What are best free or inexpensive things to do in Perth? I'm going to be here for a few weeks with a few friends and we don't want to spend a lot of money. We love the outdoors, museums and local events.
A day walking around Fremantle is a good idea, if you go on Friday, Saturday or Sunday you can check out the Fremantle markets, walk down to the harbour and have a beer at Little Creatures Brewery (not the cheapest beer but if you’re going to have one, have one here!).
Kings Park and Botanic Garden is a must as far as free activities go, it’s set on a big hill overlooking the river and CBD. Take a picnic lunch and enjoy the view and take a walk around the gardens. To get a broader view of Perth I suggest hiring a bike and riding around the river and bridges. It’s cheap and there’s a cycle paths all around. Head down to Point Fraser at the East end of the city and there’s a bike hire place there.Perth has beautiful beaches but you’ll need a car to get to them as the trains don’t go to the beach and the buses are less than ideal. If you’re coming in the next few months (May - September) it will be a bit cold for swimming… still nice for a walk though, as Leeann mentioned, Cottesloe and Scarborough beaches are the pick.
Perth is getting more and more good cultural events, without knowing when exactly you’ll be in Perth I can’t name any but use triplify.com to find the best events in Perth, or elsewhere. There’s often things happening at the Perth Cultural Centre Garden in Northbridge where you’ll also find the museum. Northbridge also has plenty of cheap places to eat and drink.
If you have a few weeks consider a few trips out of town. Rottnest Island is awesome and I highly recommend it but you’ll have to pay for the 45min ferry ride and bike hire. You can do day trips but it’s worth a few nights stay if you can afford it. I rate the beaches on Rottnest amongst the best in the world, you can go snorkeling, surfing or just cycling around the island is really nice.
A lot of people go to the The Pinnacles which is a national park with weird rock formations. It’s a long way to go (2.5hrs drive) North of Perth and there’s not much else there but if you go in the afternoon and are there for the sunset it’s pretty spectacular - you can get some great photos, and it’s cheap for a car-load of people as you just pay a park fee for the car. Watch out for Kangaroos if you drive back in the dark (I mean drive carefully, if you hit one you'll damage the car, yourselves and the roo).
I would also consider a trip to Margaret River, it’s about 3 hours South from Perth and there’s lots to do! Beautiful scenery, you can go wine tasting which can be cheap if you just taste and don’t buy much and the town has a cool bohemian vibe.
Mentioned in this answer:
Look no further than a weekend afternoon on the Cappuccino Strip in Fremantle. People watch over a coffee and then browse the Fremantle Markets and High Street retailers...no obligation to buy! Another inexpensive thing to do if the weather is fine is pack a picnic and sit in Kings Park and Botanic Garden overlooking the city. Grab a copy of x-press magazine to find out what bands are playing at what pubs and what local events are on offer. If you're going in summer than you must also spend a few hours at Cottesloe Beach and Scarborough Beaches...but pack sun protection. The sun has some bite!
Mentioned in this answer: