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How to Spend 5 Days in Perth, Australia

How to Spend 5 Days in Perth, Australia

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Heading to Perth for a 5-day holiday? Well, you’re in luck, I just so happen to be a Perth local! 

There is really so much to do in this city (I’m not just saying that because I’m from there) so it can be difficult figuring out how to use your time best. 

That’s why I put together this ideal 5-day itinerary to help you see the best sights of the city and surrounding areas. Explore the quaint and quirky neighborhoods, eat amazing food, and most importantly, enjoy the beach! I’ve also included my two favorite day trips that I consider to be essential Perth activities. 

Don’t stress about your holiday, just follow your local guide (that’s me!).

Day 1

Morning – Explore Kings Park

Bailey walks along the Lotterywest Federation Walkway through the treetops in Kings Park, Perth
Lotterywest Federation Walkway!
View from Kings Park of the city of Perth
Kings Park is gorgeous!

We are going to kick off this 5 day Perth itinerary by exploring the most notable attraction in the city – Kings Park! Kings Park is one of the largest city parks in the world, even bigger than London’s Hyde Park or even NYC’s Central Park. So it’s no wonder we allotted the entire morning to explore, there is simply too much to do!

Now, as a Perth local, I’ve covered every corner of Kings Park. However, my favorite area is the Botanic Garden! There are over 3,000 species of native flora, and much of it can only be found in Western Australia. I also love that the park sits next to the Swan River, so it truly feels like an outdoor escape. 

The Bushland Nature Trail is another fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and learn a bit of Western Australia’s history. The trail loops around the park and takes about 25 minutes to complete. Along the way, you’ll see memorials and statues, such as the State War Memorial, Flame of Remembrance, and Whispering Wall. There are informational signs next to these sites that help tie everything together.

As you’re wandering around, you might run into the massive spiral staircase – it’s pretty hard to miss. DNA Tower is 101 steps to the top, and I love climbing up here to get an aerial view of the park (after I catch my breath of course!). It truly shows how big the park is, and you can see the Swan River on one side and the city on the other. 

A unique way to cover some ground is by taking this segway tour of Kings Park! Your legs will thank you later, as you can see so much more and learn about it from your guide, all while riding a segway – how fun! This tour departs at 10:30 am and lasts for 1.5 hours, which gives you plenty of time to stroll around the park before the tour and finish up in time for lunch. With over 100 5-star reviews, I’d say it’s well worth the $129 AUD!

What we really love about Kings Park is how anyone can enjoy it. There are some awesome playgrounds, but the Rio Tinto Naturescape is a favorite of kiddos! It’s like a natural playground with rocks to climb and creeks to wade through. 

Finally, if you’re in town during the summer (November to April) you can catch one of their famous summer events. From markets to live music, there is a ton going on here. Check the event calendar here to see if you can find anything fun! Regardless of all that you do, you can easily spend a few hours at Kings Park, so enjoy a leisurely morning exploring.

Lunch – Fraser’s restaurant Kings Park

After a few hours of exploring, we were ready for a break! Luckily, you don’t have to go far because Fraser’s restaurant is located right in Kings Park. Another bonus is its upmarket ambiance and incredible food, so prepare yourself for something luxurious on day one!

Inside has a cozy yet modern design, but we chose to sit on the massive patio to enjoy the sunny day. From here you can see the city, the Swan River, and Kings Park – we loved taking in the views. They also have a huge wine selection, so if you’re a wine-o like us, I say go for it you’re on vacation! 

You really can’t choose wrong in terms of menu offerings, in fact, we had a hard time deciding because it all looked so good. The pork cutlet with chimichurri was a standout, as was the snapper! They also have lots of chargrilled filet options that would pair nicely with that huge wine offering, but that was a bit heavy for us at lunch. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to come back for dinner another time!

Fraser’s is open daily from 11:30 am to late, so it’s the perfect time for lunch with a view. 

Afternoon – Visit one of Perth’s Best Beaches

Cottesloe Beach, Perth at sunset
Cottesloe Beach, Perth is one of my personal favorites!

