Study Abroad in Perth, Australia

Study Abroad in Perth: Cultural Excursions

Included in your program are a range of free and subsidized cultural activities arranged by both AIFS and Murdoch University which focus on Perth and wider Western Australia. Such experiences outside of the classroom setting will deepen your social, historical and cultural understanding of Australia and its people.

The AIFS Resident Director arranges a program of events for students in Perth during the semester. Those offered in the past include:

Fremantle Prison Tour

One of the following two tours will be offered based on student interest.

Fremantle Prison Tunnel Tour

Do you need a prison adventure? Get into your hardhat, slip into your overalls and pull on your boots and charge your headlamps before locking into the ladder system and descending 20 meters into the depths below. Trek through sections of the labyrinth of tunnels on foot, then board the replica convict punts to explore the submerged passageways accessible only by boat. Discover original blast holes, bores, oil lamp recesses and artefacts from the days when working in the tunnels was hard labor for prisoners.

Fremantle Prison Torchlight Tour

Come on a thrilling and haunting torchlight tour of Fremantle Prison by night. Cringe at the ghastly, the rotten, wretched and the inhumane experiences and events in the prison’s history. We will be guided on an eerie tour through the prison’s Main Cell Block, solitary confinement, whipping post, the gallows and the morgue. This tour is not for the faint hearted – and be warned there are a few surprises along the way!

Rottnest Island

Western Australia’s most iconic island, home to the happiest marsupial, the Quokka. Enjoy coastal bike rides, snorkeling, lighthouses and beautiful island views……. don’t forget your Quokka selfie!

Perth Waterfall Tour

Nothing beats the excitement of listening to, finding and watching a spectacular waterfall. We will visit Bells Rapids where the Avon and Swan Rivers meet, Noble Falls, National Park and Hovea Falls in the John Forrest National Park, Lesmurdie Falls and the tallest waterfall in Perth, Sixty Foot Falls. Listen to the relaxing sounds of the falls, take in their breathtaking beauty and enjoy panoramic views across the coastal plain to the City of Perth.

Australian Rules Football Match

Aussie Rules is a fast pace, hard hitting sport which is nothing like American Football. Head along to a game with your Resident Director and cheer on either the Fremantle Dockers or West Coast Eagles, as you try and get your head around the rules of one of the world’s most entertaining sports.

Organized by Murdoch University

The following activities and excursions are examples of those which have been organized by Murdoch University in previous semesters. Students sign up for events during the second week of the semester, some are free and some require a supplemental fee.

Welcome and Farewell Dinners

Fremantle (Day trip)

Visit this maritime port city which bustles with activity. You haven’t experienced Western Australia until you have indulged in fish and chips by the ocean or shopped on Fremantle’s famed old streets. The ‘Freo markets’, as they are affectionately known, offer you one of the best shopping experiences in WA. Find your way through the narrow alleyways between bush art, antiques and boho fashion, while lapping up the tasty treats and fresh organic produce on display. Don’t forget to enjoy the alfresco dining and live music on offer at the multitude of outdoor boutique bars and restaurants.

Cottesloe Beach (Day trip)

Perth has some of the best beaches in Australia, and Cottesloe Beach is certainly in that category. It offers one of the finest examples of beaches where you can enjoy the water or bask in the sunshine. With tireless stretches of clean sandy beaches, vibrant blue skies and heart-warming sunshine, there isn’t much not to like. Pack your swim suit, sunscreen and sunglasses and enjoy a lazy day at the beach, culminating in a sunset that will take your breath away.

Caversham Wildlife Park (Day trip)

Visit this spectacular wildlife park, the premiere development of its kind in Western Australia. It features around 200 species, and more than 2,000 animals, birds and reptiles, most housed in a walk-through environment. You can meet Australia’s native bear, the koala, feed kangaroos, see the emus and try your hand at sheep-shearing or milking a cow.

Optional Excursions

Students sign up on arrival and pay Murdoch University directly if they want to join the optional excursions listed below. The prices listed are in Australian dollars (AUD); they are approximate and subject to inflation. Exact fees and dates will be confirmed upon arrival in Perth.

Optional Excursion: Northwest Trip (10 Days – Currently $875 AUD)

This once in a lifetime experience has been the highlight of many AIFS student’s experience in Western Australia.

