Things To Do In Perth, Western Australia
Perth is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia. It’s popular for a number of reasons, one of which is the majestic Swan River with its ecologically important Swan Coastal Plain. The Swan Coastal Plain has many attractions that recommend it to tourists. There is the Yanchep National Part, for example, and Nambung National Park. Read about what things to do in Perth for you and your family.
Wetlands and dunes The Yanchep National Park is a mere 48km north of Perth and it’s a wetlands fanatic’s dream. There are four wetlands that are home to a variety of birds and animals. Unsurprisingly, most of the birds are water birds, such as swans (also unsurprisingly), pelicans, and kingfishers. It’s also a great place to spot Western Grey kangaroos. Much of the Swan Coastal Plain is under threat from urbanisation, but every effort is being made to keep the Yanchep National Park well-protected. Nambung National Park is Yanchep’s polar opposite. Here you will find the rolling yellow sands and limestone formations that make the Pinnacles Desert one of the most interesting attractions in Western Australia. You can also spend some time exploring the scene at some of the beaches in the park.
It’s all about the birds It’s not really all about the birds, but it might as well be given all the attention that the birds in the plain get. For example, the Northern Swan Coastal Plain Important Bird Area is pretty self-explanatory. It’s over 2300 square kilometres of protected land in the south western sector of Western Australia. The sheer size of the area means that it contains many, many additional attractions. Technically, Perth can be included in that list as it forms one of the area’s boundaries. It also includes the Swan River, the low Darling Scarp, the Yanchep National Park, and the very rough and rugged Neerabup National Park. BirdLife International designated it an Important Bird Area (IBA) because it’s home to many threatened bird species, including Short-billed Black Cockatoos, Red-capped Parrots, Red-eared Firetails, and Western Thornbills (Wikipeda).
It’s not all about the birds It takes more than thousands of threatened birds to qualify a region as a specific botanical province. Other vulnerable, endangered, and endemic plant and animal species are at home in the Swan Coastal Plain. There are over 8000 plant species in the plain, including exotic Caladenia orchids, Synaphea flowers, Cockies Tongues, and the hardy red-blossomed quandong, a popular bush fruit which also has medicinal properties and can even be used as hair conditioner. Australia is not short of kangaroos, and it’s true that you’re likely to see a fair few while in the Swan Coastal Plain, but that’s not all there is. The coastal plains skink was only recently found in the region. Unfortunately, it’s also been found to be endangered; which is why the conservation projects in the plains are so important. Other animals you’ll see (some in obvious abundance and others that are more difficult to spot) include the Southwestern Pygmy Possum, the Tammar wallaby, and the cute-as-a-button Quokka.
More swan less plain: If you get tired of all the birds, plants, animals, and stunning landscapes, you can always trade in the Swan Coastal Plain for the Swan River and all its urban attractions in Perth. The obvious attractions are the water sports that are available up and down the river. Sunset cruises, ferry cruises, weekend yacht charters, parasailing, canoeing, jet skiing – you name it, you can do it on the Swan River. A less obvious attraction is the Bell Tower, a culturally-significant attraction which is steeped in history and which overlooks Swan River. You can hear the 12 Bells of St Martin-in-the-Fields which are rung every day at noon, or you can catch the bell handling displays that are held twice a week. You can also visit two of the most famous parks in Perth.
There are 400 hectares of Kings Park to explore, some of the prettiest of which are on the banks of Swan River. There are plenty of hiking and picnicking spots, not mention the Botanic Garden, and, of course, views of Swan River. Bold Park is close to Perth’s CBD and while it’s not as big as Kings Park, it certainly rivals it for attractions. There are plenty of walks, one of which takes you to a great lookout point above the Swan Coastal Plain. You don’t have to like actual swans to appreciate all the attractions that the Swan Coastal Plains and Swan River have to offer tourists. All you need is a sense of adventure and an appreciation of nature.