As one of the sunniest places in Australia, it’s only fitting to hit a beach while here! This is actually one of our favorite things to do in Perth (we have a full list of other activities here!), and it’s super accessible from the city. Our favorite beach, Cottesloe Beach, is only 20 minutes from Kings Park, so that’s where we recommend visiting for the afternoon! The easiest way to get from Kings Park to the beach is to catch an Uber, it shouldn’t be too expensive.

Perth locals love Cottesloe Beach because of its gorgeous clear water and famously soft sand (I’m not kidding, it’s crazy soft). We can spend hours here, simply relaxing on the sand or swimming and snorkeling. There are a ton of fish visible in the clear water and you might even see dolphins! We’ve found that snorkeling is best around the surf club, so I recommend starting here. 

Cottesloe is a popular spot for sunset, and there are a handful of restaurants along the beach. So you don’t even have to go far if you get peckish! Bring your beach towels and some sunscreen (especially if you aren’t used to Australia’s harsh sun) and spend the afternoon relaxing in the sand.

It is also famous for its Sculpture by the Sea event every March. I must say, it’s quite impressive to see giant sculptures all around the beach, so if you’re in town be sure to check it out!

If you’re looking for even more beach options, you won’t be in short supply here! Scarborough Beach is often argued as the best in Perth, great for surfing, and less crowded than others. Trigg Beach is the closest to downtown and another epic surf spot (see a theme here?) and Coogee Beach was named one of Australia’s best beaches!

Sunset/dinner – Get fish and chips

Bailey enjoys fish and chips at Coogee Beach, Perth
Fish and chips at the beach are something Australians love!

People always talk about dinner with a view, so get right up close to the views with a fish and chips picnic! This is a classic Australian activity and was one of my favorite childhood memories. Heck, it’s still one of my favorite things to do as an adult! 

Cottesloe Beach is famous for splitting a platter of fish and chips while taking in those sunset views from the grassy area that overlooks the beach. We always hit Amberjacks for fish and chips, which is located in the main area of Cottesloe. Grab your food to go and head to the grass, you won’t be the only people enjoying this tradition!

If you’re in the mood for something a bit nicer, Indigo Oscar is another fantastic option right on the beach. They make amazing seafood with a Latin twist, such as classic fish tacos and fresh-shucked oysters to swordfish ceviche. Oh, and the giant ocean-facing windows give for amazing sunset views too! Indigo Oscar’s is open every day except Monday until 12 am. 

Day 2

Morning – Swim with wild dolphins

Three dolphins swim in the water in front of us on the dolphin swim in Perth
They get so close!
Bailey climbs out of the water during the dolphin swim in Perth, WA
It was so cool!

Today’s activity might be the coolest one we have on this itinerary (okay, I might say that a few more times). But the first time we went swimming with wild dolphins was such a memorable experience, whenever I have friends in town I insist they do this!

We joined this dolphin swimming day trip and it made the whole thing a breeze. You can choose to have them pick you up from Perth or drive yourself to Rockingham, about 40 minutes south of the city. They provided all of the snorkel equipment and a wetsuit, and we cruised around the bay until we found a pod of dolphins. Then we jumped in and snorkeled – which was simply incredible! 

This experience is special for a lot of reasons, but most notable is the company’s care and passion for the dolphins. They’ve actually made friends with a pod throughout the years, and have gotten to know individual dolphins’ personalities and behaviors. So as we were swimming, the crew pointed out their nicknames and fun facts about each dolphin, it truly took this experience to the next level!

They also provide a huge seafood lunch, which hits the spot after all that snorkeling. This tour takes off in the morning, but you will be back in Perth around 2:30 pm if you select the option that includes transportation. This wild dolphin swimming experience is $339 AUD per person, and it’s so epic that I think it’s worth every penny!

Afternoon – Wander around Fremantle

The main street called Market Street in Fremantle, WA
Fremantle is one of Perth’s favorite suburbs!

If you prefer cute small towns over big cities, you’re in luck. Fremantle is just that and it feels like you’re far away from Perth, but it’s only a 25-minute drive away! This quaint port city is made up of charming buildings, markets, locally owned shops, and lots of unique history. I grew up not too far from Fremantle (Freo, as we locals say) and I have a full list of fun things to do here.

Since you only have the afternoon and evening here, I’ll try to narrow down my “can’t-miss” activities. If you’re in the mood for exploring the city, be sure to stop by the Fremantle Markets, which is made up of 150 vendor stalls selling all sorts of goodies. My personal favorites are the food stalls (surprise, surprise) so grab some gelato at Gelatissimo or a burger at Smash Grill.

