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7 Can't-Miss Parks in Perth, Australia, for Koalas, Hiking, and More

Perth National Parks
by Matador Creators Mar 10, 2023

Perth is the capital city of Western Australia and is known throughout the country for beautiful beaches, a thriving arts scene, and a diverse range of outdoor activities. And that includes plenty of water activities, since it sits at the mouth of the Swan River, offering access for both river and ocean sports. From its iconic skyline to stunning parks and gardens, Perth is definitely worth a visit – especially if you want to add a few days of beaching to your Australia vacation.

When planning a trip to the parks in Perth, there are a few things to remember. First, consider the time of year, as summer (which is December to March) can be extremely hot and very dry, so it may not be the best season for hiking. You’ll probably want to avoid July as it’s the rainiest month. Most people recommend visiting during spring and fall – October is ideal.

Where to find the best parks in Perth

Perth’s parks are spread throughout the city. Even if you have a car, you may find it easier to use alternate means of transportation. Perth has an extensive public transportation system (TransPerth), and there are paved paths that connect the beaches and run along the Swan River.

The best well-known park in Perth: Kings Park and Botanic Garden

Parks in Perth - DNA tower

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Kings Park and Botanic Garden is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Perth. The park covers more than 988 acres and draws visitors with its stunning views of the city, botanical gardens, walking trails, picnic areas, and cultural landmarks. That includes the State War Memorial and the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, which offers panoramic views of the city and the Swan River.

Kings Park is home to more than 3,000 species of native plants, many of which are endemic to Western Australia. The park’s botanical gardens showcase the region’s diverse flora, including wildflowers, shrubs, and trees, and is totally free to visit (as are guided walks through the park).

Also in the park is the DNA Tower, a steel tower that looks like a strand of DNA. It’s one of the most recognizable landmarks at nearly 50 feet tall. You can climb to the top for great views of the city and the surrounding parkland.

This is one of the best parks in Perth for accessibility, as there are plenty of parking lots and you can walk there downtown. There are bike rentals in the park to make it easy to get around, or you can hop on the free Blue Cat Bus to move between the park and public transportation.

The best relaxing park in Perth: Hyde Park

Hyde Park is a popular park located in central Perth. It’s rather small at only 39 acres and is one of the more peaceful parks in Perth.

One of the park’s prime draws are the lush gardens, which feature a diverse range of plants and flowers, including native species and exotic varieties.

The park also features several walking trails, picnic areas, and a tranquil lake. There’s a small cafe in the park, though if you visit on a spring or fall weekend, you’re likely to find an event going on in the park. It’s best known for the free Hyde Park Festival, one of the most popular festivals in Perth. It usually happens in early March and includes live music, artisan vendors, food vendors and food trucks, entertainment, and everything you’d expect from a lively downtown festival.

The park is walkable from the Perth railway station or the Perth bus station.

The best neighborhood park in Perth: Stirling Civic Gardens

Stirling gardens in perth

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Stirling Gardens is a historic park dating to the late 1800s when the area first became as a public park. Before that, the area was a wetland, serving as an important water source for the local Indigenous people. But in the late 19th century, the area was transformed into a public park following the colonization of the area by Europeans. It officially opened as Stirling Gardens in 1897.

The park has lots of shade and very flat trails running by various monuments, including the War Memorial. There’s also a large kids’ playground.

Stirling Gardens may not have museums and festivals, but it’s a lovely example of a neighborhood park where you can sit in the sun, let your kids run around, and probably see more than a few locals walking their cute dogs. If you’ve been inside all day and find yourself needing a break – or haven’t been very active, and need a place to stretch your legs in the morning – it’s a great choice.



The best park for koala spotting: Yanchep National Park

Koala at a national park in perth, australia

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Yanchep National Park is in the northern suburbs of Perth and covers nearly 10,000 acres. The gorgeous park is known for stunning caves, beaches, bushland, and wetlands teeming with wildlife.

One of the main attractions in Yanchep National Park are the Yanchep National Park Caves, a series of beautiful, crystal-lined limestone caves. The caves are open to visitors, and tours to see the stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and other cave formations are available throughout the year. You can book tickets to see Crystal Cave (though it’s temporarily closed as of February 2023 for maintenance) online or at the visitor center, and you can even host a wedding in the park’s Cabaret Cave.

