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Best Things To Do in Perth

The best things to do in Perth run the gamut from natural attractions to historical and cultural sites. There's the expansive Kings Park & Botanic Garden, filled with native plants and flowers, wide swaths of green grass, and beautiful lookouts and walking paths, and there's also the Perth Mint with its historical exhibits and gold-pouring demonstrations. The Swan River is a picturesque place to walk beside or cruise upon, on your way to eclectic communities like Fremantle and districts like Elizabeth Quay. Or you can splash in the waves at the nearby Cottesloe Beach. A handful of diverse museums, such as Scitech and the Art Gallery of Western Australia, also earn high marks. 

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Perth

Free
According to visitors, Kings Park & Botanic Garden can hold its own among the world's best parks – including Central Park in New York, El Retiro in Madrid and Stanley Park in Vancouver. Not only do the park's various sections feature more than 3,000 varieties of trees and plants, from red-flowering gum trees in the Fraser Avenue Precinct to bushland-specific flora, fauna and fungi, but there are also playgrounds, playing fields, cafes and picnic areas. What's more, the park's Rio Tinto Naturescape, due to open in 2018, will feature a creek for paddling, a rock pool for wading, and rock climbing and scrambling spaces too.
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Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Kings Park & Botanic Garden
According to visitors, Kings Park & Botanic Garden can hold its own among the world's best parks – including Central Park in New York, El Retiro in Madrid and Stanley Park in Vancouver. Not only do the park's various sections feature more than 3,000 varieties of trees and plants, from red-flowering gum trees in the Fraser Avenue Precinct to bushland-specific flora, fauna and fungi, but there are also playgrounds, playing fields, cafes and picnic areas. What's more, the park's Rio Tinto Naturescape, due to open in 2018, will feature a creek for paddling, a rock pool for wading, and rock climbing and scrambling spaces too.
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#2

#2 in Perth

Free
Located less than 10 miles southwest of central Perth, Cottesloe Beach – with its lifeguards, clean sands and clear waters – is one of the area's most popular shorelines, especially among families. But kids aren't the only ones who enjoy Cottesloe. Breathtaking sunsets and a collection of neighboring pubs make it a prime spot for adult travelers too. Stretching for nearly a mile from Mudurup Rocks to the southern rocks of Swanbourne Beach, Cottesloe is also a popular swimming, snorkeling and surfing spot (it boasts consistent waves perfect for body boarding).
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Beaches Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Cottesloe Beach
Located less than 10 miles southwest of central Perth, Cottesloe Beach – with its lifeguards, clean sands and clear waters – is one of the area's most popular shorelines, especially among families. But kids aren't the only ones who enjoy Cottesloe. Breathtaking sunsets and a collection of neighboring pubs make it a prime spot for adult travelers too. Stretching for nearly a mile from Mudurup Rocks to the southern rocks of Swanbourne Beach, Cottesloe is also a popular swimming, snorkeling and surfing spot (it boasts consistent waves perfect for body boarding).
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#3

#3 in Perth

Free
As its name suggests, the Kings Park State War Memorial – a set of several different structures that honor Australians for their service and sacrifice across history – is located in Kings Park & Botanical Garden. The nearly 60-foot granite cenotaph honors all fallen Western Australians with bronze plaques etched with the names of nearly 4,000 Australians who died during World War II, as well as those who lost their lives in conflicts that followed. Along the western side of the memorial area, visitors will find the Court of Contemplation and the Pool of Reflection, which is lit by the continuously burning Flame of Remembrance, signifying the promise to remember the fallen.  
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Monuments and Memorials Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Kings Park State War Memorial
As its name suggests, the Kings Park State War Memorial – a set of several different structures that honor Australians for their service and sacrifice across history – is located in Kings Park & Botanical Garden. The nearly 60-foot granite cenotaph honors all fallen Western Australians with bronze plaques etched with the names of nearly 4,000 Australians who died during World War II, as well as those who lost their lives in conflicts that followed. Along the western side of the memorial area, visitors will find the Court of Contemplation and the Pool of Reflection, which is lit by the continuously burning Flame of Remembrance, signifying the promise to remember the fallen.  
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#4

#4 in Perth

In the late 17th century, Dutch explorer William de Vlamingh saw this sunny island's hordes of quokkas (think small kangaroos) and thought they were rats, so he named the island, Rotte nest, literally "rats nest." Along with snapping selfies with the quokkas, the island is a great place for swimming and snorkeling, hiking on the Wadjemup Bidi trails, or relaxing on one of its 63 beaches, including the most popular, The Basin and Salmon Bay. 
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Hiking Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Rottnest Island
In the late 17th century, Dutch explorer William de Vlamingh saw this sunny island's hordes of quokkas (think small kangaroos) and thought they were rats, so he named the island, Rotte nest, literally "rats nest." Along with snapping selfies with the quokkas, the island is a great place for swimming and snorkeling, hiking on the Wadjemup Bidi trails, or relaxing on one of its 63 beaches, including the most popular, The Basin and Salmon Bay. 
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#5

