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The All-Time Best Things To Do In Perth

By Claire Logan – who is always dreaming of her next meal and reckons a good martini solves most problems

One of Perth's most iconic locations, Cottesloe Beach

We know we’re biased and not at all humble, but Perth/Boorloo has to be one of the best cities to holiday and live in. Ridiculous beaches, amazing eateries and scenery that will blow your mind—deciding what to do in Perth can sometimes be a bit much. 

If you're not sure where to start, Urban List's best things to do in Perth will have you covered. To make life easier, we’ve split it up by activity type. 

Jump to:

Outdoor Adventures

Snorkel The Coogee Maritime Trail And Omeo Shipwreck

Perth’s pretty blessed to have a shipwreck just 25 metres out from shore. Together with the underwater art trail and artificial reef, Coogee’s Omeo Wreck is the perfect spot for a day of snorkelling and sunshine. 

The underwater trail starts in the shallow waters surrounding the Omeo Wreck, so it's a nice and easy snorkel for beginners. If you wanna keep going, the underwater art trail has heaps of linear sculptures that attract all sorts of marine life. Most of the trail is at depths of around 2.5m to 5m on average, so you can choose to just take it in from the surface or dive down to get a good look.

Remember, the wreck and art trail is for looking, not touching. Try not to disturb anything, steer clear of any marine life and always take any rubbish or belongings with you when you leave. We want to keep this spot looking every bit as gorg as it does now!

Soak Up Some Sunshine At Perth's Beautiful Beaches

A drone view of Leighton Beach in Perth
Image credit: Leighton Beach |  @ospreycreative for Tourism WA

It’s no secret that Perth has some of the best beaches going around. Coastal hubs like Cottesloe and Scarborough are the most obvious options and are awesome if you love the bustling vibe with plenty of cafes and bars nearby.

For a little more of a laidback experience, we're also big fans of dog beaches like South Beach and Leighton down in Fremantle and kid-friendly beaches like Floreat and Mettams Pool up north.

Oh and if you wanna make new friends over your morning dip, you can also check out Cold Nips. The wholesome group meets weekly for the ultimate wakeup: a 6am plunge in the ocean. They often pair it with guided ice baths, breathwork, meditation and of course, that post-swim coffee.

Get Up Close With West Australian Wildlife 

See a koala up close at Cohunu Koala Park or venture to Caversham Wildlife Park to see cute kangaroos, koalas, wallabies and wombats. Prefer to swim alongside a dolphin? At Perth Wildlife Encounters you can glide alongside wild dolphins and live out your childhood (or adult) dreams. 

Take On The Matagarup Bridge Climb, Zipline And Mini Golf

People climbing Matagarup Bridge
Image credit: Matagarup Bridge Climb | Instagram

We may not have Sydney’s iconic harbour bridge, but we do have the mighty Matagarup. On this bridge you can climb to an open-air viewing platform, then zip back down at a whopping speed of 75km an hour. It’s a great opportunity to admire Optus Stadium, the city skyline and the Swan River all in one go.

Afterwards, you can tee off for a round at the new riverside mini golf course before grabbing a drink at Perth's biggest pub, The Camfield. 

Explore The Swan River 

See the Swan River from a new angle, either on your own waterbike from Perth Waterbike Co or your very own dog-friendly, BYO Nauti boat. Neither requires any sort of boating skills or license so anybody can get on the water. 

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Spend The Day At Kings Park

People walking over a bridge at Kings Park

Did you know that Perth’s home to one of the largest inner-city parks in the world? Yep, Kings Park is even bigger than New York City's Central Park—pretty crazy, huh?

Set up a picnic and soak up the sweeping views of Perth CBD and the Swan River or get your heart racing with some of Kings Park’s best walks and hikes. Our top pick is the DNA tower showing off the park, river and Rotto from 15 metres above the ground.

We'd also highly recommend heading off on one of the Aboriginal cultural tours to learn about the continuing significance of the iconic hill to Perth's traditional owners, the Noongar people. 

Hike And Swim At Serpentine Falls

Two people at Serpentine Falls near Perth
Image credit: Serpentine Falls | Tourism WA

Located just an hour outside of Perth, the natural swimming hole in Serpentine National Park is our pick of WA's natural pools.