You can also explore High Street, which is full of boutique shops, restaurants, and art galleries. I love the Japingka Aboriginal Art Gallery because it’s all Aboriginal artists and techniques, so it holds a lot of authentic Australian history. I think it’s a beautiful and necessary part of exploring WA, and this art gallery does a great job of highlighting the artists. 

But if you’re craving a bit more beach time, we love Bathers Beach! You can rent a lounge here and relax in the sun, or cool off in the gorgeous water, it’s also the perfect sunset-watching spot. South Fremantle is another popular beach to explore, especially if you’re craving more fish and chips! Pick up dinner at Sealanes and enjoy another fish and chips picnic at South Beach, it won’t disappoint!

Remember how I mentioned unique history? Well, the Roundhouse is the oldest public building in all of Western Australia and was used as a prison from 1831 to 1886 – it’s so old! Although I think the famous Fremantle Prison is a little more interesting to explore, and it was actually built by convicts!

Really, there is so much to explore in Fremantle, I’m sure you won’t have trouble finding something interesting!

Dinner – Dinner in Fremantle

The National Hotel in Fremantle, WA
Imagine having dinner and drinks on the rooftop at the National Hotel!

For being a relatively small town, Fremantle has a ton of restaurants to choose from. You certainly won’t go hungry while hanging out here! To help you choose, I’ll try to narrow down my top three places to eat. 

The National Hotel tops the list because of its historic charm and rooftop views. This place is a staple in Fremantle, so dinner here is a must! There are actually three levels to their restaurant, but we recommend heading to the rooftop, especially if you’re dining around sunset. They make great burgers and I personally love the chicken parmigiana, and the cocktails are the real highlight!

We also love the vibe at Tonic + Ginger with these gorgeous lights that hang from the ceiling. They specialize in Asian fusion dishes and they make some really unique creations! All their dishes are made for sharing, so this is great if you’re with a group. If you are really hungry you can try the Feed Me Feast for $74 AUD per person and they will choose the plates for you!

Lions and Tigers has some seriously good South-Asian cuisine. A lot of their dishes are Indian fusion, so if you love dal, chutney, masala, and more – you’ll love this place! The atmosphere is modern and lively, and the staff has always been wonderful when I’ve been in. It’s a great place to get the party started!

Night – Go for drinks in Fremantle

A cocktail at Darling Darling
Photo credit: Darling, Darling
A cocktail at Darling Darling bar in Fremantle
Photo credit: Darling, Darling

Fremantle has some of the best nightlife scenes in Perth, so it’s no coincidence that we are wrapping up our day here!

There is something for everyone here, whether you’re looking for a chill night out or something a bit more lively. Freo.Social is a huge music venue with a fantastic outdoor area – there’s always something fun happening here. We also love stopping by Jungle Bird, I mean who doesn’t love a tiki rum bar!? They make great cocktails and Caribbean jerk chicken, but the overall aesthetic is simply fun.

Darling, Darling is another local favorite spot and is a bit of a hidden gem. It’s decorated like a pirate ship, dark and cozy with candlelight and ropes hanging on the walls. They make great cocktails, and also serve beer and peanuts that you throw on the floor! 

Perhaps the most fun, most lively place to hit is the Flight Club, Fremantle’s dart bar. You read that right, darts are making a swift comeback and it is actually such a fun spot. It’s actually quite large and has an old-fashioned theme, people love this place so it’s usually pretty busy! If you fancy a game, you and your friends can reserve a dart area that has your own dart board, tables, and couches so you can just hang out.

They also have a bar with a great cocktail menu, as well as a full kitchen. I couldn’t believe how good of a time this place was, whether you’re throwing darts or just watching. They are open until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 1 am Friday and Saturday. 

Day 3

Day trip to the Pinnacles

Bailey stands by a pinnacle in Australia
Some are really tall!
A tall pinnacle in Nambung National Park
There are so many, it’s pretty crazy to see!

I hope you didn’t stay out too late last night because we have a full-day tour today! Luckily, it doesn’t take off until noon, but you’ll still want to be rested up enough to enjoy a day trip to the Pinnacles!

