Perth is abuzz with incredible arts and cultural experiences.

After all, we’re home to the world’s oldest living culture, and an incredible melting pot of cultures from all over the world call our beautiful city home.

You’ll find world-class galleries and museums, fantastic festivals, performance art and public art, and much more - including expert in-the-know guided tours that will breathe new life and rich meaning into Perth’s everyday spaces. They say that arts and culture are the soul of a city, and we’re sure you’ll have a blast experiencing the rich tapestry that makes our city so unique!

Perth also puts on an exciting program of arts and cultural events and festivals throughout the year - from international film festivals to major arts exhibitions. To see what's coming up check out the Perth Events Calendar and search 'Arts and Culture' in the category field.

Art Galleries and Museums

We’re lucky to have some truly amazing local and international exhibitions right at our doorstep!

Head to the Perth Cultural Centre to see the range of fascinating permanent exhibits at the WA Museum Boola Bardip as well as the newly reopened Art Gallery of Western Australia. The Art Gallery of Western Australia are currently presenting its largest ever exhibition of Western Australian art in The View From Here (6 November 2021 - 31 January 2022), with 30 major new commissions, exhibitions and acquisitions by leading Western Australian artists and creatives. 

There’s also many lesser-known hidden arts and cultural gems in Perth. We love the Maalinup Gallery, an Aboriginal owned and operated enterprise in the Swan Valley offering cultural activities, talks, performances and bush tucker, as well as beautiful artwork and hand painted objects by local Aboriginal artists (including exquisitely hand painted glassware, woodware and ceramics). Wander the bushfood garden, commune with emus, purchase a plant for your own garden - and taste a world of amazing bush tucker flavours!

Nestled in the Perth Hills, is the Mundaring Arts Centre - the premier outlet for high quality arts and crafts in the eastern region. The Centre presents regular contemporary exhibitions alongside a shop showcasing art forms from exceptional local artists and craftspeople. 

Hundreds and Thousands
Hundreds and Thousands, Fremantle Arts Centre. Image credit: Rosie Deacon, interactive installation and kids’ workshops, for Pom Pom Children’s Contemporary Art Space 2017, Adelaide.

The Fremantle Arts Centre, one of Western Australia's major arts organisations, offers a rich program of exhibitions, residencies, courses, music and events. Their newest feature exhibition Hundreds and Thousands (20 November 2021 to 23 January 2022) will transform the galleries and grounds into colour-filled worlds, with vibrant interactive artworks created and displayed specifically for children and families to enjoy.

The Wadjemup Museum on Rottnest Island, is a place for visitors to explore and learn about Rottnest Island’s rich history including stories of imprisonment, natural history, arts and culture. Walk around the newly renovated museum and discover a range of exhibits including 40,000-year-old artefacts, vintage postcards, contemporary artworks, and incredible outdoor sculptures.

In the scenic Avon Valley town of Toodyay, you’ll find two fascinating museums: Connor’s Mill Museum, and Newcastle Gaol Museum. Connor’s Mill was the third stem powered mill built in Toodyay and has since also been used as a power house, private residence, visitor centre and now a museum. The Mill is three floors high with agricultural history and working displays, including a Brotherhood steam engine and milling machinery. Other exhibits include a Ballardong Noongar connection to Country and displays on apiaries, timber, viticulture and pastoralism. 

Built in 1865 by convicts, the Newcastle Gaol Museum has been used as a gaol, residence and now a museum. The history of Toodyay is displayed within the former prison cells with permanent exhibits on Moondyne Joe, the Dorizzi brothers, law & order, growing up in Toodyay and the “Native Cell”. It’s a great spot to learn about Toodyay’s colourful past and local characters.

There’s plenty more museum and gallery-hopping to be had in and around Perth; check out our directory of art galleries and museums for more.

Perth Concert, Hall Perth City
Perth Concert Hall, Perth

Performance and Entertainment

With the warmer months in full swing, there’s a ton of performance and entertainment to enjoy in Perth! Here’s a taste of some of the upcoming fun; make sure to visit our performance and entertainment directory for more!

Renowned as one of the finest music acoustics in the southern hemisphere, the Perth Concert Hall is home to the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and presents a full calendar of amazing live music events throughout the year. Upcoming events include The King of Rock and the Prince of Pop (9 December 2021), an unparalleled night of music magic delivered by Aussie music legend Marty Rhone as a spectacular tribute to Elvis and Sir Cliff Richard; the New Year's 2021 Gala (31 December 2021), celebrating NYE with WA's most internationally celebrated artists and local rising stars; and the ultimate Christmas musical experience, Handel's Messiah (18 December 2021).

In Kings Park, you can enjoy summer concerts at the Pioneer Women’s Memorial, with a spectacular line-up this summer as always. We’re particularly excited about the Ministry of Sound Classical (11 December 2021), celebrating 30 years of dance floor history as the world's most renowned club brand. Ministry of Sound returns to Kings Park and Botanic Garden with the next evolution of their acclaimed live orchestral event, featuring well-loved classics from Robert Miles, Underworld, Cafe del Mar, Moby, Laurent Garnier, Shapeshifter as well as a slew of freshly reinvented versions of Röyksopp, Robin S, Basement Jaxx, The Temper Trap and even Darude, this concert is not to be missed!

