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.