The Best Spots for an Overnight Getaway from Perth
There are plenty of fantastic options for an overnight getaway from Perth, all just a few hours away. If you feel like you need to escape into nature, or simply be in another place for a few nights, we have some of the best spots listed here.
To the south, there are forests and beaches, national parks, hiking opportunities and laid-back rural lifestyles that make for a peaceful break and a much-needed breath of fresh air.
North, you’ll find more of Western Australia’s magic coastline, riverside camping, otherworldly landscapes, surfer towns and a plethora of stunning beaches. And to the east, historic towns with authentic community charm, local producers, indigenous culture, artsy communities, and food, glorious food, just about everywhere!
So, if you’re ready to book yourself a weekend getaway from Perth, here are some of the best spots you could visit. All you have to do is hop in the car, and your escape from the city awaits.
1. JURIEN BAY (north)
They don’t call it the Turquoise Coast for no reason!! Just a little over two hours north of Perth, Jurien Bay is a gorgeous spot for an overnight getaway from Perth. With stunning beaches, great fishing spots, cute Australian sea lions, a stunning coastline to explore and a good range of accommodation options, it’s no surprise that Jurien Bay is a family favourite holiday destination.
What to do and see in Jurien Bay
1. Walk or cycle the Turquoise Way. Along the coastline, a 14-kilometre bicycle and pedestrian path runs from the Jurien Bay Marina to Hill River mouth. You can’t beat these stunning views as you exercise.
2. Visit Sandy Cape. A little north of the Jurien Bay township, Sandy Cape is known for its protected, white sand calm beaches, perfect for swimming, snorkelling, fishing, and sandboarding the dunes. Plus even better, you can camp here right beside the beach, but it’s ‘first-in, first-served’ with a maximum stay of 4 nights.
3. With the Jurien Bay Marine Park lapping the shores of the Turquoise Bay there are a multitude of pristine snorkelling and diving options to explore. Try the southern end of Hangover Bay (south of Cervantes) or Sandy Cape (north of Jurien Bay) to view the extensive limestone inner reef, clear shallow lagoons and major seagrass meadows.
4. Fish off the Jetty. With easy parking and all the amenities of the redeveloped foreshore, the Jurien Bay Jetty offers protection from the southerly winds, making it regularly an extremely pleasant spot to fish, no matter if they’re biting or not.
5. Swim with the Sea Lions! Spend a day swimming with sea lions and you’ll discover why they’re called the puppies of the sea. The Australian sea lion is the world’s rarest species, and it’s believed there are less than 12,000 remaining along the country’s southern coastline. A main breeding ground lies just offshore from Jurien Bay, so you can jump in the ocean here and swim with this friendly bunch. Book a tour with …… and you’re guaranteed to have the best day!
Where to stay in Jurien Bay on an overnight getaway from Perth
Budget: If camping is your thing, then Sandy Cape Recreational Park is an idyllic shire-run campground 10 km north of Jurien Bay with 80 unpowered campsites accessible by 2WD in the main campsite for campers and large caravans. Gas BBQs, eco toilets and (cold) showers are available in the southern section and long-drop toilets are available at the northern end.
Mid-Range: Jurien Bay Tourist Park is located in the heart of the townsite and offers holiday units and powered and unpowered camping or caravan sites.
Luxury: Jurien Bay Motel Apartments are a great place to base yourself in the township. They offer modern and beautifully styled self-contained apartments and studio rooms.
2. FERGUSON VALLEY (south)
Less than 2 hours drive from the city, and 15 minutes inland from Bunbury, the Ferguson Valley is an idyllic location for an overnight getaway from Perth. With undulating green hills, crooked creeks, grazing livestock, fantastic restaurants, iconic wineries and charming places to stay this hidden gem offers an escape from city life.
What to do and see in the Ferguson Valley
1. Try the wine of the Ferguson Valley. Boutique wineries dot the hillsides, so sample a drop of the local Shiraz, Tempranillo, Cab Sauvignon, Semillon or Chardonnay. We loved the wine tasting at Saint Aidan Wines and Ferguson Falls Wine Cafe but there are many others equally as good.
2. Sample the local food. With incredible fresh produce, the Ferguson Valley is a fabulous foodie destination. From hand-made cheese and country bakeries to award-winning pizza – you’ll find it all here. Don’t miss the donuts at the Dardanup Baker!!
3. Be immersed in the native forest of Wellington National Park. This nature lovers’ paradise features an ancient valley gorge, rocky outcrops, river and waterfalls, swimming holes and pristine wilderness. Popular all year round read our Guide to the Wellington National Park for everything you need to know when planning a visit.