The Pinnacles are a crazy geological sight to see – thousands of limestone pillars standing in the desert. Some even reach 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) tall, but because they sit on shifting sand dunes, their height can change. No one knows exactly how the Pinnacles were formed, but we do know that they hold significance for Aboriginal culture and were a sacred place for the  Noongar women. 

Visiting the Pinnacles is a popular day trip from Perth, as it is only 188 kilometers (116 miles) and takes about 2 hours to drive. While you can drive this yourself, I highly recommend taking this guided tour for your first visit. Why? There are some epic experiences that are only available with a tour!

The highlight of visiting the Pinnacles is going late enough to stargaze! Because of its remote location and desert climate, the stargazing here is unreal. This is one of the best stargazing spots I’ve ever seen, even compared to the world-famous locations in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand, and Banff, Canada. We chose to take a tour because we knew we’d be getting back late, and we really didn’t want to drive two hours in the dark (especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area and wildlife).

But, I’m getting ahead of myself – this tour takes off with plenty of time before dark! They provide hotel pick-up from Perth, and you will head to the Lancelin Sand Dunes for perhaps the most fun experience of the day. We strapped on boards and road down the dunes for sandboarding! If you’ve never experienced sandboarding, you’re in for a great time, it’s serious fun.

Astro shot at the The Pinnacles Desert north of Perth, WA
This place looks like another plant at night!

The next stop depends on the time of year you take this trip. If it’s during wildflower season (mid-August to November) you’ll hit Nilgen Lookout to see a slew of gorgeous wildflowers. Other times of the year you’ll visit Hangover Bay (maybe it’s fitting after last night in Fremantle!), which is another scenic area to explore. 

Soon enough, we reached the Pinnacles with time to gawk at these massive stones jutting out of the ground. I was glad we had our guides to tell us the fascinating history and mysterious geology. We also feasted on a barbeque dinner in the desert, and I don’t know what was more memorable, the landscape or the food!

We enjoyed the sunset and settled in for stargazing. Our guides told legends and Aboriginal lore of the stars. It was a pretty magical experience! 

We thought this was an epic way to spend a day in Perth – the Pinnacles are iconic, you simply can’t miss them! This full-day tour goes pretty late and includes transportation, dinner, national park fees, and your info-filled guide. It’s also capped at 16 people, which is a great group size. All of this for only $185 AUD is a pretty good deal if you ask me. 

It’s also important to note that this is one of the most popular experiences in Perth, so if you wait to book, you’ll probably have trouble getting a spot on the tour. 

Related Read: Another one of our favorite day trips is wine tasting in Swan Valley! Here is everything you need to know about booking a Swan Valley wine tour before you go!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

Day 4

Morning – Visit a museum or two

The Perth Mint, Western Australia
The Perth Mint, Western Australia

By day 4 of exploring a city, I’m usually pretty wiped! So today we are going to have a nice leisure day but still see some iconic Perth sites. There are actually a lot of great museums in Perth, from natural history to the gold museum, and even a video game museum, there really is something for everyone. 

All of these museums are in the central Perth area, so you can easily hit a few. While you might not have time or stamina to visit all of the museums, pick out a few of your favorites and spend the morning learning all about Perth!

Art Gallery of WA 

The Art Gallery of WA is the best art museum in the city. It holds the Start Art Collection and pieces from local and international artists. It ranges from contemporary to classical art, and the historic building is a piece of art in itself! The museum is free to enter and we usually spend 1-2 hours here, depending on how much of an art enthusiast you are!

The Art Gallery of WA is located in the cultural center of Perth.

Perth Cultural Center and WA Museum Boola Bardip 

Just a two-minute walk from the Art Gallery, you’ll find the Perth Cultural Center! I wasn’t kidding when I said this was the cultural hub of Perth. This area has lots of museums, theaters, and the State Library. However, the Cultural Center itself always has some sort of program, event, or festival happening, or you can check out the public artwork around. 

If you’re traveling with kids, there is also a great play area here with sensory-based toys like wood carvings, spinning wheels, and natural colors.

One of my favorite museums in the city is located right in the Cultural Center. The WA Museum Boola Bardip (which means “many stories’ in the Whadjuk Noongar language) is more of a natural history museum. There are skeletons of a massive blue whale and dinosaurs, models of plants, animals, and geological features of WA, and minerals and meteorites. 

