The best of Perth with kids
For a fabulously family-friendly holiday with city perks, look no further than Perth.
- March 2021
WA’s capital is one of the world’s great outdoor cities, and its wide-open spaces, beaches, bike paths and sunny spirit make it a great place to take the kids. Here are some suggestions that are sure to keep the whole family entertained during your trip to Perth.
Perth for kids
Swan River and Kings Park
Soak up the outdoorsy vibe by hiring bikes and cruising the cycle paths along the Swan River, taking in the impressive city views. Spend some quality nature time at the enormous Kings Park, where kids can get an eco-education at Rio Tinto Naturescape, go nuts at the Saw Avenue playground or see the world from the treetops on the Lotterywest Federation Walkway.
Optus Stadium and Matagarup Bridge
Catch a sporting match at the ‘world’s most beautiful stadium’, Optus Stadium, an easy (and scenic) stroll across Matargarup Bridge. While you’re there, older (and bolder) kids can get their adrenalin fix on the breath-taking Matargarup Bridge Climb, peaking 72 metres above the river.
A beach for every kid
Among Perth’s 80 kilometres of coastline are some fantastic kid-friendly beaches. Floreat and City Beach are great for body boarding, Scarborough is the place to go to surf school, and Cottesloe is gentle and gorgeous. A post-paddle fish ‘n’ chip feast at Amberjack’s is a time-honoured local tradition.
WA Museum Boola Bardip
For indoor entertainment, make tracks to the incredible new WA Museum Boola Bardip. Join a tour or explore at your own pace: with wide-ranging collections that span the state’s diverse wildlife, landscape and rich Indigenous culture, there’s heaps to see … including a megalodon and Otto, the blue whale skeleton!
Head back in time to the historic port town Fremantle. Your immersive history lesson starts at Fremantle Prison, ‘welcoming visitors since 1850’. During school holidays, kids’ tours take 8-12 year-olds through the old gaol as if they were new inmates, from mugshots to prison labour; older kids (and parents) will thrill to the creepy atmosphere and ghastly tales of a night-time torchlight tour.
Housed in the same grand Victorian building since 1897, the famous Fremantle Markets are a much-loved local landmark. But there's nothing old fashioned about their cracking buskers, cosmopolitan traders, delicious food choices and endless array of tempting purchases, from didgeridoos to hand-made toys.
Freo also has its share of beaches: Port and CY O’Connor beaches for swimming and snorkelling, family favourite South Beach for casual cafés and picnic areas, and Bathers Beach for glorious sunsets.
Fun day trips around Perth
No west-coast family trip would be complete without quokka-spotting on Rottnest Island, just a ferry ride from Perth or Fremantle. A car-free zone, it’s perfect for exploring by bicycle (or you can take the hop-on, hop-off bus). Discover the island’s 63 beaches, snorkel its pristine waters, and say g’day to its adorable furry residents.
A 90-minute drive north of Perth is Lancelin, Australia’s sandboarding mecca. Hire boards, hit the enormous sand dunes and whizz down as many times as you can handle walking back up. Lancelin is also a great place to learn to kite- and windsurf, with excellent prospects of spotting dolphins and humpback whales into the bargain.
Closer to Perth, the Swan Valley may be famous for its vineyards and gourmet restaurants -- but kids will be more interested in riding the easy-going Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail and visiting the wombats, echidnas, koalas and other furry (and spiky, scaly and feathered) friends at Caversham Wildlife Park.