How to plan the perfect Perth getaway

swimmer floating in little armstrong bay rottnest island

Zoe Macfarlane

Posted September 15, 2022

Perth – the world’s most remote big city - has an incredible landscape, amazing sites, and sunny climate, making for a wonderful getaway in Western Australia. 

Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is a must-visit destination. Relax anywhere along the 80 kilometres of glorious white sandy beaches, immerse yourself in the diverse cultural offerings, and explore the unique suburbs (and their delectable eateries). Include time in your itinerary to head outside the city centre, where tropical islands, lush wineries, and fun activities await. 

A trip to Perth is an explorer's dream, and we’ve got just the guide to help you plan the perfect Perth and surrounds getaway. RACV Members save more on incredible Perth travel experiences, including attractions, tours, car and motorhome rentals.

Places to visit in Perth and surrounds


Perth has little of the bustle other Australian cities have. In fact, to discover Perth fully, plan to neighbourhood hop to experience the varied suburbs that together make Perth so desirable. 

Perth’s postcard-perfect beaches are part of its appeal, with areas like Cottesloe Beach and Scarborough Beach, so idyllic that you won’t want to leave. On Perth’s northern beaches, Mettams Pool is worthwhile visiting, as too is Trigg Beach for the surf. 

If historic neighbourhoods appeal, include a visit to Claremont, Perth’s oldest suburb, as well as Mount Lawley, Leederville, and Fremantle. Discover the gruesome stories from the Fremantle Prison and check out the (now) hip Fishing Boat Harbour, Bathers Beach, and 125-year-old Fremantle Markets. 

For a fun evening filled with yummy cuisine, hip bars, and live entertainment, head to Northbridge. If you’re in town on a Friday or Saturday, the Leederville Food Safari is a cool rickshaw-driven 3-course culinary adventure.


Bathers Beach is where Fremantle meets the ocean. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Fishing Boat Harbour is a marina in Fremantle. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Trigg Beach is a much-loved beach in Perth. Image: Tourism Western Australia

Rottnest Island

If there was ever an island you’re travelling to for its cute factor, it’s Rottnest Island. Not because the island itself is cute (gorgeous is a better adjective), but because of its most famous residents: the quokka!

Quokkas are pint-sized marsupials (small wallabies), famous for their friendly nature and inquisitiveness. Quokkas are so beloved because it’s so easy to get great selfie with one, which has shot them to internet fame. Rottnest Island is a protected nature reserve, ensuring the safety of the 10,000 quokkas that call the isle home. 

While meeting a quokka is a significant enough reason to want to hop aboard a ferry to Rottnest Island, there are plenty of other bonuses which come with your visit. With 63 stunning beaches, 45 kilometres of walking trails, incredible wildlife spotting opportunities, and a range of activities, accommodation, and eateries, a trip to Rottnest Island makes for a great day out or short getaway. 


Pinky Beach and Bathurst Lighthouse. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Quokka on Rottnest Island. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Little Salmon Bay. Image: Tourism Western Australia

Swan Valley

Wine lovers rejoice, for Swan Valley is only 30 minutes from Perth. Home to 40 wineries, six breweries, countless eateries, and a glorious Mediterranean-esque climate, Swan Valley lends itself to a spectacular day out for all your senses.

Be prepared for your trip to Swan Valley to be one of indulgence, thanks to the care and craft of artisanal food and beverage makers across the region. Alongside the winemakers and brewers, there are coffee roasters, craft chocolatiers, gin distillers, fudge makers, and more. 

Swan Valley’s optimal vantage point on the upper reaches of the Swan River lends itself to some creative ways to explore Western Australia’s oldest wine-growing region. Alongside the bus and private tours wine regions usually offer, you can also sample the region’s finest wines by horse-drawn carriage, river cruise.


Mandoon Estate is a must for wine lovers. Image: Tourism Western Australia
Lancaster Wines is in the Swan Valley. Image: Tourism Western Australia

Perth Hills

To the east, the Perth Hills is a region of character townships filled with charm, creativity, and vigour, against a backdrop of expansive Perth views. It’s within towns like Mundaring, Kalamunda, and Armadale that you’ll uncover hip art galleries, bustling farmers’ markets, and local fare alongside nature’s finest flora and fauna. 

The natural wonders in the Perth Hills are worthy of your holiday time, with Lake Leschenaultia a popular place to swim, canoe, walk, or enjoy a picnic. The gardens of the Araluen Botanic Park impress with 145,0000 tulips, as do the trails and waterfalls in Mundy Regional Park. 

For an unexpected gem, head to the Bodhinyana Monastery. The Perth Observatory is a brilliant stop for all things astronomy, plus insights into Aboriginal sky lore. 

In the Perth Hills, the food and wine trails perfectly introduce you to the best local fare. For wine lovers, follow the Bickley Valley Wine Trail, though the Perth Hills Cider and Brews Trail is our top pick if you only have time for one. 


Head to the place ‘where the coast comes alive’ - if awesome marine encounters pique your interest. Rockingham, 40 minutes from Perth, is the main access point for the pristine reefs and rustic islands of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. 

The locals are great around Rockingham, especially the 1,200 fairy penguins that call Penguin Island, Western Australia’s largest colony, home. A visit to Penguin Island includes expert commentary, fairy penguin intel, plus ranger-led feeding sessions three times a day. While you’re on Penguin Island, watch for the 50 species of seabirds that also nest here, including the large colony of pelicans. Seal Island is also nearby, with glass-bottomed boats running 45-minute cruises to see the rare Australian sea lions. 

Another reason to explore the coast off Rockingham is to meet the playful local dolphins. Get up close and personal on a wild dolphin swimming cruise - the success rate for meeting these bottlenose dolphins on this fun-filled activity is very high.

Other ways to enjoy Rockingham’s marine-rich waters include snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing, kayaking, jet skiing, fishing, sailing, and swimming, of course. For a unique (and thrilling) vantage point, skydive over the Shoalwater Islands Marine Reserve right onto the beach.

snorklers swimming in Rockingham water

Snorkle with dolphins in Rockingham. Image: Tourism Western Australia

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