Summer in Perth is predicted to be hot this year.
Yet, thanks to the relatively dry heat of our Mediterranean climate, a Perth summer isn't as steamy as other parts of Australia. If it does get a little too warm for you, there are many excellent cool cafes, restaurants and bars to settle into until the sun goes down. Alternatively, get wet!
The most appealing summer spots in Perth naturally involve water. Even if you're not a water baby, just being next to a splashing waterfall or dipping your toes into the lapping ocean has an instant cooling effect, and this is the ideal time of year for a breezy sunset cruise.
So the best advice is to plan your Perth summer holidays around water and cafe strips! Either stay in a hotel or resort with a fabulous pool, or look for accommodation on the coast or near the river. This guide has lots of ideas for a summer in Perth that brings you the best of all worlds. For summer events, go to: Get Ready for Summer in Perth.
Summer Spots on the Perth Coastline
Ideas for a Perth Summer Holiday in Mandurah
Seen Mandurah? Look again! No longer a little seaside town, the choice of excellent resorts, apartments, cafes, restaurants and things to do make this a top destination for Perth summer holidays.
Mandurah has all you need for Perth summer days out on the water. Think fishing, swimming, crabbing and water sports, or cruising the waterways and tranquil estuary. Stay in a houseboat to literally holiday on the water! Alternatively, beautiful serviced apartment resorts include Seashells and Quest.
One experience not to be missed this summer is jumping on board with Mandurah Cruises to look for wild bottlenose dolphins and see the spectacular Christmas lights sparkling over the canals. The wetlands are home to pelicans, ospreys and many other beautiful birds, all spotted for you by Mandurah Cruises' knowledgeable guides. Look for their special summer deals too, and book now, as these cruises fill up fast!
All along the foreshore, you'll find tasty food and places to while away a hazy Perth summer day, including a family favourite, Cicerello's Seafood Restaurant. Picnicking on the foreshore is a refreshing alternative, and highly recommended for your takeaway is the legendary Miami Bakehouse pies. Miami has stores located at convenient stops for holiday makers driving between Perth and Mandurah, with one right in the centre of Mandurah at Gilbert's Fresh on Rouse Road.
While you're in Mandurah, learn about indigenous people's relationship with the land and water on a fascinating tour with Mandjoogoordap Dreaming. Perth summer is also the perfect time to browse the foreshore markets for Christmas gifts, souvenirs and bargains.
Add to your list of things to do on your Perth summer holiday in Mandurah by going to this link: Top 5 Ways to Make the Most of Mandurah and the Peel Region.
Perth Summer Day Trips to the Coast
Bottlenose dolphins know how to enjoy summer in Perth! These delightful creatures leap and play along the coast and river with infectious energy. Rockingham Wild Encounters will take you on a cruise to spot dolphins, penguins and sea lions.
Better still, you can hop off the boat to swim with the dolphins - a great idea for a Perth summer experience that will leave you feeling just as playful and serene as these wonderful animals. Check this link for more water-based fun in Rockingham.
A Day at the Harbour
There's something about lapping water around bobbing boats and the sound of clinking masts that says summer has arrived in Perth. Cool off by taking a dip at the sandy beach next to Hillarys Boat Harbour, following by a lazy snack and drink on the boardwalks of Sorrento Quay next to the boats. Families will find activities for kids and some great little shops to browse for mementoes and beachwear.
Or spend the day browsing the cool shops and art galleries of Fremantle, combined with scrumptious seafood and craft beer on the boardwalks of Fishing Boat Harbour. Bathers Beach is a great spot for a Perth summer afternoon, with calm waters for swimming and a licensed area right on the sand in front of Bathers Beach House. This venue is also highly recommended for a relaxing coffee on the terrace overlooking the water and neighbouring heritage buildings.
North Beach and Mettam's Pool
Less famous, but a fabulous spot for a Perth summer day out, is North Beach. A little further north than the more well known Scarborough Beach, this strip of coastline and cafes is very popular with Perth locals for walking, cycling, swimming, meeting for coffee and taking the kids to paddle.
Mettam's Pool is fabulous for children to learn to snorkel. Most Perth beaches are sandy, but here there are rocky crevices and holes where you can get close up to the sea life. It's such fun for kids to be free to climb, poke around in rock pools and float with the fish in relative safety. And when you're ready to fill up, there are some great cafes along the coast. North Beach Deli and Tom's are two of the best.
