It’s no great discovery to find out that going on vacation (especially with a group, be it friends, family, or both) is an expensive endeavor. And while you’ve worked so hard all year to deserve this break, it’s not bad to enjoy the free things in a life either, so while you’re in the heart of Western Australia and you’re thinking of the purse strings, give these no-cost treats a test run-just because they don’t cost a dime doesn’t mean they’re any less fun!
Grab your sense of adventure and tuck your wallet back into your pocket, these great visits aren’t going to cost you a dime (or a very little). Bon voyage!
Bank on the Free City Tours
The beauty of the free city tours is all in the flexibility. Want to spend an hour? Perfect. Want to spend less? Also perfect. With volunteers picking up travelers and visitors form the Information Kiosk at Murray Street MAll daily, there are tours featuring gold rush history, art trails, and even city garden walks that are hop-on, hop-off, with absolutely no requirement to stay. So if you’re in town during the week and are hoping to get your city feet, head out with one of the volunteer guides—usually a local—and get situated in the city in the best way possible; by exploring all the great culture and history it has to offer.
Snorkel at Shoalwater Marine Park
If you’ve got a family of water lovers, you definitely want to bank on the free admission to Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. From diving to snorkelling, swimming to nature walks, you can explore the island’s, barrier reefs and shipwrecks just offshore in a whole day worth of adventure in the sun and surf. For snorkel fan, head straight to the reefs for encounters with the dolphins, sea urchins, or even, if you head to Sea Island, you can catch a glimpse at some Australian sea lions. And while some activities may require payment—diving in the shipwreck, for example—there are plenty of free activities at this location just a one hour drive from Perth.
Walk (or bike) the Fremantle Markets
If you’re a fan of two-footed wanderings, or even more of a two-wheels kind of traveler, head to Fremantle on the weekends for a taste of the local flair of Perth. Originally built in 1897 as a market hall, this beautiful tribute to unique Western Australia Victorian architecture is renovated, glorious, and reopened for the modern take of the same market. Full of fresh, local food, local artistic delights and perfect trinkets to take home to friends and family, the Fremantle Market can also be a place to bring your camera and just snap away if you’re feeling wallet shy or just love dazzling colours and beautiful, diverse cultural communities. And for the bike aspect of this adventure, stop by the E-shed markets to pick up your free set of wheels, provided by the Free Wheeling Fremantle initiative.
Take A Day Trip To York
As the first inlet settlement in Australia, York is a great getaway for those travelers wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Nestled on the Avon River, it is full of the charms of an early settlement during the 19th century and the calendar is booked with festivals and events for tourists traveling to learn about life in rural Western Australia. From the motor museum to the walking trail network that weaves between the historical buildings and regional flora, you can get closer to the history of the area and spend a wonderful day just wandering. Doesn’t that sounds nice?
Yoga at the Northbridge Piazza
Northridge Piazza is home to a lot of free activities; from a place to watch the WACA cricket game for those unlucky enough not to grab a ticket to a place to grab a movie in the evening. But the real great thing about it for travelers is the free yoga sessions (or even Tai Chi if you’re partial) so you don’t get out of your exercise routine. Grab breakfast at your hotel and then hop on a bus with your yoga mat—it’s a great way to start the day and get all your chakras aligned and well before heading out to adventure. Bring along the kids as well; there’s no age limit here!
Head to the Perth Cultural Centre
The very center of the Perth artistic heartbeat is in the Perth Cultural Centre, and it just so happens to be great luck (or great planning) that admission to everything here is free. From the Western Australian Museum, to the Art Gallery of Western Australia, and the Library and Information Service of Western Australia to the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and The Blue Room Theatre, it’s all here in the centre, and it’s all a taste of the unique art scene that is at home in Perth. Wander around the art gallery for pieces by local, regional, and international artists alike, or head to a showing at the Blue Room Theatre; it will be a taste of hometown pride and prowess all in one convenient hotspot.
