LIberally dotted with verdant parks, lapped by aquamarine waters and gently buffeted by Indian Ocean breezes, nature never feels far away in Perth. It is a city that effortlessly combines cosmopolitan flair with brilliant biodiversity.
Perth has a hat-trick of accolades, having been named the Wildlife Capital of the World by the World Wildlife Fund, thanks to its 2,100 species of plants, 156 native birds and 15 species of amphibians. It sits at the edge of Australia’s only biodiversity hotspot (the South West Australia Ecoregion) and was named the world’s sixth most livable city in the 2021 Global Quality of Living Index. .
Just beyond the glittering skyscrapers, Kings Park and Botanic Garden spans nearly 1,000 acres and is one of the largest downtown parks in the world. Nature trails meander through wild bush and canopy bridges offer stunning views of the Swan and Canning Rivers, the Darling Ranges and the city skyline.
As for wildlife, the ever-smiling quokkas are among Perth’s cutest residents, along with kangaroos and dolphins, with colonies of little penguins just a short boat ride away on Penguin Island.
As Australia’s sunniest city, Perth is perfect for getting out on the water and under azure skies. Once you enter the waters of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Perth, you have the chance to spot everything from dolphins, seals and sea lions to migrating blue whales and humpback whales. You can also don your snorkel or scuba gear to dive below the surface and swim with colorful tropical fish or even green sea turtles near Rottnest Island.
Thanks in large part to its biodiversity and sunny Mediterranean climate, Perth is also a hub of culinary delights. Succulent fruits and vegetables, delicious seafood, local cheeses and charcuterie and even black truffles, native to the Pemberton and Manjimup regions of South West Australia, will all fight for space in your plate. And they can all be paired with superb wines from the state’s oldest wine region, the Swan Valley, and the famous Margaret River.
New hotels and stylish restaurants are making the most of seaside living in Perth, enticing you to stay longer. But one of the great things about this sunny city is its proximity to a variety of adventures. From vineyards to deserts, from Aboriginal rock art to reefs teeming with marine life, here are three amazing trips you can combine with your time in Perth…
Sipping wine in the sun
A relaxed road trip south from Perth brings you to Margaret River, known for its surfer vibe and glorious wines. This diverse region of southwestern Australia is also home to 24 national parks, dramatic limestone cliffs and ancient cave systems. Spend your mornings swimming in the crystal clear waters, then enjoy a winery tour in the afternoon. You’ll soon discover that the local cuisine lives up to the quality of the finest vintages, and your days will be spent in a blur of vineyards, farmers’ markets and restaurants with dazzling panoramic views.
Discover the Coral Coast
Take seven days and head to the Coral Coast. Your first stop is The Pinnacles, a barren desert dotted with towering limestone structures and resplendent with nighttime views of the Milky Way. Further on you will reach the other world, the strawberry pink Hutt Lagoon, from where it is only a short ferry ride to the Abrolhos Islands, home to dwarf wallabies and bearded dragons. Further up the coast, explore the deep red and white gorges of Kalbarri National Park, or if you have a few more days, spot the dugong at Shark Bay and head to the turquoise lagoons of Ningaloo Reef.
Take a waterfall cruise in Broome
To appreciate one of the oldest cultures in the world and one of the last great wildernesses, fly north to Broome where you can embark on an expedition along the Kimberley Coast. Here you’ll walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs, explore remote reefs and witness what David Attenborough has described as Australia’s most unusual natural wonder, two horizontal waterfalls, caused by the ferocious Talbot Bay tide. Immerse yourself in human history with a trip to one of the many Aboriginal rock art sites, some of which date back at least 40,000 years.