BIG BUDGET ACTIVITY: JOURNEY TO 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, Rottnest is full of beautiful white sand beaches, secluded coves and other wildlife including dolphins, seals and native birds. Here, you can snorkel, dive, swim, fish and kayak – and maybe even get that perfect quokka selfie!
Because it’s such a popular and breathtaking spot, a trip to Rottnest can be expensive. But we think that if you’re going to spend your money on something, it should be this.
THE BEST CHEAP ACTIVITIES IN PERTH
CHECK OUT PERTH ZOO
Perth Zoo is one of the best zoos in Australia. Here, you can check out rare animals from all over the world, including the Sumatran Orangutan, the Southern white rhinoceros, and pretty much every single Aussie animal. If you can’t get to Rottnest, this is also your chance to meet a quokka!
You can get a concession ticket for $25 or an adult ticket for $32 – and the price is definitely worth it. Your entry fee is an incredibly valuable donation to the zoo that helps support wildlife conservation initiatives, sustainability efforts and education programs.
WINE TASTING IN SWAN VALLEY
Western Australia’s oldest wine-growing region is located just 30 minutes from Perth. Swan Valley isn’t accessible by foot, so you’ll need to pay for transport. Get the train from Perth CBD to Guildford and pick up a taxi or Uber, or join an organised tour. Once you’re there, you can relax and enjoy a day of wine-tasting. Hop from winery to winery as you try some of the best wines in the state – and possibly even the country! You can also taste the region’s gourmet food made with fresh local produce, with everything from fine dining to pub dishes available.
The Swan Valley is home to outdoor concerts, summer markets, wildlife encounters and masterclasses, meaning an endless array of things to do. You could even spend nothing after you arrive and still have an awesome time – but it’s definitely worth taking home a souvenir or two.
CHECK OUT THE SEALIFE AT THE AQUARIUM OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA (AQWA)
Every Australian city has a fantastic aquarium, and AQWA is no different. AQWA is home to Australia’s largest single aquarium and walk-through underwater tunnel, as well as plenty of cute critters and menacing predators. You can even see and swim with some real-life mermaids. With $22 concession tickets or $30 adult tickets, you can enjoy a whole day of fun and learning for less than the price of dinner.
MEET ADORABLE FAIRY PENGUINS
Penguin Island is a must-do Perth day trip, just 45 minutes south of Perth and a five-minute ferry ride across stunning Shoalwater Bay. As its name suggests, the island is home to 1,200 adorable fairy penguins. While they spend most of the daytime out at sea, you might be lucky to see a few in the wild on your trip. Otherwise, check out the dedicated enclosure for rescue penguins, where you can watch feedings three times a day and learn all about these cute little creatures. There’s also swimming, bird-spotting, picnic spots and cruises where you can spot seals and dolphins.
With ferry tickets from $18, a day trip to Penguin Island is an incredibly affordable way to spend the day.
THE BEST FREE ACTIVITIES IN PERTH
KINGS PARK AND BOTANIC GARDEN
If you’re looking for natural beauty but don’t feel like spending any money, Kings Park is your best bet. Rich in Aboriginal and European history, it’s the most popular destination in Western Australia. In fact, it’s visited by five million people each year. The best part? Entry costs nothing. Spend the day wandering around the park’s 400 hectares, two-thirds of which is protected bushland. Enjoy incredible views of Perth and snap plenty of great pictures for Instagram. Kings Park is also home to the unmissable Western Australian Botanic Garden, which displays over 3,000 species of Western Australian flowers.
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 great atmosphere. In Fremantle, it’s entirely possible to have a great day out without spending a cent. Watch the street performers, relax on the grass and enjoy the view at Monument Hill, chill out at Leighton Beach, and visit the Bon Scott statue. If you do feel like spending a few dollars, the iconic Little Creatures brewery is a must-visit!
Photo: Tourism WA
The beach is the perfect option for a fun and free day out. Perth has no shortage of beaches where you can find a lovely patch of sand and spend the day relaxing, but the two standouts are Scarborough and Cottesloe – affectionately called “Cott” by the locals. If you’re a surfer, Trigg Beach is the place to be. However, it might be a bit too wild for swimmers. For something a little different, head to the northern “clothes optional” section of Swanbourne Beach. Whichever beach you choose, you’re guaranteed a great time taking in the beauty of Western Australia’s coastline.
GET CULTURED AT NORTHBRIDGE
The State Library of Western Australia. Credit: Western Australia Government
A hub of food, arts, culture and nightlife, Northbridge is Perth’s hippest area and is just a five-minute walk from the CBD. Here, you’ll find Perth Cultural Centre, which includes the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Western Australian Museum, State Library of Western Australia and more. You can wander aimlessly around Northbridge enjoying the street art and atmosphere without spending a cent, but if you do, you can enjoy a wide variety of different cuisines and fun bars.