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The Best Time to Visit Perth



“Best Over the coming months, Experience Oz will be running a series answering the frequently-asked question by many potential travellers, “When is the best time to visit...?” for some of Australia's most popular destinations. In this instalment, we look at Perth, Western Australia.

This article in summary:

  • The months bridging Winter and Spring labeled the best time to visit Perth
  • Season popular for its large number of annual events
  • Essential spots to visit in the city: Kings Park, St Mary's Cathedral, Scitech Discovery Centre, His Majesty's Theatre
  • Top destinations for outings/day tours/short trips from Perth: the Pinnacles Desert, Penguin Island, Swan Valley, Rottnest Island

Western Australia's capital is a city that offers a great blend and balance of the natural versus the urban; bordered on one side by thick Aussie bush land and dissected by the lovely waters of the Swan River, Perth is marvellous, yet often overlooked, travel destination in Australia (mainly due in large part to its distance from its east-coast brothers). Possessing a sophisticated and cosmopolitan atmosphere with a rapidly developing economy, Perth still ranks as a “hidden gem” in that it serves as a gateway to many stunning nearby natural attractions – such as the Swan Valley, The Pinnacles Desert and Wave Rock – and also due to the fact it's a damn enjoyable city to visit in itself.

Best Time of Year to Visit Perth

View of Perth city skyline

But just when, exactly, is the best time of year to visit Perth? In order to answer this question, we combined our own personal experience as well as asked various tourism and travel authorities with extensive knowledge of Perth and its surrounds on their recommendations based on decades of knowledge and experience. The general consensus we were given was that the months bridging the Winter and Spring seasons are the best time to visit Perth due to the balance of comfortably mild weather, cavalcade of blooming wildflowers, and typically clear skies.

In case you're looking to travel to Perth from overseas, those months in particular would be from the end of August to the end of March annually; and while this paints a rather broad brush in terms of time frame, it certainly puts an emphasis on avoiding winter as the overall goal of potential travellers to Perth. So what else makes this time of the year in Perth so special?

Why Perth in August?

Aside from the aforementioned “weather and scenery” advantages of the Winter/Spring crossover period – expect temperature averages of anywhere between a 9ºC (48ºF) minimum during September through to a 32ºC (89ºF) daily maximum in February – Perth also comes into its own in terms of festivals and other celebrations during the warmer months. The yearly Perth Festival celebrating all aspects of the city's culture, art and history takes place during February to early March each year, while the Swan Valley midsummer feast – which celebrates all aspects of the food-lover's spectrum and serves as a wonderful showcase of the region's local produce – can be enjoyed during February as well.

Rottnest Island in WA

Rottnest Island aerial view, Western Australia

While there are plenty of great options to travel from Perth to nearby natural attractions during this season, many locals and visitors alike choose instead to simply turn their gaze towards the city itself, as there are a multitude of historic and cultural sites to take part in around the Perth CBD. The Perth Arts Centre, mint, and the city's iconic bell tower are must-visits, with the warmer night air making viewing the tower at night (when it's at its illuminated best) a pleasant way to spent an evening. A recommended next step is then to progress on to the nearby city of Fremantle, a port town that comes alive during these months – and with its Fremantle Markets being held weekly during Summer and Spring, it makes grabbing a hand-crafted bargain a fun proposition for those so inclined.

Of the key attractions located outside Perth, some are better than others to visit during this season – many, for instance, may find The Pinnacles area uncomfortably warm during the height of summer and instead choose to make the trek to see these eerily beautiful limestone formations in autumn or the tail ends of winter instead. A popular alternative destination is Rottnest Island – its location off the coast of Fremantle means breezes are plentiful and can help provide a bit of refreshment on hot summer days, and the abundance of native wildlife and impressive coastal scenery make it an essential on any Perth-region itinerary. Rottnest Island can be easily reached via ferry from either Perth or Fremantle (with Fremantle being cheaper due to distance), and is home to a veritable wonderland of hidden, visually stunning areas to explore.

Boasting a selection of over 63 secluded beaches and 20 bays, you'll have plenty to see and do on Rottnest Island, with renting a bicycle or joining a guided bike tour being the most popular (and budget-conscious) way to explore its offerings. Bear in mind, however, that summer in particular is high season for Rottnest Island, with holiday travellers flocking to view its array of whales, fur seals, quokkas and more, so accommodation typically fills up quickly – you'll want to book well in advance if planning a trip during any of the school holiday periods (which take place during this season from Sep-Oct, late Dec-early Feb, and late Apr-early May respectively).

It takes roughly 90 minutes to reach Rottnest Island from Perth via ferry (25 minutes from Fremantle), and packages are also available that combine ferry transfers with “Eco Express” tours that take you on a circumnavigation of the island itself, allowing you to view some of its more spectacular locations from a unique vantage point.

In short, if you've got a decent tolerance for warm-to-hot weather and don't mind dealing with the occasional dose of humidity, Perth is a great place to visit during the hotter parts of the year, and comes highly recommended as a break away from the norm as opposed to some its perhaps more famous eastern counterparts.

Bonus question: How long do I need to visit Perth? Any other places we should visit while here?

Based on our authority's feedback, most experts recommended spending 3-4 days in Perth itself to get the most out of the city before boredom sets in; they labeled some of the aforementioned essentials along with Kings Park (in the heart of the city and offering some of the best views available combined with a vast array of flora, fauna and history) as must-visits during that time. Branching out from the city, however, is another matter entirely – many frequently referred to the nearby Margaret River region as a destination everyone should make the trip to while in Perth.

Margaret River from Perth

Margaret River, Western Australia

An area famed for its combination of high-quality wines and wineries mixed in with some spectacularly rugged coastal scenery, Margaret River can be reached in around a 4 hour drive from Perth and is said to be worth 2-3 days' worth of stay and exploration in itself. Lastly, the “Valley of the Giants” - a towering forest full of immense trees that comes complete with an impressive treetop walk that allows you to explore the canopies of these titanic plants – is another worthwhile item to add to the greater Perth area bucket list.

In short, Perth allows for enough exploration opportunities that the only true limits on time spent will be your free time and your wallet; so turn your eyes westward for your next holiday and give the world's most isolated capital city and its surrounds a visit this Summer or Spring – you won't be disappointed.

In addition, if you're looking for a range of things to do in and around Perth throughout the year, be sure to visit our main Perth and Rottnest Island region sections to view and book all the available tours, activities and attractions on offer online.

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