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Nine Must-Do Perth Activities for Every Budget

This article is sponsored by Murdoch University

Perth offers the perfect blend of city living and natural beauty. With such a diverse environment, there’s an endless choice of fun things to do in the Western Australian capital at every price point.

Wondering what to do in Perth? Here’s our round-up of must-do activities for any budget.

Big budget activities in Perth

Rottnest Island

Keen to check out the adorable quokkas you’ve seen all over Instagram? The only place you can find them in the wild is on Rottnest Island, in Western Australia! Just a short trip from Perth, the island boasts beautiful white sand beaches, secluded coves, and other wildlife including dolphins, seals, and native birds. It’s easy to get to by ferry, which takes between 25 and 90 minutes, depending on where you board. Once you arrive, you can snorkel, dive, swim, fish and kayak – and maybe even get that perfect quokka selfie!

Penguin Island

Eager to spend the day on a beautiful island surrounded by wild dolphins, sea lions, stingrays, pelicans, king skinks and – most importantly – little penguins? Then Penguin Island should be on the top of your Perth bucket list. There is a range of different tours you can take to the island, from penguin or sea lion cruises to swimming with wild dolphins to a sunset sail. This is a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience, so it’s worth splurging a little on a day trip around the island. 

The best cheap activities in Perth

Enjoy a movie under the stars

Warm nights are perfect for enjoying an outdoor cinema experience with friends. Each year, Telethon Community Cinemas set up on Murdoch University’s Perth campus, where you can catch one of the latest blockbusters or a cult classic on the big screen while surrounded by nature. Some special screenings are free, although it’s important to book in advance as spaces fill quickly. All other screenings offer discounted student tickets, and the profits of the cinema’s season are donated to various charities.

Perth Zoo

Just across the river from Perth’s city centre is Perth Zoo, one of the best zoos in Australia. It’s easy to get to, and if you don’t make it to Rottnest Island, this is your chance to meet a quokka! Entry fees are a valuable donation to the zoo. You can buy a concession ticket for $27 or an adult ticket for $34.

Wine tasting in the Swan Valley

If you’re a lover of wine and food, then Western Australia’s oldest wine-growing region, Swan Valley, is the perfect day trip for any budget. Swan Valley is easy to get to by train – just hop on the Midland Line from Perth Station to Guildford then switch to a taxi, Uber, or book a tour. Once there, you can explore wineries, restaurants, cafes, breweries and distilleries, and also take in the over thirty attractions that the region has to offer.

If you’re visiting Swan Valley on a budget, there are plenty of great parks and picnic spots, and it’s a great place for a bike ride too!

The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA)

AQWA is a must-see, with concession tickets from $22 and adult tickets from $30. Wander around at your leisure, experience a unique view of Australia’s largest aquarium with a behind the scenes pass, and – if you’re feeling adventurous – why not dive with the sharks?

The best free activities in Perth

Kings Park and Botanic Garden

If you’re looking for natural beauty, but don’t feel like spending money, any student guide to Perth will tell you that Kings Park is the perfect choice. Kings Park is a place of great significance to the traditional custodians, the Whadjuk Noongar people, and it’s easy to get to. Once there, you can join tours run by local Noongar people, wander around the park’s 400 hectares, enjoy incredible views of Perth, join a free guided walk, snap plenty of great pictures, and visit the unmissable Western Australian Botanic Garden.

Celebrate local art

Murdoch University’s Art Collection celebrates the vibrancy and uniqueness of contemporary Australian art. The collection of artworks began in 1974 to commemorate Murdoch University’s inauguration. Since then, the collection has grown to include almost 2,000 pieces. You can explore the collection for free at Murdoch University’s Art Gallery, which also hosts regular exhibitions, or at the Rockingham and Mandurah campuses.


No trip to Western Australia is complete without checking out the port city of Fremantle. The city is a vibrant hub, with markets, street performers, a lovely waterfront, and a buzzing atmosphere. In Fremantle, it’s possible to have a great day out without spending a cent, and it’s just a half an hour train ride from Perth Station. Watch the street performers, relax on the grass and enjoy the view at Monument Hill or chill out at Leighton Beach.


The State Library of Western Australia

Looking to experience more of Perth’s culture? Perth’s hippest area is just a five-minute walk from the city centre. In Northbridge you’ll find Perth Cultural Centre, which includes the Art Gallery of Western Australia, WA Museum Boola Bardip, State Library of Western Australia (entry is free to all of these spots!), and more. You can meander around Northbridge enjoying the street art and atmosphere, without spending a cent. Exploring the inner city suburbs can give you a great idea of what life is like in Perth.

Photos courtesy of the Western Australian Government.