Perth and surrounds boasts diverse wildlife experiences and natural wonders to discover.
From marine life to marsupials, there are a range of unique wildlife encounters on offer in and around Perth. Find out where you can meet some of Perth's favourite native fauna in the wild.
Perth's warm waters are home to the playful bottlenose dolphin. See them frolicking in the Swan River, off the coast of Rottnest Island, on a canal cruise in Mandurah and through the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park in Rockingham where you can swim with them from September to May with Perth Wildlife Encounters.
Around April each year thousands of humpback whales leave the rich feeding grounds of Antactica to calf and raise their young in the warmer waters of the the North West. On the return journey south, from September to December, they pass close to the Perth coast allowing a unique opportunity to see these amazing creatures up close on a whale watching adventure cruise. You may also view them from travelling along the coast from various Perth beaches, and viewing platforms on Rottnest Island. You can also take tours to the Perth Canyon, 50 nautical miles off the coast of Perth, to see rare Blue Whales in March and April each year.
These small marine birds can be found swimming freely in the Shoalwater Marine Park in Rockingham. Perth Wildlife Encounters operate an hourly ferry service to Penguin Island - home to WA's largest colony of Little Penguins. Get up close and learn all about the penguins at the Discovery Centre with three penguin feeding sessions daily with expert commentary.
Australian Sea Lions
Rockingham's Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is one of Perth's favourite natural wonders. Join a sea kayaking expedition or cruise amongst the chain of islands, including Seal Island where you'll see Australian Sea Lions lazing on the beach or playing in the surrounding waters. You can also view sea lions on a glass-bottom boat or adventure cruise.
New Zealand Fur Seals
Rottnest Island is home to a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals. You can spot them playing in the water and basking on the rocks from a fantastic new viewing platform at Cathedral Rocks at the West End of the island. You can get there by bike or on the Island Explorer bus, but is closed to diving and boating.
Rottnest Island is a haven for snorkellers and divers alike. Sitting in the path of the warm Leeuwin Current, the island boasts 135 species of tropical species - as compared to 11 off the metropolitan coastline. The current also brings visitors such as whales and the green turtle. Step off the beach (there are 20 to choose from) and follow one of the snorkel trails or join tour to explore the coral reefs and wrecks off this island paradise. A visit to AQWA will bring you face-to-face with WA's spectacular marine life in their underwater tunnel (the largest in Australia) and living coral reef.
On Rottnest Island, you'll meet the cutest mini marsupial, found only in Western Australia, the world famous quokka! Quokkas are generally nocturnal and spend most of the day sleeping and resting under shady bushes and dense vegetation. On the island they can be seen opportunistically feeding during the day.
Kangaroos & Koalas
You can spot Western Grey Kangaroos in the wild at a number of locations in Perth (best seen at dawn and dusk) - Heirisson Island, located east of the CBD; Yanchep National Park, nestled on the shores of a lake and amid coastal woodland; and Whiteman Park, a popular recreation and conservation reserve in the Swan Valley, which is a biodiversity hotspot, providing habitat for a range of fauna, including 800 kangaroos! You can also see kangaroos in captivity at Caversham Wildlife Park, Perth Zoo, Perth's Outback Splash and Ranger Red's Zoo & Conservation Park.
You can spot koalas lounging in the treetops at Yanchep National Park - walk the 240-metre koala boardwalk to view these beautiful creatures amongst the branches of the trees. You can see them in enclosures at Perth Zoo, Caversham Wildlife Park, Perth's Outback Splash and Cohunu Koala Park - a great place to get that spectacular shot of Australia's native wildlife in natural settings.
The first settlers named their colony "Swan River Colony" because black swans lived on the riverbanks. You can still see these majestic birds along the Swan River, in particular South Perth and Matilda Bay; on Lake Monger Reserve; Herdsman Lake; Bibra Lake; and Claremont and Shenton Park Lakes.
Thousands of species of native birdlife can be found in national and regional parks and reserves across the region, with many fantastic birdwatching locations. Spot Western Wattlebirds, Sacred Kingfishers and Western Spinebills at Kings Park; White-faced Heron, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Cockatoos and Kookaburras at Araluen Botanic Park; swamp hens in Yanchep National Park and a variety of species at John Forrest National Park, Avon Valley National Park, Greenmount National Park and more.
Rottnest Island's West End Boardwalk provides a fantastic opportunites to see nesting shearwater birds as well as osprey nests known to be over 70 years old! With 50 species of seabirds found around Rockingham, including the largest colony of pelican of pelicans in WA, it is an important nesting, feeding and roosting site for many birds which you can learn about at the interpretive centre. Penguin Island in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park off Rockingham is a sanctuary home to many species of birds including Bridal tern, Caspian tern, Pied Cormorant, pelicans, and of course, the Little Penguins.
The Armadale Reptile & Wildlife Centre houses a large variety of native reptiles and other Australian wildlife with over 70 different species on display. There is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to safely observe animals in their natural habitat settings, to see what they look like, how they behave and to learn about their habits. You'll also see various reptiles at Perth Zoo, Ranger Red's Zoo & Conservation Park and Caversham Wildlife Park.
Pat, feed and cuddle your favourite farm animals at The Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm and enjoy daily bottle feedings, tractor train rides and more. At Caversham Wildlife Park you can visit Molly's Farm, an interactive farmyard and enjoy a farm show where you can see sheep shearing demonstrations, working sheep dogs, stockman on horseback, billy swinging, whip cracking, bottle feeding the lambs and milking the cow. In the Avon Valley, you can meet, pet and feed various farm animals at the Toodyay Fairytale Farm.
Wildlife Parks and Zoos
For more wildlife adventures, check out these fantastic zoos and wildlife parks where you can not only see native Australian wildlife, but also species from around the world.
Wildlife tours in Perth
Experience a wildlife encounter with one of these tour operators
More nature and wildlife in Perth
Perth offers a smorgasbord of nature and wildlife experiences - see what's on offer below