This is one of the best parks in Perth for wildlife, as Yanchep National Park is home to a healthy population of koalas; head to the park’s Eucalyptus Viewing Area to see them. They’re easy to spot, especially when they’re moving about in the treetops.

Yanchep National Park is about 40 minutes north of Perth and open year-round.

The best for long hikes: John Forrest National Park

Viewpoint at one of the national parks near Perth, Aus

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John Forrest National Park is one of the best parks in Western Australia, and it’s particularly well known for both its history (it’s the oldest national park in Western Australia) and lengthy hiking trails (which also offer a chance to spot wildlife).

One of the unique features of John Forrest National Park is its diverse range of landscapes, including towering eucalyptus forests, rolling hills, and picturesque valleys. Some of the best hikes to see the various ecosystems include the 6.7-mile Christmas Tree Walk Loop, which passes through bushland and rock formations, and the 10-mile Railway Reserve Heritage North Trail. The latter is usually not too crowded as it’s a bit too long of a distance for many hikers. And don’t miss out on seeing the historic swan tunnel.

Throughout the park, you can expect to see gray kangaroos, wallabies, quokkas, and more. It’s only about a 30-minute drive, so it’s one of the best parks in Perth if you want to get in an all-day hike but still get back to the city in time for dinner at a hip restaurant.

The best for city views: Bold Park

Bold Park australia lookout point

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Bold Park is a beautiful and unique park in the Perth suburb of City Beach. With its rolling hills, diverse vegetation, and tranquil lakes, it’s one of the best parks in Perth among locals who want to feel immersed in nature without being far from the city.

The park is home to several endangered species, including the Western Swamp Tortoise and the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo. The park offers free guided walks on select Mondays and Tuesdays, where volunteers will try to point out rare flora and fauna.

The park has quite a lot of walking trails, though most of them are quite short. It’s best to download a map of the park so you can connect various trails based on what you want to see. Popular areas of the park include the area around Reabold Hill (with great views of the city) and the paths to City Beach, accessed from the ocean side of the West Coast Highway.

The best park in Perth for waterfalls: Lesmurdie Falls National Park

perth waterfall

Photo: David Eastwell/Shutterstock

Lesmurdie Falls National Park is in the hills to the east of Perth and is known for the eponymous Lesmurdie Falls. You can see it by taking one of the most popular trails in the park: the 2.5-mile Lesmurdie Falls Circuit, which goes to the base of the falls and back. This trail is easy to follow and offers plenty of opportunities to take in the views of the surrounding bushland, including towering eucalyptus trees and lush ferns. Keep an eye out for

The park is small, but given how pretty the landscape is and the fact that it’s less than 30 minutes from town, it’s certainly well worth a visit (and it’s free to enter, too).

Where to stay in Perth

best parks in perth - city beach aerial

City Beach, near Bold Park in Perth. Photo: bmphotographer/Shutterstock

If you want to stay near the beach, you’re in luck, since much of Perth is either near the ocean or near the river. It’s a hip city and you’ll find everything from reliable chain hotels to tiny boutique properties. You can stay in the city, or on the outskirts if you’d rather have easier access (i.e., avoid traffic) for getting to national parks.

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Doubletree By Hilton Perth Northbridge

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DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Northbridge is a hotel located in Northbridge, a hip and artsy neighborhood about two miles from King’s Garden. But since it’s near public transportation, it’s a good place to base yourself no matter what you plan on seeing in the city. The hotel’s pool deck offers great views of the city, but one of the best things is the welcome: you’ll be greeted with a warm chocolate chip cookie.

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Cottesloe Beach Hotel

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Cottesloe Beach Hotel is just steps away from the beach. It originally opened in 1905 and still retains its original Art Deco characteristics. It’s close to public transportation, shops, a beachside walkway, and a golf course, among other nearby things to do. Many rooms have beachfront balconies, looking out at the ocean and Rottnest Island beyond. It has two on-site restaurants and is walkable to many more, and rooms start around $120 a night.

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Pensione Hotel Perth

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Pensione Hotel Perth is in the middle of Perth’s CBD (Central Business District. That means it’s a five-minute walk from the Perth Railway Station, McIver Station, and the Perth underground station – so it’s super easy to get to any and all of the downtown parks in Perth. The hotel is in a 1960s-era building with decor to match and has roomy lobby spaces in case you feel like being a bit social. Rooms are simple but clean and comfortable, and the price is right – rates start around $120 a night.

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