The Best Perth Day Trips

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021 by Travels with Kids

Here are the best Perth day trips.  All of these stunning escapes from the city can be done as a long day trip (say 8-12 hours).

Perth, Western Australia is a gorgeous city that averages 3000 hours of sunshine each year.  Perth has many beaches in the city as well as botanical gardens and bushwalking trails on the outskirts.  This is definitely a place that you want to stay awhile and explore.  What better to do than some day trips from Perth Australia?

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Day trips from Perth
The gorgeous Swan Valley

The Best Perth Day Trips

Perth and the surrounding areas have so much to see and do.  Being from Western Australia we know this area well!  We have spent so much time as a family exploring all that Perth and the surrounding areas have to offer.  These are what we consider the best day trips from Perth, even though there are so many more we could include.

The Pinnacles & Lancelin Sand Dunes

Day trips from Perth
Getting ready to surf the dunes, Lancelin

The Pinnacles are less than 3 hours’ drive north of Perth, and an out of world sight.  The Pinnacles themselves, located in Nambung National Park, only warrant hour visit.  You can make this a great day trips from Perth by visiting the great sand dunes in Lancelin either traveling to or from The Pinnacles.  As their name suggests, the Pinnacles are curious sandstone pointed rock formations that are extremely unique!

The Lancelin Sand Dunes are gorgeous white sand dunes located 1.5 hours north of Perth.  They are also located about an hour south of The Pinnacle along the same route.  There are many activities that can be enjoyed at Lancelin Sand Dunes including off-roading and sandboarding.  Both of these destinations make a great Perth day tours adventure.

If you are looking for some guided tours for The Pinnacles, check out our recommendations below.


Day Trips From Perth

Where To Eat On This Pinnacles Day Trip

Stop at the Lobster Shack in Cervantes Western Australia for a bite to eat.  It is about a 30-minute drive north of the Pinnacles but well worth the drive.  Fill up on fresh rock lobster before heading out to do some fishing and sightseeing on the Coral Coast.

What Makes This One Of The Best Day Trips From Perth

Without a doubt, the Pinnacles gives you landscapes you are unlikely to see anywhere else in the world.

Travel Times To The Pinnacles & Lancelin Sand Dunes

  • Pinnacles to Lancelin Sand Dunes 1.5 hours
  • Lancelin Sand Dunes to Cervantes 1 hour 5 hours
  • Cervantes to The Pinnacles 15 minutes
  • The Pinnacles to Perth – 2 hours 15 minutes.
  • Total driving time 5. 5 hours

If You Decide To Make It A Weekend Getaway

For weekend getaways from Perth, we’d choose to stay at the Pinnacles Edge Resort or the RAC Cervantes Holiday Park.


Penguin Island And Rockingham

Day Trips From Perth
My children were captivated by the tiny penguins

Of the best Perth day trips that you can do is a trip to Penguin Island and the Shoalwater Marine Park.  It offers something fun and different.  Why?  For a family with little kids, the amount of driving is pretty low and the cost not quite as high as a visit to Rottnest Island.  On our last visit, we drove for just over 2 hours and spent a total of $85 on entry fees to the site.  As we’d packed our own lunch, it was not an overly expensive day.  You can spend more if you wish to do one of the extra cruises, like the Penguin and Sea Lion Cruise. We have described them here in A Day Visit To Penguin Island, Western Australia.

What To Eat On Penguin Island And Rockingham

We definitely recommend taking a picnic lunch to Penguin Island.  However, if you aren’t keen on doing that there is Pengos is the café at the Penguin Island Ferry Terminal.  There you can get burgers, wraps, pastries, and much more.

Best Day Trips Perth

What Makes This One Of The Best Day Trips Around Perth

A trip on a boat to an island, windswept shores, beautiful beaches, shorebirds, and penguins.  This day trip to Penguin Island is exciting with lots to see and do.

Travel Times From Perth To Penguin Island And Rockingham

Perth to Penguin Island Ferry Terminal is about 45 minutes in good traffic.  Definitely allow an hour each way.

Total Driving time 2 hours

Rottnest Island

Best Day Trips Perth
A cute little quokka

It can’t be denied, of the day trips from Perth that we would recommend Rottnest Island certainly packs some punch!  White sand beaches, turquoise waters, and a no-car policy where everyone gets around on bikes!  Let’s also not forget meeting the fluffy little local Quokkas!

However, be prepared to pay!  A day trip to Rottnest Island will cost in the vicinity of a couple of hundred dollars for a family of 4, due to the cost of the ferry tickets.  Throw in meals and bike hire, and it is an expensive Perth day trips.  If you have the time, Rottnest Island is also top on our list of weekend getaways in Western Australia, so spend the night if you can!

Looking for a unique Rottnest Island experience?  Check out some really cools ones below.



What To Eat On A Rottnest Island Tour

OMG!  There is one place you have to try.  The Rottnest Bakery.  The highlight of our holidays on Rottnest as a child was going to the bakery for a loaf of freshly baked bread.  It really is a Rottnest Icon.  Nowadays they offer more sophisticated fare, like organic meat pies as well as the classic jam & cream donut!

