Western Australia Holiday With Kids
Looking to head out west but no idea where to start planning your WA family holiday?
We welcome Keri from Our Globetrotters to talk us through an ideal Western Australia trip with kids. Growing up in the foothills of Perth and now returning every year with her own three children to see family and friends she is well versed in the best ways to tackle this enormous corner of the world!
Contents of this post
- Western Australia Holiday With Kids
- Best family activities around Perth
- Best Perth Day Trips
- Best overnight trips from Perth
- Best road trips from Perth
- Worth the extra flight – Exmouth and Broome
- Find Great WA Family Accommodation
Best family activities around Perth
Perth is a great starting point for a trip out west and well worth spending a few days exploring in and around the capital before you hit the road. A few of our favourites that you mustn’t miss:
Arguably one of the best city parks in the world – as well as being one of the largest – Kings Park has a commanding view over the Perth city skyline and is packed full of nature walks and playgrounds. Pack a picnic and you can spend a whole day just exploring around the park. Kiddie favourites include Rio Tinto Naturescape Park and Synergy Parkland.
The Perth Beaches
Perth’s iconic city beaches have a great reputation for their soft white sand and fabulous surf conditions. This can mean some are a little rough for toddlers, but with such a long and sprawling coastline, you will find a Perth beach that’s perfect for you! The closest and most accessible beaches to the city are Cottesloe and City Beach where you can wonderfully combine playgrounds & sand with nearby eateries. The slightly lesser-known Leighton Beach closer to Fremantle is perfect for your kite surfers.
Nature and wildlife
Not far from the city centre you will find Caversham Wildlife Park, inside Whiteman Park. Meet wombats, koalas and kangaroos, join in with feeding times and daily shows.
Another lovely trip with the kids if you are staying in the CBD is to catch the ferry to South Perth and visit the Perth Zoo – the oldest in the country! Home to over 1200 animals it’s a small but beautiful zoo.
Explore the playgrounds
Perth has a HUGE selection of amazing playgrounds and nature parks to choose from – many with the coveted coffee shop and spectacular view while the kids play. As well as Kings Park, inner city favourites include the Chevron Parklands and the sensory playground next to the new Perth Stadium and Heathcote Pirate Playground in Applecross.
Best Perth Day Trips
Still basing yourself in Perth, here are a few of our favourite full day activities:
Arguably it’s all part of Perth these days depending on who you ask! Fremantle is the port city some 22 kms to the west of Perth, easily reached by either a scenic ferry along the Swan River or you can take a train.
There are several museums that kids will find engaging including the WA Shipwrecks Museum, Maritime Museum, the Roundhouse and the old Fremantle Gaol. Stroll on to the Fremantle Markets (Fri-Sun), then take in lunch at Little Creatures Brewery or one of the highly-acclaimed fish & chip shops in the harbour. Bring your bathers if you want a paddle at the sweet little Bathers Beach of let the kids run wild in the Esplanade Park playground.
Hillarys Boat Harbour
Still close to Perth but plenty going on to fill a whole day. Walk the Sorrento Quay Boardwalk, enjoy the amusements, touristy and crafty shops, eateries then take a paddle in the calm and safe waters of Stillwater beach in the harbour. The highlight is AQWA – The Aquarium of Western Australia – you’ll find extra events on over school holidays. Hillarys is also a launch point for Rottnest Fast Ferries and many boat tours and charter companies if you’d like to explore further into the Indian Ocean.
Found 45 minutes south of Perth, Penguin Island offers you the opportunity for one of the best close-encounter animal experiences in Australia. Depending on the season, you take a short ferry across Shoalwater Bay from the Discovery Centre to see the world’s smallest penguins! There are also sea lions and dolphins to be found in the nearby waters. Visitors are strictly controlled to protect the wildlife and breeding season, so over winter months you will be offered an equally amazing wildlife cruise instead – you can learn more here.
Situated west of the city, head over the Darling Range to see one of the country’s most amazing engineering projects. The Weir is the start of the 700km pipeline that takes water to the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie. The Mundaring Weir Hotel is a great spot for live entertainment and a feed, or pack a picnic and enjoy one of several nature trails or walk across the Weir wall.
Find a great variety of family tours around Perth on Get Your Guide here.
Best overnight trips from Perth
Although some of these trips you could technically tackle in a day from Perth, we know with children you don’t want to spend all day travelling so they really justify at least an overnight stay.
A short hop away from the Fremantle coast (well about 40 minutes by ferry) is Perth’s own island paradise, Rottnest Island. Development has been kept deliberately low key and the island is closed to motor vehicles so hop on your bike to explore the island at your own pace – and test just how fit you are!! Meet the resident quokkas and explore the family fun park for mini golf, trampolining, arcade games or the inflatable water park.
Cervantes & the Pinnacles
Head North to Nambung National Park to find the Pinnacles Desert – full of oddly-formed limestone towers! Argument still reigns as to how they were formed but they are certainly worthy of the 2.5-hour drive north. Best seen at sunset so we recommend an overnight stay in nearby Cervantes.
Best road trips from Perth
If you’ve got a couple of weeks to spend out west, after you’ve tackled the Perth highlights it’s time to hit the road!
The South West Corner
Head south from Perth along the Kwinana Freeway taking in waterside stops in Bunbury, around to Busselton, Margaret River and the south-westerly most point of Australia, Augusta. Next trek east through the Southern Forests to admire some of the tallest timber in the world via Walpole. Finish up with a drive along the spectacular southern coast via Denmark and finish in the historic port city of Albany.
If you’d like a full guide on how to road trip around the South West check out this 9-day itinerary.
Monkey Mia and Shark Bay
A popular tourist destination sitting some 900kms north of Perth, it’s a long drive but visitors are treated to the spectacular tranquillity of the Peron Peninsular. Most famous for the dolphins which come into the calm waters of Monkey Mia, visitors can interact with them in a controlled manner (this sadly wasn’t always the case).
Kalgoorlie and the Goldfields
Head east from Perth for another deep dive into Australia’s history. Take the Golden Quest Discovery Trail from Laverton, north of Perth and trek some 900kms through the Aussie outback discovering ghost towns to outdoor art galleries. Once you’re in Kalgoorlie, as well as checking out the Super Pit (so big it can be seen from space!), also drop in to Hannans North Tourist Mine to learn more about the state’s gold mining history.
A stop at the iconic Wave Rock near the town of Hyden is often combined with a trip to the Goldfields.
Find a great variety of family tours around Perth on Get Your Guide here.
Worth the extra flight – Exmouth and Broome
Whilst these towns can be tackled as part of a long road trip around WA or Australia, they involve a lot of log driving stretches with limited stops along the way. If your spending anything less than a month out west, we recommend it’s worth the flight to tackle these locations separately, each shrouded in spectacular natural beauty, on and off shore.
I hope I’ve tempted you to plan a trip out west and explore all that the stunning western side of Australia has to offer. Far more than just Perth – but until you hit the ground you may not realise just how vast the distances in WA can be. It pays to take your time studying Google maps and calculating distances, and not rushing so you don’t mis some of the spectacular small towns and beauty spots along the way.
Thank you Keri!
Find Great WA Family Accommodation
Read all about the guided tours throughout Western Australia on Get Your Guide here.
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