36 hours in Perth: 7 fun things to do for a Perth-ect time

Perth in Australia
Perth is renowned for its astounding natural landmarks, botanic gardens and wildlife parks. Source: Trevor Collens/AFP

Perth in Australia may be known as “the most isolated city in the world”, but this shouldn’t hold you back from exploring the hidden gems that the City of Lights has to offer.

It is the largest city in Western Australia and is known as a haven for the outdoor and nature lovers. Perth is family-oriented and boasts stunning parks, botanic gardens and natural landmarks too. The stunning backdrops and locations will have you taking Insta-worthy photographs in no time, making your friends and family back at home envious.

Whether you’re a visitor or an international student keen to do some exploring around the city, here are seven spots around Perth to guarantee you a great time you won’t regret. The best part, it doesn’t have to take up too much of your time and energy, as all of this can be explored in 36 hours or less.

Perth in Australia: What you can do


Explore animals native to Australia at Caversham Wildlife Park

Australia is distinguished for hosting an excellent range of biodiversity, which includes koalas and kangaroos.

Other animals such as possums, wallabies, wombats, Tasmanian devils, sugar gliders, emu (which is a national emblem of Australia) and even penguins can be found at this wildlife park too. It’s the perfect place to explore animals which are native to Australia.

You can feed and pet kangaroos while walking through the kangaroo enclosure, and even snap a few pictures at no extra charge.

Another area suitable for children at Caversham is Molly’s farm, which hosts animals such as goats, llamas and water buffalos.

If you’re more daring and don’t mind having reptiles slung on your shoulder, then check out the reptile house. With the guidance and supervision of an animal instructor, you could get up close to an assortment of phytons such as the carpet python, olive python, black-headed python and woma phyton. The reptile farm hosts other reptiles such as the freshwater crocodile, northern blue-tongue lizard, perentie and lace monitors too.

If you come early, you might even get the chance to see the penguin feeding session held at 12 p.m. daily, and learn a thing or two about flightless birds.

At the wildlife park, you can have an interactive experience with wombats and koalas too.

Perth in Australia: Wildlife species

Koalas are native to Australia, and you will have the opportunity to interact with them when you visit Caversham Wildlife Park in Perth, Australia. Source: Sam Yeh/AFP

Take a stroll around Kings Park and Botanic Gardens

Whether you’re a fan of horticulture, history or just intrigued by the architectural display of a place — Kings Park and Botanic Gardens is a place not to be missed during your visit to Perth. Known as one of the largest and most picturesque inner-city parks in the world, Kings Park stretches 400 hectares of scenic view overlooking the Perth Water and the Central Business District (CBD).

The park is rich in Aboriginal and European history, contemporary culture and offers innovative designs, displays and services.

You don’t have to travel further from the city as Kings Park is home to the striking Western Australian Botanic Gardens, which hosts a unique collection of 3,000 species of the state’s unique flora.

You can also enjoy the breathtaking views of the Swan and Canning Rivers, the city skyline, Bushland walk trails, immaculate gardens and parklands.

It is also near the Visitor Information Centre, free daily guided walks, gallery shop, cafes and public transport too.

Bask in the sunset views at Cottesloe Beach

Australia is renowned for its fantastic beaches with stunning views, particularly during sunset. You can experience it at its finest when you bask in the sunset views at Cottesloe Beach, a twenty-minute drive westwards of the CBD.

It is known as one of the most stunning beaches in Western Australia, what with its clear blue waters and glistening white sand. You can find a motley of activities to do on land or water, be it cycling, walking, snorkelling, surfing or swimming. Nearby are some elegant and cosy cafes and restaurants to satiate your appetite after a fun-filled and energetic day around the beach.

Dine with a view

After a day filled with adventure, consider unwinding with a delightful dining experience with a spectacular view. Pamper yourself and soak in the gorgeous nightly views of the Swan River at Rambla on Swan.

If you’re willing to splurge, consider dining at The Boatshed Restaurant. It retains the view of the Swan River while giving you the upscale fine dining experience, which combines top-notch cuisine with panoramic views.

The Island Brew House is also a top pick to dine as its inviting atmosphere helps you enjoy the boutique microbrewery and restaurant situated in the picturesque Elizabeth Quay, which offers an eye-catching view of the city skyline and the Swan River.


Get up early to catch the ferry to Rottnest Island

Fun doesn’t only have to be experienced on the mainland and close to the CBD. There are plenty of fun activities to explore on Western Australia’s premier island — Rottnest Island (also referred to by locals as “Rotto”). However, get an early head start by catching the 7.30 a.m. ferry. How long it takes for you to reach the island will depend on your starting point:

  • Fremantle: 25 minutes
  • Hillarýs Boat Harbour: 45 minutes
  • Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty: One hour

It is recommended that you spend at least four to six hours on the island as there are plenty of things to do. This includes:

  • Walking along the Wadjemup Bidi trail
  • Snorkelling or diving at Little Salmon Bay and Parker Point
  • Joining an indigenous cultural tour
  • Learning about the island’s history while wandering around Wadjemup Museum, Lomas Cottage and Pilot Boat Houses
  • Visiting Oliver Hill Guns and Tunnels
  • Taking a selfie with quokkas, also known as ”the happiest animal in the world'”
  • Visiting the Wadjemup Lighthouse precinct
  • Joining a 90-minute adventure or cruise through the high-powered Eco Express Adventure Boat Tour
  • Surfing at Strickland Bay

Learn about Western Australia’s colonial history at Fremantle Prison

Fremantle Prison is a significant landmark in the state, reminiscent of a bygone era. Known as one of the most fascinating attractions in Western Australia, it is a former prison inhabited by some of the earliest convicts who arrived in the country in the 1850s. It was built by convicts themselves, and was used as a place of incarceration for 136 years. It was decommissioned as an operating museum security jail in 1991.

Known as the earliest and only known heritage site in Western Australia, there are plenty of things to explore at Fremantle Prison. Tours include Convict Prison, Behind Bars, True Crime, Tunnels Tour and Torchlight Tour.

In addition to its guided tours, you can also explore the Prison Gallery, Interpretive Visitor Centre, an onsite cafe and an award-winning gift shop.

Dine or shop at Elizabeth Quay

Recognised as one of Perth’s latest developments, Elizabeth Quay is the perfect place for you to culminate your 36-hour journey of exploring Perth and its attractions. It is an exciting new waterfront precinct on the banks of the Swan River.

There are plenty of shops and eateries you can explore here. It is closely situated to the Bell Tower, Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Museum of Perth, Perth Convention and Exhibition View and other attractions along St. George’s Terrace.

One thing’s for sure, 36 hours in Perth is guaranteed to leave you with an unforgettable experience of this magnificent Australian city.