16 things to do in Perth with kids
1. Fremantle Markets
Built in 1897, Fremantle Markets is one of the port city’s most significant landmarks and has rightfully earned itself a reputation as one of the best destinations in Fremantle for locals and tourists alike, as well as a leading source of independent wares and produce.
Fremantle Markets has been instrumental in supporting budding local talent, from fashion designers to musicians, launching many careers (including that of John Butler) and forming a hub of activity for visitors.
Housed in an historic, heritage-listed building, its unique bohemian atmosphere has made it the best and most well-known market in Western Australia.
They are well known for a diverse mix of food, entertainment and shopping options. On specific weekends kids can meet ducklings, bunnies, guinea pigs, lambs, piglets and more at the Baby Animal Farm, and the Market Fairies appear every weekend, offering face-painting and balloon-twisting.
2. Fremantle Prison
If you’re after an educational experience, Fremantle Prison – part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Australian Convict Sites – is the largest and most intact convict-built prison in the country and offers fascinating guided tours for families.
3. Fremantle Arts Centre
Like the prison, Fremantle Arts Centre‘s gothic building was constructed by convicts during the 1800s. The building initially served as an asylum before it acted as a shelter for homeless women and later, a midwifery school. During World War II, it functioned as a war shelter before it was repurposed into an annex of a school in 1957. It was only in 1973, after restoration works, that the Fremantle Arts Centre opened its doors to the public. Here, you can view works by local artists, watch performances (free and ticketed) by local and international artistes, attend workshops and sip coffee in the courtyard cafe.
4. AQWA – The Aquarium of Western Australia
An awesome underwater adventure awaits you at AQWA: WA’s premiere marine attraction, located just 20 minutes north of Perth City at Hillarys Boat Harbour.
Discover WA’s spectacular marine life as you go on an underwater journey along the coast, from the icy-cold waters of the Southern Ocean to the tropical wonderland of coral reefs in the Far North.
You’ll encounter giant sharks, stingrays and turtles; meet rare and unusual sea creatures like seadragons; be captivated by a living Coral Reef; and face a dangerous and deadly line up of marine life in the DANGERzone. There’s also the chance to gently touch marine life at our Discovery Pool or try an AQWA Adventure and dive into one of our aquariums!
5. Swim with dolphins or meet penguins
Swim with wild bottlenose dolphins on a tour with Perth Wildlife Encounters, you’ll be ferried to the sheltered waters of Rockingham to splash about with over 200 dolphins.
Penguin lovers can head to Shoalwater Islands Marine Park and Penguin Island. They’ll meet penguins, sea lions and sea birds. Marine enthusiasts can stay overnight at the Quest Apartments Rockingham for even more wildlife encounters.
6. Kids surf lessons with Surfing WA
Surfing WA has been operating its surf school at Trigg Beach for more than 35 years. Recognised as one of the best of its kind in Australia, it has introduced some 7,000 frothing grommets between five and 12 years old to the unbeatable joys of surfing. With group and private lessons by appointment, and special programs over school holidays, the school’s network of more than 20 coaches ensures sessions are not only fun, but will also equip kids with the necessary skills to enjoy safe surfing.
7. The Perth Mint
As one of Western Australia’s leading tourist attractions, The Perth Mint offers a unique combination of activities, exhibitions and demonstrations, which enable visitors of all ages to experience the magic, allure and wonder of gold.
With the option to join a guided heritage talk, plus explore the Gold Exhibition and elegantly appointed retail shop, The Perth Mint is truly a world-class destination.
8. Kings Park and Botanic Garden in the CBD
Take a stroll around green and gorgeous Kings Park, home to a fabulous dinosaur-themed playground, water play space and climbing structures that littlies will love. Wildflower season at Kings Park is like a promenade in a kaleidoscopic postcard.
9. Whiteman Park Recreation and Conservation Reserve
Whiteman Park is a unique conservation and recreation reserve situated 25 minutes drive from the city of Perth. Covering over 4,300 hectares and boasting a fantastic array of attractions and facilities, it is a great destination for families and best of all park entry is free!
10. Perth Zoo
Visit Perth Zoo for walks, talks and close encounters with the exotic furry, feathered and flippered residents.
11. Caversham Wildlife Park
Here kids can get up close with native animals, feed kangaroos and watch cow-milking demos.
