You don’t need to ponder for very long to come up with a list of common things to do and see around Perth. Swim at Cottesloe Beach. Walk through Kings Park. Get coffee in Fremantle. Cycle around Rottnest. Go on a wine tour in Margaret River. You know the drill.
But what about some of the less-common things to do around this fair city of ours? Things that maybe not everybody else will also be doing at the same time? Well, look no further, because luckily for you we have put together a list of the best things you didn’t know you could do in Perth. It’s time to get out of your comfort zones, kids.
#1 Skydive Indoors
If you’re too afraid to do it from 14,000 feet, then indoor skydiving at iFly in Rivervale is for you. You’ll be safely held up by up to 250km per hour wind in their 13-metre high vertical wind tunnel. The whole experience, from induction to flying, takes around one and a half hours and after your second flight is over you’ll be hooked, just remember to relax.
#2 Fly A Fake Plane
Ever wondered what you’d do if your pilot suddenly became unable to fly your plane? We hear you. Well fear not, because Flight Experience Perth is here to show you exactly how to fly a Boeing 737 from take-off to landing. You choose which airports to fly in and out of and you can practice in bad weather all from the safety of the ground.
#3 Paint A Masterpiece While Sipping Wine
Whether you’re a seasoned painter or you’ve never picked up a brush, everyone is welcome at Cabernet and Canvas. Sip on wine as your instructor shows you the ropes and you'll be painting Van Gogh's Starry Night in no time at all.
#4 Make Your Own Cheese
If there was a zombie apocalypse, knowing how to make your own cheese would come in handy, not only to keep you full but to keep everyone around you in good spirits too. They’re not going to kill off someone who knows how to make halloumi, are they? The Cheese Maker offers loads of courses, year round. What are you waiting for?
#5 Become A Sailor
Learn how to sail the seven seas from one of the most speccy spots in Perth, the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. There are lessons for all kinds of levels, boats and interests. If sailing's not your thing, just go for the view, it's absolutely stunning.
#6 Take Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lessons
If you can’t surf, you stand up paddle board and annoy all the other surfers, and if you can’t stand up paddle board you head to Stand Up Surf Shop in North Fremantle for a lesson. Held at Freshwater Bay, the lessons run for 90 minutes for a one-on-one, or two hours if you can pull a group together.
#7 Go Seabobbing At Rottnest
One of the most fun ways to scope out the waters of Rottnest is with a SEABOB. An underwater and above water jet propulsion device (AKA a sea scooter), book a SEABOB snorkel tour here next time you're bound for the island.
#8 Have A Close Encounter At Perth Zoo
Go eye to eye with the rhinos and orangutans or pretend to be a zookeeper for a day during one of the Perth Zoo’s close encounters. You can even work with Putra Mas, Perth Zoo’s bull elephant, on a painting for your own home. If you’re an animal lover (and who isn’t?) you’ll want to put this on your Perth bucket list, stat.
#9 Visit A Waterfall
Waterfalls aren’t only for holidays. Pack a picnic and head to Serpentine Falls for a dip in the rock pool below the cascading waters of the Serpentine River. Then dry off on the Kitty’s Gorge Walk Track and see if you can spot some more waterfalls along the way.
#10 Make A Great Escape
If you’re not afraid of confined spaces and like a bit of a murder mystery, there are a few locked room challenges in Perth that will be right up your alley. At Mystic Clue in Cannington you can make like Sherlock and kibosh a terror threat, or perhaps you like the idea of being locked in a room while a viral outbreak is going on at Ultimate Room Escape? Then there’s the collapsed mine escape room at Escape Hunt. Whatever your poison, you’re covered.
#11 Climb Melon Hill In Swanbourne
Now here’s a nice little Saturday—head to Swanbourne and go for a hike up Melon Hill. From the top, you’ll be able to see all the way from Fremantle and Garden Island to Scarborough Beach, plus catch glimpses of Rottnest and the city skyline. Once you’re done taking photos of your view and putting them on Instagram with #urbalistperth, #amazingwa and #perthisok hashtags, meander back down and reward yourself for your hiking efforts with lunch at The Shorehouse.
#12 Look At The Stars At Gingin Observatory
If you’re feeling a bit stressed or worried, a really good way to deal with it is to go look at the wonders of space and be reminded that you are just a tiny speck, on a big planet, in a giant universe. Suddenly your problems don’t seem so big, do they? Head to the Gingin Observatory and take a peek through their telescopes at the big bad solar system out there. And if you’re unsure of exactly what you’re looking at, don’t worry—they have astronomers there to answer any questions for you.
#13 Check Out The Tunnels At Leighton
Listen up, history buffs. When Singapore fell to the Japanese in World War II, military strategists thought Fremantle may be at risk. So to protect the harbour, five coastal battery units were built, with the Leighton site having a 400-metre network of tunnels underneath. They have been restored by the Royal Australian Historical Society of WA, and are open for public tours every Sunday between 10am and 3pm.
#14 Go On A Wine And Food Cycle Route In The Swan Valley
Did you know that the clever cookies in the Swan Valley have made a cycle map of wineries and eateries in the area? Grab your bike, jump on the train to Guildford train station and start your wine-tasting adventure. When you feel like a break, grab some snacks from Mandoon and enjoy a picnic on their grassed area to rest those weary legs. All that cycling means you definitely deserve all the cheese and crackers you can get your hands on.
Want more? You'll find plenty of inspiration here.
Image credit: Louise Coghill