4. Explore the Collie Mural Trail. Consisting of 40 stunning murals, the 35 km trail is a mix of country driving and urban walks, plus this fantastic open-air art exhibition is totally free. Stretching from the Wellington National Park, with its breathtaking 8,000 sqm Wellington Dam Mural, ‘Reflections’, to the centre of Collie where there are murals everywhere – on shop walls, laneways, playgrounds and even bridges this collection of art is fantastic to see when in the Ferguson Valley.
5. Visit the unique tourist attraction of Gnomesville. Featuring the largest community of gnomes in the world, Gnomesville is a quirky must-visit spot just off a roundabout at Wellington Mill. Read our guide for everything you need to know about visiting Gnomesville!
Where to stay in the Ferguson Valley on an overnight getaway from Perth
Budget: Stay in the forest at Honeymoon Pool Campground in the Wellington National Park. Facilities include a camp kitchen with sink, gas BBQs and toilet facilities and all sites have a fire ring. Bookings essential.
Mid-Range: The Australind Tourist Park is located on the shores of the Leschenault Estuary on Old Coast Road, less than 10 minutes from Bunbury offering holiday units and powered and unpowered camping or caravan sites. Or for a low-cost hotel stay check out the Best Western Plus Lord Forrest in Bunbury.
Luxury: Skating Goose Farm is a luxurious retreat for couples in the Ferguson Valley! It’s a great choice for enjoying the region’s attractions in style. Stay in one of their secluded and beautifully fitted out ‘escape pods’ on a farm surrounded by marri forest for the ultimate overnight getaway from Perth.
3. CERVANTES (north)
Home to beautiful white sandy beaches and a stunning turquoise coastline, the small fishing town of Cervantes, part of Western Australia’s Coral Coast, is a fantastic spot for an overnighter or relaxed family getaway. Around 2 hours drive north of Perth, it’s right on the doorstop of the Nambung National Park, home to the Pinnacles, and is an ideal playground for swimming, snorkelling, diving, boating and fishing. It’s the perfect beachside spot for an overnight getaway from Perth.
What to do and see in Cervantes
1. Explore the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park. One of Australia’s most unique landscapes, the Pinnacles is an otherworldly experience as you drive or wander through a trail passing thousands of limestone spires rising eerily out of the shifting sand. Estimated to be between 25-30,000 years old, you can learn more about how they were formed at the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre. Keep your eyes peeled on the trail for kangaroo, cockatoo, emus, bobtail skinks and the occasional bird of prey. There’s a $15 National Park entry fee per vehicle (paid at the entrance), or buy a WA Park Pass before you go – save with a Holiday Pass or Annual Pass.
2. See ancient thrombolites. Lake Thetis, located on the way into Cervantes off Hansen Bay Road, is one of the few places in the world where you can see living thrombolites. These’ living fossils’ are estimated to be around 3,000 years old. Walk the 200m boardwalk at the edge of the lake with signage sharing insights about the Thrombolites. Or take the 1.5km loop walk around the entirety of the lake.
3. Visit the Lobster Shack. Get a firsthand look into the WA multi-million dollar lobster industry on a tour of the lobster processing plant at Lobster Shack. And then dine on the deck overlooking the Coral Coast feasting on lobster, fresh fish, prawns, and abalone.
4. Go beach fishing. Cervantes has a number of great little beach fishing spots with catches like Taylor, Whiting, Herring, Crabs and more. Try your luck at Hangover Bay, Hansen Bay, Thirsty Point, Lead Lights (4WD only), Cervantes Back Beach or off the Cervantes Jetty. The best time for fishing is at dusk just before the sun hits the water.
Where to stay in Cervantes on an overnight getaway from Perth
Budget: Camp in the Wanagarren Nature Reserve adjacent to Nambung National Park around 24km south of Cervantes. Access for high-clearance 4WD vehicles with low-range gears only. There are 15 campsites available, but no facilities other than firepits at each campsite. This campsite is not suitable for caravans or camper trailers. Booking is essential.
Mid-Range: Offering 3 family-sized rooms, Cervantes Lodge (part of the Lobster Shack business) is a great mid-priced spot to stay. Or check out the RAC Cervantes Holiday Park with 2 and 3 bedroom villas, powered sites and non-powered camping sites available.
Luxury: Skating Goose Farm is a luxurious retreat for couples in the Ferguson Valley! It’s a great choice for enjoying the region’s attractions in style. Stay in one of their secluded and beautifully fitted out ‘escape pods’ on a farm surrounded by marri forest.
4. AVON VALLEY (east)
For a quintessential country getaway, the Avon Valley features picturesque scenery, golden canola in season, gentle streams and pretty historic country towns. At under two hours drive east of Perth, it’s possible to visit this region on a day trip, but to truly appreciate it you’re best off staying a night or two. Stretching from New Norcia all the way down to Brookton, the Avon Valley is home to some of the oldest inland settlements in WA and it is rich with history, farms, wineries and produce.