The West Australian Symphony Orchestra is dishing up some spectacular events for their 2022 season, including WASO performing some of cinemas most captivating soundtracks with Casino Royale in Concert (21 & 22 January 2022), Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in Concert (12 & 13 August 2022), and music from the world's most popular living composer John Williams (including the soundtracks of Indiana Jones, Jaws, Jurassic Park and Star Wars) for the John Williams: 90th Birthday Bonanza (4 & 5 February 2022). Principle conductor Asher Fisch will be conducting classic masterpieces The Rite of Spring (11 & 12 March 2022) and Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique (18 & 19 March 2022), and international conductors will perform with WASO for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (1 & 2 April 2022) and Dvorak’s New World (22 & 23 April 2022). This is just a taste of what's to come from WASO in 2022 - check out the full season program here.

Kidogo Arthouse Gig
Kidogo Arthouse, Fremantle

Fremantle’s Kidogo Arthouse  is the premier hub for all things arts and entertainment at Bathers Beach. Enjoy the best of WA’s local sculpture scene at Sculpture at Bathers (19 February - 7 March 2022), where sculptures and interactive artworks will be featured along the timber boardwalks, paths, grassed areas, ocean and inside Kidogo Arthouse at the Bathers Beach precinct. The Arthouse is also home to Hand in Hand - Kidogo Irish Aboriginal Festival (17 - 20 March 2022), a celebration of the love stories and friendships between Irish and Aboriginal people in WA. In Mandurah, the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre presents a diverse range of live theatre, drama, dance, music and comedy shows, including local, state and national performances. 

RAC Arena is WA's landmark home of live entertainment and music events, being the venue for many top touring artists such as Bruce Springsteen, P!NK and Justin Timberlake. Coming up at the area, get into the Christmas spirit with Home Alone in Concert (10 December 2021), as well as the Sound on Festival (18 December 2021) - Perth’s favourite music festival for high schoolers (years 7-12). And get your belly-laughs on at the Comedy Lounge, with diverse quality comedy offerings running Wednesdays to Saturdays including Big Open Mic, Live Laughs, Six in the City, the Gong Show and more.

Djurandi Dreaming
Djurandi Dreaming, Rockingham

Indigenous Cultural Tours

Discover Perth's fascinating Aboriginal culture and history with a cultural tour! Be immersed in the world's oldest living culture with authentic, personal experiences to deepen your understanding of this land, and the very special connections that the local Noongar people have with their boodja (land). Learn about traditions and stories, and experience the places and spaces of Perth in a whole new and deeply meaningful light.

Join Djurandi Dreaming to explore Perth City and Rockingham through a lens of Aboriginal art and culture, experiencing great activities, secluded locations and visual surprises that make you stop, take a breath and appreciate this beautiful country we belong to. 

Go Cultural Aboriginal Tours and Experiences offers fascinating tours of Perth City, Kings Park and Rottnest Island, including a 90-min walking tour of Elizabeth Quay; learn about Noongar people’s spiritual connection to their traditional lands and how the six seasons influenced the movements and habits of Perth’s First People.

In the Swan Valley, Dale Tilbrook’s Aboriginal Experiences will take you on a cultural journey that will ignite all the senses. In a relaxed setting, taste a variety of wild bush foods, such as quandong, native limes, sandalwood nuts and local coastal greens. Learn about and "sniff touch taste" native Australian herbs, spices, nuts, fruits and peppers, and discover the uses of bushtucker plants, their medicinal properties and surprising health benefits they offer.

Wolf Lane, Tourism WA
Wolf Lane, Perth

Public Art Trails and Tours

Perth has a vibrant public art scene, and you can enjoy some seriously awesome artworks on the Perth Art Trails, where you’ll find mesmerising statues and sculptures celebrating our history, heritage and future; urban street art and murals by some of the world's best; and much more! Check out some of Perth’s street art murals, the Perth City art trails and Fremantle public art. Or join Two Feet and a Heartbeat for their tours including public art - Perth Arcades and Laneways, Fremantle – Convicts, Culture & Street Art, and the Coffee, Culture & Art Tour Of Perth.

History and Heritage Trails and Tours

Perth is full of fascinating history and stories you’ll love to learn about! You can explore the rich and interesting history and heritage of Perth on foot on a self-guided  walking tour, or join one of the many free guided walking tours offered by various community groups, local councils and volunteers. Check out Perth Heritage Trails to find out more. Or join the award-winning Two Feet and a Heartbeat on an eye-opening dark history tour, including Crimes of Perth Walking Tour, Crimes of Fremantle Walking Tour, or Horrible Histories of Fremantle.

We hope we’ve sparked your arts and cultural muse! With so many incredible arts and cultural experiences to enjoy in Perth, there’s really something for everyone. For more ideas on how to live your best Perth life, check out our Best of Perth blog.

Published on

9th Nov 2021

Author

Destination Perth Blogger