Head for a Taste Test at Swan Valley
If you know anything about Western Australia or are familiar with the name Swan Valley then you know it’s wine country and seems as far away from free as you possible could get. But with Swan Valley, the beauty is in the free samples and taste testing that go on all day throughout the week. Just a 25 minute ride from main city Perth, you can find tastings of wine, cheese, chocolates, ice cream, you name it, and it’s all deliciously handcrafted in Western Australia’s oldest wine region.
Get a 15 minute free lesson at Didgeridoo Breath
Is there anything more quintessentially Australian than a didgeridoo? Home to the largest didgeridoo retailer in the world, Didgeridoo Breath, it’s not a complete trip to Perth without testing your lips on one of the famed instruments. Head to the shop, on Market Street in Fremantle, and grab one of the free 15 minute lessons from a master, and then you’ll have to convince yourself not purchase your own instrument to impress your friends back home. Stick around after to learn a little history, check up on how the instrument is made, and just to chat with the friendly staff—they’re awesome and more than willing to share their knowledge with visitors. And bonus: they ship their merchandise anywhere in the world so no need to worry about whether you’ll be able to fit your recent purchase in the airplane overhang.
Explore the best city attractions with free transportation
While the admission fares may not be free, the tickets to ride to the main attractions certainly are. While there are day passes to use the bus and other modes of public transportation, the CAT bus is perfectly situated along three lines to valet you between the most visited sites in Perth, and they’re willing to do it for free, and bonus points: there are some areas within Perth that allow all travelers to travel for free, so make sure you’re looking up the locations of your destinations before calling a cab; you may get lucky and save a few bucks, which can easily be turned into ice cream or an extra cocktail after dinner.
Pack a Picnic for Kings Park
As one of the largest city parks in the world—you can think of Kings Park as the Central Park of Perth—it’s a no brainer that this Perth greenspace is going to be a gorgeous must-see of botanical prowess and unique bushland, so why not bring your sandwiches along for the ride? With panorama views of the Darling Range and the city just to name a few, you can head off to search for the State War Memorial or just stop and sniff the flowers of the extremely diverse Western Australia flora. Bring your barbecuing supplies—there’s grills on location—and plan a cookout for the family around one of the many playgrounds; not only is it a great place to let the kids let off steam, there’s also a lake for sailing paper boats, a fort for exploring, and an outdoor cinema open between December and March for a little relaxing. What’s not to love?
Try your hand at Geocaching
If you’ve got kids, a smartphone, and any sense, you already know about Geocaching; it’s the international treasure hunt that’s app fueled and one of the hottest things to do while on vacation, or even on a staycation at home. And Perth is no exception to the rule, with lots of treasures just waiting around the corner. For newbies to the game, Geocaching is a worldwide hunt for hidden trinkets, fueled by online clues, and exact locations, and not only can you be a treasure hunter, but you can also be a treasure hider, and create your own secret cache to leave for the next set of adventures. Download the app for easy maneuvering throughout the city, and then you’re off!
Sandsurf in Lancelin
Or if you’re not into extreme sports, take a seat and watch one of the sand surfing competitions on the famous dunes outside the popular little fishing town. While Lancelin is an hour and a half outside of Perth, there are tours that will bus you there worry-free and plenty of activities to get lost in. For body surfing head to Back Beach, or for experienced and adventurous divers (with a permit) head down to the bay to discover one, or all, or the 14 shipwrecks located there. And while the beaches are beautiful, the real fun is in the sand so splurge on a dune buggy and get down to the nitty gritty—because this surf is definitely rocking one of a kind waves!
Take it to the beach
Always a favorite with visitors in Perth, the beaches of Western Australia, especially Perth, are truly spectacular, one of a kind natural wonders. Cottesloe is one of the favorite for it’s pristine white sand and brilliant blue waves, but you can catch any beach near Perth for a truly incredible view of an Indian Ocean sunset. You can also check out many other areas, like City Beach, for festivals and music concerts during the summer months, or even a late night movie showings on the beach. Pick a cafe on the waterfront and spend your time watching the sun go down while you nosh; it’s the perfect ending to any Perth day.
The great thing about Perth is so much of what makes it an extraordinary place to visit has nothing to do with spending lots of money, so head out into the great wide open air of Perth and catch yourself an adventure, one sightseeing spot at a time.