Day Trips Around Perth
Beautiful Rottnest Island/ Amber Weir-Unsplash

Why Is This One Of The Best Day Trips Perth

Rottnest, with its famous Quokka population (don’t forget to get a selfie), white sands, turquoise waters, and no cars feels like a world of its own.  You have to go to know what makes it so special.

Travel Times From Perth To Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island lies about 18 kilometers (or 11 miles) off the coast of Perth, Western Australia.  How long it takes to get there depends on which ferry you take.  The shortest way is from Freemantle, it is about a 25-minute ferry ride.  You can also take the ferry from Hillarys Boat Harbour (45-minutes) or a ferry from Barrack Street Jetty (90-minutes).

If You Decide To Make It A Weekend Getaway

For places to stay near Perth we’d choose to stay at the Karma Rottnest on the island.

The Perth Hills, Including Serpentine National Park And Araluen

Day Trips Around Perth
Loving the flowers at Araluen Botanical Park

We love the Perth Hills – and if you are into taking beautiful Instagram photos – this might be the destination for you.

To start with, in the Perth Hills you can sample the Australian bush, just 30 minutes from the city.  Serpentine National Park, especially the Serpentine Falls or Lake Leschenaultia both offer spots for picnics or to cool down in the shade.  While in the Perth Hills we love Araluen Botanic Park for a fun family outing, especially during spring.  Take a look at our recommendations for Visiting Araluen Tulip Festival With Kids.

If you are willing to travel a little further, travel along the north and discover the Chittering Farm Flavour trail.  It pays to do your research before heading off.  There are many delicious options, depending on the season.  Lookout for blueberries, stone fruit, avocados, and more!

If you prefer to just visit one farm, the Raeburn Orchards are a really beautiful place to experience natural produce.  While this is a working orchard, Raeburn also is famous amongst Perth folk as a divine Instagram spot.  Luckily for the kiddos, they also offer spring and autumn festivals with bouncy castles and other children’s activities.

The best time to visit Raeburn (when you will get amazing photos) is in the autumn when the Persimmon trees turn all colors of crimson red and orange.  Also, they have a Spring Festival in September when the trees are full of blossoms.  As each season is different it’s best to check out their Instagram page for when the trees are turning color or flowering!  The gorgeous scenery makes this one of the best Perth day trips.

short trips from Perth
Araluen Botanic Park

Perth Hills Places To Eat

The Packing Shed at Lawnbrook Estate combines wine and great food, including a kid-friendly menu.  La Fattoria is famous for hearty family lunches and is just down the road from Core Cider House.

Why Is This Best Day Trips From Perth By Car

This is one of the great day trips from Perth by car and with kids.  As well as being one for foodies and photographers.

Travel Time From Perth To The Perth Hills, Including Serpentine National Park And Araluen

  • Perth to Roleystone 40 mins in decent traffic.  (Roleystone is the location of Araluen Botanic Park)
  • Perth to Chittering Valley – 50 mins (but going in a slightly different direction than Roleystone)
  • Total driving approximately 1.5- 2 hours

If You Decide To Make It A Weekend Getaway

For weekend getaways we’d choose to stay at  Hidden Valley Eco Lodges or Avocados Accommodation.


The Swan Valley

short trips from Perth

With really limited driving, you can get a wonderful taste of Australia in the Swan Valley.  This is why it hits our list of top short trips from Perth.  You could potentially spend half a day and see some native animals, plus have a superb lunch with local wine.  However, why not spend the whole day, and without a doubt this is one of the self-drive day trips from Perth.

One of the warmest grape growing areas in Australia, it is also one of the oldest!  There are some excellent wines to be sampled here.  For families, there is a lot to do definitely a visit to Caversham Wildlife Park.

In addition, there are popular places like the Maze and Outback Splash, and not to mention the cuddly animal farm!

Not wanting to drive yourself but rather have a guided Swan Valley tour?  Here are some of our favorites below.



day trips around Perth

Where To Eat In The Swan Valley Perth

We would love to sample these recommended family-friendly wineries in the Swan Valley.  SO Perth has a great article Best Family Friendly Swan Valley Wineries, give it a read.  Some of the recommended wineries like Mandoon Estate and Oakover Grounds are also family-friendly with kiddie playgrounds and even a lake for fishing and boating.

Why Is This One Of The Best Short Trips From Perth

The Swan Valley is incredibly picturesque at any time of the year, with vines and a mountain backdrop.  It really is a vinos and foodie’s heaven with plenty of stuff for the whole family.

Travel Time From Perth To The Swan Valley

Perth to the Swan Valley 35 minutes in good traffic.

If You Decide To Make It A Weekend Getaway

Stay at Brookleigh Estate Swan Valley or the Novotel Vines Resort.

day trips around Perth

Yanchep National Park And Yanchep Lagoon

 Just 40 minutes north of Perth is Yanchep National Park, which makes a full and entertaining day trip.  This large National Park has a wide range of native animals and birds including Black Cockatoos, Rosella, Galahs, Honeyeaters, Willy Wagtails, and Kookaburra.  In the early evening, hundreds of kangaroos come out and are close enough to get good photos.  In addition, there is also a large outdoor enclosure that has 11 Koalas.