We aren’t usually big museum people, but we always enjoy the Boola Bardip Museum, it’s really fascinating to see and just a lot of fun! Admission is $15 AUD and they are open daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

Perth Mint 

If you like money, gold, or history, the Perth Mint will be super fascinating to visit. The Mint explores the history of the Australian gold rush and has gold on display in all its historic forms. It also still manufactures and exports gold, silver, and platinum bullion bars and coins to 130 countries. We were impressed to learn they do $26 billion worth of business!

We actually joined this tour of the Perth Mint just to get a closer look. We got to see the largest coin produced – it’s worth $50 million! We also saw a solid gold bar being made from its melted form and got to hold a gold bullion worth $700,000. It was a really interesting experience! This tour lasts for an hour, has multiple departure times, and can be booked for $24 AUD.

The Nostalgia Box Museum 

Finally, for the coolest museum out there – The Nostalgia Box Museum! This is great for gamers, as it’s a console museum and also has an interactive gaming area. They have over 100 video game consoles on display, some of which will take you back to your childhood. You can even play iconic games like Mario Kart, Pac-Man,  Space Invaders, and more! Admission is $18.70 AUD and they are open Wednesday through Sunday.

Lunch – Have Lunch in Elizabeth Quay

Bailey with a beer and pizza at The Island Brew House in Elizabeth Quay, Perth
Name a better combo than pizza and beer!
Elizabeth Quay Bridge in Perth, Australia

Elizabeth Quay is a must-visit part of the city. Sitting right along the Swan River, this part of the city always has something going on, so we love wandering around here. You can find lots of art, restaurants, bars, shopping, and some of the best river and city views in all of Perth. So this makes for the ideal lunch spot! 

You’ll be spoiled for choices around here. If you’re in the mood for a lively Aussie-style bar, stop by The Lucky Shag for a beer overlooking the water. They make pizzas, and burgers, and have a big seafood section – no surprise it’s literally on the water! The Island Brewhouse is another great stop for a pint and pizza, near the same area.

For a bit more relaxed vibe, we love Six Senses The Quay. It also overlooks the water and makes some truly delicious Thai food. With big windows and a really beautiful design, this is a great spot to unwind for lunch. I can never say no to Thai food either, and it’s really well done here!

But if you’re in the mood for some seafood, the Oyster Bar Elizabeth Quay is my go-to spot! As you can guess from the name, they specialize in oysters and will knock your socks off. They also serve a variety of seafood dishes – some of the freshest seafood you can find! I’ve loved everything I’ve tried here, the portions are large, and it’s well-priced for the quality you’re getting.

Afternoon – Wander Elizabeth Quay

perth city elizabath quay
Elizabeth Quay is so beautiful!

After lunch, spend some time exploring Elizabeth Quay! There is a lot to see around here, it’s one of the most popular pockets of Perth after all. Simply wander along the water and make your way across the Elizabeth Quay Pedestrian Bridge, it’s quite beautiful. This is a massive suspension bridge that gives great views of the Swan River on one side and the city skyline on the other. 

The Bell Tower is the most iconic site in Elizabeth Quay, it’s actually one of the biggest musical instruments in the world! The tower stands 82.5 meters (230 feet) high and it houses 18 bells, some of them dating back to the 14th century. The bells were originally made for a church in London’s Trafalgar Square but were too heavy and gifted to Perth. 

You can actually take a tour of the Bell Tower and learn all of its unique history. You can also ring the chiming bells too! Tours are offered at 10:30 am, 11 am, and 1 pm, and if you’re in the area from 12 pm to 1 pm Thursday through Sunday, you’ll hear the big bells ringing – it’s actually pretty cool!

There are also a lot of kid-friendly activities here, such as the Elizabeth Quay Carousel. This is another historic structure on the quay, as it was made in Italy by the same engineers who built the carousel by the Eiffel Tower. The BHP Water Park is another fun family activity and perfect for one of those hot Perth days. They have a splash pad that kids love, and if you come back at night, you can see it all lit up in colorful lights!

After spending some time exploring the quay, I recommend heading back to your hotel to take some time to rest and get all dressed up! You’re going to want to look nice for this evening’s activity!

