Western Australia is a biiiig state. So big in fact, it covers 1/3 of this famously sizeable country! That being said, with 2 million of the state’s 2.5 million population living in Perth alone there is a lot to see outside the city with plenty of space and very few people. Make the most of the best nearby places full of outstanding natural beauty with these weekend trips from Perth.
If you’re going to explore beyond Perth, be prepared to spend a long time travelling. You can expect to drive for hours in Western Australia between towns, so you need to make the journey worthwhile.
There are plenty of nearby day trips to take from Perth, however, to really experience the best of WA you should absolutely consider visiting the below destinations for a weekend trip from Perth.
1. Golden Outback
2 hour flight from Perth to Esperance
The Golden Outback is an absolute gem of Western Australia. It’s got all the advantages of WA: secluded nature, untouched beauty, historical stories… It’s even got the perks of being closer to South Australia with a more moderate temperature and diverse landscape. Don’t think it’s a quick trip to see it all, mind. The Golden Outback covers a staggering 54% of WA. That’s 18% of the entire country!
Destinations in this area include Kalgoorlie and the Goldfields, the Wheatbelt and Wave Rock, the Gascoyne Murchison region, and the Fitzgerald Coast stretching all the way to the Nullabor Plain.
Probably the most famous and popular destination in the Golden Outback is Esperance. A weekend trip to Esperance is very doable thanks to the regional flights available from Perth that take just 2 hours.
There are so many reasons to choose Esperance as a weekend trip from Perth, but to give you a taste here are my top choices.
Why You Should Visit Esperance For a Weekend Trip From Perth
- The most beautiful beaches you will ever see. Esperance boasts several crystal clear watered, soft sand beaches that are the envy of every other corner of Australia.
- You can see kangaroos casually chilling and munching their way along Australia’s whitest beach in Lucky Bay. This is THE epitome of Australian experiences!
- It’s only a short drive to Cape Le Grand National Park. Yet more beaches and beautiful bushland await, including the aforementioned Lucky Bay.
- There’s a life-size replica of Stonehenge looking out over the grassy hills of Esperance. You can even touch them which you definitely can’t at the original UK one. Marvel at what they could have looked like in 1950BC!
- The Recherche Archipelago that surrounds the coastline of Esperance has some incredible islands. You can even take a scenic flight over Middle Island to see the bubblegum pink of Lake Hillier and the incredibly turquoise waters around the southern coastline.
- There are some seriously yummy foods to try in the local restaurants of this quirky, cute little town. Perfect for relaxed weekend getaway vibes by the beach!
If flying down to Esperance doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then it’ll take around 7.5 hours by car. It’s a long trip probably best left for an epic South West – Esperance roadie with more time. But, if you’re driving straight down to Esperance then you’ll certainly get to see a lot of the Golden Outback on the way! Stop by Hyden and Wave Rock for an otherworldly experience which nicely breaks up the journey.
2. South West
3 hour drive from Perth to Margaret River
For a weekend trip from Perth that’s full of diverse landscapes, blissful natural spots as well as enticing tasty treats, look no further than the South West.
Here are some of the best places to visit in WA’s South West and the activities you can enjoy there.
The most popular destination in the South West is Margaret River. Locals and tourists alike will make the trip down south for weekend trips to enjoy the wineries, restaurants, and gorgeous beaches in this corner of the country.
Did you know that this little spot in the South West produces 15% of Australia’s wine? Head to any of the cellar doors and try a tipple or two (with a designated driver, of course)!
Many Perthites will know and love the Margaret River Chocolate Factory. Take a visit to the factory itself and sample all the yummy delights on offer. Maybe you’ll even come away with a few souvenirs too.
This sleepy little surf spot has gorgeous waters and a stretch of beach that goes on for days. If you get bored of the seaside you can head over to one of the nearby eateries for a sunset dining experience. We visited Little Fish during our weekend in Yallingup and it was delightful. The food is excellent, the view across the lake is gorgeous, and you might get lucky with spotting some wild kangaroos around dusk!
Like many of the areas around the South West, Yallingup has plenty of wineries to visit to sample the local produce. We stayed at the Sienna Estate Lodge and Winery which is set in a gorgeous estate in a cosy wooden house surrounded by nature. You even get a complimentary bottle of wine when you stay!
Right next door to the Sienna Estate is the Cape Lavender Teahouse which is just what it sounds like: a tearoom celebrating all things lavender! Try the lavender jam and scones, or take a jar of your favourite lavender products home with you.
A notable attraction to stop at in Yallingup is Canal Rocks. This natural feature in the coastline where the ocean has carved canals into the reddish rocks is quite mesmerising. The unforgiving waves crash and froth around the jagged pieces of rocks during windier moments. When the waters are still, they trickle into every crevice and nook.
Park up at Canal Rocks and cross the boardwalk and admire your surroundings. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb over the rocks and scramble through the pockets of sandy shoreline as you imagine you’ve landed on another world.
Cape to Cape
The two extremities of the South West are Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste. Each has a lighthouse, and the southerly point, Cape Leeuwin, which is the most south-westerly point in the country where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. Quite the accolade!
Tourist Drive 250 along Caves Road takes you from top to bottom through tall forests and passes more wineries than I could count. It’s certainly a gorgeous drive to enjoy, and along the way you can stop off to explore the depths of the caves beneath if you wish.
To be honest neither lighthouse is especially impressive to visit (but Cape Naturaliste was my favourite). We chose not to climb to the top, preferring the views of the lighthouse than of them. I’m sure the panoramic view from the top is lovely, but this whole area is fabulous and no view will be a disappointment at any of the lookouts along the way.
