Aquarium of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia © AQWA
Top things to do with kids in Perth
Blending wildlife and culture, a family getaway to Perth will give you more than just epic memories, but a whole new appreciation for our planet.
By Amy Fraser
Flanked by a spectacular coastline teeming with enchanting ecosystems and awe-inspiring animals, the ocean is at the heart of any holiday to Perth. Meet dolphins and little penguins, paddle in rock pools and learn to ride gentle waves. On land, immerse yourself in jaw-dropping natural attractions and meet furry friends, including the adorable quokka. If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that you won’t forget this holiday any time soon.
Go nuts for nature on Rottnest
Where: 1.5 hours by ferry from Perth or 25 minutes from Fremantle
Western Australia’s beloved Rottnest Island (or “Rotto” to the locals) rivals the world’s best family destinations. Coated in national park and home to 63 jaw-dropping beaches and the ridiculously adorable quokka – families flock to Rottnest. Start your day exploring idyllic bays on bikes, cherish an up-close encounter with a quokka and enjoy the island’s spectacular shores where secluded swimming spots, epic surf and incredible marine encounters await.
Discover caves, koalas and kangaroos
Where: 40 minutes north of Perth
The city feels like worlds away in Yanchep National Park. Treasured for its coastal wetlands, lagoons and dramatic caves, Yanchep is popular with families thanks to an array of exciting and educational activities to enjoy. A guided tour through the Crystal Cave is a must-do; adorned with dramatic stalactites, it’s a mesmerising sight. The park’s impressive wildlife should also be at the top of your list. Wander through the koala boardwalk to meet sleepy members of the colonies and continue through the wetlands to spot western grey kangaroos. For a truly meaningful experience, join an Aboriginal guided tour to learn about the local Noongar culture, the original Custodians of the land.
Hit the beach
Where: North Beach
It’s not hard to find a quiet beach in Australia, even in our bustling cities. Stretching across Perth’s coastline are many sugar-white sand beaches, perfect for families of all ages and interests. Those who struggle to sit still can spend the day surfing, swimming, snorkelling and kayaking in the iridescent waters, while younger families can settle in by the popular Mettams Pool, a sheltered pool-like swimming spot protected by the reef.
Learn about our land
Where: City West Centre, West Perth
When you’re looking for some shade from the sunshine, pop your thinking hats on and head to Scitech. A playground for young inquisitive minds and scientists in the making, Scitech’s immersive experiences are designed to educate and excite kids aged 12 and under, as they begin to discover the magnificent land that we live on and the wonders that come with it. Check out the range of exhibitions and immersive experiences, including the planetarium, where you’ll voyage into the solar system.
Meet dolphins, sea lions and little penguins
Where: 45-minute drive south of Perth in Shoalwater
Western Australia is renowned for its extraordinary marine life, and the waters surrounding Perth are a testament to that. The spectacular Shoalwater Bay is the gateway to the Islands Marine Park whose residents include over 200 bottlenose dolphins, rare sea lions and adorable little penguins. Meet them all on a family day out with Perth Wildlife Encounters eco-tour.
Get to know Australia’s wildlife icons
Where: 20 minutes north-east of the city
Caversham Wildlife Park makes for an exciting and educational day out. The park’s residents include around 200 species and more than 2,000 Australian animals, birds and reptiles, which you can meet through close-up encounters and viewings across the park. Conservation is at the heart of Caversham; they aim to increase the awareness of Australian animals to inspire further wildlife conservation across the country. Bring your kids here for the day and they’ll no doubt return with big smiles on their faces and a new appreciation for our incredible icons.
Visit a market with a difference
Where: South Terrace and Henderson St, Fremantle
Drive 30 minutes outside of Perth and you’ll wind up in the historic town of Fremantle. Known to the locals as “Freo”, this artistic town boasts an eclectic dining scene, and the Fremantle Markets are a real treat for the senses. They pay homage to the town’s culture, bringing arts and crafts, music, fashion and of course, delicious eats to light every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Every other weekend the Fairies make an appearance; with special talents including face-painting and balloon-shaping, they’re a big hit with the kids. What’s more, often the Baby Animal Farm comes to town too, giving kids the chance to meet guinea pigs, ducklings and more.
Discover the depths of our coastline
Where: 25 minutes north of the city centre
Witness a kaleidoscope of colour at the Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA). Here, the expansive Western Australian coastline comes together under one roof, as the region’s phenomenal underwater ecosystems are replicated – from the tropical coral reefs of the far north to the eerie shipwreck coast – allowing everyone the chance to appreciate and learn about our ocean residents. AQWA offers a range of educational experiences, with a variety of talks, programmes and events scheduled to raise awareness of coral reef conservation and the importance of protecting our oceans.