Maria Hedian
Maria Hedian
New York City, New York State, USA
Solo Traveler | Event Producer | Marketing Creative

Top 25 Unique Things to See & Do in Perth

Google Perth and you will see the same lists of "Things to Do" that will undoubtedly include Penguin Island, The Pinnacles and Little Creatures Brewery. While there is nothing wrong with visiting these sites, I always try to discover new places that aren't as touristy (bonus points if even locals haven't heard of them!) As a solo traveler, my mission is not only to see as much as I can but to see different sites that many, including Google, do not know or heavily advertise. In keeping with a spirit of adventure, I've compiled a list of interesting things I was able to do while staying in Perth. Some are off the beaten path, others are a bit more crazy. If I can get you to try at least one, my mission is accomplished. Take a look and try something new - you never know what you may find. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! 
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1. Mundaring Weir

Mundaring Weir Road, Mundaring, WA 6073 Australia

The Mundaring Weir is a dam about a half hour from Perth that is known for supplying water to the Goldfields and Agricultural region. There is a 2 mile walk called The Mundaring Weir Trail that starts and ends at the Perth Hills Discovery Center. It's a popular visitor destination where you can enjoy great views from the north side of the dam wall and even walk across it. Pictures taken from the wall itself are spectacular - this was my favorite part of the entire experience. With lots of picnic areas, wild kangaroos, walking trails and scenic views, it makes for an unforgettable afternoon!

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2. Rockingham Wild Encounters

153 Arcadia Dr, Shoalwater WA 6169, Australia

Rockingham Wild Encounters is an eco-friendly tour group that gives you the opportunity to swim with dolphins in their natural environment. Hands down one of the best experiences I've ever had! I don't normally like activities of this nature where animals are forced to do things for the sake of tourists, but RWE was completely different than other 'swim with dolphins' tours. This is done in their natural environment and only if the dolphins want to swim with you! This incredible tour group even has a “Wild Dolphin Guarantee” – which means if you didn't get to swim with these cute (and picky!) sea creatures on your paid cruise, you can come again for free. Pretty incredible, right? The tour we took also took us to the infamous Penguin Island where we were able to see ridiculously cute penguins and sea lions in their habitats.

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3. Quobba Blow Holes

Macleod WA 6701, Australia

Pack a lunch and make a day trip of this spectacular site! The blowholes are caused when powerful ocean swells force water through sea caves and up out of narrow holes in the rocks. I must have taken at least 100 videos of this amazing experience, it was so special to see in person. A short walk from the blowholes, you will find yourself at Point Quobba - a quiet coral-filled lagoon with beautiful sandy white beaches. The entire experience is relaxing and exciting at the same time. Want to add more to the fun? Bring snorkeling gear and discover the beautiful creatures in the water, you won't be disappointed!

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4. Atlantis Marine Park - Abandoned Amusement Park

Two Rocks Shopping Centre, 10 Enterprise Ave, Two Rocks WA 6037, Australia

Built in 1981, an amusement park called the Atlantis Marine Park was set to be a major feature of Alan Bond’s Yanchep Sun City Plan. Unfortunately, due to financial issues it closed in August 1990. I found pictures of this place while searching for unusual things to do in Perth and knew I had to try and get in. Luckily, it is still accessible to enter through broken walls, bridges, staircases and concrete pools. Once inside, you find that Atlantis Park is actually a really cool place to walk around and take awesome pictures. However, there are moments where the park gives you a sad feeling as you look around and imagine how lively and full of people it must have once been.

Steve AM flickr

5. Fremantle Prison Tour

1 The Terrace, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia

File this one under 'Crazy things to do in Perth'. The Fremantle Prison Tour is a two-hour underground adventure where you can see firsthand the original blast holes, bores, oil lamp recesses and artifacts from the days when working in the tunnels was extremely hard labor for the prisoners chosen to do these jobs. The entire thing is a labyrinth of tunnels you have to trek through on foot and also on a replica convict punt that explores the submerged passageways which are only accessible by boat. It. Is. Terrifying. At least for someone who is claustrophobic, it certainly is! I did this one for the sake of doing it and to be able to write about it. However, it was a challenge. If you're not claustrophobic, this tour is incredible. The guides are very knowledgeable and friendly, the tour itself is extremely hands-on and once you've completed it, you even get a certificate!