If you do choose to visit, expect tour groups to slow you down and an entry fee of up to $20. Worth it? I’m not so sure, but if you’re a lighthouse lover maybe it’s up your street.
The tranquility and serenity of Hamelin Bay attracts plenty of visitors to its shores.
It’s main attraction (besides it being quite literally paradise?) is the abundance of wild stingrays who glide elegantly right up to the beach. These incredible creatures can measure up to 2m in length, and are often curious and friendly to beachgoers.
Beyond the stingrays at Hamelin Bay, snorkelers can enjoy plenty of marine life, shipwrecks, and caves to explore.
Such an unforgettable experience is certainly one of the reasons that the South West is one of the best weekend trips from Perth.
3. Rottnest Island
45 minute ferry from Fremantle to Thompson Bay
There is one destination that is a firm favourite weekend trip from Perth. Rottnest Island is just off the coastline of Fremantle, and is a beachy, secluded break away from busy city life.
On Rotto, you’ll be in heaven surrounded by gorgeous bays, crystal clear waters, and best of all you’ll meet the world’s happiest animal… The quokka! Yes, these smiley marsupials are native to the island. They’re so popular in fact that the #quokkaselfie is an achievement most visitors seek. Be careful mind, you cannot touch or feed the quokkas as this could make them (and us!) sick.
Getting around Rotto is easy, as there are no cars! Hire a bike and cycle the circumference of the island. There are countless beaches to pause at for a picnic, a swim, or a sunbathe. Snorkelling enthusiasts will appreciate the marine life to be explored around Rottnest Island. There are also shipwrecks to discover or observe from the shore.
Although a day trip to Rottnest Island can give you plenty of time to explore all that’s on offer, staying the night in one of the island’s cabins is a real treat. Wake up before the crowds arrive and get a head start on exploring the island.
Perhaps visiting the Battery to learn about WA’s naval history is up your alley? Or maybe catching the first light of the new day as you venture out to the best beaches takes your fancy? What’s more, is that Rotto is in the prime position to watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean when all the day trippers have left.
Needless to say, you won’t be bored during your visit. Now doesn’t a weekend trip to Rottnest sound perfect?!
4. Coral Coast
2.5 hour drive from Perth to Nambung National Park
Heading north of Perth, you’ll soon escape the suburban towns and venture towards the expansive landscape to the east, and the rippling Indian Ocean to the west. For those looking to escape to the wilderness for a weekend, the Coral Coast is for you!
The Coral Coast covers a large section of WA’s western coastline, but you don’t have to go too far for a great getaway. Visit Nambung National Park, just 2.5 hours from Perth to visit the Pinnacles Desert. These mysterious rock formations transport you to another world, and you can get right up close to them! Within the area there are several hiking trails, including Lake Thetis.
There are a handful of smalls towns to stay at during a weekend in the Coral Coast. Locals and tourists alike love this part of WA as one of the best weekend trips from Perth. Enjoy sand-boarding in Lancelin, dive with the endangered Australia sea lions in Jurien Bay, or take the Art Trail in Cervantes.
If you want to stay a little closer to Perth, consider camping at Yanchep National Park (just 1 hour drive from Perth). Although Yanchep is not part of the Coral Coast, it is certainly the gateway to it. Positioned on the Indian Ocean Drive, this stop nicely breaks up your journey. Take the chance to see the koalas at the park’s sanctuary, explore the caves, or go for a leisurely walk through the bushland.
For those hoping to explore further, some of the best places to visit along the Coral Coast are Kalbarri, Hutt Lagoon, Geraldton, Wildflower Country, and more!
More Weekend Trips From Perth
These 4 awesome weekend trips from Perth are just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other destinations that would make for equally brilliant weekend getaways, I’ve just not yet had the fortune to visit!
Here are a few weekend trips from Perth WA that are still on my list.
- Broome & the North West: 2.5 hour flight from Perth. Venturing north is not for the faint-hearted. A dry, arid landscape painted with red dirt awaits. Some of the most popular spots to visit around Broome and the North West of WA include Cable Beach (arguably one of the best sunset spots in the world!), The Kimberley and its dramatic, rocky landscape featuring gorges, waterfalls, cliffs and much more…
- Exmouth: 1.75 hour flight from Perth. Visitors to Exmouth are most likely hoping to explore the Ningaloo Reef where you can swim with wild whale sharks. How’s that for a unique experience! Exmouth is part of the Coral Coast, so it’s worth combining a trip up this far with other amazing spots mentioned above.
- Swan Valley: 30 minute drive from Perth. Just around the corner from the capital of WA is the Swan Valley. A region renowned for its tasty treats, take yourself on a wine tour or sample the cheeses, chocolates, and more in this delectably delightful part of WA. For the history buffs around, head to Guildford and explore the heritage walking tours. Or venture into the valley for a choice of hikes and trails.
- Albany & Denmark: 5 hour drive from Perth. These coastal towns are part of the South West but a little further around the coast. Known for their chilled out small town vibes, there is plenty of history to be found alongside the rugged coastline. A handful of the most popular attractions include Elephant Rocks, Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, the National ANZAC Centre, and the Historic Whaling Station at Discovery Bay… And so much more!
I think you’d agree that WA has plenty more to offer than just Perth. I hope you can get out there and enjoy these weekend trips some time!
Which weekend trip is top of your list? Have you got any more I should add to my to-do list? Let me know below!
Pin it for later!