Top things to do in Perth on a budget
Whether your budget is modest, middling or massive, here are five low-cost, quintessentially Perth experiences that’ll make your trip unforgettable.
- February 2018
- Updated March 2021
Like any capital city, Perth offers plenty of opportunities to blow the budget if you're so inclined. But you don’t need to – in fact, some of its most enjoyable experiences are also some of its least expensive.
While the day away in Kings Park and Botanic GardenThe jewel in Perth’s crown, Kings Park and Botanic Garden is 400 hectares of inner-city bushland, gardens and parks, a short walk (or free bus-ride) from the CBD. Grab a map or join a free walking tour at the Visitors Information Centre and start exploring. Follow one of the many bush pathways or check out the WA Botanic Garden, with its 3,000+ varieties of native flora and panoramic river- and city-views. Wander among the treetops on the Lotterywest Federation Walkway or climb the iconic DNA Tower, take an Aboriginal cultural tour to learn about King's Park's ancient Nyungar significance, enjoy a picnic or café lunch, and try to figure out how the Whispering Wall works. And that’s just for starters...
Location: Fraser Avenue, Perth
Be amazed by WA Museum Boola BardipA stunning complex that blends heritage and cutting-edge architecture, the recently opened WA Museum Boola Bardip contains eight new galleries and an enormous temporary exhibition space. Boola Bardip means ‘many stories’ in Whadjuk Nyoongar, and this fully accessible museum delivers on its promise. Its collections span the state’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history, innovations and creative achievements, natural environment, wildlife and much more.
Easy to reach by public transport or on foot from the city centre, the museum is free to visit. Why not make a day of it and check out the nearby WA Art Gallery, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and Northbridge while you’re there?
Location: Perth Cultural Centre, Perth
Snorkel the underwater wonderland at Mettam’s PoolA kaleidoscope of colourful fish, anemones and starfish await you at the pristine, protected Mettam’s Pool. Considered one of Perth’s best metropolitan snorkelling spots, this small patch of ocean is sheltered by a reef, which usually means calm water and clear views of its underwater residents. Rock pools containing tiny creatures abound, and the tranquil conditions make it a great place to paddleboard and kayak too. Take a picnic and eat under the shady pergola or on the lush grass area. Ramps, bathrooms, showers and a drinking fountain are all close by and there are several cafes within walking distance.
Location: 330 West Coast Drive, North Beach
Elizabeth Quay: the heart of the waterfrontCelebrating Perth’s love affair with the Swan River, Elizabeth Quay has transformed the city’s foreshore. The lively waterfront precinct is abuzz with play areas, promenades, public art, and places to eat and drink. Take the Public Art Walk and discover beautiful mosaics, striking installations, nocturnal light displays and sculptures such as the majestic 'First Contact' by renowned Nyungar artist Laurel Nannup. The interactive BHP Water Park will delight kids of all ages with its dancing water jets and illumination.
From Elizabeth Quay, you can catch the ferry to South Perth (a 10-minute trip costing less than AUD $5) and the much-loved Perth Zoo.
Location: The Esplanade, Perth
Go bush in KalamundaJust 25km east of the city in the Perth Hills lies Kalamunda, a historic suburb that feels more like a village. Visit on a Sunday morning to sample the tasty fresh produce at its farmers’ market; or on the first Saturday of the month for its artisans’ market, showcasing handcrafted local wares. Or come any time to enjoy its main attraction: the Kalamunda National Park. This beautiful swathe of bushland suits walkers of most fitness levels, with tracks winding through towering jarrah and marri trees, past dramatic granite outcrops, wildflowers and waterfalls. Keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos, bandicoots and abundant native birdlife. Famed hiking trail the Bibbulman Track starts here, so if you’re super-keen, you could just keep walking -- all the way south to Albany!
Location: 25km east of Perth