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6. Gnomesville

Wellington Mill and Ferguson Road, Wellington Mill, Western Australia, Australia

Located in the Southern region of Western Australia, Gnomesville is must-see for those wanting a bizarre experience and especially for those with kiddies! This interesting site is home to over 5,000 gnomes - all with different stories, personalities, backgrounds and even jobs. It's not hard to get enveloped in the world of these little creatures as you walk through and read about the various stories, especially the clever sayings people have left behind over the years. It is heartwarming to see gnome memorials left for those that have passed and detailed messages left by people who were passing through on vacation. The entire place has no facilities, so please keep that in mind when you stop by. Gnomesville is free of charge, so make sure to take as many pictures as your heart desires, but remember - DON’T TOUCH THE GNOMES!

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7. Lesmurdie Falls National Park

Off Falls Road, Perth, WA 6076 Australia

Situated in the hills east of Perth, Lesmurdie Falls is a spectacular waterfall located on the Darling Range escarpment. Upon arrival, visitors are able to choose from a variety of trials according to their level of fitness and how much time they want to spend on the actual walk. When we visited, the guide told us that the “Falls Trail” was the most popular trail, so that's the one we said yes to as my ankle was still on the mend from a break a few months earlier. I was so glad we decided to do this train, it was absolutely spectacular! The trail itself can be comfortably completed in 45 minutes (even with a recovering ankle!) with bonus stunning views of the falls at the end. Mountain bike trails are also available for those more adventurous!

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8. Old Mill

Mill Point Road, South Perth WA, Australia

Built in 1835, The Old Mill is one of Perth’s oldest and best known landmarks. It has been used as a wine saloon, poultry farm and a hotel since it ceased production in 1859. Guided tours of The Old Mill run from Tuesday to Friday, accommodating groups up to 70 people. Tours are free, however, donations are appreciated as groups are led by volunteer guides. Bookings are recommended and can be made on their website to ensure you don’t miss out on a spot. It is a beautiful site to see in person. With its larger than life structure, it's not hard to imagine it used for its original intended purpose. Great for a solo travelers, backpackers, history buffs and families.

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9. Precious Breath SUP Yoga

Matilda Bay Reserve, Crawley WA 6009, Australia

Stand up paddle surfing (SUP) is a sport that originated in Hawaii and is an offshoot of surfing and paddle boarding. This water sport is quite popular and not as easy as it looks, as it really tests your fitness levels and your core. As if it wasn't hard enough on its own, most recently this popular sport has been combined with yoga. That's right, yoga on water. I was super skeptical of doing this at first and not because of the company I used, but rather because of my level of fitness (or lack thereof). The instructors at Precious Breath were so patient and great at explaining the actual steps involved throughout the entire process. I can't say I was any good, but I sure did have a ton of fun trying.

10. GDC Observatory

1098 Military Rd, Yeal WA 6503, Australia

Ever since I was kid, I have always wanted to go to an observatory and see the stars and planets, but have never quite gotten around to it. On my last trip to Perth, a friend of mine recommended I visit the Gingin Observatory. It was the perfect opportunity to check it out while fulfilling my childhood dream. Neighboring the Gravity Discovery Centre, Gingin is about an hour drive north of Perth. I can't recommend this place enough, especially if you have kids. The observatory gives visitors the opportunity to learn about space through powerful telescopes and hands-on experiences, by viewing big screen educational presentations on the universe and even by engaging with knowledgeable astronomers! Bus tours to the observatory are available.

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11. Blue Boat House

Perth WA 6005, Australia

Located on the Swan River, the Blue Boat House is one of Perth's most popular sites, mainly because of how beautiful the pictures come out (it is a TOP instagram-able site). There is really nothing else for you to do there but take a look at this beautiful random blue house on the water and snap some pictures. They really do come out beautiful! Just beware, there are usually long lines of people waiting for their picture. Traveler tip: get there early to find the house empty for your photoshoot.

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12. Coral Bay Beach

western end of Robinson Street | via Maud's Landing Road, Coral Bay, Western Australia 6701, Australia

Coral Bay is one-of-a-kind in that it is one of the few, if only, places on earth where you can walk from the beach straight onto a coral reef. With beautiful coral gardens close to pristine white beaches, Coral Bay is a nature lover’s dream. When visiting this seaside town, you have to take advantage of the unbelievable reefs by snorkeling and diving. From March to June you can also swim with whale sharks or if sharks aren't your thing, you can swim with the majestic manta rays all year round. Having been there in October, I was lucky to see the reef sharks that come out from October to March in the shallow waters. There are usually upwards of 200 sharks at a time! Make sure to bring an underwater camera as everything you see in Coral Bay is truly one-of-a-kind.