#5 in Perth

Free
Whether you walk or bike beside it to reach Elizabeth Quay or float along on a boat to the port city of Fremantle, some time spent in or around Swan River is a must. Featuring both footpaths and cycle ways, as well as numerous river cruises from companies like Captain Cook Cruises, Swan River is a picturesque way to view the city and reach its numerous things to do. Visitors can also rent paddleboards from Funcats, kayaks from Rivergods and bikes from About Bike Hire for use in and around Swan River. 
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Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Swan River
Whether you walk or bike beside it to reach Elizabeth Quay or float along on a boat to the port city of Fremantle, some time spent in or around Swan River is a must. Featuring both footpaths and cycle ways, as well as numerous river cruises from companies like Captain Cook Cruises, Swan River is a picturesque way to view the city and reach its numerous things to do. Visitors can also rent paddleboards from Funcats, kayaks from Rivergods and bikes from About Bike Hire for use in and around Swan River. 
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#6

#6 in Perth

Free
Just about 25 miles north of Perth along the Swan River are the vine-draped hills of the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail. This 20-mile trail loops the state's oldest wine region. In fact, wines have flowed this swath of the country since 1834. These days, it's best known for its chenin blanc, verdelho, shiraz and petit verdot found at wineries, such as Pinelli Estate Wines and Faber Vineyard, among several dozen others.
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Tours Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail
Just about 25 miles north of Perth along the Swan River are the vine-draped hills of the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail. This 20-mile trail loops the state's oldest wine region. In fact, wines have flowed this swath of the country since 1834. These days, it's best known for its chenin blanc, verdelho, shiraz and petit verdot found at wineries, such as Pinelli Estate Wines and Faber Vineyard, among several dozen others.
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#7

#7 in Perth

Free
St. Mary's Cathedral is the short name for the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which rises high on a hilltop in East Perth. Since construction first began on the church back in 1865, it has undergone several repairs and expansion efforts. 
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Churches/Religious Sites Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
St. Mary's Cathedral
St. Mary's Cathedral is the short name for the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which rises high on a hilltop in East Perth. Since construction first began on the church back in 1865, it has undergone several repairs and expansion efforts. 
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#8

#8 in Perth

Free
Founded in 1895, the Art Gallery of Western Australia contains a trove of paintings and sculptures, prints, installations, craft and more. Its permanent collection contains upward of 17,000 pieces and receives the most acclaim for its focus on indigenous and nonindigenous Western Australian artists. The gallery also showcases a rotating roster of traveling exhibits. 
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Founded in 1895, the Art Gallery of Western Australia contains a trove of paintings and sculptures, prints, installations, craft and more. Its permanent collection contains upward of 17,000 pieces and receives the most acclaim for its focus on indigenous and nonindigenous Western Australian artists. The gallery also showcases a rotating roster of traveling exhibits. 
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#9

#9 in Perth

When the weather won't cooperate and you're forced inside, head to Scitech, a nonprofit science museum geared to curious minds of all ages, from young children to adults. Along with a handful of temporary exhibits, Scitech's permanent exhibits include a puppet theater and an interactive science lab, as well as a planetarium. The museum also puts on science shows and hosts science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshops.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Scitech
When the weather won't cooperate and you're forced inside, head to Scitech, a nonprofit science museum geared to curious minds of all ages, from young children to adults. Along with a handful of temporary exhibits, Scitech's permanent exhibits include a puppet theater and an interactive science lab, as well as a planetarium. The museum also puts on science shows and hosts science, technology, engineering and mathematics workshops.
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#10

#10 in Perth

The Perth Mint offers visitors a rare glimpse at lots and lots of gold – tourists can even handle $700,000 worth of it. The mint's exhibits walk through Western Australia's history with gold discovery and showcase everything from natural gold nuggets to the largest gold coin ever made (it weighs a ton). During the tours, a guide will lead you through the mint's vaults and demonstrate an actual gold pouring, all the while telling you stories about gold mining legends. 
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
The Perth Mint
The Perth Mint offers visitors a rare glimpse at lots and lots of gold – tourists can even handle $700,000 worth of it. The mint's exhibits walk through Western Australia's history with gold discovery and showcase everything from natural gold nuggets to the largest gold coin ever made (it weighs a ton). During the tours, a guide will lead you through the mint's vaults and demonstrate an actual gold pouring, all the while telling you stories about gold mining legends. 
... more

#11

#11 in Perth

To view animals ranging from Goodfellow's tree-kangaroos to Australian tarantulas, as well as creatures from other corners of the world – Bolivian squirrel monkeys, African lions and Asian small-clawed otters – the Perth Zoo is the place to go. Along with its diverse collection of animals, the zoo also hosts daily "Walks and Talks" in which staff members provide an in-depth, up close overview of select animals, such as elephants, Tasmanian devils and penguins. To get a more intimate look at the zoo's residents, consider booking one of its Close Encounters, which allows visitors to interact with animals, such as giraffes, orangutans and rhinos (for an extra fee). 
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Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Perth Zoo
To view animals ranging from Goodfellow's tree-kangaroos to Australian tarantulas, as well as creatures from other corners of the world – Bolivian squirrel monkeys, African lions and Asian small-clawed otters – the Perth Zoo is the place to go. Along with its diverse collection of animals, the zoo also hosts daily "Walks and Talks" in which staff members provide an in-depth, up close overview of select animals, such as elephants, Tasmanian devils and penguins. To get a more intimate look at the zoo's residents, consider booking one of its Close Encounters, which allows visitors to interact with animals, such as giraffes, orangutans and rhinos (for an extra fee). 
... more
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