Cottesloe by Candlelight
It's no secret that Cottesloe is one of the top beaches to visit on a Perth summer day, and for good reason. Not only does it present an excellent choice of beachfront restaurants, cafes and pubs, but Perth summer brings activities that fill the beach with holiday vibes. One to earmark is Carols by Candlelight on the oceanfront lawns of the stunning Civic Centre building. Celebrating its 25th year, this event takes place on 16 December from 6.00pm - bring a picnic.
On any day in 'Cott', make sure you grab lunch from Indiana, Il Lido, the Blue Duck or Barchetta, and check out Beaches Cafe for great coffee in a casual sandy holiday environment.
Perth Summer Holidays on Rottnest
On 23 February, Cottesloe sees off the brave souls entering the annual Rottnest Channel Swim, worth catching from either Cott Beach or Rottnest itself as they arrive. An easier way to get to Perth's summer holiday island is on Rottnest Fast Ferries from Hillarys or, from Fremantle, take the Rottnest Express or Sealink.
The string of bays around Rottnest Island creates picturesque views in striking blues and greens not seen anywhere else on a Perth summer day. The water is cooler here and has a sparkling freshness you'll find irresistible.
The island has evolved in recent years to upgrade its range of accommodation and activities, whilst retaining the much loved nostalgic appeal. A traditional Rottnest holiday means staying in a limestone cottage, wandering back and forth to the beach, letting sand fall on the floor, hanging bathers in the front courtyard and barbecuing each night.
The island is one of the best spots in Perth for summer snorkelling, and its easy to meander from bay to bay by bike or hop-on hop-off bus, dipping in the ocean and clambering on the rocks looking for crabs. In Thomson Bay, kids will love splashing around at Just 4 Fun Aqua Park - a water playground of inflatable slides, trampolines and stepping stones that will have them (and you) laughing hysterically as dad falls off into the water yet again!
If this picture isn't enough to have you booking right away, there are plenty more ideas for your Perth summer holiday on Rottnest. How about following the underwater shipwreck trail, hopping onto an adventure cruise, kayaking, sailing or diving, joining a Segway tour, or ticking off that bucket list item with a tandem skydive onto the beach?
Rivers and Waterfalls in Perth Summer
There are few more cooling spots on a Perth summer day than riverside under the trees. Here are some refreshing ideas for summer in the Perth Hills and Swan Valley.
The many national, regional and marine parks are perfect destinations for a summer day out in Perth. Look for those with rivers, creeks and waterfalls to ensure everyone stays cool, paddling and picnicking under shady trees.
Explore Do Go Chasing Waterfalls, which describes the many falls around the Perth Hills where you can catch some spray. Here you'll find the majestic Sixty Foot Falls near Armadale, picturesque Hovea Falls and picnic spot, and the spectacular Lesmurdie Falls, also great for picnicking. Enjoy breathing in some panoramic views across to the Indian Ocean as you wind your way up into the hills.
A fabulous summer spot in Perth's Swan Valley is Bells Rapids, where you can picnic under the trees next to the bubbling white water and mess about in the shallows.
Swan River Cruising
A lazy cruise along the Swan River to explore the wineries, or just to soak up another beautiful Perth summer sunset, is hard to beat. Captain Cook Cruises can treat you to a lunch cruise as you float between Perth and Fremantle or a Twilight Cruise with complimentary drink.
Two of the best full day cruises take you up the river into the Swan Valley wine region, with onboard wine tasting and a visit to Sandalford Estate, or down to Fremantle followed by a craft beer tour.
Mucking About on the River
No planning is required for an easy day around the Swan River Estuary. There are several picnic and play spots for a summer day on Perth's riverbanks. Find your ideal location by following the Swan River Scenic Loop Self Drive. Great places for kids are Matilda Bay, Point Walter Reserve and Heathcote Reserve.
Kayaking is a great idea for an active Perth summer day on the river. Water Wanderers have a range of options, with something sure to suit everyone.
Award-winning Adventure World in Bibra Lake keeps the whole family entertained, energised and happy for a full day of water slides, carnival rides and good food. There are thrill rides and steep water funnels for older kids and kidults, themed areas and gentler fairground rides for little ones, plus the luxurious resort-style pool to chill down.
Outback Splash in the Swan Valley is another huge water playground, including a hilarious giant inflatable slide and Octopus Bay splash zone for toddlers. Situated on the site of The Maze, this attraction is complemented by the five baffling mazes, nine-hole mini golf and native animal encounters.