation of this standard.
My favourite is Como the Treasury. The Victorian era building and former barracks were restored to reveal high ceilings, cornices, and balconies that were then styled with a modern touch.
This is a very special hotel with a unique feel. It has 48 guest rooms, one of the hottest restaurants in Perth (Wildflower, a glassed-in building on the rooftop featuring a traditional Aboriginal style seasonal menu), a Como Shambhala spa and connected bars which allow you to take your glass of wine all through the hotel! And it is located literally in the heart of the city.
I love the QT hotels which are across Australia and New Zealand! Yes, they are a chain but they are a small chain. QT Hotels tend to have great inner-city locations, eclectic and stylish designs and great bars and restaurants.
Perth’s QT hotel is more of the same with a fab rooftop bar and a great Italian restaurant, Santini Grill.
The Alex Hotel is located in quirky Northbridge, one of Perth’s inner-city suburbs and home to some of its most interesting and edgy restaurants and bars. Check out The Shadow Wine Bar and use one of their bikes to head down to Cottesloe beach.
The Hougoumont is in lovely little Fremantle, one of Perth’s most happening areas and the kick off point for several Rottnest Island ferries. This hotel was actually built using shipping container construction methods!
This stylish and quirky hotel offers wine and cheese tastings every evening as well as tea and toast in the morning – from the fantastic Bread in Common bakery in Fremantle.
Perth, of course, uses Australian dollars. ATMs are easily available and most restaurants, tourist attractions etc not only take credit cards they will have touch payment. You may need cash for some smaller restaurants and shops but it will be infrequent.
When to Visit Perth
Summers are warm and dry in Perth and winters are long, cool and wet. Summer is between December and February and the average temperature is 30 degrees. However, Perth is known for the cool wind that blows in most evenings (called the Fremantle Doctor) which makes it easier to sleep.
Autumn is March to May and temperatures average around the mid 20s. Winter is from June to August and isn’t the best time to visit. Spring starts in September and is a great time to visit as is Autumn, in my opinion.
⇒ If you’re planning some solo travel don’t miss my posts on the best Singles Holidays over 40, vacations for over 50 singles, the best singles ski holiday options, the 30 best singles travel groups, Bali Retreats for Singles and some fantastic solo spa breaks.
Who Paid for What in this Post
This is a sponsored post. However, I covered all of the tourism costs associated with writing this post eg flights, tours etc. And as always my opinions are my own.
The post does contain affiliate links. This means if you click through on some of the links and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. This will not affect the price that you pay. I just wanted to make sure that you knew this.
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