Perth is a vibrant sprawling city boasting more sunshine hours than any other capital city in Australia, and with plenty of exciting attractions, stunning natural beauty and plenty to enjoy outdoors, it’s a great place for a family holiday.
Lee Taylor shares 6 of the Best for Families in Perth
1. Swan River and Scitech
A morning cruise on the tranquil Swan River is a great way to learn more about Perth’s history while enjoying the sights including Perth’s Bell Tower, the Swan Brewery, King’s Park, the Royal Perth Yacht Club as well as getting a glimpse at some of the amazing homes overlooking the river.
After a morning cruise we also recommend a visit to Scitech in West Perth. Scitech is a hands-on science centre and planetarium with interactive exhibitions and programs designed for children (and adults) of all ages. Be sure to keep an eye out for for the baby chickens hatching!
2. Perth Zoo
Just five minutes from the Perth CBD on the banks of the Swan River is Australia’s best small zoo. Perth Zoo is well known and highly respected for its breeding programs and conservation wildlife work.
Give yourself and your own cheeky monkeys a full day to explore the exhibits as you safari through the African Savannah in search of baboons, swing through the rainforests of Asia to spot orang-utans and gibbons and explore South America jungle to discover marmosets, monkeys and more! Other family favourites are the Australian Bushwalk and Wetlands, behind the scenes elephant tours, and summer evening twilight concerts.
3. Mundaring Weir
On a Sunday head for Mundaring Weir. On the way, stop at Kalamunda for the fantastic Sunday morning farmers market in the Central Mall (look out for the Paris Brest cake shop – delicious!). After the markets, consider calling into Calamunnda Camel Farm to ride camels on the Bibbulum Track before continuing on to the Mundaring Weir.
Originally built to service the goldfields with fresh water, today the weir is a popular spot for families to picnic or gather for an afternoon of home-made jam, free bush music and the famous lamb on the spit at the quirky Mundaring Weir Hotel. Family day at the hotel means kids can bring their bathers for a dip in the pool before, or after, lunch. The location is beautiful and at dusk the kids will enjoy seeing kangaroos come out to play in the old gardens adjoining the weir.
4. Rockingham Dolphins
Just 45 minutes south of Perth on the shores of the spectacular Shoalwater Islands Marine, families can explore the enchanting underwater world of Rockingham’s wild dolphins. Rockingham Wild Encounters offers you the chance to swim alongside more than 150 local dolphins.
An unforgettable and exhilarating close encounter with wild dolphins, this is a nature experience like no other, with no tricks and no feeding, just you and everyone’s favourite ocean mammal enjoying each other’s company ensuring the best experience for both visitors and dolphins alike.
5. New Norcia
Two hours northeast of Perth via the beautiful Swan Valley is Australia’s only monastic town and a perfect spot to get away and explore a truly unique place. New Norcia is a historic Benedictine Abbey founded as a mission in 1846. In its heyday, it was home to more than 80 monks and lay brothers. Those numbers now have been reduced to less than 10, but New Norcia still feels very much a ‘working abbey’.
The serene town has an otherworldly magic with magnificent religious art gallery and a gracious old hotel and guest house. The abbey’s bakery with their delicious wood-fired breads and world famous nut-cake will tempt even the most virtuous visitor. To make a weekend of it stay the night at the New Norcia Hotel and allow yourself to unwind as flocks of parrots and galahs fly by in the late afternoon light.
6. Donnelly River
The Donnelly River Holiday Village is an abandoned timber town four and a half hours south of Perth and ticks all the right boxes for a unique family holiday. The entire town has been turned into a holiday village and these days the only traffic the main street sees are the hordes of friendly local birds, kangaroos and emus.
Apart from the animals, the village has a ghost town feel with rustic accommodation in the old mill-workers cottages. Mill tours offer a rare glimpse of the past and the beautiful freshwater Donnelly Lake with its paddling pool and diving platform are close by – there’s even a flying fox for thrill seekers!
Perth Fast Facts
When to Go
Except for a few short weeks in mid-summer when the worst of the heat hits, Perth’s climate makes it an ideal holiday destination all year round.
Perth Airport is serviced by all the major airlines including Qantas
Public transport is safe and and an easy way to get around the city. For slightly further afield, Perth and its surrounds are best explored by car. Most major car rental companies have outlets at the airport and in various locations in and around Perth.
Visit Tourism WA for more information on Perth for Families.