There are several trails in the park.  Many of them are suitable for children as they are flat surfaces.  For example, the 45-minute wetland walk and another walk of similar length through a collapsed cave system that is now a gorge.

Not as famous as the kangaroos and koalas of Yanchep National Park there are also 400 caves.  You can sign up for the guided 2 hours Crystal Cave Tour.  There are other cave tours depending on your ability, such as an Adventure Caving Tour.

A new attraction is the Trees Adventure Yanchep Park.  There are several different levels of courses suitable for different ages.  We have done the park in Dwellingup and absolutely loved it.  Read our review,  Trees Adventure Dwellingup With Kids here.

Yanchep Lagoon is another great place to spend a few hours.  Check it out at Best Beaches In Western Australia.

Places To Eat In Yanchep National Park

Maybe the best thing to do when visiting Yanchep is to pack a picnic.  There is also a cafe that sells coffee, ice-cream, and chocolates, as well as a visitor center.

The Best Perth Day Trips

Where Should I Base Myself 

If you are based in Perth and planning to do these day trips from Perth, check out our Best Hotels In Perth For Families post.  There you will find plenty of Perth accommodation recommendations for every budget.

When To Visit Perth Western Australia

Each one of these places is fantastic for a day trip or a weekend getaway in Western Australia.  If at all possible we would avoid visiting during the peak Christmas and New Year period.  Accommodation is full, and the things that make these places such special places to visit are less attractive!

Also, Perth has a long, hot, dry summer, starting in November and cooling down in March.  You will find periods of time in January and February where the temperature is in excess of 40 degrees ( F) for 4-5 days in a row.  During these times you need to look for indoor activities to do as the sun is very hot.  February has an average temperature of 30 degrees (F) but as the children have gone back to school there are a lot fewer people at most attractions

We believe that the best months to visit are September and October, and then March through May.  The wettest months are June, July, and August.  While the coolest month is July, with an average temperature of 18 degrees.

One of the best seasons to visit Perth is the wildflower season, which is spring in the southern hemisphere.  While it depends on the season (and factors such as rain) the best month to visit the wildflowers is in late August, September, and early October.  The months also make a great time for the best day trips Perth with kids.  If you are interested in wildflowers, read our Where To Find The Best Wildflowers In Western Australia.

Self Drive Day Trips From Perth

Why do we recommend taking self-drive day trips from Perth?  Firstly, while Perth is a large city, the roadways are well organized and easy to drive.  Road users in Perth tend to be respectful and follow the rules, meaning that as long as you also follow standard international road rules

When you do a self-drive trip there is so much flexibility to create your own DIY Perth self-drive itinerary.

Three of our top tips about hiring a car in Western Australia:

1.  In Australia choose the full to full policy.

Most rentals in Australia come with a full tank of gas.  The expectation is that you will return the rental back to a full tank before returning the car.  Make sure you ask the rental agency about this policy in advance.

Be warned, if you return the car with less than a full tank you will be charged a hefty fee per liter to refuel.  Save yourself the hassle (and money) and fill it up before you return it.

Self Drive Day Trips From Perth
A rental car we had in Far North Queensland.

2.  Make sure your rental has unlimited miles.

Make sure you are choosing a rental that comes with unlimited miles.  You definitely don’t want the stress of having to keep track of how many miles you have used and how many you have left.  Having a car with unlimited miles gives you the maximum freedom to be able to explore Perth and the surrounding areas at your leisure.  Not having to worry about miles makes day trips from Perth with kids much more enjoyable.

3.  Don’t speed.

There are many speed cameras throughout Australia that enforce the speed limits.  Be mindful of your speed so that you don’t get caught by one of these cameras.  If you do get snapped, the ticket will be sent to the car rental agency who will then turn to you for payment.  Save yourself the trouble and potential embarrassment and pay attention to local speed limits.

day trips from Perth by Car

Are These Day Around Perth Doable With Kids

I’ll be honest with you; the less time your kids sit in the car, the happier they will be.  So the best Perth Day trips with kids are the ones that have lower traveling times.  The Perth Hills or Swan Valley are ideal spots (and with wineries for the parents and natural playgrounds amongst the Orchards).  We also think that a great Perth day trip with kids is to Penguin Island.  It is sure to tick all the boxes for your family.

There are also a lot of amazing Perth with kids activities around the city.  We would recommend checking out Things To Do In Perth With Kids to get a good idea of how we suggest getting the best out of your holiday.

  The Best Perth Day Trips

The Best Perth Day Trips – The Verdict

There is so much to see and do in and around Perth.  From beaches to animals, to wineries, to National Parks there is something to keep the whole family entertained.  We hope you have enjoyed our short trips from Perth recommendations.  Do you have any other day trips from Perth you’d like to share?  If so, please leave us a comment below!

If you are traveling around Western Australia, check out our recommended books below.  They are tops for traveling planning, information, and ideas.

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The Best Perth Day Trips


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