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13. Crystal Cave Yanchep

Corner Indian Ocean Drive and Yanchep Beach Road | Yanchep National Park, Yanchep, Wanneroo, Western Australia 6035, Australia

A must for anyone visiting the area. The Crystal Cave in Yanchep National Park is just under an hour’s drive from Perth. If part of a day tour, you will spend some time in the park first. Entry into the part is paid by car and it is $12 AUD. In the park itself you can have picnics, see the koalas, eat in the team rooms or Yancep Inn and walk various different trails. Cave entry tickets must be purchased from the national park counter (the cave warden does not see them) and are $15 AUD for the cave tour that lasts close to an hour. Once inside, the friendly and extremely knowledgeable guides take you through explaining the formation of the cave itself, pointing out incredible stalagmites and all of the cave's rich history. Not recommended for small children, elderly or people that need assistance walking as the tour is not handicap accessible.

D-Stanley flickr

14. Claisebrook Cove

Royal St, Perth WA 6004, Australia

Great to walk this area, have lunch and admire the views. This is a hidden gem of Perth that even most locals don't know about! With colorful buildings along the water, it’s a picturesque spot to explore. You can walk across the Claisebrook Cove Bridge which is lit up at night and absolutely breathtaking. During the day, it is a wonderful place to stroll, go for a run or simply relax and admire the view. Fun fact: at each end of the bridge people can do like in Paris and hang their love locks on the fence.

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15. Trinity Arcade

604 Hay St, Perth WA 6000, Australia

Polished brass, lead light windows and gleaming timber surfaces surround you as you literally walk back in time right in the center of Perth City. The arcade has quite a few shops and leads to St Georges Terrace and the Trinity Church. There is a candy store that makes you candy from scratch! You tell them the flavor and watch them create. It is pretty cool. Even if you just walk through, it is well worth a look just to see the old architecture. Rumor has it the arcade is haunted, but no one really knows for sure. It certainly didn't feel creepy walking through, even at night! There is a lunch room that offers budget coffee, tea and snacks or just the a space for a time out with no pressure to purchase - you can bring your own food. I've been told that there is also a hair salon that charges only $10 AUD on "Trinity Tuesday's". I never checked this out as I didn't need a cut, but maybe you will? Take a stroll in the past - it's only a few minutes and you will love it!

16. 1800 Trail Rides -- CLOSED

13 Telephone Rd, Neergabby WA 6503, Australia

If swimming with dolphins or seals isn't your thing, but you still want to interact with some animals then this is the place for you! 1300 Trail Rides gives you the opportunity to ride beautiful horses. There are different types of rides offered that cater to all levels, from beginners to experienced riders. Some of their ride packages include a river ride, hill ride, twilight ride, trailblazer ride (this one includes how to feed, groom and tack your horse) and private rides for couples. There are also 20 minute pony rides available for the younger riders. It was such a fun experience - I definitely recommend!

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17. Kalbarri National Park Coastal Cliffs

Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia, Australia

Kalbarri is located at the mouth of the Murchison River and is surrounded by beautiful scenic views. It offers many different lookouts - some with interesting trails and hiking options. One of the things that stands out the most about the park is its red rock gorges. Kalbarri is one of the most popular tourist towns in the Coral Coast region and as such is known to get crowded, however the few times I have gone, the amount of people there was never overwhelming. When visiting, you not only get the park view, but also its impressive gorges, views of the Murchison River, the quaint town of Kalbarri and its friendly, laid-back feel. It is a truly incredible experience that offers both land and on the water attractions everyone can enjoy!

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18. Kings Park & Botanic Garden

Fraser Ave, Perth WA 6005, Australia

Located on Mt. Eliza overlooking Perth City and the Swan River, Kings Park offers the most unique opportunities to connect with nature in the very heart of the city. From botanic gardens and walking trails to playgrounds and picnic areas, there is something for everyone. If you’re looking for stunning views, climb the 101 steps of the spiraling DNA Tower where you'll be able to see all of Kings Park - including the Botanic Garden, the Swan River and even part of Rottnest Island. You can also look out from the various viewing points in and around the park for stunning views of the city skyline, especially from Lotterywest Federation Walkway, an arched suspension bridge that extends through the Botanic Garden. Walking through the garden is also an experience as it features diverse plant life and beautiful flowers. It's so easy to spend hours here as there is so much to see and do. Be sure to bring your headphones and favorite music and just spend hours strolling through this magnificent site!

