On 2 January, we celebrate World Introvert Day!
The date was chosen deliberately to recognise that introverts need to wind down after the festive season. Follow our escapist guide to rejuvenating body and soul.
Introversion is often misunderstood. Many think that introverts are just shy, but in fact shyness is quite different in that it causes people to avoid interacting with others. Introverts actually enjoy social activity; they just don't want too much of it. They relish their own company too and prefer a balance between socialising and alone time.
For this reason, the Christmas and New Year season can prove trying for introverts. By the time the New Year arrives, they're more than ready to seek sanctuary and spend time alone. If this is you, besides crashing on the couch with a book or Netflix, take yourself out to a movie under the stars, or find a day spa that offers healing, detoxifying or rebalancing treatments. There are lots of options just for men too!
If you're looking for places to go and things to do by yourself, this guide has pulled together some quiet places in Perth to restore your equilibrium. NB You don't have to be an introvert to benefit from a little tranquillity. These beautiful spots are all within reach of Perth and have plenty of activity for families and action seekers too!
Sanctuaries in the City
Many don't realise that right in heart of the city is a peaceful sanctuary where the sound of splashing water will calm your soul. John Oldham Park on Mounts Bay Road, opposite the Mount Hospital, looks pretty enough from the road, but once you enter and explore, you'll find there's a lot more to it than appears at first glance.
Follow the path at the far end and cross over the bridge to discover a little waterfall surrounded by trees where birds play and the sounds of nature silence the city rush. Choose a rock and make it yours - a place for introverts to sit in seclusion for a while. It's a magical feeling, like entering another little world. And don't tell anyone - this is your space!
You can also find a place of calm within popular and busy Kings Park, which is even larger than Central Park in New York. It's so vast that there's always a spot for introverts to hide away amongst the 400 hectares of parkland, bush and gardens. While visitors make for the views, cafes, sweeping lawns and Botanic Garden, a massive two-thirds of the Park is native bushland. Follow your heart and seek out a path in amongst the trees. You'll hardly know you're right in the midst of Perth metro.
Perth is know for having lots of green space, and wherever you go, you're sure to find a patch of bushland and hidden groves amongst the trees. Take a book, a camera or your headphones and Spotify list, or just strike a yoga pose and meditate for a while - wonderful, calming things to do by yourself that will rejuvenate your spirit.
Perth is blessed by its location on the Swan River Estuary. This wide, calm body of water meanders on its way to Fremantle, fringed by cliffs, bushland and very expensive homes. Pathways have been forged along much of the riverbank, taking you into little coves, through delightful parks and past stunning views. Following these winding paths is one of the most exhilarating yet soothing things to do by yourself in Perth.
Amongst many stretches worth exploring are Freshwater Bay and Blackwall Reach. Start at Freshwaters cafe next to the Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and walk either way. Northwards, you soon come to a quiet path protected by cliffs, where you can sit for a while and watch the boats and watersports fanatics.
South past the Yacht Club takes you towards Chidley Point, where a lookout offers fabulous, 270 degree views, and there's a secluded little beach inviting you to dip your toes in the crystal clear water. Drop a line if you want to stay for a while in contemplation while you fish.
Freshwaters is a great cafe for introverts. You can grab a takeaway coffee and relax on the spacious grassy riverbank so there's no need to chat to the people with the cute dog on the next table. Wander down to the Yacht Club too for that wonderful feeling of tranquillity that comes from the clinking of masts in the gentle breeze.
Further around the river through Mosman Bay and Blackwall Reach is Minim Cove, near the tennis club. This is known by locals as a fabulous spot to take your dog, right next to the river with pathways leading down to the water or along the rocky cliffs amongst the greenery. Once you start walking, you won't want to turn around.
On the opposite bank of Blackwall Reach, in the southern suburb of Bicton, is the famous stretch of cliffs where daredevils like to jump off into the river. The height of the cliffs gives you some wonderful views that will have you standing still for a while in contemplation. This is another great fishing area, and dolphins often arrive to add even more serenity to the scene.
Walk along the cliff path and practise your photography skills - another great idea for things to do by yourself in Perth. There are so many Instagrammable spots, introverts can stay busy for days without talking to a soul.
Escape to the Country
The Zig Zag scenic drive does exactly what it says, zig-zagging up the Darling Scarp to give you panoramic views across the coastal plain towards the Indian Ocean. The sheer scale of the vistas will chase away stress and restore balance to your life.
Located within Gooseberry Hill National Park, you'll find plenty of walk trails diverging off the road too if you feel like meandering around for a while as you get closer to the sky. Originally a railway, the route south takes you to Kalamunda and the start of the Bibbulmun Track, where you can follow more scenic bush trails if you have the energy. Remember though that the Perth Hills region is noticeably hotter than the coast, so aim for spots where you can cool off in a creek or shade, and take plenty of water.
In the Perth Hills 40km to the east of Fremantle is Araluen Botanic Park. Like Kings Park, this beautiful 59 hectare haven is popular with visitors but vast enough to hide some lovely little leafy and waterside sanctuaries. Flora lovers will simply relish wandering around the gardens, which are particularly well known for camellias and roses. You'll also be in the company of an array of birdlife. Ask for seasonal notes when you arrive to guide you.
For more things to do by yourself in the Perth Hills, go to this link: Things to Do in the Perth Hills
South of Perth, the forests around the tiny town of Dwellingup are a popular retreat for locals, taking you right away from city life and plunging you in amongst shady trees along the Murray River.
Lane Poole Reserve is 50,000 hectares of jarrah forest, a fantastic hideaway for introverts. There are lots of things to do by yourself here, including fishing, kayaking and camping in little secluded spots with security and amenities within reach. Both the Bibbulmun Track and the Munda Biddi Trail pass through the Reserve, beating some pretty walks and mountain bike paths.
Being naturally solitary and quiet, introverts are more likely to spot native animals at nightfall, like the woylie, ringtail possum and western quoll.
Calmer on the Coast
Perth's beaches aren't always the most solitary places in summer, but compared to other parts of Australia they're never crowded, even on a weekend. To find a long stretch with even fewer visitors, you only have to drive a little further north of the popular Scarborough surf or south of our beloved port city, Fremantle.
Mullaloo Beach is a lovely local hangout for strolling in the sand, swimming in the refreshing ocean or cycling along the beach paths. The park above the beach provides shady trees so you can stay as long as your spirit decides.
Despite its name, South Beach isn't the most southern sandy beach in Perth. Keep going south until you reach Coogee Beach, a vast stretch of white sand with views across to Garden Island and Rottnest. The sheer size of this beach means you can become a tiny speck of human driftwood - a wonderful prospect for stressed out introverts, at least for a while.
If you're an introverted parent, finding things to do by yourself is almost impossible, so look for a secluded bay where the kids can happily mess around in the rocks and shallow waters while you gaze out to sea. Watermans Bay is a great choice for young children, with a grassy area, shady trees and fenced playground above the little cove. Take snorkelling gear!
For solitary introverts, visit Watermans Bay outside school holidays and weekends so you can float amongst the fish in peace or settle under a tree with a good book. Cafes along the North Beach strip can serve you a decent takeaway coffee.