For excursions beyond central Perth, the port of Fremantle, at the mouth of the Swan River, should not be overlooked, nor should a trip over to Rottnest Island, a ninety-minute ferry ride from the city. It is also well worth the short trip out to Hillary’s Boat Harbour to visit the aquarium. Perth’s beaches form a near-unbroken line north of Fremantle, just a short train or bus ride from the centre, with Cottesloe and Scarborough the top picks. With your own vehicle you can escape to the Upper Swan Valley wineries and the national parks inland, which run parallel to the coast and atop the Darling Ranges, where patchily forested hills, just half an hour’s drive east of the city, offer a network of scenic drives and marked walking trails among the jarrah woodlands. Further afield, the monastic community of New Norcia can make a satisfying day-trip.