Dinner – Go on a sunset dinner cruise

Captain Cook Cruises (WA) Meal on the swan river cruise
Photo credit: Captain Cook Cruises
Captain Cook Cruises (WA) seating with a view
Photo credit: Captain Cook Cruises

I can’t think of a better way to wrap up a relaxed day of exploring Perth than taking this sunset dinner cruise along the Swan River! We love taking dinner cruises and have done this in many cities around the world, so of course we had to give it a go in my home city. It’s hard to beat those sunset views on the river, along with a delicious dinner, drinks, and live music!

The sunset cruise departs from Elizabeth Quay at 7 pm. Soon after setting sail, we grabbed some complimentary Aussie wine and headed to the deck to take in those sunset views! It was really beautiful to see the city from the river, and the ambiance was so relaxed and luxurious. 

We were really impressed with the buffet dinner. Honestly, I had my doubts because buffets often have a bad reputation, but everything here was amazing! King prawns, roast beef, barramundi, gnocchi, and a variety of salads – it was quite the spread. Bailey bee-lined for the dessert, which also didn’t disappoint! 

We loved the free beer and wine (all Australian), but you can purchase cocktails from the bar if you fancy something stronger. The cherry on top was the live DJ so the vibe was upbeat and fun, but they also have a live piano performer some days, which would be a more romantic and cozy feel. 

Our 2.5-hour cruise flew by, and we had such a lovely evening! This experience is only available on Friday and Saturday evenings, so be sure to book this cruise in advance so your preferred date doesn’t fill up. You can book this cruise for $170 AUD per person, which includes dinner, drinks, and the cruise!

Related Read: Looking for more organized experiences? Check out our favorite tours in Perth here!

Day 5

Day trip to Rottnest Island

Bailey with a Quokka on Rottnest Island
The Quokkas are iconic on Rottnest!
Daniel and Bailey at one of the beautiful bays on Rottnest Island
How beautiful does the water look?

You can’t come all the way to Perth and not visit Rottnest Island! So for your final day of this 5-day Perth itinerary, we are taking a little day trip to one of the coolest islands out there. 

Rottnest Island is a protected nature reserve surrounded by stunning blue water, white fluffy sand beaches, and its famous quokkas (the furry little creature pictured above!). It’s only about 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) off the coast of Perth, so it’s an easy day trip. 

We love that this island is car-free, so it’s really relaxed and fun to bike around. There are 63 beaches here, and they are all gorgeous – let me tell you. There is also a lot of interesting history on the island, from once inhabited by the Noongar people to becoming an Aboriginal prison and then a WWII military base. Now, it’s a tourist hot spot where we can all learn about its history and admire its beauty!

Be sure to read our full guide to visiting Rottnest Island before you take off. 

You can visit Rottnest on your own by catching the ferry from Perth. Ferry tickets end up being $119 AUD round trip, once you include port fees. You can book your ferry tickets here, which includes free cancellation 24 hours before you go.

However, we recommend taking this organized tour to Rottnest, as it makes the entire day simple! We really enjoyed this full-day tour because it organized our ferry tickets, took us on a tour of Rottnest Island (where we learned a ton of info), provided lunch, and gave us free time to explore on our own.

Bailey at a stunning beach on Rottnest Island, Perth
Some of the best beaches in Perth are on Rottnest!

We met our tour at the Barrack Street Jetty in the morning and were pleasantly surprised to find that we’d get a cruise down the Swan River to Fremantle too! From there, we took the quick 25-minute ferry to Rottnest Island. The views were something to brag about too, the white beaches and blue water were stunning from the ferry! 

Once we got to the island, our tour guide led us to our coach (one of the few vehicles on the island) where we went on a 1.5-hour tour. It was really insightful to learn the history and significance of the area – it gave us a greater appreciation for the island as we explored! We saw the Wadjemup Lighthouse, West End, and other important Rottnest sites.

But the main draw of visiting Rottnest Island is seeing the adorable quokkas! These marsupials are like mini-kangaroos and it looks like they are always smiling. They are protected, so you can’t touch or feed them, but they love taking selfies. We stopped by a beach where they are known to live on our coach tour, but we also went back there during our free time!

