We spent over a month in Western Australia moving from house sit to house sit and exploring different areas. As we were looking after pets in stunning homes, we had the perfect conditions for some amazing day trips. As well as day trips from Perth, we also explored further south around Margeret River and towards Albany. Check out our guide to house sitting so you can save money and explore new areas too.
Valley of the Giants treetop walk, Denmark
5hr drive from Perth CBD
This awesome attraction took us on an eight-hour round trip, from Bunbury, down to (very south of Perth) Tingledale. Cute name, amazing nature.
On the drive down there are some great towns to stop off at. We particularly enjoyed Bridgetown, a really nice rural Australian town with cute gift shops and cafes. Further down the drive, there are a few giant trees that were once used as fire lookouts that you can climb up. Gloucester Tree and Diamond Tree were two that we drove past and (embarrassingly) decided against climbing…
Valley of the Giants’ main attraction is a suspended treetop walk that leads you through the canopy of, literally, giant Tingle trees. Suspended at 40m high the walk gives you an amazing viewpoint and makes you feel minuscule next to their stature. We were really lucky and managed to go at a quiet time so we pretty much had the walkway to ourselves.
In the second part of the park, there is a boardwalk trail called the ‘Ancient Empire’ walk. From the ground, you can pass through hollowed Red Tingle trees and enjoy the sheer size.
Just down the road from the park, we went to check out what is known as the ‘Giant Survivor’, a Red Tingle. Over 400 years old. Over the years it’s been hollowed out by various fires and in the 60s it was a popular parking space for tourists (unfortunately we couldn’t go and park Stripe under it!).
Busselton and Busselton Pier
2.5hr drive from Perth CBD
Missing home and needing the sea we headed to the seaside town of Busselton. Its main attraction is its famous jetty; its construction started in 1853 and stretches nearly 2km out to sea. At the end of the pier there’s an underwater observatory, with a 360 viewing window for marine species and occasionally a token mermaid (yea, really).
If mermaids weren’t enough it also has a pier train that carries tourists and kids down to the end. If you’re lucky, you can see dolphins swimming under the jetty on the way down. Minus an old school arcade, it was like being somewhere in Norfolk, UK… only it was warm and I couldn’t find anywhere to buy a Mr. Whippy.
Yanchep National Park
45min drive from Perth CBD
This is a park where a pom’s dreams can come true, it has a koala boardwalk and roaming kangaroos with heaps of kookaburras sitting and laughing in the trees. Spend a day to enjoy the wildlife, take a picnic and your camera.
We booked into the Crystal Cave tour, which gave us an interesting underground taste of history. You enter through a passage that was used as the original passage in 1903 and climb down the stairs into the darkness. We had a guided walk around the different caverns and saw the jewelled ceilings, stalactites and mites and various other natural wonders.
After the caves, we bush-walked our way back to the koala boardwalk for a free koala talk. It was really informative and gave us heaps of info on their daily habits and what’s needed for their conservation.
Bells Rapids Park
45min drive from Perth CBD
Western Australia is also great for a national park/walking trail and there are heaps to explore within driving distance from Perth. When we were there, the weather was a mixed bag but we made the most of it!
We’ve used CamperMate quite a lot to plan day trips and hikes out. This was a gem we found just north of Perth. It’s best when there’s been rainfall, as we arrived after a couple of heavy storms the rapids were in full flow.
It’s free entry and has two hiking trails, an easy and a harder one. We chose to take the harder route, up a steep and winding path to the observation points. On one side of the hill you get an awesome view of the bridge and the water below and on the other, you can see Perth’s city skyline.
On the way back down you reach buttock boulder, aptly named for its shape. We took some fun photos next to this rock but so we don’t scar you, they’ll stay firmly in the memory box…
It took around two hours to hike around the trail, down the hill (we went the wrong way) and then back to the bridge. Nice for an afternoon walk and some pretty impressive photos. Heaps of people were walking their dogs and letting them swim in the shallow parts of the river, so it’s good for puppers too.
1hr drive from Perth CBD
Similar to Bells Rapids, but this park holds a small waterfall as the main attraction. We had a limited time here before the storm rolled in, so we managed a short trek along the river.
There’s a full 5-hour trek trail which we would have done if we had more time so there’s something for everyone. You can swim at the bottom of the falls but there are signs everywhere advising against it. We also heard people had tried (and died) jumping off the top of the falls, so we stuck to walking around the trails.
There were also really friendly kangaroos as we pulled in. We spent ages watching a guy and his three-year-old feeding and stroking the roos, we gave it a go and managed to get quite close.
Dunsborough, Eagle Bay and Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
3hr drive from Perth CBD
Ok not as close as the other two but Dunsborough is a small town with cute coffee spots and beach boutiques. The beachfront is also lined with impressive holiday villas. As we went out of season it was quiet and we had a lush cycle ride up and down the coastal bike path.
We grabbed lunch and headed up to Piquet Point, the view started to get really impressive the further up we drove. From Piquet Point you can see whale migrations if you’re in the right season – while we were a couple of months early we still enjoyed the ocean views.
Following the trail down to Eagles Bay, we had a wander around the beach. It was empty and super peaceful when we went just as a warning, the water can be cold on chillier days!
Just a short drive up the road is Cape Naturaliste lighthouse and a nice and easy ‘lighthouse trail’ walk around the edge of the cliffs. It’s a really great spot to watch the sun go down and you can also have a tour up the lighthouse itself.
Lancelin Sand Dunes
1.5hr drive from Perth CBD
One of the most adrenaline filled days out in WA we had. Worth the drive and great fun at any level. The boards were cheap to rent and it’s fun even if you’re really really bad (like Dan). Check out our sandboarding photo and video diary for more info.