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Best Day Trips from Perth 2023 🌟

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Have you been wondering about the best day trips from Perth/Boorloo? As a Perth-based family who loves adventure and discovering new places, we’ve created a list of the best places to visit within a 90-minute drive from Perth.

While the city itself offers a variety of attractions, it’s the surrounding areas that steal the spotlight. So let’s explore the best day trips from Perth.

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Top 5 Best Day Trips from Perth

1. Rottnest Island 🏝️

Distance/Time from Perth: Rottnest Island ferries take about 25 minutes from Fremantle or 90 minutes from Elizabeth Quay, Perth.

a brown quokka close up on two legs smiling for the camera rottnest island

Rottnest Island, just off the Perth coast, is a paradise teeming with breathtaking beauty and endless possibilities for an unforgettable day trip. As you board the ferry, leave behind the urban bustle and enter a realm of turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and a variety of wildlife.

Renowned for its adorable inhabitants, the quokkas, Rottnest Island offers a rare chance to get up close and personal with these friendly marsupials. Capture the perfect selfie with a quokka, their ever-smiling faces providing an instant mood lift.

Explore the island’s diverse landscapes by bike or on a guided tour to uncover hidden bays, rocky shores, and intriguing historical sites. Dive into crystal-clear waters to discover vibrant coral reefs and witness the vibrant marine life that calls this island home.

Pros & cons of visiting Rottnest Island on a day trip from Perth:

βœ… Pros

  1. Natural Beauty: Rottnest Island has stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque landscapes.
  2. Quokkas: Rottnest Island is famous for its adorable quokkas, only found in Western Australia.
  3. Outdoor Activities: The island provides numerous outdoor activities, including snorkelling, diving, cycling, and hiking.
  4. Historical Significance: Rottnest Island has a rich history, with significant cultural and historical sites to explore, like the Wadjemup Lighthouse and the World War II tunnels.
  5. Convenient Access: Rottnest Island is easily accessible from Perth, with regular ferry services departing from multiple locations.

⛔️ Cons

  1. Time Constraints: While a day trip allows you to experience the beauty of Rottnest Island, it may not provide enough time to fully explore all that the island has to offer. Consider an overnight stay in one of the Rottnest Island accommodations.
  2. Crowds: Rottnest Island can get crowded, especially during summer school holidays and weekends. Consider visiting on a weekday.
  3. Weather Dependency: As an outdoor destination, Rottnest Island’s enjoyment highly depends on weather conditions.
  4. Limited Facilities: While Rottnest Island has essential amenities such as food outlets, accommodation options, and restrooms, facilities are limited compared to Perth (however, this is its charm).

I still remember the first time I visited Rottnest Island on a day trip all those years ago. The beaches on Rottnest Island are nothing short of breathtaking, with turquoise waters glistening under the bright sun. Snorkelling is an absolute dream with vibrant coral reefs and an incredible diversity of marine life.

However, the highlight is seeing the famous quokkas – these adorable creatures are so cute and friendly. You can’t resist capturing the moment; their cheeky grins melt your heart.

Best For: Nature Lovers, Adventure Seekers, Wildlife Enthusiasts, Beachgoers, & History Buffs.

Attractions: See this post on things to do on Rottnest Island.

Locals Tip: Hiring a bike is one of the best ways to explore the island. Rottnest Island is car-free, so biking is the most convenient and eco-friendly way.

2. Fremantle ⛴️

Distance/Time from Perth: 20 m – 30 minutes drive

Fremantle fishing harbour with boats restaurants and a ferris wheel in the background ad one of the Best Day Trips from Perth

Fremantle blends history, culture, and a laid-back atmosphere, creating a fun destination that all visitors enjoy. Explore streets with well-preserved heritage buildings, vibrant street art, and a bustling market offering a sensory feast of sights, sounds, and flavours.

Enjoy rich history by visiting the impressive Western Australian Maritime Museum or the iconic Fremantle Prison. Stroll along the picturesque Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour, where you can indulge in delicious seafood while watching boats sail by.

Pros & Cons of visiting Fremantle on a day trip from Perth:

βœ… Pros

  1. Historical Charm: Fremantle is steeped in history, boasting well-preserved heritage buildings, like the Fremantle Prison and the Round House.
  2. Cultural Hub: The city is vibrant, with a thriving arts scene, bustling markets, and various festivals and events throughout the year.
  3. Culinary Delights: Fremantle is renowned for its culinary scene, offering a variety of cafes, restaurants, bars, and food markets.
  4. Waterfront Attractions: Fremantle’s waterfront area, including the Fishing Boat Harbour and Bathers Beach, provides a picturesque setting for leisurely walks, al fresco dining, and even swimming.
  5. Shopping and Souvenirs: Fremantle is a shopper’s paradise, with its eclectic boutiques, art galleries, and unique gift shops.

