When you're looking for things to do in Perth this November, remember to check nature's calendar.
This is the time to spot whales migrating down the coast, enjoy the waterfalls made lush by winter rains, and catch the last of the wildflowers. It's also the start of festival season. With stunning spring weather getting us out and about, there are lots of themed events to get stuck into. Here's our guide to what's on in Perth this November in the great outdoors, plus some festivals to mark in your diary. The weather has warmed up enough to bring us out in the fresh air a lot more often, and nature itself seems to celebrate the change by putting on a show for us.
Waterfalls & Wildflowers
The winter rains have replenished the waterfalls of the Perth Hills and valleys, showing them off at their best. This is a beautiful time of year to stroll or hike along the walk trails with a picnic on your back, and relax next to a babbling brook or refreshing waterfall.
Explore the waterfalls within easy reach of Perth in this article: Do Go Chasing Waterfalls. Lesmurdie Falls are among the prettiest, and Bells Rapids are in a lovely spot in the Swan Valley - ideal for families to mess about in the shallows and picnic on the river bank.
You should be in time to catch the last of the spring wildflowers too. It's amazing to see masses of tiny delicate flowers boldly blooming in what seems to be an unlikely environment - at the side of the road or surrounded by huge grass trees and eucalypts, with no TLC to nurture them. But these stunning little plants are tougher than they look, and keep on coming back year after year, adding colour and optimism as we head towards summer.
There are numerous wildflower trails in various spots around Perth, including the Perth Hills, Avon Valley and Swan Valley. If you're short of time, join a tour that will guide you straight to the blooms. Australian Pinnacle Tours will take you out to the best spots until mid November.
As part of the Spring into Armadale program, you can join a guided walk in November into the Perth Hills landscape, hunting for wildflowers and native animals, and visiting waterfalls. The tour is called Waterfalls, Wildflowers and Wildlife, and runs every Monday until the end of the month. Contact Perth Hills Armadale Visitor Centre for more information.
Heading out for a walk is one of the delights among things to do during a Perth spring, with the arrival of warm sunshine and refreshing breezes. For a range of different walk trails around Perth to suit all ages, from Kings Park to Penguin Island, go to this link: Top 5 Walking Trails for Spring
If you've never seen a humpback whale breaching, or spotted a mother swimming with her calf, join a whale watching tour this November in Perth.
Thousands of these magnificent, gentle creatures migrate up and down the WA coastline every year, heading north for the winter to breed, and then returning to Antarctic feeding grounds with their newborn calves in time for summer.
Whale Watch WA are confident that you will spot whales on one of their luxury catamaran tours out of Fremantle. If you don't, they'll take you on another tour for free, which effectively gives you a 100% guarantee of success. The purpose-built vessel has five viewing decks over three levels for the best views, and you can watch the action on their underwater camera, with a hydrophone to capture the weird sounds of the whales too.
Rottnest Express and Rottnest Fast Ferries carry the same promise, each running two-hour whale-watching trips. Express run their tour until mid November out of Perth and Fremantle, while Rottnest Fast Ferries offer whale watching out of Hillarys Boat Harbour with an onboard marine biologist from AQWA (Aquarium of WA) up until late November. Allow time to visit AQWA while you're there to discover all you ever wanted to know about the sea creatures living along WA's endless coastline.
Seals and Penguins
November in Perth is a perfect time to visit Shoalwater Marine Park in Rockingham. This protected area is home to Penguin Island's little penguins and Seal Island's sea lions - no, they're not seals. A kayaking tour of Seal and Dolphin Islands is one of the best things to do in the Perth region for mildly adventurous nature lovers. If you're driving down from Perth, check this Fremantle to Rockingham Self Drive.
A guided kayak tour with Perth Wildlife Encounters takes you for a closer glimpse of the glorious sea lions and penguins out and about in the wild, with a chance to spot other local wildlife. You can experience a similar tour in the security of their glass bottom boat if you prefer, or go swimming with wild dolphins - another must-do experience, probably more comfortable in summer.
Capricorn Sea Kayaking runs an adventure tour of Dolphin and Seal Islands in double sea kayaks, with experienced guides, including the penguin feeding session and a guided walk around Penguin Island. Pick-up and drop-off for this tour is in Fremantle.