Day Trips Perth: Best Holiday Spots for a Weekend Away
Here’s our top picks of the best holiday spots for a weekend away in the West.
Whether it’s a gourmet getaway, nostalgic coastal retreat, or country escape, locals and visitors to Perth are spoiled for choice when it comes to holiday options just a day trip away.
We’ve done the ground work and road-tested the best Perth day trips so you can spend less time planning and more time packing!
As a seaside holiday destination, Mandurah holds a nostalgic place in the hearts of many Perthites but this coastal city just a 50-minute-drive south of Perth has had a major re-vamp in recent years. Aside from its new boho beach vibe, chic clothing and homewares boutiques, and Insta-worthy cafes and bars, you still have all the natural attractions for which the Peel region is known. With beautiful bays and an estuary and inlet that’s twice the size of Sydney Harbour, you can immerse yourself in multiple marine activities including boating, surfing, jet-skiing, kayaking and bird and dolphin spotting.
No weekend guide would be complete without including Perth’s favourite playground, ‘Rotto’. Just a short ferry ride away, Rottnest is a marine paradise, filled with beautiful white-sand beaches, coral reef and turquoise bays. As well as swimming, snorkelling and biking around this A-class nature reserve - and making friends with the resident quokkas – there’s a good selection of beach-side restaurants, cafes and bars to refuel and refresh. And from Samphire Rottnest’s luxury resort, through to cosy cottages, and Discovery Rottnest Island’s glamping grounds, your accommodation options are covered.
Wine lovers rejoice! Perth’s oldest wine region is also its closest. Located just 25 minutes from the city, it’s home to over 40 world-class wineries, and the area is also filled with some seriously good breweries, cideries, and distilleries. But that’s not all. With much of WA’s produce grown here, foodies will delight in its fabulous farmers’ markets. Alternatively, follow the Swan Valley Fresh Produce Trail to buy direct from the farm gate, lunch at local restaurants and stock up on artisan goodies such as those from Whistler’s Chocolate Factory, Mondo Nougat, and The House of Honey.
Measuring 1.841km, Busselton Jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere and one of the few natural underwater observatories in the world, located at the end of the jetty and reached by foot or train. You can take an undersea walk, snorkel or scuba dive below the surface. Situated about two and a half hours south of Perth and in the Margaret River Region, there are a couple of exciting projects in the works in Busselton, with the 2023 opening of the Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre and the ongoing foreshore development, including a new Hilton Garden View Hotel. In the meantime, there are many attractions in Busselton, including fantastic cafes, Shelter Brewing Co., Origins Markets and a cultural precinct featuring the ArtGeo complex. Every August and September, Busselton participates in the Margaret River Open Studios, where local artists open their studios to the public, and CinefestOZ, Australia’s premiere destination film festival.
Image credit: Margaret River Discovery Tour & Leeuwin Estate
A little further a-field but well-worth the 3.5-hour-drive is WA’s most famous wine region, Margaret River. Internationally renowned for its wine, the area is also home to some of the country’s best surf beaches, old growth forest and farm-fresh produce. Lunch at award-winning restaurants like Leeuwin Estate or Vasse Felix, then treat yourself at Margaret River Chocolate Factory or Simmo’s Ice Creamery. Then hit the coast for a magical swimming experience at Wyadup Rocks. Also a popular wellness destination – with yoga and meditation retreats galore – you’ll find ‘Margs’ (as the locals call it) the perfect place to relax, recharge and reset.
Fancy some surfing of a different kind? Head to the quaint fishing village of Lancelin. Located 2-and-a bit hours north, here you can rent a sandboard and try sliding down some of Australia’s biggest dunes! Alternatively join a quad bike or 4WD tour. After working up an appetite, head to the Lobster Shack overlooking the beach at nearby Cervantes for an indulgent seafood lunch. But the must-see highlight of this area is the Pinnacles. These ancient natural limestone structures rising eerily from the golden sand of Nambung National Park, give the landscape an other-worldly feel. Don’t forget your camera!
Head for the hills! Packed full of country charm, the collection of villages resting within the Darling Range, just 45 minutes from Perth is where you’ll find farmers markets, cosy pubs, antique shops and art galleries. Catering for nature lovers too, you can stop to smell the flowers at Araluen Botanic Park, chase waterfalls at Lesmurdie Falls, or follow one of the many hiking or biking trails within the area’s national parks – including the world-famous Bibbulmun Track.
Image credit: Collie River Valley & Collie Mural Trail
This small coal mining town 2 hours south-east of Perth has transitioned to tourism over the last few years. Instagram feeds have been filling fast with pics of its bright blue swimming hole, Diamond Lake, while art lovers have been flocking to see the world’s largest dam mural – a stunning new work, painted on the side of Wellington Dam. And while nearby forest trails are popular with walkers and mountain bikers, for happy campers content to stay put, there’s the likes of Lake Kepwari and Honeymoon Pool.
And if you’ve got an extra day to spare, make the most of a long weekend in the historic coastal city of Albany. From swimming at isolated beaches and hiking up granite peaks, to exploring the surrounding wineries and exciting cuisine-crossing restaurants in town (such as chef Amy Hamilton’s French-Vietnamese restaurant and cocktail bar, Liberte) outdoor types and foodies alike will love what’s on offer here. Located in the heart of the State’s Great Southern region, Albany is a 4.5-hour-drive from Perth.