Those who have visited or are thinking of visiting Western Australia’s amazing capital will no doubt know about its main attractions.
You’ll know you can picnic in Kings Park, snap a selfie with a quokka at Rottnest Island, watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean at iconic Cottesloe Beach, and climb the Bell Tower at Elizabeth Quay.
But if you think you’ve ‘been there, done that’, here are seven unique things to do in Perth that may not be on your travel radar. Book your stay with Choice Hotels.
1. Climb up and zip down Matagarup Bridge
Perth’s Matagarup Bridge was completed in 2018 and will soon host a combined bridge climb and zipline experience high above the Swan River! Connecting East Perth and Burswood, the pedestrian suspension bridge is 72 metres in height. Bridge climb tours are available now, and the climb up the 314 steps is not for the faint-hearted. But the reward for that exertion is stunning city views from the Skyview Deck viewing platform.
The zipline component is coming soon, and will give climbers the chance to make a speedy descent to the ground at 75 kilometres per hour! Check zipclimb.com.au for updates.
2. Learn about Aboriginal culture, language and stories on Whadjuk Country
Enrich your understanding of Indigenous culture on Whadjuk Country with a walk with the lands Traditional Owners. Kerry-Ann Winmar is a Whadjuk Nyungar woman, traditional owner, and founder of Nyungar Tours. Join her on a walking cultural tour of Kings Park or the South Perth foreshore, to view Aboriginal artefacts, see significant cultural sites, hear traditional stories, and learn about the area’s bush foods and medicines.
3. Watch sport from above
Those who love sport can literally take their viewing enjoyment to the next level at Halo. This rooftop tour of Optus Stadium gives guests the opportunity to take in a sporting event and breathtaking views of the city from the highest seats in the house – 42 metres above ground level. Along with the 78-step climb to the roof, the two-hour experience will include a behind-the-scenes look at how the stadium operates on game day, information about the stadium’s construction, and – for the more daring – the chance to lean out from the stadium roof over the ground below (while securely harnessed!) for a thrilling photo.
4. Go for a gondola ride on the Swan
When you think of a gondola ride, you’re probably not picturing gliding along with the city of Perth skyline in view. Think again! Departing from Elizabeth Quay, Gondolas on the Swan are bringing a little bit of Venice to Western Australia by offering 30-minute and one-hour cruises in a Venetian gondola. Sit back and relax amongst plush velvet cushions and drapes, accompanied by the sound of the mandolin, as your gondolier takes you and your significant other for a romantic ride down the river
5. Swim with sea lions at Carnac Island
Carnac Island, sitting just ten kilometres off the coast, is often overlooked by visitors due to the popularity of its neighbour, Rottnest Island. It’s an A-class nature reserve, and while you may not want to venture too far onto the island itself due to its healthy tiger snake population (David Attenborough filmed a BBC documentary about them in 2009), the waters surrounding the island provide an excellent opportunity to interact with some friendlier inhabitants.
Sea lions love nothing more than to frolic about in these crystal-clear waters, putting on a show for visitors. Hop aboard Charter 1’s catamaran during the summer months, for their half-day sailing adventure. It includes morning tea and the chance to swim, snorkel, kayak and paddleboard alongside these playful pups of the ocean.
6. Pedal on water
Biking on land is an established holiday pastime in Perth, but biking on water? Yes, you read that right. For a different day out, experience water biking on the Swan River. Pedal on a bike mounted on two floats and see some of the city’s best sights from the water, including Elizabeth Quay, Optus Stadium, Kings Park and the Old Brewery. The Perth Waterbike Company, located on the South Perth foreshore, offers a range of regular and bespoke tours, including the ‘Pedal and Picnic’, the ‘Fun and Fitness Pedal’, and the ‘Sunset, Bubbles and Brew Pedal’. Alternatively, Perth Waterbike Adventures at the iconic Blue Boathouse runs a tour around Matilda Bay. You can also head out on your own and try to spot dolphins and other marine life. It’s even possible to pedal your way around Rottnest Island.
7. Harvest your own pearl
While the pearl farms of Broome are 2,000+ kilometres from Perth, they come to you at Willie Creek Pearl’s showroom in Elizabeth Quay. Do a 60-minute Pearl Master Class, where you’ll get an exclusive insight into the history and modern day practices of pearling, and the opportunity to watch a live pearl harvest. Or take it a step further and harvest your own! You’ll get to try pearl meat with a glass of sparkling, and the pearl you find is yours to take home.
Need a place to stay?
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About the writer
Bonita Grima is a Perth-based freelance travel writer with a background in television and radio production in Australia and the United Kingdom. She believes travel to be a powerful tool that can challenge, inspire, educate and encourage empathy by providing a window into the worlds of others. After years of living and exploring overseas, she is now back in Perth, rediscovering and enjoying the Western Australian lifestyle and all that it offers.