Take a hike and explore the national park—there are a few well-signed trails to choose from depending on your skill and energy levels—then cool off in the natural pool at Serpentine Falls.

If you’re hungry there are awesome picnic facilities and a few cafes available in or around the park's entry, but if you can hold out we’d recommend heading to the nearby Millbrook Winery restaurant afterwards. It's seriously one of the most picturesque dining spots in WA.

The best time to visit is around September, after all the winter rain and in the peak of WA's wildflower season. 

Need more ideas? Here's where to find the best natural pools near Perth.

See Perth From A Helicopter

A helicopter flying over Elizabeth Quay in Perth
Image credit: Corsaire Aviation | Instagram

There really is no better way to take in the views of Perth’s stunning coast than from up in the air. Jump on a chopper and gasp over the sights of Elizabeth Quay and Kings Park as you make your way down to City Beach through to Cottesloe and Fremantle. 

Venture Into A Sea Of Purple On A Jacaranda Walk

The jacaranda season in Perth normally runs from mid-October and peaks in mid-November as summer really starts to roll in. If you're in Perth during this time, head to Jacaranda hot spots to soak up the purple haze.

The backstreets of Applecross are always a safe bet. Plus, bonus points for this hood having some solid real estate porn to gawk at along your stroll.

See Perth On A Walking Tour

Oh Hey WA walking tour in Fremantle
Image credit: Oh Hey WA | Instagram

Jump on a tour with Oh Hey WA and take in some of Perth’s best bits while you soak up the knowledge of your local guide. You can pair a boozy walking tour with a bit of street art, or be a bit fancier with a history, architecture and art tour of the city. 

Arts And Culture

Visit WA Museum Boola Bardip

WA Museum Boola Bardip
Image credit: WA Museum | Instagram

Boola Bardip means many stories in the Noongar language, and this is exactly that—a place to share Western Australia’s many stories. Before you step inside, take a moment to appreciate the stunning architecture then head on in to explore the State’s history and culture. For more inspo, check out other fantastic Perth museums.

Set Off On A Noongar Cultural Tour

Perth’s rich Noongar culture is awe-inspiring and something every West Aussie should experience. Bindi Bindi Dreaming showcases the unique Aboriginal culture of Perth and its traditional people as well as their continuation of cultural traditions. 

Kick Back At An Outdoor Cinema

Rooftop Movies in Perth
Image credit: Rooftop Movies | Instagram

One of the best things you can do on a warm summer night is head to one of Perth’s outdoor cinemas for a dose of nostalgia, a blockbuster or an artsy foreign film. Bring the whole fam out to Moonlight Cinema in Kings Park, snuggle up on a beanbag at Rooftop Movies or picnic under the pines at Somerville.

Gallery Hop Through Perth’s Cultural Centre

With the Art Gallery of WA (AGWA) and Perth Institute Of Contemporary Art (PICA) within walking distance, you can go all in your cultural fix. Once you’re done, grab a drink outside Picabar or head up to AGWA’s rooftop bar.

End The Weekend With Sunday Music At Fremantle Arts Centre

Sunday Music at Fremantle Arts Centre
Image credit: Fremantle Arts Centre | Instagram

From October to March each year, the Fremantle Arts Centre plays host to a wholesome afternoon of live music on its lush lawns. Just BYO picnic and blanket and rally up a group of friends. While you can’t BYO booze, there’s beer and wine available to purchase.

Catch a Gig At Kings Park Botanic Gardens

While we're all for a good moshpit, we’re not ashamed to admit that sometimes we’d prefer to sit back on the lawn and enjoy our live music picnic-style. Kings Park hosts plenty of outstanding artists and the lush parkland setting makes for a truly mesmerising night of music.

Sculpture By The Sea

Sculpture By The Sea
Image credit: Sculpture By The Sea | Supplied

Combining next-level sculptural artworks from local and international creatives and the undeniable beauty of Cottesloe Beach, the annual Sculpture By The Sea trail is always a stunner. 

Fringe World Festival

Fringe World Perth runs every January-February and is hands down the city's most loved celebration of all things dazzling, delightful and downright strange. As one of the biggest Fringe fests anywhere in the world, we really are spoilt for choice here. During Fringe season there are pop-up hubs and venues around town showing back-to-back circus, cabaret and comedy shows each and every night, so you'll find most bars and restaurants in Northbridge are pumping with locals and visiting performers keen to make the most of the lively atmosphere. 

