On Australia’s western coast, the city of Perth offers the best of both worlds. From stunning outdoor scenery and sandy beaches that rival those of the Great Ocean Road, to a thriving metropolitan city filled with great food, museums, and attractions, Perth has got it all. Those traveling with kids know that it can be stressful at times. Fortunately, when it comes to family-outings, a little preparation can make all the difference. We’ve put together this family travel guide to Perth, Australia, to help you plan your next trip and create memories that will last a lifetime.
CHECK OUT PERTH’S CBD
Start off your trip to Perth by exploring the city’s central business district (CBD). Perth’s CBD is easy to get around by foot or by bus. There are tons of little shops, cafes, and restaurants to enjoy, as well as more family-focus activities. If you’ve got young kids, check out the Perth Cultural Center Playground. They’ve got a children’s play space which is designed with natural materials and emphasizes sensory play – including wood carvings, spinning wheels, rock paths, and more. Another great spot in Perth’s CBD is AGWA – the Art Gallery of Western Australia. AGWA offers several family-friendly programs, including their interactive journal programs like Drawing Breath journal and Unlocking Imagination Journal. Ask about these free programs at the reception.
CHILL OUT AT THE BEACH
Did you know that Perth has the most sunny days of any Australian capital, averaging at 147 sunny days per year? It is a far cry from Great Ocean Road weather. What better way to take advantage of this great weather than by spending the day chilling out at one of Perth’s many beaches. Regardless of which part of the city you’re staying in, you won’t be far from a beach. Though there are lots of beaches to choose from, some of them are more family-friendly than others.
We love South Beach since the water is generally very calm and good for swimming due to the outlying reef that creates a breakwater. There are lots of shady spots to take a break from the intense sun, as well as lots of grassy areas, playgrounds, and BBQs, where you can chill out and enjoy a picnic or some takeout. Other family-friendly beaches include Swanbourne Beach, Cottesloe Beach and Rockingham Beach. Regardless of where you end up, spending the day at the beach is the ideal way to make the most of Perth’s sunshine. Heading to Victoria next? Check out the best Great Ocean Road beaches.
CHECK OUT THE STREET ART
Another thing that makes Perth special is the huge variety of street art that is scattered around the city. From small abstract graffiti spreads to large, intricate murals, Perth has got it all. Kids and adults alike will enjoy admiring beautiful street art. Though you can see street art in many areas, one of our favorite destinations is Freemantle street, which is packed with unique pieces. Check out the gorgeous ocean mural near South Beach Cafe, or the zebras outside Ootong & Lincoln. Other popular spots to see Perth street art include the back streets of Highgate as well as the side streets and back alleyways of Leederville.
SEEK A THRILL FLYING TRAPEZE
If you’ve got some thrill-seekers in your family’s midsts, they’re sure to love this fun family-friendly Perth activity. At Alfred Cove, you’ll find Perth’s most experienced Flying Trapeze School. The school has courses for all levels, from beginners to more advanced. With over 25 years of experience, you’ll be walked through the entire process and be assisted at any time. If you don’t want to try the trapeze, there is also a bungee trampoline to try out. Not only will you be able to jump super high, you’ll also be able to do flips and tricks in complete safety. If your family loves a thrill, don’t miss out on this awesome activity.
EXPLORE KINGS PARK
Another great family-family activity in Perth is to spend an afternoon exploring Kings Park. This huge inner-city park spans over 900-acres and is home to Western Australia’s Botanic Gardens. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Swan and Canning Rivers and the huge skyscrapers that line the city. There are daily free guided walks, a gallery shop, and cafes to be enjoyed.
With so much and see and do within this park, it’s hard to know where to begin. First, check out the Botanic Gardens, which is home to over 3000 species of native flora as well as specific garden beds based on different areas of the state. The Botanic Gardens are a great spot to sit back and enjoy a family picnic on the grassy lawns, or check out their current programs. The gardens offer free entrance and can be accessed 24 hours a day.
Next, head to the Rio Tinto Naturescape within Kings Park. This unique space was designed for kids to connect with their surroundings, get to know the local ecosystem, and learn to recognize and appreciate Western Australia’s unique landscape. Kids playing at the Naturescape will get a taste of bushland without having to leave the city. The Naturescape features a creek and waterhole where kids can wade around, a cubby-building play area, as well a series of climbing ropes dubbed ‘The Tangle’. Parents can sit back on one of the many benches and keep an eye from afar, or join in with the kids on the fun. There is also an educational zone where there are sometimes animated living classrooms.
Another great way to explore Kings Park is by bike. If you don’t have your own, you can easily rent a bike from the terminal in the carpack at Fraser’s Restaurant. This is a great way to get active with the whole family and cover some ground while making the most of Kings Park in Perth.
WILDLIFE SPOTTING AT YANCHEP NATIONAL PARK
Kangaroos and koalas are some of the iconic Australian animals that no trip down under is complete without. From Perth, there are several spots not far from the city to see wildlife in their natural habitat. Just 40-minute north of Perth, you’ll find Yanchep National Park. Yanchep is home to western gray kangaroos as well as koalas and has several walking tracks within the park where you are likely to spot these gorgeous creatures. Kangaroos are most active around dusk and dawn, but you may also see them relaxing in the shade during peak heat hours. Pack a picnic for the family to take along and make the most of a day at Yanchep National Park.
VISIT THE PERTH ZOO
If you don’t have the time to make it out to Yanchep National Park, another great option to see animals up close is to visit the Perth Zoo. Just 5-minutes from the city, Perth Zoo is home to iconic Australian animals like kangaroos, koalas, wombats, emus, and wombats, as well as over 1000 other species of animals from around the world. The entire family will love exploring the different parts of the zoo, including the Asian Rainforests to see elephants and tigers or the Safari where you can see lions, giraffes, and rhinos. The zoo also offers unique ‘close encounter’ experiences for groups where children at 6 or older, where you’ll have 2-hours with a zookeeper and get to spend some time with unique animals.
Whether you’ve only got a couple of days to explore or have several weeks to spend in the area, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly activities to experience in Perth, Australia. Nature lovers will enjoy going wildlife spotting at Yanchep National, while the adventure lovers can enjoy a day of boating, watersports, or seek thrills at the Perth Royal Show.
Trips to museums are a chance for kids to enrich their knowledge of art and culture, as well as a moment to stimulate new ideas. These new activities will not only foster confidence and curiosity, but they’ll also help build strong family bonds and a love of travel. Regardless of what you get up to, you’re sure to enjoy the mix of cosmopolitan city vibes and laid-back Aussie attitude that Perth provides.
Guest Author: Natasha is of the Great Ocean Road Collective. A website dedicated to sharing the beauty of the Great Ocean Road in Australia will travelers far and wide. If you are planning your trip, need some inspiration or looking for authentic advice on Aussie travel visit our website The Great Ocean Road Australia or check us out on Instagram.