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The 3 best family adventures in Perth, Western Australia

By MEGAN HOLBECK

meet the wildlife on penguin island. image perth wildlife encounters
Meet the wildlife on Penguin Island. Image: Perth Wildlife Encounters

1. COOGEE

It’s not every day you can don a pair of goggles and set off from the beach to explore a historic shipwreck. Except in Coogee, 30 minutes south of the city, where you can do exactly that. The historic Omeo was sunk just off the coast in 1905, with underwater artworks and an artificial reef added to the snorkelling trail since. Back on land there’s a short Aboriginal heritage track designed to share local Indigenous stories and language, with colourful glass artworks and lovely views from the lookout.

2. PENGUIN ISLAND

a sea lion on the beach at penguin island. image perth wildlife encounters
A sea lion on the beach at Penguin Island. Image: Perth Wildlife Encounters

Penguins are just one of the drawcards of this amazing little island, an hour’s drive south of Perth. From Rockingham, it’s a five-minute trip on the cute ferry to the island’s sheltered waters, beautiful beaches and incredible wildlife. There’s a myriad of adventures to choose from – swimming with wild dolphins, sea kayaking and wildlife tours, watching the penguin feeding, swimming, snorkelling and walking the short nature trails. Take a picnic or refuel at Pengo’s Café, but be aware that the island is closed in bad weather and winter, when it’s penguin breeding season. 

3. YANCHEP NATIONAL PARK

a koala in yanchep national park. image tourism western australia
A koala in Yanchep National Park. Image: Tourism Western Australia

With guaranteed wildlife, as well as walking, caving and tree top adventures, this national park packs it in, and it’s less than an hour’s drive north of the city. If it’s animals you’re after, there’s an abundance of kangaroos, as well as a resident population of koalas. There are more than 400 caves in the park, including Perth’s only tourist caves, with guided tours exploring their history, formations and chambers. Take one of the park’s eight bushwalks (from half hour to multi-day rambles), or try the ropes course at Trees Adventure. If one day is not long enough, there is accommodation at the Inn and camp site.

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