There ain't no winter vacation like a Perth staycation!
While those dream escapes to sunny Barcelona are still on hold for another winter, Perth folks have been increasingly exploring the incredible charms of our own backyard, and found that the adage "there's no place like home" really holds true. We're very lucky to live in our own very special slice of paradise, with mild winters and a diverse range of attractions to enjoy on our doorstep.
With that in mind, we've compiled a list of fabulous staycation themes. Whether you're into foodie Fremantle, arts and culture in Perth City, a touch of romance in the Perth Beaches area, or family-friendly fun in the Swan Valley, you'll find all these and more incredible ways to make memories with these awesome itineraries!
Perth City - Arts and Culture
Our isolated home city is a hidden gem in many ways, including our thriving arts and cultural scene! Head to the Perth Cultural Centre for the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA), as well as the recently reopened and seriously world-class WA Museum Boola Bardip.
AGWA is home to the highly-regarded State Art Collection, which holds one of the world's finest collections of Indigenous and pre-eminent Western Australian art and design, as well as other diverse exhibitions and displays that invite visitors to see things differently. Current exhibitions include Pulse Perspectives. At the WA Museum Boola Bardip, you see the state's iconic Blue Whale and immerse yourself in classical history with their latest exhibit Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes, exhibiting 178 Greek artefacts loaned by the British Museum with materials ranging in age from the sixth to first centuries BCE. Make sure to check out what else is on at the Perth Cultural Centre, with contemporary and classic art and performance at PICA and The Blue Room Theatre.
You'll also find performance art galore at venues across the city. Highlights include a myriad of classical music concerts at Perth Concert Hall, WA Opera and Star Navigator, West Side Story at Crown Theatre Perth and a barrel of laughs at the Comedy Lounge.
So, where to stay after your perfect Perth City arts and culture adventure? We love the centrally located and generally fabulous Alex Hotel (located right next to the Perth Cultural Centre), Citadines St Georges Terrace Perth and DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Northbridge. And if you're in the mood to grab a bargain, check out the latest Perth Holiday Offers for deals on accommodation and more!
Fremantle - Foodie Paradise
The eclectic port city of Fremantle is loved by Perth folk for so many things, not the least of which is its fantastic fare. Warming your heart and soul with seaside fish and chips at the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour has been an iconic Freo experience for generations, and there's plenty of international, exciting and delicious food to choose from at the Fremantle Markets that will satisfy your tummy and your travel bug alike. You can also grab some delish choccie and cheese to fill your picnic basket at Coal River Farm - Fremantle.
Looking for dine-in delights? Head to Little Creatures for delish beer, food and gorgeous views; or enjoy the casual yet refined Mediterranean-inspired dining experience at Strange Company, an architecturally designed bar and kitchen known for its fine food and drinks, intimate vibe and fab tunes. And of course, the multi award winning Old Synagogue is all the buzz nowadays for good reason: two stunning heritage buildings left empty for many decades, now fabulously restored and redeveloped into a modern beer and wine garden (The Arbor), a modern Asian restaurant (Tonic + Ginger), artisan cocktail bar (L'Chaim Hidden Bar) and craft beer bar and bistro (Mr Chapple). We'll say lchaim (cheers) to that!
If you're in the mood to roam a variety of Fremantle's fab venues sampling culinary delights with like-minded foodies, Two Feet & a Heartbeat Tours have just the ticket: the Fremantle Food Lovers Tour offers up a festival of food in a selection of the best spots in Freo, from cheese and charcuterie in a private courtyard, to hole-in-the wall takeaways and uber cool restaurants. You'll visit at least 4 venues, taste their specialties and learn legendary stories as you dine, drink and experience Fremantle.
Where’s a foodie to stay for their #staycation? Somewhere with great F&B, of course! Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges, Warders Hotel and Tradewinds Hotel are all renowned for their tasty on-site options, from buffets to bars and much more.
Rottnest Island - Back to Nature
Rottnest Island is abuzz with activity in the warmer months, but you're missing out if you haven't checked it out in winter - serious serenity! It's fab for bike riding, hiking and fishing this time of year. Check out some prime Rotto fishing spots; join a Hike Collective walking tour; explore Island's unique landscapes and its cultural and natural attractions on the Wadjemup Bidi walking trails; learn about Rottnest's nationally significant defence heritage at the Oliver Hill Gun & Tunnel; and a relaxing stroll and panoramic island views at the West End Boardwalk and Cathedral Rocks viewing platform. But wait, there’s more - check out the official Rottnest Island website for more great activities, year-round.
