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Best Day Trips From Perth

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If you’re heading to Perth in Western Australia to study abroad, you’ll get to spend several years enjoying everything the city has to offer, including a surprising amount of free things.

But there are also plenty of day trips from Perth that shouldn’t be missed, offering breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences. Read on to discover some of the best, budget-friendly day trips from Perth.

Bike around Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island

Probably number one on the list of must-do day trips from Perth, Rottnest Island is the perfect excursion for a combination of cycling, hiking and swimming. They offer student discounts on the ferry ride over to the island (AU$35 instead of $50) when you show your student ID, with departures every hour from Fremantle (accessible via the Fremantle train line). After a short 45-minute ferry ride, you will have access to the most pristine white-sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and hiking trails.

The best way to travel around the island is by bike, which can be rented when you arrive on the island. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even hire a snorkel (which I would highly recommend, since the island has some of the best snorkeling spots in Western Australia). Pack a picnic and this afternoon is one that won’t break the student budget. There are also cheap camping options if you are keen for a weekend away. Don’t forget to take a quokka selfie!

Check out The Pinnacles

The Pinnacles

A short two-hour drive north of Perth, the other-worldly landscape of The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park is an epic spot to stop along the Indian Ocean Drive. These desert sculptures are composed of shells, and are scattered along the sandy landscape in the thousands. The Pinnacles Loop is a four-kilometer road that can be driven or walked in about an hour, where these jagged pointed figures stand against shifting golden sand. This otherworldly landscape will make you feel like you’re visiting a planet in a universe far, far away.

Sandboarding in Lancelin

Sand boarding

After you’ve visited the iconic Pinnacles, begin your journey back to Perth and stop for some sandboarding at the Lancelin Sand Dunes. Sand board hire is only $12 for up to two and a half hours, which is plenty of time to board up and down Western Australia’s largest sand dunes. Make sure to stay for dusk to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean.

I would recommend either renting a car for both The Pinnacles and Lancelin, or booking a tour and hit both at a small cost. Adams Pinnacle Tours offers a jam-packed day including both of these excursions, along with a visit to Sorrento Quay Hillarys Boat Harbour. However, if you have the time and ability to book a car, it will likely be a more relaxed way to see the sights and gives you a lot more freedom.

Snorkel at Penguin Island

Penguin Island

After taking a 45-minute train to Rockingham from the central business district (via the Mandurah line), you can hop on the 10-minute ferry to Penguin Island to meet the world’s smallest penguins. The ferry costs $24 for one way and includes a penguin feeding upon arrival at the Discovery Centre. However, that’s not all that this island has to offer. Grab a snorkel and head to Shoalwater Bay to explore the crystal-clear waters, or walk along the boardwalk and witness the stunning views of the marine park. You can book a tour to swim with wild dolphins, which costs $205 and includes a full day cruise, lunch, snorkeling lessons, and complimentary photos. Or alternatively you can save money on the guided tour and rent a stand-up paddle board for $25 and bring your own snorkeling gear.

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Written by Carly W.

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