Explore My City Guest post by Sally-Ann Brown
Having just returned from our annual trip “down under” I am feeling rather nostalgic about my childhood home. I grew up in the foothills of Perth as a youngster and still think it is one of the most beautiful and under-rated cities in the world. This week Explore My City guest blogger is Perth resident and fellow family travel blogger Sally-Ann Brown from Toddlers on Tour to give you the low down on what to do with kids in the capital of Western Australia.
For more on visiting Western Australia beyond the capital check out our guide to Road Tripping Western Australia
One of the most isolated capital cities in the world, Perth sits on the west coast of Australia. It offers more than just being home to 2 million people and a gateway to the spectacular scenery of Western Australia.
So what is there to do in Perth with kids?
Walk or Cycle the Swan River
Start with getting a feel for Perth and its setting. Take a walk or hire a bike and cycle around the bridges. The bridges path is a 10 km circuit consisting of going over the Narrows Bridge along the South Perth foreshore (where you will get some great pictures of the city skyline).
Then back across the Causeway. If little legs get tired then stop half way at South Perth and catch the ferry back to Perth city.
Play at Kings Park
You will be dropped at Barrack St Jetty and home to the new Elizabeth Quay (website) due to be completed by late 2015 which will hopefully include a Cable Car ride up to Kings Park. But for now, you will either have to hike 300 steps up the very steep (43m high) Jacobs ladder or catch the green CAT (free) bus from the Esplanade Bus Port.
Whilst you are in Kings Park visit the war memorial where you will get spectacular views over Perth and the Swan River, then walk across the suspension bridge and explore the native gardens before you make your way to one of the four fantastic playgrounds within Kings Park:
- Ivey Watson for toddlers and pre-schoolers
- Synergy Parkland for energetic school kids
- Rio Tinto for a naturescape education
- The Saw Avenue adventure playground.
Swim at the Beach
After all that playing you might want to cool down, and what better way than a day at the beach where the kids can play in the powdery white sand and swim in the deep blue.
Floreat and City Beach offer great waves to ride body boards, Scarborough has good waves to surf, whereas Watermans, Port Beach and Cottesloe offer protective coves great for those who aren’t strong swimmers – there is a beach for everyone in Perth.
However, the most protected beach of all is at Hillary’s Marina – perfect for toddlers to get their feet wet. Whilst for tweens and teens there is a pontoon where they can swim out to, then slip down slides back into the water.
Once the little ones have finished swimming you can sit under the shade sails whilst you watch over your child in the playground.
Pack a picnic or BBQ to complete your day or venture over to the Boardwalk that’s full of souvenir shops and cafés.
While you are at Hillarys you may be interested in visiting AQUA (an aquarium) where you can interact with sea life from the 12000km of West Australian coastline.
Take a Ferry to Penguin or Rottnest Islands
If you would rather get out onto the coastal waters then perhaps a ferry out to an island is just the ticket.
If your kids enjoy marine life they will also love seeing some penguins. Take a ferry from the southern suburb of Shoalwater out to Penguin Island.
Or visit our more famous island Rottnest for a day trip or holiday. Cycle your way around the island exploring its colourful history, have a swim in beaches protected by the reef and see some native wildlife including Quokkas that are unique to this island.
Arrive back from the ferry into our port city of Fremantle.
There is so much colonial history to discover in Fremantle. Explore the old Fremantle Gaol, walk around the first colony goal “The Round House”.
Take the kids to the interactive Maritime Museum and Ship Wreck Museum, stop for a bite to eat on Cappuccino Strip, or just wander through the famous Fremantle Markets and watch the street performers.
See the Native Flora and Fauna at Whiteman Park
If you are after some more West Australian history then drive out to Whiteman Park. Take a picnic or BBQ to eat under the green gum trees, go for a historic tram or bus ride through the park.
Then explore the tractor museum, motor museum and revolutions transport museum where the kids can get in and on vehicles of yesteryear.
Taste Local Produce in the Swan Valley
Another of Perth’s places of yesteryear is the Swan Valley which was established in the early 19th century and is home to Perth’s local vineyards. Whilst some of the vines are very old, this town has definitely entered the 21st century offering a huge variety of places for food, wine, and beer tasting. The more family-friendly venues include: Providore, the Margaret River Chocolate factory, Whistler’s Chocolate, House of Honey, and Mondo Nougat.
Finish off you Perth with kids adventure with a stop at one of the local breweries where you can sit back, relax, listen to a local performer, and enjoy our good weather whilst the kids run around in the field.
More about our guest blogger
I am Sally-Ann Brown the author of Toddlers on Tour. I am a wife, a mother and a blogger who has always had a passion for traveling. A degree in Tourism, 20+ years’ experience in the hospitality and tourism industries plus lessons learned travelling as a family; I have discovered a pleather of tips and advice for travel with kids. My goal is to help you have a better family holiday.
Thanks to Sally-Ann for providing this fabulous insight into what to do with kids around Perth, a lot of great memories of the outdoor lifestyle. Most of the attractions listed are easily reached from central Perth by foot, cycle or public transport making them easily accessible to visitors and locals alike. Don’t forget to check out Sally-Ann’s blog for more specifics what to do around Perth, Western Australia and beyond.
FOR MORE PERTH FAMILY IDEAS SEE THESE SUGGESTIONS FROM ADVENTURE BABY AND CHECK OUT THESE PERTH DAY TRIPS
All photos © Toddlers on Tour