Western Australia’s capital has it all: from year-round sunshine to glittering beaches and world-class winery trails, you’ll find endless things to do in Perth.
With epic Indian Ocean sunsets, an electrifying foodie scene, the famous Cottesloe Beach, smiling quokkas and winery regions galore, there’s a never-ending list of things to do in Perth. There’s an experience for every type of traveller in this laidback city: think luxe five-star hotel stays, Rottnest Island adventures and after-dark CBD hideouts. With so much to do in so little time, read on for our ultimate weekend guide to make the most of your short but sweet escape to Perth.
Friday: Gardens and degustation dinners
After touching down in Perth and checking in to your fabulous accommodation, make your way to one of the city’s most iconic attractions: Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Be immersed in the world’s oldest living culture with an authentic, personal experience of Indigenous traditions in Karrgatup (Kings Park) and learn about the gardens’ significance to Perth’s traditional landowners, the Noongar people. Be guided through the park by a Noongar guide and hear Dreamtime stories, traditional songs and the Noongar language while exploring the vibrant floral displays and intriguing cultural artefacts.
After a busy afternoon, you’ll have worked up an appetite. Luckily, your next bite is only a short stroll away. Enjoy a remarkable six-course degustation dinner at the spectacular Fraser’s Restaurant. Savour the finest Western Australian produce, from freshly shucked oysters to Fremantle octopus, corn-fed duck breast and salmon and tuna tataki with soy caviar. Top it all off with a serving of white chocolate cheesecake with spiced plum. This mouthwatering experience is too tempting to resist.
Saturday: Surf, sand, sunsets and smiles
Hiking, push-biking and picturesque shores await on Rottnest Island. Boasting Class-A Nature Reserve status, this pristine wildlife haven features 42.6 kilometres of walking trails, 63 secluded beaches and 20 sparkling bays. Its biggest drawcard? Over 10,000 resident quokkas. These famously cute critters are happy-faced marsupials that frolic through the island’s woodland and welcome smiling selfies with visitors. During your time on the island, capture a snap with these native creatures, hire a bicycle and pedal at a leisurely pace around the island’s cycle paths, or sink your toes into the gleaming white beaches. Refuel at the beloved Rottnest Bakery for a famous Rotto pie, or delve into a delicious pizza at Frankie's on Rotto.
What’s a trip to Perth without visiting the treasured Cottesloe Beach? On your return from your island adventure, discover the charms of vibrant Fremantle en route to the sun-kissed shores of Cottesloe Beach. A symphony of old and new sings loud and proud in Fremantle, a stunning portside town where craft beer is brewed in colonial pubs, eclectic markets thrive by a World Heritage-listed prison, and trendy boutiques line one of the world’s most beautifully preserved streetscapes. Wander Freo’s sparkling main laneway before heading to Cottesloe Beach to catch some waves and settle in for an epic sunset.
When you’re ready for some nightlife buzz, steer your evening towards the charismatic Bobeche cocktail bar – responsible for crafting some of the best drinks in Perth. Hidden in a dimmed basement, this prohibition-style bar serves great spirits and classic libations. Choose from an extensive list of the houses' greatest hits, impactful punches in endearing teapots, classic favourites and alcohol-free tipples.
Read more: Where to Eat, Drink, Stay and Play in Perth.
Sunday: Shark encounters and wine tasting
What better way to start your Sunday morning than with a delicious breakfast? Kick off your final day in Perth with a meal at the local hotspot, Mary Street Bakery. With six convenient locations across Perth, you are never far from the bakery's array of mouthwatering pastries and savoury bites. Fuel up with a fresh croissant baked to perfection, mini spinach and ricotta sausage rolls, or for a sweet treat, bite into a lemon or maple and pecan doughnut.
If you’re looking for a more active way to kickstart your day, zip up your wetsuit and head to The Aquarium of Western Australia for a heart-racing shark snorkelling experience. Plunge into Australia's largest single aquarium and come face to fin with sharks, stingrays and hundreds of stunning fish. You’ll enter the three-million-litre shipwreck tank and be led on an amazing underwater tour by one of the PADI-qualified Divemasters. This is your chance to have a close encounter with seven different species of sharks, loggerhead turtles, the world’s largest stingrays and schools of Western Australia’s most prized and precious fish, like dhufish, pink snapper, kingfish and trevally.
No weekend in Perth is complete without a visit to the renowned wineries. Head 40 minutes northeast of the CBD to the Swan Valley's rolling hills for an exceptional behind-the-scenes tasting experience at Upper Reach Winery. Sample tipples from the oldest wine region in Western Australia, a palate-pleasing regional pocket where more than 40 world-class wineries, six breweries, two distilleries, three cideries and a meadery are located. While you're here, stop in at Edgecombe Brothers Winery and House of Honey & Meadery to round out your winery trail adventure.
This evening, with stomachs and hearts both full to the brim, make your way back home – taking your appreciation for the Western Australian capital with you.
For more 48-hour adventures: This is the Perfect Margaret River Weekend Itinerary.
Want to tick off more Western Australia experiences? Read Western Australia’s Ultimate ‘Wander Out Yonder’ Bucket-List Adventures.