Check out what's on in Perth this December.
It's time to set off for your favourite beach for a picnic or barbecue, enjoy the regional and national parks and waterways so close to the city, and laze away some time in Perth CBD itself in a courtyard bar or on the foreshore.
Things to Do on the Perth Coastline
The beautiful beaches of Perth skirt the coastline with barely a break from North Fremantle to Mullaloo. Hire a bike and explore them all, cruise up the coast by car, or settle into one great spot for a totally relaxing time.
From Coast beach bar at Port Beach and Bib and Tucker cafe restaurant in the Leighton precinct, there's Cottesloe's iconic Indiana and string of oceanfront cafes. City Beach's spectacular waterfront dining is a must, and don't miss the new beach pool at surf spot Scarborough or sunset at the boat harbour on Sorrento Quay, Hillarys.
Hillarys Boat Harbour
Artisan markets are springing up all over Perth in December. As well as Summer x Salt at Brighton Reserve, Scarborough on 8 and 22 December, Markets by the Sea is the latest addition, and the first of its kind for the northern Perth beaches.
Timed perfectly for Christmas shopping, the markets will launch on Sunday 2 December, staying open from 9.00am until 2.00pm. The location is perfect for a summer day out, right next to Hillarys Boat Harbour at Whitfords Nodes, a beautiful big park spread out above the beach.
More than 60 stalls will be stacked with gift ideas, including clothing, jewellery, homewares, toys and artworks. Fill up from a selection of food served up by eight food trucks while you enjoy live music and ocean breezes - one of the best things to do in Perth on a sun kissed day.
While you're there, run down to the beach for a swim and be sure to visit Hillarys Boat Harbour and Sorrento Quay. Here, you can take the kids to AQWA (the Aquarium of WA) or sit back on the boardwalk at the Breakwater Tavern while the boats bob and clink in the harbour.
Mullaloo and Scarborough
Meanwhile Corona SunSets invites you to sink an ice cold Corona at a free beachfront gig this December in Perth.
On 8 and 9 December, Corona SunSets presents the popular synth hip hop music of Boo Seeka at Mullaloo Beach Hotel in the northern beachside suburb of Mullaloo, and The Lookout in Scarborough.
Mullaloo Beach, north of Hillarys, is a less celebrated Perth beach, but this well kept secret is definitely worth the trip for its long stretch of unspoilt sand and cooling surf. Drop into Mullaloo Beach Hotel for coffee, lunch, dinner or just a cool drink.
If you're going to The Lookout on 9 December, get to Scarborough early to try out the new outdoor beach pool and family play spaces, and trawl the holiday vibe bars and restaurants opening around the oceanfront.
Scarborough Beach itself has lots of things to do, as a Perth magnet for surfing, swimming, kitesurfing and beach volleyball. While the surf can be rough here, surf life savers are on hand and hazardous areas marked.
City Beach to Cottesloe
Beach cafes and restaurants are the ideal place to be on a warm Perth December day.
Odyssea on City Beach was awarded a bronze medal in the Tourism Restaurants category of the WA Tourism Awards this November. This is no surprise, given the sweeping ocean views and delicious food being served up right on the beachfront in this stylishly designed building.
Relax on the long deck when the cooling afternoon breeze comes in, or sit inside and enjoy the same views through glass. Other great places to eat on the oceanfront at City Beach include Hampton's and Clancy's Fish Bar.
A 15 minute stroll north brings you to The Kiosk at Floreat Beach, which is great for families, and a 10 minute drive south takes you into the fabulous Cottesloe strip. Excellent snack or dining choices here are the Blue Duck and Barchetta right on the beach front, the famous Indiana Cottesloe, the very casual Beaches Cafe and Il Lido Italian Canteen.
Things to Do in Perth's Parks
There's an extraordinary number of beautiful national and regional parks within the Perth metro area. The Perth air is so fresh and the parklands so well preserved that it's hard to believe you're within sight of a major city.
Lesmurdie Falls National Park
The Perth Hills is the place to look for vast national parks with breathtaking views across to the coast. In December, Perth is hotting up, so pack plenty of water with your picnic and look for spots close to rivers, creeks and waterfalls.
Lesmurdie Falls are often held up as the most spectacular waterfall in Perth. Park at the top of the Falls, where you'll find a picnic area and fabulous vista from the first viewing platform, which is easy to reach. The climb from top to bottom or vice versa only for moderately experienced hikers, but there are plenty of other easier trails around the park.
If you're looking for more things to do in the Perth Hills, plan your trip for 1 December when Kalamunda Artisan Market comes to the Town Square. Featuring more than 170 stalls, this is one of the largest in Perth and an ideal venue to find unique Christmas gifts from amongst the arts and crafts made by local creatives. All funds raised go to local charitable projects.
Canning River Regional Park
Perth is famous for the vast sweeps of the Swan River as it meanders down to the coast at Fremantle. Less well known is the Canning River, which joins the Swan just after passing under Canning Bridge at Applecross, where you'll find lots of outdoorsy things to do on Perth's doorstep.
The final stretches of the Canning fall within Canning River Regional Park - a haven of beautiful bushland, wetlands, pathways and picnic areas within the southern suburbs. The river is home to an array of birdlife, fish and turtles, and a wonderful spot for kayaking and swimming.
When searching for what's on in Perth in December, you'll probably come across Australia's first STEAM Carnival just across the road in Canning Showgrounds. It's only on for one day, Saturday 8 December from midday until 9.00pm, so be careful not to miss it!
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths, and the Carnival's ambition is to inspire young entrepreneurs and creators. Working with their existing passion for the pop culture of music, fashion and games, the educational organisation Two Bit Circus hopes to engage young people with new ideas through tech games and experiences.
Big Top shows, roving performers, the G'Astronomy Food Village and the Science on Tap bar will keep you entertained to the end.
Things to Do in Perth City
December in Perth wouldn't be the same without a visit to see the Christmas lights. This year, a Christmas Lights Trail has been created by the City of Perth, with 18 dazzling light installations around the city for you to find. Follow the maps provided on the CoP website, VisitPerth.com.au
CBD Shops and Bars
It's Christmas shopping time throughout December, and Perth CBD has it all. Explore the arcades and laneways around Forrest Place, Hay Street Mall and Murray Street Mall before settling into a leafy courtyard in one of Perth's small bars.
While you're browsing around, don't miss London Court, between Hay Street and Murray Street Malls. Popular with holiday makers for souvenirs, this is a great place to find curios, gifts and quirky stocking fillers.
What's more, from 17 to 21 December this year, it will be snowing in London Court! Be there at 10.00am, 10.45am or 11.30am to witness it, and watch out for Santa between 11.00am and 2.00pm.
Swan River Foreshore
Look for what's on in Perth in December to help you plan your visit to the city. On Perth foreshore, Triple J brings the Origin Fields music festival to Langley Park for two days of New Year celebrations. From 4.00pm on 30 and 31 December, you can enjoy a huge line-up of bands from around the world.
When you're ready to take the weight off your feet for a while, or spend a lazy few hours by the river, get to know The Point Bar and Grill, sitting right on the Swan River across from the city foreshore. With lounges and balconies overlooking the water across to Heirisson Island, this is one of those truly unique things to do in Perth.
Elizabeth Quay is another great area on the Perth riverside to kick back for a while. Find a spot on a rooftop bar to enjoy the fresh breezes, or the deck of Annalakshmi, a wonderful authentic Indian buffet where you eat as much as you want and pay whatever you think it's worth.
Watch out for our guides to Christmas and New Year in Perth, coming soon.