Perth has something to offer every car hire holiday. If you are searching for sunshine, pristine beaches, winding rivers and rolling hills you will find it all here. Alternatively, the markets, nightlife and restaurants offer an abundance of choices for the most selective tourist. With attractions as diverse as the landscapes surrounding this pretty city, you will need to base yourself here for at least a week to take in everything there is to offer.
Western Australia's capital city is widely known for its pristine beaches which stretch up and down the coast. This region is an underwater paradise, with the whale shark (the worlds largest fish) an attraction for divers, and friendly dolphins that swim to the waters edge. There is every type of landscape within driving distance. And you can return to Perth to relax and enjoy the culture of the city before you start another day trip filled with adventure.
One attraction you cant miss is the Perth Zoo, featuring over 1600 species. Located just five minutes from the city on the banks of the Swan River, you will discover interesting animals such as the Lemur, Siberian Tiger, Western Quoll and the cute Numbat. The children will love it here and it is open every day of the week.
The majestic Swan River meanders into the Swan Valley offering extensive wineries and art galleries. This is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway or day trip. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a drive into the lush valley which is such a contrast from the beaches and aquatic attractions closer to the city. Spring is also a wonderful time to visit this region with the ‘Spring in the Valley’ festival bringing life and colour to the valley, and wildflowers literally everywhere you look.
Another great picnic idea is to head to the famous King Park, only a short walk from the city spreading over Mount Eliza, and enjoy the panoramic views of the river dotted with catamarans and yachts. Take a stroll through parklands or enjoy the magnificent botanical gardens.
Just across from Perth is Rottnest Island, which is just as popular with tourists as locals. The clear waters, fishing spots and the cute quokkas seem to own the island. The best way to see Rottnest is on push bike, which adds to the peace and tranquility of the island. You are bound to find your own private beach with over sixty to discover, or visit the Rottnest Museum for a walk back in time. Bring your snorkels and you will be delighted with the underwater world albeit with shipwrecks and coral reefs.
If you are staying at Rottnest overnight at one of the villas or camping sites, make sure you watch the spectacular sunset from the Quokkas Arms Pub. It truly is one of the best spots in the world to watch the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.
Less than half an hour from Perth is Fremantle, which is a port city that needs to be seen for its heritage buildings, museum and authentic shopping. The markets here are very popular with locals and tourists alike, with every type of cuisine available, and trendy cafés lining the streets.
South from Perth you will find Mandurah, known for its Ocean Marina surrounded by cafes, shops and parklands. This is a great place to enjoy a day cruise out into the ocean to watch for dolphins, pelicans and water birds. There is every type of water activity available here, and it is a fisherman's delight with an abundance of marine life.
Rockingham has everything for families and water lovers, with plenty of safe beaches, and sailing, snorkeling and surfing all enjoyable past-times. Two of the favourite attractions are the dolphin viewing tours which have a platform so you can see the dolphins swimming alongside you. Also taking the ferry out to Penguin Island is a must to see the fairy penguins in their own environment. This is a wonderful city to stay for a while to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and aquatic life.
Perth is also known for its swans, and a unique place to see the white swans is in Northam, which also has the longest suspension bridge in Australia. Nestled on the Avon River further inland from the city, you can also enjoy white water rafting, canoeing and hot air ballooning in this region.
Further into the hinterland, the Avon Valley National Park is fantastic for a day trip of weekend escape. Drive inland to York, where you will find an array of museums, galleries and old buildings. There is plenty of bush camping here and friendly towns scattered throughout the valley. The drive from Beverley to York promises panoramic views over lakes and countryside.
Perth is beautiful in so many ways. The friendliness of the people, the diversity of wildlife and marine life so close together, and the loveliness of the country make this a destination that will capture your heart. Fantastic as a base to visit Western Australia more extensively, make sure you start planning a self drive itinerary here soon.
Jenny Brewer is a travel agent whose passion is writing. After spending her leisure time writing time writing children's stories, she now enjoys writing about travel destinations. For more of her articles visit Car Hire Australia