The excursion begins with a fun-filled bus trip to the rugged North West of Western Australia. You will cover close to 4,000kms (2,500 miles) across plains of wild flowers and the vast outcrop that is outback Australia. This country, called the Pilbara, is rugged, hot and dusty yet will mesmerize you with its beauty and splendor. Highlights on this trip include:

World Heritage listed Monkey Mia
Monkey Mia, Shark Bay is World Heritage listed and is one of only 12 places in the world to have satisfied all that is required for the honor. The main attraction here is the dolphins which swim close to the shore to greet you, hoping to be fed. Along with the dolphins live other marine life such as the Dugongs, called the ‘Mermaids of the Sea’, turtles and giant rays. Students may take an optional 3-hour catamaran cruise to see the dugongs at their own expense.

Ningaloo Reef Marine Park
You will also have the opportunity to snorkel in this most well-known marine park, the Ningaloo Reef, which is also a World Heritage site. Home to as many as 500 species of tropical fish and 200 species of coral, it is 260km in length and runs alongside white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. The reef is also home to the migratory ‘gentle giant’ of the sea, the whale sharks, as well as the humpback whales which cruise just beyond the reef during the months of July, October and November. The following optional activities may be available at students' own expense depending on the season: swimming with whale sharks, swimming with manta rays, snorkeling with sea turtles, swimming with Humpback whales.

Karijini National Park
The highlight of the excursion is Karijini National Park. Hidden amongst Western Australia’s mining towns, this area is untouched and pristine in beauty. Very remote in location, you will get a sense of being in the middle of nowhere and at the same time, feel like staying forever. While taking your breath away with the splendor of gorges, flora and fauna, it will also give you the opportunity to swim in sparkling freshwater pools that have to be seen to be believed. The hikes and trails through the gorges are challenging as well as breathtaking, with magnificent scenery, Aboriginal drawings and various species of wildlife. These rocky gorges are billions of years old and you will marvel as you stare at their formation.

See a video of this exciting trip

Fee includes transportation and guides, all meals and accommodation, camping fees and supplies, park entrances and touring. Fee does not include additional activities offered during the trip. This excursion will run twice during each semester.

Optional Excursion: South West Adventure Camping Trip (3 Days – Currently $295 AUD)

Day 1: Leave Perth early in the morning and drive south through farmlands until we reach the first destination of Busselton; a beautiful seaside town which is home to the famous Busselton Jetty – the longest timber piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. From here we depart further South to Dunsborough before arriving at the spectacular blue waters of Meelup Beach where you can swim or explore the rocks before enjoying lunch under the trees with the company of Kookaburras overlooking the picturesque bay. After lunch we will stop to sample wine at one of the many wineries that have put Margaret River on the map, before heading to the coast to check out the famous surf breaks. After driving along caves road we will arrive at Lake Cave, home to the suspended table formation which weighs several tonnes and is a pretty rare formation (tour included). As the day draws to a close we will head to our first accommodation place in the town of Augusta.

Day 2: First up is the largest challenge of the tour – the 60 plus meter climb to the top of the Bicentennial Tree, which is the highest tree top lookout in the world. After a short break we will head to the next destination which is The valley of the Giants and the Tree Top walk where we will have the opportunity to take a walk through the canopy of the ancient Tingle forest on suspended platforms 40 meters from the forest floor. Following this we are back on the bus and making our way towards William Bay National Park where we take some time out to view the large granite formations known as Elephant Rocks and to take a dip in the crystal clear waters of Greens Pool. Venturing Further South we will complete the day by checking out some of the south’s natural coastal phenomena including The Natural Bridge, The Gap and The Blow Holes. After a long day we retire for the night in Albany.

Day 3: Another early morning with a short drive to the top of Mount Clarence where you can catch the last of the sun rising over the spectacular views of King George Sound, the outer islands and the Albany Township. Next stop is the Porongorups Ranges, with an exhausting but highly worthwhile trek up the hillside to the top of Castle Rock. Driving through the Stirling Ranges we will break for lunch taking in the sights of the National Park and surrounding countryside, before travelling through the wheat and sheep farming district and arriving in Perth in the early evening.

Itinerary is a guideline only and will depend on weather conditions.

Fee includes transportation and guides, 7 meals, camping fees, all national park entry fees and additional touring. Fee does not include optional entry onto Busselton Jetty. This excursion will run twice during each semester (subject to student interest).

Dates and itineraries for all excursions are tentative and subject to change.