What to do in the Avon Valley
1. Explore the vintage towns of Toodyay, Northam, York, Goomalling and Beverley. These pretty and historic towns are around a 30-minute drive from each other and have oodles of charm and 19th-century Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Make sure to check out the country bakery in each town and any stores selling locally-made produce or artisan products. (Uniquely Toodyay is one of our favourites).
2. Take a Hot Air Balloon flight at sunrise. The Avon Valley is the ultimate place to experience a balloon ride, with its rural landscape, rolling hills, lush green fields and meandering streams. And by booking an overnight getaway from Perth to Northam, you won’t need to get up quite so early for your sunrise flight. During the canola season (September) you’ll be rewarded with spectacular aerial views of the fields of gold. The ballooning season runs from April through to late November, as the hot and windy summer weather in Western Australia is unsafe for ballooning.
3. Explore the Indigenous heritage of the region. In Northam, visit the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre for an interactive, educational experience to learn about the traditional owners of the lands surrounding the Avon Valley. Or visit one of the region’s Noongar cultural sites to see mythological paintings, animal traps, caves, stone arrangements and artefacts.
4. Check out the Public Art Trail. In Northam visit the CBH Grain Silos that stand 38-metres tall and feature a series of iconic, eye-catching murals representing the region’s landscape. Take a stroll down the main street of Beverley to admire the murals painted on the historic buildings. And look out for the ballooning mural in Northam on the Good Samaritan building on the corner of Fitzgerald and Grey Street.
5. Visit Western Australia’s largest Christmas shop. In the Avon Valley town of Toodyay, Christmas 360 is a whimsical store with over 7,000 Christmas decorations available for purchase. Open 7 days a week from April to December 9am – 5pm, it’s every Christmas lover’s dream!
Where to stay in the Avon Valley on an overnight getaway from Perth
Budget: Camp in the Avon Valley National Park. Offering four campgrounds suitable for tents, campervans or caravans – our favourite is Bald Hill with sweeping views of the Avon River. Picnic tables, fire rings and toilets are available at each campsite. These campgrounds operate on a first-come, first-served basis and are not bookable
Mid-Range: The Northam Caravan Park offers a range of accommodation options at a reasonable price. Choose from modern suites or cabins or caravan and camping sites with great facilities, beautiful gardens and an outdoor kitchen with BBQs.
Luxury: Farmers Home is a boutique luxury hotel in a renovated 150-year-old hotel. Located in Northam, it’s a perfect base for exploring the region’s attractions in style. With only 16 rooms and each of them exuding contemporary country charm, it will be a highlight of your overnight getaway from Perth to the picturesque Avon Valley.
5. Harvey (south)
Surrounded by the rolling hills of the Darling Scarp, the quaint country town of Harvey is one of Western Australia’s loveliest farming towns. Renowned for its production of oranges, milk and beef, Harvey is a great spot to visit for gourmet food, but also is fantastic for camping, picnics and hiking around the spectacular Logue Brook Dam. It’s an idyllic location for an overnight getaway from Perth to unwind in the picturesque landscape.
What to do and see around Harvey
1. Spend some time at Logue Brook Dam (also known as Lake Brockman). Relax by the shores of the bright aqua-blue water of this beautiful lake located just 10 minutes from Harvey. It’s a haven for fishing, canoeing, camping and is a popular water skiing area. Surrounded by the dense jarrah trees of the Hoffman State Forest there are plenty of lovely spots for a picnic or a barbecue. Bring a canoe, swim in the clear freshwater of the dam, or fish for trout all year round and Marron in-season.
2. Climb the Big Orange. Located in the award-winning Harvey River Estate, the Big Orange sits on a 10-metre tower that takes 62 steps to climb. It’s a great vantage point to view the colourful Harvey Fresh orchards in season from June to October. Entry is by gold coin donation with all proceeds supporting Telethon.
3. Sample some of the local cheese. Harvey Cheese is one of the region’s most prolific gourmet food producers. This family-owned and operated cheese company offer tastings at their factory just a few minutes out of the Harvey township. From brie to cheddar and flavoured feta, all their samples are delicious. You can even buy some of their cheese offcuts (reduced price) to take home with you.
4. Interact with dolphin in Koombana Bay. Take a short 40 minute drive to Bunbury and visit the Dolphin Discovery Centre. The bay is a playground for around 50 bottlenose dolphins, with many more visiting throughout the year, and at the Discovery Centre you can stand knee-deep in water in the Interaction Zone or take a cruise to see them frolicking (or sleeping) in the bay or, even better, swim with them.
Where to stay at Harvey on an overnight getaway from Perth
Located on the shoreline of the Logue Brook Dam just 10 minutes north of Harvey the Lake Brockman Tourist Park is a great base for your overnight getaway from Perth. With picturesque lakeside tent sites, caravan spots and luxury cabins available every budget is catered for. It’s got fantastic facilities and even a cafe on site. Just make sure to book ahead as this spot books out fast!