⛔️ Cons

  1. Time Constraints: Due to the limited time available on a day trip, it may be challenging to explore and experience everything Fremantle has to offer. Consider staying overnight at one of Fremantle’s accommodations.
  2. Crowded at Times: Fremantle can be bustling, especially on weekends and during popular events.

We always take our visitors to Fremantle and enjoy a day trip from our northern beaches home every couple of months. Fremantle’s culinary scene is excellent, from cosy cafes serving artisanal coffee to trendy eateries offering international cuisines. There are plenty of bars, pubs, and breweries to enjoy a drink too.

The maritime museums in Fremantle are a highlight. The Western Australian Maritime Museum features a fascinating collection of maritime artifacts and interactive exhibits. It was interesting to learn about the city’s seafaring history, the tales of shipwrecks, exploration, and the importance of the sea to the region.

The best experience in Fremantle was visiting the iconic Fremantle Prison. The True Crime guided tour delves into this former prison’s dark and intriguing history. Walking through the cells, hearing stories of prisoners, and exploring the gallows sent shivers down my spine. The tour was expertly conducted, shedding light on the harsh realities of prison life and the dramatic escapes that took place within these walls. It was an eye-opening and thought-provoking experience that left me with a newfound appreciation for freedom.

Best For: History Enthusiasts, Foodies, Culture and Arts Lovers, Maritime and Nautical Enthusiasts, & Adventure Seekers.

Best Route: The most scenic route is on a Swan River cruise from Perth. Otherwise, the train is a great option or drive.

Attractions: See this post on things to do in Fremantle.

Locals Tip: Visit the Old Synagogue for drinks at Mr Chapple or dinner at Tonic & Ginger.

3. Swan Valley 🍷

Distance/Time from Perth: 30 km – 35 minutes drive

the grape vines at Mandoon Estate Swan Valley Perth

Escape the city and enjoy the enchanting beauty of Swan Valley, a beautiful destination just a short drive from Perth. Known for being Western Australia’s oldest wine region, Swan Valley beckons with its lush vineyards, rolling hills, and tempting gourmet delights.

From award-winning wines to artisanal chocolates, cheeses, and fresh produce, Swan Valley offers a gastronomic adventure. Explore the Swan River by boat, car, or tour.

This area is excellent for families with Whiteman Park and Caversham Wildlife Park close by.

Pros & Cons of visiting Swan Valley on a day trip from Perth:

βœ… Pros

  1. Wine and Food: Swan Valley is renowned for its wineries, offering a wide selection of award-winning wines for tasting and purchase.
  2. Natural Beauty: Swan Valley boasts picturesque landscapes with vineyards and the Swan River.
  3. Proximity to Perth: The region is conveniently located close to Perth, making it easily accessible for a day trip.
  4. Variety of Activities: Swan Valley offers a diverse range of activities, including wine tastings, gourmet food experiences, river cruises, and scenic drives.

⛔️ Cons

  1. Limited Time: A day trip may not provide sufficient time to explore all Swan Valley offers. Consider a longer stay.
  2. Transportation: Public transportation options to the region are limited, so you may need to book a Swan Valley Tour if you don’t have a car.
  3. Crowds: Swan Valley can become crowded, especially on weekends and during peak tourist seasons. Popular wineries and attractions may experience larger crowds, so booking ahead is recommended.

For first-time visitors, our first stop is always Whiteman Park, a family-friendly attraction with a lots of activities for everyone to enjoy. We then head to Caversham Wildlife Park, where you can get up close and personal with Australia’s fascinating wildlife.

In the heart of Swan Valley, you can indulge in a delightful journey of wine and food. We visit a few estates, where you’re warmly greeted by knowledgeable staff who guide you through tastings of their exquisite wines.

Best For: Wine Enthusiasts, Foodies, Families, Nature Lovers, & Couples and Romantic Getaways.

Best Route: The most scenic route is on a Swan River Cruise.

Attractions: See this post on things to do in Swan Valley

Locals Tip: Book a wine tour if you don’t have a non-drinker to drive you.

4. Mandurah 🐬

Distance/Time from Perth: 70 km – 60 minutes

dolphins swimming in mandurah canals alongside luxury boat and houses

Discover the serene coastal beauty of Mandurah on this day trip from Perth. Known for its stunning waterways, pristine beaches, and friendly dolphins, Mandurah offers an escape that feels a world away from the city.

Take a scenic cruise along the estuary, where playful dolphins frolic alongside the boat, creating moments of pure joy. Indulge in fresh seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants while enjoying panoramic views.

For nature enthusiasts, explore the wetlands and national parks surrounding Mandurah, with a variety of beautiful native flora and fauna.

