From high-octane adventure on land or water, Perth and its surrounds provide a fun-filled diet of action. Whether you’ve exploring with the kids or looking for all-in adventure, there’s something to whet your appetite for the outdoors.
1. Perth Swan River foreshore
Begin the day the way many Perth locals love to start theirs, by taking in the iconic cityscape on a morning walk, run, drive or cycle along the Swan River foreshore. On the city side of the river, a dual cycleway-walk trail takes people on a riverside jaunt between the two bridges which link the Swan River’s south and north shores - the Narrows Bridge and the Causeway. The circuit is 10km and a popular trail for locals who love to exercise.
2. Rottnest Island
Head out to Perth’s idyllic island playground – a car-free Class A reserve known as Rottnest Island, or ‘Rotto’ for short. A morning ferry from Fremantle will get visitors there in just 25-30 minutes. Regular ferries also run from Perth’s Barrack St Jetty and Hillarys Boat Harbour. At only 11km by 4.5km, Rottnest is easy to explore in a day. Pick up maps and guides from the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre and choose your preferred method of transport – the Bayseeker Bus, bike hire or walking.
An easy 40-minute drive or train-and-bus ride south of Perth brings visitors to the seaside town of Rockingham, where they will find opportunities for adventure and relaxation in equal measure. Rockingham’s catch-cry is ‘where the coast comes alive’, and it certainly lives up to this claim. The pristine islands and reefs of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park offer an incredible array of marine encounters, from penguins and dolphins to dive wrecks and snorkel trails. And beyond, the beautiful beaches and clear blue sea are playgrounds for fishing, surfing and sailing.
4. Cape Peron
Keen divers should make a bee-line for Cape Peron near Rockingham, a shallow shore dive with great visibility. Cape Peron has something for everyone, from snorkelling in the shallow areas, to some decent depth at the outer reefs and lovely visibility. This is a massive dive area, with the potential for lots of little dive spots. There is limestone reef which can fail and is notoriously crumbly. Formed by the limestone are lots of little accessible spots, including caves and overhangs.
There aren’t too many places in the world where you can swing a golf club while taking in coastal vistas and sharing the green with friendly kangaroos. Some of the top spots to tee off have been designed by world-famous golf architects and played host to world championship tournaments, including the Johnnie Walker Classic. Play a round at Joondalup Resort near Joondalup City just 25 minutes north of Perth city, The Vines in the Swan Valley 45 minutes from Perth or at Araluen Golf Resort 40 minutes from Perth.
6. Munda Biddi Trail
The Munda Biddi Trail, which means path through the forest in the Nyoongar Aboriginal language, is Western Australia’s premier long distance off-road cycling experience. The track extends 1000km from Mundaring in the Perth hills to Albany in WA’s south. Starting in Mundaring, the trail meanders through scenic river valleys and the magnificent forests of the state’s southwest. Joined by purpose-built track, the Munda Biddi uses a network of bush tracks, firebreaks, and disused railway formations and has sections suitable for cyclists of all ages and experience levels.
7. Bibbulmun Track
The Bibbulmun Track is one of the world’s great long distance walking trails, stretching nearly 1000km from Kalamunda, in the Perth hills, to the historic town of Albany on the south coast. This trail passes through the heart of the scenic southwest of Western Australia. The track takes walkers through towering karri and tingle forests, down mist-shrouded valleys, over giant granite boulders and along breathtaking coastal heath lands. Bushwalkers from around the world come to Western Australia to become an end-to-ender on The Bibb.
Venture east from Perth, to the gold rush hub of Kalgoorlie, 1000km away, and discover the real wild west of Australia. It’s a place of striking contrasts where grand colonial architecture and mammoth modern mining operations give way to wide-open desert landscapes, dotted with shimmering salt lakes and gold rush ghost towns.
9. Margaret River
Margaret River and its premium wine region is the place for indulging many passions. From Perth, it’s an easy three hour and 20 minute drive via coast or country. Known internationally as one of the best big-wave surfing locations on Earth for consistently spectacular breaks, there are more than 40 top spots along Margaret River’s coast, with conditions ranging from powerful reef breaks to fun beach surf. More thrills can be found with rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, canoeing and whale watching tours. Visitors might even be tempted to throw in a line and chase some snapper at one of the designated fishing spots.
Lancelin lures lovers of water sports to test their skill in world-class wave and wind conditions. Sheltered fishing spots, reefs and wrecks also reel in keen anglers, snorkelers and divers, and just behind its pristine beaches, the biggest sand dunes in Western Australia challenge sand boarders, four wheel drivers, bikers and dune buggy racing enthusiasts. Heading north from Perth central business district and joining the Indian Ocean Drive at Yanchep, visitors can cruise along this scenic drive and reach Lancelin in just an hour and a half, passing pristine beaches and pretty spring wildflowers.