The Best Outdoor Activities in Perth, Australia

Perth's sunny climate encourages outdoor activities
Perth's sunny climate encourages outdoor activities | © Josh Spires (dronenr) / Unsplash
With over 145 days of sunshine each year, Perth is the sunniest capital city in Australia. Plus, with some of the country’s best beaches and plenty of nature, parks and wildlife right on its doorstep, it’s no wonder locals and tourists alike spend most of their time here in the great outdoors.

Boating, boarding and swimming on the Swan River

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The Crawley Edge Boatshed on the Swan River. Perth, Western Australia, Australia
© Paul Kingsley / Alamy Stock Photo
We would be remiss not to begin with Perth’s beating heart – the Swan River. Flowing through the middle of the city, there’s no better way to explore than to take to the water, just like the black swans that give it its namesake. Head down to the shore and take your pick of transport options from the usual to the unique, with paddleboards, waterbikes, catamarans, jet skis and even floating pontoons with fully licensed bars.
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Hitting the beach

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Whether you enjoy surfing, snorkelling, sunbathing or drinking cocktails and eating fish and chips as the sun sets over the ocean, Perth’s coastline has something for everyone. Our favourite spots include snorkelling the Omeo shipwreck at Coogee, surfing in Trigg, fishing at Hillarys Boat Harbour and swimming at Cottesloe. During the winter months, you can also take a whale-watching cruise and be on the lookout for dolphins and seals.

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Exploring the city streets

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Architecture on Barrack Street. Perth, Western Australia, Australia
© Ozimages / Alamy Stock Photo
You don’t have to go far from the city to enjoy the outdoors in Perth, with plenty of great walking trails through the city centre and nearby Kings Park. Make the most of the sunny days and take to the streets, exploring the hidden laneways and street art trails, before grabbing a coffee and wandering around the Narrows. As the sun sets, take the ferry from Elizabeth Quay to the South Perth Foreshore to see the lights of the city come on and the stars come out.
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Walking, hiking and mountain-biking

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Bridge across Bells Rapids, Swan Valley, Perth, Australia
© RooM the Agency / Alamy Stock Photo
A little way east of Perth, the Darling Ranges are perfect for outdoor adventurers, with hundreds of trails featuring lush bushland, waterfalls, rocky gorges and epic views. If the hills are a little too far, head to Bells Rapids in Swan Valley and swing by one of the city’s famous wineries or breweries for lunch and a quick tasting. Or, for something even closer, head to Bold Park and do the big lap of the park to soak up that out-bush vibe with Indian Ocean views.
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If you’re craving a proper adrenaline fix, do as the locals do and head off-road. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of hitting the 4WD tracks along the Mundaring Powerline to the east of the city, or, if you feel like heading a little further afield, exploring the Julimar State Forest or going out to Wilbinga, one of the closest spots to the city where you can drive along the beach.
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There are a fair few perks to being one of the world’s most isolated cities, but one is the magical night skies – and the fact that you don’t have to go too far out of the city to see them in all their glory. Take it up a notch with a sunset walk in the Hills followed by a trip out to Perth Observatory in Bickley, where you can marvel at the solar system through super high-tech telescopes.

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These recommendations were updated on July 7, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.