Things To Do In Perth In Summer That Aren’t The Beach

Perth city skyline with Swan River and Kings Park.
Make the most of Perth's summer sunshine with activities that don't involve going to the beach.

Things To Do In Perth In Summer That Aren’t The Beach

Make the most of Perth's summer sunshine with activities that don't involve going to the beach.
Perth city skyline with Swan River and Kings Park.
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With over 138 days of sunshine annually and an average summer temperature of around 30 degrees, Perth is officially Australia’s sunniest capital city.

A hot summer day and the beach go hand in hand, but what if you’re not a fan of the beach with its crowds and sand that has a habit of getting everywhere? You’re in luck. We’ve rounded up some of the best things to do in Perth over summer that don’t involve going to the beach. 

Swan Valley Wine Cruise 

White boat on the river with green trees in background.
Cruising down the Swan River / Captain Cook Cruises

Cruise down the majestic Swan River and indulge in a full-day tour of the Swan Valley. A haven for wine enthusiasts, the region is full of boutique wineries where guests can sample hero varieties like Verdelho, Shiraz, and sticky fortified wines. 

Once on board, the live commentary provides information on historic sites and introduces river wildlife as the scenic Swan Valley unfolds before you. You’ll disembark at Sandalford Estate to enjoy a seasonal modern Australian and Italian lunch in the restaurant — try the hand-rolled pasta or wood-fired pizza. 

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a free chocolate tasting at the Margaret River Chocolate Company or your savoury side at their sister company, Margaret River Providore. The latter has a vast range of preserves, chutneys, olive oils, chocolate liqueur, and award-winning wines. 

Outdoor cinema 

Colourful beanbags in front of a big cinema screen with tall buildings in background.
See a film under the stars / Rooftop Movies

Spend a balmy summer evening under the stars watching a movie on the big screen with friends and family. 

View the sunset from a lofty vantage point before a film at the rooftop movies. Huxtaburger will be flipping drool-worthy burgers, fries, and fried chicken, while the Candy Bar will serve up hot popcorn and locally-crafted ice cream. A drink from The Bar will help quench your thirst with beers from Gage Roads and wines from MadFish. 

Catch a movie and support a good cause at the Telethon Community Cinemas in Joondalup, Burswood, Bassendean, and Murdoch, with all profits going back to Telethon. Book a beanbag for extra comfort and tuck into a Domino’s pizza, sausage sizzle, or hearty meat pie. 

Take a trip down memory lane and catch a flick at Perth’s only drive-in theatre, Galaxy Drive-In Theatre in Kingsley. Grab a burger, hot dog, or some hot chips to nibble on or pack your own food. 

See a Fringe show 

Western Australia’s largest annual arts event is back from January 20th to February 19th, promising to be more sparkly and fabulous than ever. The festival will feature big Australian names like Rove McManus and Lawrence Mooney, international talent (the likes of Lloyd Langford and Ross Noble), and quirky smaller acts from around the world. 

Every year, the magic of the Fringe Festival makes Perth come alive with festivities, transforming the city into a hub of entertainment. Over 430 shows are on the bill, touching on all genres — musicals, comedy acts, cabaret, dance, circus, and magic shows. 

The Pleasure Garden is the centre of all the action, home to the most extensive range of entertainment and food trucks and outdoor bars. Looking for something off the beaten track? Catch a show at Hayman Theatre at Curtin University, Young Blood Vintage, and Night Owl Studio. 

Climb the Matagarup Bridge 

Long steel bridge with wave structure spanning across a river.
Climb to the top if you dare / Matagarup Zip Climb

Trek up 314 steps, shimmying, sliding, and squeezing through tight spaces to reach Matagarup Bridge’s SkyView Deck – an open-air viewing platform 72 metres above the Swan River. 

Your professional guide will escort you through the climb, all while sharing interesting stories about the city as you view it from an entirely new perspective. Instead of climbing back down, take the 400-metre zipline across the river at speeds of up to 75 kilometres per hour. 

Make the occasion even more special by climbing beneath a colourful sunset or under the light and tranquillity of a full moon. Make sure to grab the free souvenir photos at the end to remember the experience by. 

Attend an ice cream-making class  

Get right amongst the action and make your own traditional Italian gelato with classes at Gusto Gelato taught by the founder and head gelatiere, Sean Lee. Learn the difference between gelato and ice cream, the key ingredients in each, and the process involved in making this delicious treat. Arguably the best part of the day is taking a one-litre tub home to enjoy. 

For those looking to gain a more thorough understanding of the gelato industry, book a full-day introductory course teaching hygiene and behaviour in the laboratory and how to use the gelato-making equipment. Gain a fundamental understanding of making gelato and sorbets with inclusions and variations, including dairy-free and vegan types. 

Go on a mystery picnic 

A man and woman on grass with bread, wine and cheese on a table.
A perfect date idea / Amazing Co

Step up your date-night game and book a picnic with The AmazingCo, who provide a fun and seamless experience like no other. The self-guided food and adventure tour will have you exploring new areas of Perth and take you to local artisan producers to collect delicious picnic ingredients. End at a stunning secret spot to enjoy what you have collected. 

All you need to do is choose an area — Fremantle, Mandurah, the Swan Valley, or Kings Park — and come with a sense of adventure. Head to Kalamunda for a special summer edition with a seasonal variation of drinks, food, and summer-themed clues. 

Scarborough Sunset Markets 

Set to the backdrop of the Indian Ocean, the Scarborough Beach Markets is the perfect place to spend a warm Thursday night with friends or family. Listen to live music while sipping a cool drink, eating some delicious food, and watching the sky light up at sunset. 

Take your pick from over 100 food stalls and retailers showcasing cuisines from Balinese to Moroccan, hand-crafted candles and pots, and even homemade dog treats. You’ll be spoiled for choice, with the vendors changing every week, making no two market experiences the same. 

Swim with dolphins 

Lady in wetsuit and snorkel in swimming with dolphins. Things to do in Perth
Get up close and personal with the dolphins / Perth Wildlife Encounters

Swim and interact with one of the cutest marine animals — dolphins — as they hunt, sleep, and play in their natural habitat. Perth Wildlife Encounters was created by Terry Howson, who dedicated 12 months to learning as much as possible about the bottlenose dolphins that populate the waters around Rockingham. His research helped him establish an encounter that ensures their most natural behaviours are on full display. 

Don’t fret if you’re a nervous or less experienced swimmer. All guests are guided through the water by a guide on an aqua scooter, so all you have to do is put your snorkel in the water, hold on, and float along. After the unforgettable experience, grab some of the fresh local seafood provided to nibble on.

Do summer better with So Perth.

Feature Image: Joshua Leong