Perth is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Western Australia, and when people hear the name of the city they usually think of pristine, sandy beaches, old-looking historic infrastructure, or perhaps the green grasses of Kings Park and its botanical gardens. As amazing as these local attractions are, Perth has much more to offer than parks and beaches.
If you are planning to visit Perth, going for the usual and highly-recommended places will do you no wrong. After all, those tourist spots became immensely popular for good reason. However, if you are looking for a little variation in your vacation and want to spice up your itinerary a little, here are some of Perth’s best-kept secret locations you might want to try visiting.
Lesmurdie Falls National Park
The Lesmurdie Falls is without contest the most majestic waterfall in Perth. Although somewhat a popular destination already among the locals, the park still hasn’t received the international recognition it deserves for its beauty.
You will have to trek a little bit to see the Lesmurdie Falls. Don’t be alarmed, though, as the trail is relatively short (around two kilometres per trip) and the track itself is easy to travel since it’s mostly pavement and well-cleared surfaces. Be careful if you’re planning to come here on a rainy day since the path downhill can be moderately steep and slippery when wet.
At the top of the falls lies an amazing view of the city as well as the sunset, so plan accordingly if you wish to capture the moment on camera. Enjoy the occasional cameos of native kangaroos and bandicoots which inhabit the green fields nearby. The wind and the temperature at the top also make it a suitable location for family picnics or even romantic dates.
The Swan Valley refers to the region near the upper portion of Swan River, just between Guildford and Bell Rapids. This area is primarily known for being the wine-growing district of Perth, aside from also being rich farmland of various crops and livestock.
The Swan Valley is home to over 150 different businesses, from award-winning wineries and breweries to smaller ventures like cheese shops, bakeries and fruit stand. If you have money to spare, you can take the Swan Valley Wine Cruise – a seven-hour riverside cruise across the region allowing you to visit and taste-test from a variety of local breweries and vineyards. It’s pleasurable sight-seeing and tasteful drinking at the same time.
Perhaps not as much a secret as underrated, Rottnest Island is a wonderful tourist destination not just for swimming and snorkelling, but especially for its diverse display of animals. This small island, which you can easily access via ferry transport from Perth, is home to no less than 135 different species of tropical fish.
Across the shores of the island, you are likely to find local Green Turtles wading about in the sand. There should also be fur seals, Australia’s version of the sea lion, basking in the glow of the sunlight nearby. If you visited during the migratory season, usually between September and November, there’s a good chance you will also be able to spot a Humpback Whale or two in the waters.
Of course, we can’t forget Rottnest’s signature species, the famous selfie-friendly creatures called Quokka. Dubbed as “the happiest creatures in the world”, quokkas became popular in the last decade after waves of tourists started uploading self-taken pictures of themselves with an apparently smiling quokka. These nocturnal marsupials usually take shelter in swamps and scrublands, so you may want to look there if you want to take a picture with a quokka, too.
St. Mary’s Cathedral
Tired from going from one place to another to meet the hectic schedule of your itinerary? You can find temporary peace by making a short stop at one of Perth’s oldest buildings, St.Mary’s Cathedral.
Made from old stone and carved with Gothic designs, this cathedral has received modifications over the years to keep the building standing and available for tourists. Modern-day steel beams have augmented the building’s structural strength, and lighted glass panels have been installed behind the altar to brighten the place a little. The church is also surrounded by exquisite gardens, perfect for family picnics under the sun.
Stay In Perth or Fremantle?
With so many wonderful places and events to visit in Perth and Fremantle, it is quite impossible to fit them all in one list, or in a week’s worth of your travel time. If you plan on maximizing your vacation in the city, it’s important you know what you want to see so you can position yourself in the best place to explore easily.
After visiting perth recently, I highly recommend setting up base in Fremantle. You’ll get to enjoy a cafe and foodies culture while nestled amongst some of the world’s best beaches. You can easily catch a train into Perth too allowing you to have the best of both worlds.
Be. Fremantle offers great accommodation, located centrally in Fremantle, and wonderful facilities at very reasonable prices. Vacations are supposed to be a time of relaxation and enjoyment, so you should consider picking the best options available to make the most of your trip.