It’s official - Autumn is here!
If you’ve been hiding inside in front of the aircon all Summer, the cooler days and nights ahead make for arguably the best time of the year to get out and explore the Perth region, with so much happening from sunrise to sunset (and sometimes even later).
With the Easter long weekend and school holidays also on the horizon, now is the perfect time to start planning so you can make the most out of Autumn. Mild weather still leads to wild times after all, so as we move into the new season we figured we’d put together a snapshot of all things Autumn here in Perth as a teaser of what’s to come!
March to May is blue whale watching season here in Perth, so don’t miss out on a chance to see the rare and elusive blue whales as they prepare for their long migration north and gather to feed on the abundant krill off of Perth’s coast. As the largest animal on earth, seeing one in real life is extra special and Whale Watch Western Australia offer tours to the Perth Canyon to see these incredible mammals and other marine life in their natural habitats, so get your own pod together and book now!
Speaking of marine life, Autumn is a great time of year to take a day trip out to Penguin Island, just a 5 minute ferry ride from Rockingham (45 minutes south of Perth). You’ll spot wild dolphins and rare Australian sea lions on the way there, throughout the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, and then get the chance to get up close with the world's smallest penguins once you arrive! The island rangers present penguin feedings throughout the day, and there’s plenty of nature trails, beaches and picnic spots to enjoy while you’re there too. Penguin Island closes for the Winter, during the penguin nesting season, so take the opportunity to visit in the coming months.
Looking for a bike ride with a difference? Head out for a Pedal, Pizza and a Pint with Perth Hills Mountain Bike Tours and hit the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail for the ultimate Friday night experience. Starting and finishing at the Parkerville Tavern, follow the trail into the John Forrest National Park and explore all the park has to offer under a starry night sky, including a trip through the Swan View Tunnel, before heading back to the pub for a beer or glass of house wine and a wood fired Hawaiian, Margarita or Meat Lovers Pizza. Alternatively bring your bike and your friends and head out on a Pedal and Pint cycling adventure of your own, with 7 historic pubs located along the 59km trail!
Speaking of trails, Dwellingup Adventures offers a wide range of self-guided tours - either by bike, canoe or raft - throughout Dwellingup, so you can lose yourself in nature (without actually getting lost). Thrill seekers should take the opportunity to take on their Fast Water Rafting tour to get the blood pumping!
Why not try something completely different this Autumn and take a ride in a hot air balloon! Both Liberty Balloon Flights and Windward Balloon Adventures offer breathtaking and unparalleled views of the gorgeous Avon Valley, taking off before dawn so you can watch the sun rise over the Valley. Each flight is 45-60 minutes long, ending with a delicious breakfast once you’re back on the ground.
If you’re looking to stretch your legs and enjoy the peacefulness of nature this Autumn, there are plenty of scenic walking trails throughout the Mandurah and Peel region to explore too. With so many to choose from, there’s multiple trails for every distance, duration and difficulty level to ensure everyone can enjoy exploring the many parks, forests and rivers throughout the region.
With the weather being so nice, Autumn is a fantastic time of year to enjoy great food and drink - especially at spots where you can sit outside and enjoy the views too!
One such place is Core Cider in the Perth Hills, where you can enjoy cider tastings and a delicious meal, sign up for the Tour and Taste experience through the orchards, or even spread out on a blanket on The Green to enjoy a Sunday session afternoon with live music!
Speaking of cider, Funk 2.0 by Funk Cider over in the Swan Valley is a must visit for cider lovers, with 18 taps serving up a healthy rotation of ciders, beers and project hybrids, with plenty of experimental limited editions to try! Order from their menu of sophisticated pub food, and grab a spot outside under the shade cloths to take in the gorgeous views of the grounds.
Want to try something different? Experience world class German home-style cooked food at Elmar’s In The Valley. With award-winning boutique craft beer, authentic German-Australian inspired restaurant, and a two-acre park-like Biergarten, it’s a fantastic choice for food lovers this Autumn!
Millbrook Winery is another great place to check out, where you can try out a range of wines in their tasting room or enjoy a meal at their restaurant (winner of Restaurant Of The Year by Gourmet Traveller 2022) with sweeping views of Millbrook. You can also purchase one of their delicious picnic baskets (order at least 2 days ahead) so you can set yourself up in your own secluded corner overlooking the estate.
Closer to Fremantle, enjoy amazing Swan River views at The Left Bank, one of the most popular riverside pubs in Perth. It’s the perfect spot for a casual meal or drink with tasty pub food on offer (including all the favourites like pizza and seafood), and it’s also the perfect spot to watch the sunset in the evening too!
From March to May, there’s plenty of great events on offer throughout Perth!
Sculpture By The Sea is back again this year, running from March 4 - 21. Head down to the famous white sands of Cottesloe Beach and check out the amazing sculpture exhibits created by talented artists! The beach is accessible by ramps and stairs along Marine Parade, ensuring that everyone can participate and enjoy the sculptures.
Another one we’re super excited for is Subi Spritz - transporting you to Southern Europe for four days and nights this Autumn (March 31 - April 3)! See Subiaco will be hosting more than 15 events over this period, featuring exceptional dining experiences, innovative, specially-created cocktails, Spanish movies in the park and an endless Spritz selection. One local business participating is 4 Sistas, with their Sip n Paint events allowing you to create your own masterpiece while treating yourself to tasty grazing platters and sipping on delicious wines! You can see the full schedule here.
The Hand in Hand - Kidogo Irish Aboriginal Festival 2022 is a truly unique experience, celebrating love stories and friendships shared between Irish people and Aboriginal people in Western Australia. After a successful launch in 2021, the festival is back again this year from March 17 - 20 (kicking off on St Patrick’s Day of course!). Check out the full program here.
On the weekend of May 1 & 2, the Perth Hills will be hosting the 23rd Bickley Valley Harvest Festival. The festival is made up of 19 participating venues throughout the Hills, including cellar doors, cafes, restaurants, local artisans and more. Bickley Valley thrives in the cooler Autumn sun, complete with orchards, vineyards and plenty of nature, so it’s the perfect time to head over, explore the area and enjoy everything on offer by the festival!
There’s so much to do and see in Perth this Autumn that it’s impossible to list them all in one article, so we’ll continue to cover even more exciting destinations, offers and itineraries over the coming months. Whether you’re most excited for the Easter long weekend, April school holidays or even just the cooler months in general, you’ll be spoiled for choice - so start planning your Autumn now, with Destination Perth!