Perth is the most geographically isolated capital city in the world, surrounded by miles of beautiful greenery, bright white beaches, and distinctly Australian bush land. These relatively untouched natural borders may make Perth less accessible than other major Aussie cities like Sydney and Melbourne, but they’re also part of the city’s unique charm and mystique. This vibrant hidden gem offers a rare blend of lush parks and vineyards, sunny seaside attractions, and cosmopolitan nightlife that can’t be found elsewhere on the continent. If you’re the type of traveler who likes to diverge from mainstream tourist itineraries, read on for seven treasures off the beaten track in this under-the-radar city.
Cottesloe Beach is Perth’s most popular stretch of sand, with crowds rivaling Sydney’s Bondi Beach mobbing and clogging its shoreline every weekend. For a more serene shoreline, get out of the city and head north for an hour to Moore River. The river is separated from the Indian Ocean by a sandbank, and the picturesque view of multilayered, contrasting colors is a picture-postcard scene. But there’s much more to do than admiring the view: visitors can explore a panoply of walking trails in and around the river basin, while the river itself is open for idyllic days of swimming, kayaking, canoeing, cruising and fishing.
Watch out for: gorgeous sunsets on the shore
Moore River, Western Australia, Australia
Lotterywest Federation Walkway
Kings Park is the largest city park in the world and the green beating heart of the city. The park is notably divided up into various subsections, from the botanic gardens featuring unique Western Australian wildflowers, plants and trees, to the barbecue areas, the picnic spots and the Fraser Avenue Lookout Point. One decidedly underrated experience in the park is the Federation Walkway, a gorgeous promenade running for 620 metres through the botanic garden. This 40-minute stroll (give or take) allows for a spectacular view of the natural scenery, including the Swan and Canning Rivers, as well as the Water Garden valley. To ascend to the canopy, start the trail opposite Lord Forrest Statue roundabout on Fraser Avenue.
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday: 9am – 5pm
Watch out for: the path up to the canopy
Lotterywest Federation Walkway, Kings Park and Botanic Garden Kings Park Rd, Perth, Australia
Swan Valley Wine Cruise
The rich land of Swan Valley turns the nourishing waters of the Swan River into a wine-making haven, as well as farmland for fantastic local crops and livestock. Award-winning wineries, breweries, bakeries and more have cropped up all over the alley, with over 150 venues ranging from small boutiques to renowned national brands doling out cheeses, wines, fruits, chutneys, olive oil, honey and craft beers to eager tourists. Of the area’s many tour packages, the Swan Valley Wine Cruise is a less conventional, more luxurious option for sampling in style: this seven-hour pleasure cruise combines riverside sight-seeing with stops at several local vineyards (and even one microbrewery), so you can take in everything ‘the Valley of Taste’ has to offer in the most tasteful transportation available.
Price: Adult – $145; Child (four to 14) – $110; free for infants aged three and under
Hours: sets sail 9:45am, returns to Perth 5:15
Watch out for: the multiple stops to go ashore for tastings
Swan Valley Tours, Midvale, Australia +61 8 9274 1199
His Majesty’s Theatre
Amid Perth’s numerous art galleries, museums and theaters, His Majesty’s Theatre stands out for its distinct historic character. An impressive, oddball architectural throwback to Edwardian London, ‘The Maj’ is now over 110 years old, yet remains stunningly well-maintained thanks to a series of painstaking restorations. The interior is a triumph of craftsmanship in intricately carved wood, plush velvet, fine marble, and rich red and gold mosaic work; they simply don’t make theaters like this anymore. The performance schedule is constant and extremely diverse, ranging across musicals, ballet, operas, plays, and standalone acts, though you can count on regular performances from the West Australian Opera and Ballet, which calls The Maj their artistic home.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 9am – 5.30pm
Watch out for: regal decor and a broad range of performing arts events
825 Hay St, Perth, Australia, +61 8 9265 0900
The bohemian Fremantle district (or ‘Freo’ as the locals affectionately refer to it) is a treasure trove for urban explorers. Located only a 20-minute train ride south from the city center, this coastal hideaway boasts a Cappuccino Strip of trendy coffeehouses to start your day with a buzz. From there, you can hop over to the famed Little Creatures Brewery for a taste of local ales, shop at the weekend Fremantle markets bustling with arts and crafts sellers, and make a stop at the old 1850s Fremantle Prison for harrowing tales of Freo’s sordid struggles and prison riots in the First Fleet area. Finish the day with a dusky stroll along the heritage-listed buildings of the Fremantle Marina, or dive into the local bar scene for an all-night adventure.
Watch out for: excellent finds at the weekend markets, and seasonal brews at Little Creatures
Fremantle, WA, Australia
Rottnest Island is a small, car-free island just 19 kilometres off the coast of Western Australia, with regular ferry transportation from Perth and Fremantle. Off-shore snorkelers can find more than 135 species of tropical fish here, and Green Turtles wading just a few meters from the shoreline. Over on the more rugged side of the island you’ll find Rottnest’s most adorable signature species, the Quokka, as well as Fur seals lazing in the sunshine, and even Humpback whales can also be spotted during their annual migratory season between September and November. While there are a multitude of hiking tracks, the best way to explore the island is to rent a bike and take in the Rottnest’s golden coves at your own pace.
Rottnest Island, Australia
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.