Perth Festival

Another major mark on Perth's event cal has to be Perth Festival. Each summer they bring an exciting mix of film, music, theatre and art to the city, with past headliners like Bjork, Bon Iver, Paul Kelly and Sampha. 

Food And Drink

Go For Sunset Cocktails Overlooking Cottesloe Beach

The view over the water at Indigo Oscar
Image credit: Indigo Oscar | Instagram

There are few places more quintessentially Perth than Cottesloe Beach, so if a drink with a view is what you’re after, Indigo Oscar is the spot. Grab a seat by the windows, order a round of spicy margaritas and watch the sky change colour as the sun dips into the water.

Set Off On A Food Crawl Through The Fremantle Markets

A Sunday stroll through Freo is not complete without a trip to its historic markets. The Fremantle Markets have been around since 1897 and are now home to hundreds of traders slinging everything from fresh produce and banging street eats to handmade gifts and art.

For us, a trip to Freo Markets is all about the food, though. Our top picks include a banh mi croissant from Viet Kites, the ultimate eggy sandwich from Egg Spot and a serve of GFree Donuts.

Treat Yourself To An Unforgettable Degustation 

A dish from Wildflower
Image credit: Wildflower | Instagram

If you design your life around brain altering dining experiences, you’ve gotta splurge on a degustation in Perth. Perched within the luxurious State Buildings precinct, Wildflower remains a standout for extravagant, multi-course dining with an evolving modern Australian menu designed around the six Noongar seasons. Otherwise, why not try your hand at a fancy Japanese omakase experience? 

Wake Up Early For A Beachside Breakfast

We can’t get enough of brunch, so why not pair it with some sweeping ocean views? After, all, Perth is seriously punching in that department. Our top picks would be Bib & Tucker and The Shorehouse, but check out this list for other superb beachside spots. 

Set Off On A Bakery Crawl

A cinnamon scroll from North Street Store
Image credit: North Street Store | Instagram

Perth has seen a bakery uprising over the last few years, so there’s no shortage of mind-blowing baked goodies around. If you’re short on time, our essential shopping list includes a cinnamon scroll from North Street Store, a flakey puffed pastry pie from Goods Bakery, a salted caramel doughnut from Chu Bakery and a croissant from Teeter Bakery.

Devour One Of Perth’s Famous Conti Rolls

If you’re from out of town, you might not know we’ve got a massive crush on conti rolls in Perth. So much so, a mere mention of the topic can cause local conversation to spiral into a heated debate over where the best conti in Perth lies. Stuffed with the finest Italian meats and plenty of cheese, all loaded up with plenty of antipasti, it’s no wonder we’re all obsessed. The Re Store usually gets named as the original source of Perth’s best conti roll, but there are other epic choices to look at too. Our fave at the moment might just be Deli's Continental.

Wrap Your Hands Around A Cult-Worthy Sandwich

Two Slices focaccia panini loaded with prosciutto and cheese
Image credit: Two Slices | Instagram

While we’re talking contis, it’d be remiss of us not to mention the sandwich craze that’s taken hold of Perth. Two Slices and Mortadeli are the best places to go for those generously filled focaccia paninis that you see all over TikTok. Peggy’s in Fremantle offers contemporary, refined takes on classic sandwiches from eggplant parm to egg salad. Bagel Os is smashing out seriously loaded bagels to rival NYC’s best. And Deli’s Continental is known for its ginormous Italian-inspired subs.

Enjoy Fish And Chips On The Beach

Summer in Perth means balmy nights and late sunsets. Basically the perfect conditions for a sundowner serve of fish and chips on the beach. Throwing a rug down on the lawn overlooking Cottesloe Beach with a greasy paper package from Amberjacks is always a good idea. 

Make Your Own Gin At A Fremantle Distillery

Republic Of Fremantle gin school
Image credit: Republic Of Fremantle | Instagram

The 2.5-hour session at the Republic of Fremantle will teach you all about the history of distilling before you get hands-on and craft your own bottle of gin (which yes, you'll take home at the end).