Once our coach tour wrapped up, we had a delicious lunch, and then had the afternoon to ourselves! There are lots of places to rent bikes, snorkel equipment, and stand-up paddleboards. We loved having some downtime to enjoy and explore the island on our own, it is so beautiful I could have stayed for an entire week! The tour finished by ferrying back to Perth, where we were exhausted but fulfilled from our day of island fun.

There are a couple of options when booking this tour, whether you want to depart from Perth or Fremantle, and if you want lunch included or not. We chose to depart from Perth and include lunch, so it was $223 AUD per person. We thought this was a good value for an entire day of exploring and all fees included, and we aren’t alone as this is a top-rated tour!

Where to Stay in Perth, WA

The Westin Perth hotel room with a view
Photo credit: The Westin Perth

Now that you have a full 5-day itinerary, it’s time to find a place to stay in Perth. Because many of our activities are within Perth’s CBD (Central Business District), I recommend staying in the heart of the city if you can. There are places to stay in the city center for a range of budgets. If you need some help narrowing it down, these are our top picks!  

The Westin Perth – $$$  

A mix of classy and contemporary, The Westin Perth is the place to stay when you’re looking for a touch of luxury. The prime location in the heart of Perth puts you within walking distance of the trendy Elizabeth Quay area as well as lots of restaurants and cafes. You can also use the hotel’s infinity pool or its signature restaurant run by iconic Australian Chef Guy Grossi.

Rooms here start around $400 AUD per night. Check availability on Booking.com.

Pensione Hotel Perth – $$ 

A nice mid-range option, the Pensione Hotel Perth is a refurbished boutique hotel with 98 rooms. It’s close to Elizabeth Quay, major shopping centers, the Swan River, and Northbridge. You’ll feel like you’re stepping into the 1960s with restored furniture and décor from the time filling the lobby. The staff members are really friendly and the rooms are super comfortable.

Rooms are reasonably priced under $150 AUD per night. Book this stay here on Booking.com.

Hostel G Perth – $ 

You don’t need to pay big bucks to stay in Perth’s CBD, Hostel G Perth has dorm rooms for around $40 AUD or private rooms for around $100 AUD. You’ll have a huge common area with movies on TV, a kitchen, and a great atmosphere with travelers of all ages.  

We really like hostels because they are affordable so you can travel longer and you might even meet some new friends to hang out with! Grab a room using Booking.com or Hostelworld.com.  

Renting a Car in Australia

Driving through the outback in a rental car in Australia
Outback Australia!

With many must-see destinations in Australia outside city limits, one of the best ways to get around is in a rental car.

Australia is a huge country and traveling between cities or getting to some of the most scenic spots requires driving. While public transit is sometimes an option, it often adds a lot of time and planning. Plus, we love the freedom of a rental car to stop wherever we want and not have to stick to a set schedule.

Car rental in Australia is super affordable, especially if you choose a smaller vehicle. We use the website DiscoverCars.com. It’s a search engine that compares multiple car rental companies for you – saving you from visiting each website individually.

If you plan to be based in a main city like Sydney, Melbourne, or Perth and do a few day trips while returning your car to the same location, we’ve booked rentals for as cheap as $25 AUD a day! Full coverage insurance can be added for around an extra $12 AUD a day too. The price will vary depending on the time of year, type of car, and if you’re able to pick up and drop off at the same location.

Discover Cars also offers handy filters so you can search for cars that offer features like child seats, GPS, or let you have an additional driver. There are also free cancellation options if your trip changes. Read our honest review of Discover Cars here for more details!

Check out the selection and book your car rental online here!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie on Rottnest Island, Perth
Thanks for reading!

5-days in Perth really fly by with an itinerary like this one! Perhaps we are a bit biased because we’ve spent so much time here (I did grow up here and all!) but we think this is one of the best cities in Australia. There is so much unique culture, fun things to do, and great outdoors to explore. It makes for one great week in the city!

Thanks so much for reading our blog, we hope you found it helpful! If you need more resources as you plan your travels, check out our other Australia blogs. We have traveled all over the country and love sharing our experiences. Here are a few to get you started:

How to Spend 5 Days in Melbourne: A Day-by-Day Itinerary

10 Best Breweries in Perth, Australia

35 FUN Things to do in Perth, WA