12. Adventure World
For wild times of the adrenaline-pumping kind, tackle the twists and turns of Abyss, one of Australia’s favourite roller coasters at Adventure World. Older kids might also like to dive into the Kraken, an enormous water funnel with dark twists and turns, defy gravity on the Rampage or gear up for Goliath, an adrenaline-pumping 15-metre pendulum swing.
13. Take the ferry to Rottnest Island
Hillarys Boat Harbour is also the launch hub for Rottnest Fast Ferries. Offering scheduled services to the island 19 kilometres offshore, the company boasts that it is the “quickest and cheapest” method to get to Rottnest when staying in Perth. From late August to mid-November, humpback and southern right whales can be seen breaching during the crossing.
If your family is looking for some serious solitude, on a day trip make sure to pack a well-stocked picnic hamper and head to one of the 20 pristine bays and 63 secluded beaches that dot the 11-kilometre-long island. The Island Explorer Bus operates every half-hour throughout the day, stopping at 19 locations, from which it’s a relatively short walk to the water’s edge. There’s also the option to rent bicycles while on the island, so expect plenty of two-wheelers on the narrow roads.
14. Go to the beach
There’s something special about the beaches in perth; overwater sunsets, long white strips of sand and the spray of the indian ocean.
15. Hit the road
A driving holiday will let your children learn about the history and the natural environment of the country that they live in, and WA has plenty to offer roadtrippers with hundreds of great locations that are perfect for family holidays. A highlight is visiting rare Australian sea lions and penguins on Penguin Island, which is 45 minutes south of Perth then a 5-minute ferry ride away.
16. Escape Hunt, Perth
Calling all family detectives! If you love doing challenging things as a family, solving mysteries and consider yourself a ‘super sleuth’, then The Escape Hunt Experience is just what you’re after!
Escape Hunt is Australia’s most original and exhilarating real live interactive escape room experience. Teams of up to five people are locked in a room for 60 minutes and must find clues, crack puzzles and solve the crime before time runs out! It’s non-stop, adrenaline pumping, brain activity at its best!
Other must-visit spots in WA
Esperance, a town on the southwest coast of WA, has incredible beaches including calm Blue Haven (great for families with young children) and West Beach with its surf breaks. There’s an abundance of untouched coastal scrub and more than 100 islands offshore, some sheltering fur seals and sea lions. There’s also Lake Hillier, on Middle Island, which is a striking shade of pink!
Broome is another must-visit town on your family adventure in WA, offering a stack of exciting family-friendly activities such as the Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park, camel riding safaris and the Broome Hovercraft.
Further inland toward the Darling Scarp, this timber town is a fantastic location to explore WA’s karri forests. You can visit Gloucester National Park and those who are feeling brave can climb one of the oldest trees – the Gloucester Tree. Reaching a height of 71 metres, the tree has been fitted with metal rods, allowing you to climb to the top and have a bird’s-eye view over the forest.
Located right at the southern tip of Western Australia, Albany is a town full of maritime history. You can learn about the whaling industry that used to exist in the town and about early settlers who arrived and established the town over 200 years ago. Some of Western Australia’s most beautiful beaches are located not far from Albany where you can have endless stretches of white sand all for yourselves.
Only two hours’ drive east of Perth, York is a great option for a short trip away from the city. The oldest inland town in WA, York is located in the Avon Valley and is known for its music and arts festivals. There are numerous local museums covering the agricultural history of the area and a jarrah furniture and art gallery.
Located just three hours’ drive south of Perth, this coastal city has plenty to see and do. You can head to the beach, go shopping in the city centre or visit the Dolphin Discovery Centre and learn about the dolphins in the local area.
Extending 1.8 kilometres across stunning Geographe Bay, this heritage-listed 150-year-old Busselton Jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere and a must-see for any visitor to the Margaret River Wine Region.
Sit back and relax while the train driver takes you on a 1.7 kilometre journey across the calm, clear waters of Geographe Bay. With 50 seats available and trips leaving throughout the day, the Jetty Train is the perfect way to experience the Busselton Jetty.
From glimpses of dolphins frolicking to spotting local fishermen snaring their catch of the day, the Jetty Train trip promises to deliver something for everyone.
All images © Tourism Western Australia
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