Pair Good Music And Drinks At A Vinyl Bar

Whoever said Perth is behind on things clearly hasn’t heard we’ve got the vinyl bar trend nailed, with not one but two cracking spots to choose from. Astral Weeks is a cool little listening bar tucked away in Northbridge’s Chinatown laneway, with lofi wines and snacks. While in Fremantle, you’ve got Ode To Sirens and all its 70s nostalgia.

Get Sipping At Perth’s Top Wine Bars

A wine glass an bottle
Image credit: Wines Of While | Instagram

There are seriously so many good wine bars in Perth right now, it can be a little overwhelming trying to decide which to hit up. If you wanna keep it simple, do the Northbridge double and visit Wines Of While and Vincent Wine Bar. Other classic combos to try include Casa and Sonny’s in Mount Hawthorn, Nieuw Ruin and Patio Bar in Fremantle or Besk and Butters in West Leederville. Because let’s face it, why stop at one?

Go Hard At Bottomless Brunch

Bottomless may be one of our favourite words and there’s no shortage of bottomless brunches, lunches and more to choose from. From mimosas and cocktails to Biscoff waffles, you’re going to want to get out the stretchy pants. 

Get A Glass At This Lush New Urban Winery

An urban winery filled with plants
Image credit: H&C Urban Winery | Elle Borgward

Fremantle just scored a huge new wine oasis filled to the brim with plants. The first of its kind in Perth, the new H&C Urban Winery brings in grapes from all over the state and ferments and blends their own wines on site. We dare you to find a better combo than their chilled red and fried chicken wings. 

Sink Some Pints At An Urban Brewery

If you’re craving an ice cold frothy, head straight for a Perth brewery. We’ve got loads around town, but let’s start with Blasta Brewing Co.’s massive new hub in Burswood, Gage Roads portside beauty in Freo and the new BrewDog in West Perth.

Grab Girl Dinner At This Chic Fromagerie And Wine Bar

Powell's Fromagerie and Wine Bar
Image credit: Powell's | Elle Borgward

Set down a laneway in Leederville, Powell’s might just be the most gorgeous little bar we’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s our fave place to chow down on cheese and nibbly bits while trading ‘for the plot’ updates over a bottle of something nice.

Cosy Up At A Jazz Club

Head to the Jazz Cellar for pizza, BYO vino and the most intimate, lively jazz you’ll experience in Perth. There’s also the Ellington Jazz Club in Perth and Duke of George in Freo. 

Bar Hop Through The City

If you’re new to Perth, kick things off with a glass of good champagne up on Wildflower's swanky rooftop terrace or The Royal for some breezy balcony bevs. Once the sun falls, head for Northbridge bars like Picabar, Mechanics and Edward And Ida’s before accidentally ending up on the dance floor at Connections.

Health And Wellness

Soak And Steam Your Cares Away At Ember Bathhouse

Inside Ember Bathhouse
Image credit: Ember Bathhouse | Supplied

For a moment of complete bliss, head to Ember Bathhouse. Here you can take your pick between the Morrocan hammam steam room or Finnish sauna, plunge into the cold spa or soak your cares away in the hot mineral bath before taking a moment to reflect under the rainfall showers equipped with Japanese-style onsen tools.

Start Your Day With Yoga In Hyde Park

Set in the lush surrounds of Hyde Park, these outdoor yoga classes will take you through a beginner-friendly vinyasa flow over one hour. And the best part is, you only have to pay what you can afford. Held 9am Saturdays and Sundays from 14 October til 16 May 2024.

Lace Up For One Of Perth's Run Clubs

Members of one of Perth's run clubs
Image credit: 440 Cottesloe | Instagram

Run clubs have taken over Perth, and it’s not too hard to see why. These beginner-friendly running communities are more about getting a little fresh air, making friends and grabbing a post-run coffee than hitting PBs. Plus, they cover some exceptionally beautiful strips of coastline and other nature trails around town, so it’s a unique way to explore more of Perth.

The Rottnest Swim

If you’re keen to test your limits, there’s no better challenge than the annual Rottnest Swim. Join a team (unless you’re crazy enough to go at it alone) and take turns swimming the 19.7km open channel from Perth to Rottnest. It’s a big day, but the post-swim parmi and pints at the Rotto pub are legendary.

City To Surf

Another bucket list challenge for the sweat-seekers, Perth’s annual City To Surf sees the city transform into a 12km running track for the day—starting on St Georges Terrace and ending in City Beach.  