With Rottnest Island's well-deserved reputation as a natural paradise, why not round out your experience at an eco-retreat? Check out Discovery - Rottnest Island for gorgeous low-impact glamping or the gorgeous new Samphire Rottnest for a relaxing escape.
Perth Beaches - Romantic Escape
Like Rottnest, the Perth Beaches region is a little quieter this time of year, and that makes it just perfect for couples who love the romance of winter! In the City of Stirling, Rug up and stroll down Scarborough Beach enjoying that cool sea breeze, and then enjoy some wonderfully warming eats at the Scarborough Sunset Markets - Winter Edition or the The Sandbar Scarborough Beach. Nearby Trigg’s Island Market is renowned for tasty Mediterranean-inspired food and beaut views and Odyssea City Beach is famous for its spectacular views and modern-Australian menu. In the City of Joondalup head to Sorrento Quay in Hillarys to stroll down the boardwalks enjoying Perth's beachside culture, before surprising your significant other with the perfect oceanic gift: jewellery from Willie Creek Pearls.
Further north, in the City of Wanneroo, Wanneroo Botanic Gardens combines natural Instagrammable beauty with mini-golf, for a real Alice in Wonderland feel, and you can also enjoy woodfired pizzas at the adjacent Leapfrogs Cafe; or head to Yanchep National Park for picturesque flora and fauna, fabulous walking trails and a tasty meal at the Yanchep Inn.
Where to stay for your romantic escape? Some of our faves for a romantic getaway include Quality Resort Sorrento Beach, Cottesloe Beach Hotel, Ramada VetroBlu Scarborough Beach and Joondalup Resort & Country Club. And that's just to get you started - click here to see more fab places to stay along the Perth Beaches.
Rockingham to Mandurah - Adventure Time
When you think of winter staycations, you might think of just staying in your hotel room living a #luxelife and occasionally venturing out to explore. But if you're feeling like a spot of adventure, head south! From Rockingham to Mandurah, there's so much to do that we're just touching on some of our faves, but you'll find more in our recent Experience the Best of the Peel Region blog and Rockingham feature - so jump in the car or catch the train and head to Rockingham and Mandurah this weekend!
Starting Rockingham, head to the scenic Secret Harbour Golf Links - an award winning, 18-hole course with great facilities including a bar and brasserie, open 7 days a week. If you're keen to get out on the water, even in this cooler weather, Rivergods Kayak Adventures operate their Shoalwater Islands Sea Kayaking Tour where you will see a number of sea birds as well as sea lions frolicking in the water. Kayak Passes are also available if you want to get out on your own.
In Mandurah and Peel, warm up along one of the region's stunning walking trails and cycle trails; experience nature in a whole new light high above the tree canopy, at Trees Adventure in Lane Poole Reserve; or take it easy as you cruise down Mandurah's canals in style with Mandurah Cruises. And for some old-school vintage back-to-nature fun, the Steam Ranger steam train of the Hotham Valley Railway shouldn't be missed! Plus, during the school holidays you can get your skates on and glide into Mandurah's pop-up ice skating rink at the Eastern Foreshore as part of Skating in Mandurah. Looking for more great ideas? Check out Visit Mandurah's guided to things to do in winter in Mandurah.
Where to stay? Check out our full accommodation listings for Rockingham and Mandurah. Some of our adventurous favourites include Lake Navarino Holiday Park for its spectacular lake views, Mandurah Houseboats for a truly bucket-list holiday experience, and the quaint Mandurah Ocean Marina Chalets.
Swan Valley - Family Fun
The Swan Valley is a true delight year-round, and a perfect place for the whole family to enjoy!
The unique conservation and recreation reserve of Whiteman Park covers 4,000 hectares of natural bushland and leisure facilities, including stunning walking trails, three fascinating transport museums and the world-class animal sanctuary of Caversham Wildlife Park with exciting animal experiences galore. We also adore the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm - because at any age, who doesn't love cuddles with cute animals? The Orchard Perth, located a little further north in Chittering, offers farm and animal experiences that are tactile, engaging and fun for the whole family, including their legendary year-round fruit picking, and some seriously exciting school holiday activities to look forward to.
