Perth is considered one of the world's most isolated cities. Located in southwestern Australia, it's more than 2,000 miles west of Australia's biggest city, Sydney. Despite its remote location, Perth is the country's fourth-largest city and has an abundance of nightlife, natural beauty, and activities for visitors to enjoy. Perth Airport is also turning into a travel hub, with many airlines flying direct between the city and Europe. This allows travelers to add Perth to their Australian itinerary and explore the city's many attractions.
One of Perth's cutest inhabitants is the quokka, where they are easily found on Rottnest Island, just a 90-minute ferry ride from Perth. These friendly, furry marsupials have never learned to fear humans and are known to approach visitors. Although handling quokkas is prohibited, it's common for them to get close enough to photobomb your selfies. Once you've had your fill of cuteness, there are plenty of other activities available on Rottnest Island: Kayaking, snorkeling, walking tours, and plenty of restaurants are available to explore.
The Swan River runs through Perth to Fremantle, and a cruise along this stretch lets you see many of Perth's sights, including Swan Brewery, Kings Park, and the spire of the Bell Tower. You're also likely to see the city's iconic black swans floating on the water. Many cruises include lunch and a wine tasting before dropping you off at Fremantle. While in the port city, visit the Shipwreck Galleries for some insight into local maritime history or find the perfect cup of coffee on Cappuccino Strip.
Kings Park is nearly 1,000 acres of lush green landscape overlooking the Swan River. Two-thirds of the park is protected bushland, so it's a great place to see Australia's native plants. Many walkways meander through the vegetation, including the Lotterywest Federation Parkway, which is 50 feet in the air and allows you to walk among the eucalyptus leaves. Western Australia is home to around 12,500 species of wildflower; if you visit Kings Park between September and November, you'll see many of them in bloom.
Australia is famous for its beaches, and Perth has some of the best in the country. The crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming, and visitors rarely have to fight crowds for a good spot. Just 20 minutes from the city, Cottesloe Beach is a local favorite known for water sports and dolphin-spotting. Bailey Beach is a hidden gem that has a small reef, so remember your snorkeling gear. If you want to surf, try wild and wonderful Trigg Beach or take your board out to Rottnest or Penguin Islands.
Heirisson Island is located in the Swan River, in the middle of the city. It's connected to Perth by a road, so there's no need to get in a boat to visit. The island is a nature reserve where you can spot koalas and parrots as you wander around its 1.2-mile walking path. One of the best reasons to visit is to see the western grey kangaroos, which live in a sanctuary at the southern end of the island.
Perth's nightlife is as quirky and laid-back as the rest of the city. Trendy drinking spots are tucked away in laneways, perched on rooftops, and dotted along the coastline. Whether you prefer a craft beer, smooth whiskey, or colorful cocktail, you can find a bar that suits your taste. If you want to sample them all, join a tour so a local can show you the best spots.
There are many spots to cast a line in Perth, whether you're an experienced fisherman or still looking to catch your first fish. You can fish off the jetties in Lancelin and Rottnest Island, or hire a charter for a deep-sea experience. The salmon run occurs in March and April, where keen anglers can try to hook one from the beach at Rockingham. If you want to try catching shellfish, Perth also has mussels, crayfish, and crabs in its clear waters.
Less than 30 minutes north of Perth is Swan Valley, Western Australia's oldest wine region. A 20-mile loop takes you past many of the area's 40 wineries, and plenty of tours that will give you local insight. Swan Valley also has excellent food, and you can buy cheese, honey, and nuts direct from the producers. If you want a break from wineries, Caversham Wildlife Park is in the region, where you can hand-feed kangaroos and have your photo taken with koalas, wombats, and more.
It's easy to encounter amazing sea life in the Indian Ocean, which stretches out to the west of Perth. The waters host the largest whale migration in the Southern Hemisphere, and humpback and blue whales swim past in spring and fall. If you'd prefer getting close to dolphins, try swimming with them in the protected bays of Rockingham. Perth is also home to colonies of penguins and seals, found at the fittingly named Seal and Penguin Islands.
If you want to explore on foot, Perth has many great walking trails to try. There are coastal walks at many beaches, including Rockingham and Mosman Park, while Perth City and Elizabeth Quay have street art and murals to explore. If you prefer to wander around the shops, check out the Murray and Hay Street Malls or explore the quirky, independent outlets in Fremantle and Northbridge. For a close look at native bushland, try Perth Hills Eagle View Walk, a 9-mile loop that provides views across the city and ocean.