Kid-Friendly Activities

Get Competitive With A Game Of Mini Golf

Mini golf at Holey Moley
Image credit: Holey Moley | Instagram

Hit up Holey Moley for a hit of pop-culture putt putt with a side of burgers and sugary cocktails. Or check out more of these mini golf spots in Perth.

Puzzle Out Of An Escape Room

Escape rooms are the ultimate bonding experience for the Pink Panthers among us. There are plenty of adventures to be had—from hunting down serial killers to stopping a viral outbreak. Here’s our pick of the toughest escape rooms in Perth

Or Tackle Perth's First Challenge Hotel

Hijinx Hotel in Perth
Image credit: Hijinx Hotel | Instagram

Perth has finally scored a Hijinx Hotel with ten lavishly decorated challenge rooms for the whole fam to tackle. The fully immersive challenge rooms—including the Adore-a-ball, Scrambled, and Lolly Ball Pool challenges that go off in East Coast locations—each offer quick-play fun for groups of two to six players, with colourful and nostalgic theming in a retro New York-style hotel setting. 

Get Behind The Wheel Of A Go-Kart

Calling all adrenaline junkies, revheads and Mario wannabes, ‘cause there are some cool go-karting spots around Perth. Here’s a list of the best to hit up. 

Go 10-Pin Bowling

Bowling at Strike
Image credit: Strike | Instagram

Head to Perth’s oldest Tenpin Bowl, Rosemount Bowl for retro vibes or enjoy all the mod cons at one of Perth's many Strike Bowling joints

Soak Up Some Sporting Action

We're pretty serious about sports here in Perth, so you'd be mad not to get amongst the action. Perth's massive and award-winning Optus Stadium is a good place to start. Head there in summer along with every other cricket fan to see the Scorchers smash sixes. While in autumn-winter, it's all about footy—just make sure you know whether you're going for the Fremantle Dockers or West Coast Eagles before you go. If you're more of a basketball fan, the Perth Wildcats always put on a good show at RAC Arena over spring-summer.

Shopping

Shop Up A Storm At A Local Market

Whether you’re after a gift for a friend, a bite to eat or just a casual stroll and a browse, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for at one of Perth's local markets

Hide Away In A Perth Bookshop

A bookshop in Perth
Image credit: Planet Books Northbridge | Supplied

Favourite stores include Crow Books in Vic Park, the iconic Planet Books on Beaufort and in Northbridge, but there are so many more amazing bookstores in Perth to scout out. 

Explore One Of Perth’s Best Shopping Malls

Located 20 minutes north of the CBD, Karrinyup has to be one of our fave shopping destinations in Perth. It’s gone through quite the revamp over the last few years and now houses an all-star lineup of women’s fashion and beauty brands, plus an exceptional dining and entertainment precinct too. Lunch at an urban distillery followed by shopping and a movie sounds pretty good to us.

Day Trips

Spend A Day (Or Two) In Fremantle 

There are so many things to do in Fremantle (also known as Freo) we could write about it all day. Spend your day walking through the laid-back streets of Freo or head into the iconic markets to grab some local produce and quirky gifts. You’ll then want to take yourself on a food tour through this epic part of Perth and see how many of these Fremantle restaurants you can conquer for lunch. Then get sipping through all of Fremantle's best bars, including Patio Bar, Strange Company, Jungle Bird, Ronnie Nights and Republic Of Fremantle

Hop On A Ferry Bound For Rottnest

A lighthouse on Rottnest Island
Image credit: Rottnest Island | Tourism WA

Home to some of the prettiest beaches in the world, you’ll want to pack your snorkel and bike (or you can hire them there) and explore the island. There are so many things to do on Rottnest Island like a visit to the famous bakery, snorkelling the crystal clear bays, Pinky’s Beach Club for cocktails and a luxe four-hour seafood cruise.

Eat And Drink Your Way Through The Swan Valley

Just 30 minutes out of the city, you’ll feel a world away as you make your way through the Swan Valley’s best wineries, breweries, restaurants and more. You could even arrive in the valley in style on a wine cruise

Looking for more ideas? Check out: 

Main image credit: Cottesloe Beach | Tourism WA

Urban List Best Of: has our highest stamp of approval—curated lists of the very best recommendations for you to eat, do, see, buy or book, carefully chosen by our Editors.

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