Pros & Cons of visiting Mandurah on a day trip from Perth:

βœ… Pros

  1. Coastal Beauty: Mandurah has stunning waterways, pristine beaches, and a picturesque coastline.
  2. Dolphin Encounters: Mandurah is known for its resident population of playful dolphins. A cruise offers the chance to witness these majestic creatures up close.
  3. Water-based Activities: The waterways of Mandurah provide ample opportunities for water-based activities such as boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
  4. Fresh Seafood: Mandurah is renowned for its delicious seafood.
  5. Nature and Wildlife: Mandurah’s surrounding wetlands and national parks are home to diverse flora and fauna.

⛔️ Cons

  1. Weather Dependency: Like any coastal destination, Mandurah’s enjoyment is weather-dependent.
  2. Crowds: Mandurah can be popular, especially during school holidays and Christmas. Book tours ahead of time.
  3. Limited Nightlife: Mandurah’s nightlife scene is quieter than in larger cities.

The highlight of my day trips to Mandurah is the dolphin-watching cruise, where you can witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Exploring Mandurah’s beautiful canals is another highlight. Hiring a boat allows you to navigate the waterways, lined with luxurious houses and stunning waterfront properties. We always see the resident dolphins on our journey through the canals.

Best For: Nature Enthusiasts, Wildlife Admirers, Boat and Water Sports Enthusiasts, Families.

Best Route: Take the train from Perth or the Kwinana Freeway.

Attractions: See this post on things to do in Mandurah

Locals Tip: To see the dolphins, book a cruise or hire a boat (skippers ticket not required during the day).

5. Guilderton πŸ›Ά

Distance/Time from Perth: 92 km – 80 minutes

view of brown colour river from a lookout

A day trip to Guilderton’s Moore River offers the beautiful coastline and the tranquil Moore River. Take a stroll along the beach, dive into the refreshing waters for a swim or try fishing along the riverbanks.

Explore the picturesque river by kayak or paddleboard, immersing yourself in the beauty of the surrounding nature. Enjoy a picnic or barbecue on the foreshore overlooking Moore River.

Pros of visiting Guilderton on a day trip from Perth:

βœ… Pros

  1. Natural Beauty: Guilderton has pristine beaches and the picturesque Moore River, offering a tranquil coastal escape from the city.
  2. Outdoor Activities: The area provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities like swimming, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and hiking.
  3. Scenic Views: Guilderton offers breathtaking views of the coastline, river, and surrounding landscapes.
  4. Relaxation and Tranquility: It’s an ideal destination to unwind, soak up the sun, or enjoy a leisurely picnic.

⛔️ Cons

  1. Limited Amenities: Guilderton is a small coastal town with limited amenities compared to larger urban areas.
  2. Weather Dependency: Guilderton’s enjoyment can be weather-dependent, like any outdoor destination.
  3. Limited Public Transportation: You need to rely on private transportation for a day trip.

We enjoyed the family-friendly calm waters of the river, especially when the kids were younger, and spent the day swimming, kayaking, and enjoying water activities together. The calmness of the water makes it safe for the little ones to splash around and have fun.

We usually find a perfect spot on the foreshore for a picnic or barbecue. Or head to Seabird Tavern, a 15-minute drive from Guilderton.

Best For: Families, Nature Lovers, & Water Sports Enthusiasts.

Best Route: Perth to Guilderton via Indian Ocean Drive. Combine it with a visit to the Pinnacles.

Attractions: See this post on things to do in Moore River Guilderton.

Locals Tip: Get there early as the car park gets full, and it can be extremely windy once the sea breeze arrives.

What’s your favourite day trip from Perth? We’d love you to join our Facebook Group and let us know! Our community enjoys hearing tips and seeing your photos.

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FAQs About Perth Day Trips

Are these day trips suitable for families?

Yes, many of these day trips are family-friendly. Rottnest Island, Fremantle, Mandurah, and Guilderton Moore River offer activities and attractions that cater to families, such as wildlife encounters, calm swimming areas, and picnic spots.

Can I visit multiple day trip destinations in one day?

Visiting multiple destinations in one day may be challenging due to travel time and the desire to experience each location. Focusing on one day trip destination at a time is recommended to make the most of your visit.

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Flights ✈️

We fly Virgin Australia domestically due to their competitive prices and fantastic customer service and fly with Qatar Airways to Europe.

Accommodation 🏩

We mainly useΒ Booking.comΒ for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties.

Car Rental 🚘

To compare rental car company prices, we use Discover Cars, an award winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly-rated.

Campervan/RV Rental 🚐

Drivenow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia as it includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, Jucy as well as smaller ones.

Travel Insurance 🌏

Cover-More and Travel Insurance Direct are our preferred travel insurance companies for domestic and international travel.

See this Travel Insurance for Australia guide for more information.