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19. Matagarup Bridge

Nile St, East Perth WA 6004, Australia

The newly built pedestrian bridge over the Swan River linking East Perth to the new Optus Stadium is an interesting piece of architecture. The bridge gives you great views of the city and was built to cater to large crowds walking to/from the stadium. It was designed to resemble two swans which can be seen from a good distance away and changes colors daily in tandem with the Optus Stadium colors. On the stadium side, you will also find a playground area for kids that is open to the public and very fun. You'll also come across The Camfield, Australia's largest bar/restaurant to date that offers cool drinks and delicious food. Some nights there is even a live DJ. Overall, the area is meant to bring crowds in and I have a feeling that with so much to offer, it definitely will.

20. Turquoise Safaris - Sea Lion & Fishing Charters Jurien Bay

Boat Harbour, Harbour Dr, Jurien Bay WA 6516, Australia

Ok, so you've already swam with dolphins and rode on horses - now what? How about swimming with seals!? About 2 hours north of Perth, an amazing company called Jurien Bay Charters gives you the opportunity to swim with playful and friendly seals in the Jurien Bay. Similar to the dolphin experience, you are swimming with seals completely in their natural habitat and on their own terms. They are playful little creatures that absolutely love to get close to humans and interact. The company also offers sea lion and whale watching tours (I did the whale watching, it was absolutely incredible and I cannot recommend this enough!). Note: if you get seasick easily, be sure to take some medicine prior to this experience. There are moments where the boat does rock and if you're prone to getting sick, you probably will.

21. Trigg Beach

Cnr Trigg Place/West Coast Drive | 16 Kms North of Perth City, Trigg, Stirling, Western Australia 6029, Australia

Beautiful beach located in picturesque Scarborough. Trigg Beach is known as 'the surf spot' to locals and it does not disappoint. The beach itself is clean and goes on for miles, sands are white and the water a beautiful blue. There are also volleyball ball courts available with equipment set up and ready for anyone to play. Bring your board for an early morning surf or enjoy a meal at one of the many small local cafes all along the pathway. Caution if you plan to go in and swim as many people warn of the strong rips. This is also one of my favorite places in Perth to watch the sun set.

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22. Burswood Park

Burswood WA, Australia

Beautiful park steps from the Crowne Hotel & Casino as well as the new bridge, the stadium and the Camfield. Very clean with so much to see, including various sculptors and a breathtaking fountain in the center. Perfect for a stroll with your significant other or a day out with the family.

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23. Windsor Park

South Perth Western Australia, Australia

Breathtaking park located in South Perth close to the Perth Zoo. Beautifully maintained grounds offer the perfect backdrop to tourists and locals alike. The park also features an incredible botanical garden you can walk through and admire. I came across this gem of a place on my way to visit a friend in South Perth and had to come back with her afterwards. We packed a picnic, brought our books and spent the day under the warm sun. It is the perfect place to relax and take in one of the city's prettiest and most peaceful places.

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24. Whiteman Park

Lord Street, Whiteman, WA 6068 Australia

I was pleasantly surprised to find this park while looking for local things to do. At an impressive 10,000 acres of land, the park has a plethora of things to see and do while visiting. From a wildlife conservatory where you can see many different animals, to a motor museum and so many different tours, it is easy to spend an entire day here. When we stopped by the visitor center, we were greeted by 2 friendly volunteers who explained so much information about the lands and tours and even convinced us to take a tour! The 1-hr tour took us through the entire park and and gave a history of its creator while also giving us the opportunity to check out the Motor Museum, free of cost!
Overall, it was a wonderful experience for anyone looking to get information while also learning history and getting some serious play time with cute animals.

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25. Lancelin Sand Dunes

13 Whitfield St | Gingin Road, 102, Lancelin, Western Australia 6044, Australia

On our way to the Pinnacles, we stopped by Lancelin, a small fishing town that is home to incredible sand dunes that are open to motorcycles, quads, 4WD’s and buggies. The dunes themselves are an incredible site to witness in person. We didn't get to do the motorized offerings, however I absolutely had to go sand surfing and so we did. The climb up is hard, the way down even harder (until you get your balance, then it's easy and so fun!). We went on a windy day so the amount of sand found in our clothing, hair and shoes was shocking, but well worth it for the experience. Renting a board will cost you $10 AUD for 2 hours and you will be given a candle. Be sure to wax the bottom of the board with it as it will help you slide down the sand easier. I can't recommend this enough - it was one of my most memorable experiences in Perth!

Last updated at Dec 05, 2018