Paintball Skirmish Swan Valley is a great choice for families with older kids, providing an enjoyable bonding experience suitable for ages 12 and over, while the Swan Valley Adventure Centre and The Climb Zone will have your little adventurers off their devices and into a world of excitement. The Adventure Centre offers obstacle courses and a flying fox (5+) and archery (8+), as well as Olympic-themed school holiday winter day camps (4+); while the Climb Zone offers exactly what the name suggests: hours of climbing fun as you navigate a variety of thrilling rope courses for various ages and abilities, with their High Ropes course nestled high above lush native trees for breathtaking views. If you're looking for more ways to burn some energy, why not a round of mini golf? You'll find courses at Perth's Outback Splash, Novotel Vines Resort Swan Valley and Oasis Supa Golf and Adventure Putt (where you can also play supa golf!).
Some fab family-friendly restaurants and wineries to check out include Elmar's in the Valley, The Henley Brook, Oakover Grounds, Sandalford Wines and Swan Valley Station. And if you're in the mood for something sweet, check out the legendary Whistler's Chocolate Co Swan Valley and the French patisserie Maison Saint Honore. Bon appetit!
Some top spots to stay with the family in the Swan Valley include Swan Valley Oasis Resort, Discovery Parks - Swan Valley and Novotel Vines Resort Swan Valley. We also love the farmstay experience of Settlers Rest Farmstay. See more accommodation options in the Swan Valley here.
Perth Hills - Local Noms
The lush, green Perth Hills boast excellent soils that are just perfect for fresh produce, forming the delicious building blocks of local restaurants and wineries, as well as the ideal addition to your picnic basket. Head to one of the many fabulous Perth Hills markets including the iconic Kalamunda Farmers Markets every Sunday morning, for gourmet produce, fresh-squeezed juices, sweet and savoury delights and much more - and of course, some pickles and jams to take home!
Follow the Bickley Valley Wine Trail and Perth Hills Cider and Brews Trail for stunning views of vineyards, orchards and forests, complemented by some seriously tasty wines, ciders and craft beers - and of course, menus to die for! Enjoy Italian fare and wines at La Fattoria, cellar-door tastings and educational cider making tours at Carmel Cider Company, and amazing handcrafted cuisine at Perrellas Cafe in the heart of the historical village of Darlington.
Staycationers are in for a delight in the Perth Hills, an area known for its quaint cottages and heritage vibes. Check out the Acacia Cottage, Avocados Perth and Amaroo Retreat & Spa for some staycay inspiration, and click here to see more.
Avon Valley - Countryside Charm
Just an hour east of Perth City, the Avon Valley presents a perfect, picturesque example of lush West Australian countryside. Littered with rolling hills, rich fields and quaint country towns, it's the perfect destination for a day trip, with a little something for everyone to enjoy.
Love a good view? Get your feet off the ground and take to the sky in a hot air balloon - the perfect way to capture the beautiful landscape and scenery, with a little bit of thrill sprinkled on top. Or, if you'd prefer an experience that keeps you firmly on solid ground, soak in the local culture with a visit to New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery, a local star attraction. Wind back time and discover the local area's rich history, from foundation through to present.
If a local adventure is more your style, why not jump into the Pioneer Challenge, a fun, educational way to mix up your trip! A state-wide game designed in our own backyard, jump into this treasure hunt/car rally hybrid that turns regional WA into an exciting educational challenge. Join as a team, get the kids involved, and learn a little bit along the way.
Round off a day of exploration and adventure with a visit to any of the region's restaurants, inns or wineries for a taste of delicious local food and beverages. From the oldest winery in WA to heritage listed restaurant buildings, get a taste of the local flavours at any of the fantastic venues. And where to rest your head after a full day of adventure? Soak up the local heritage at the York Cottages and The Nosh & Nod, enjoy your stay with a more modern spin at the Deepdale Farm by Private Properties, where luxury meets history, or take the kids for a farmstay experience at Lavendale Farmstay and Cottages. For more information on places to stay click here.
We hope you're as excited as we are about all the amazing things to do and places to stay for your dream winter staycation in Perth! If you're looking for more great ideas on enjoying the best of Perth in winter, head to our blog for the latest and greatest, including Perth winter events you won't want to miss and how to get your cosy game on this winter.