Location: Perth, Western Australia
Editor’s note: Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is the closest “Western” city to us here in Asia. Only a 5-hour flight from Singapore, a 5.5-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur and 4.5-hour flight from Jakarta, little wonder then that it’s one of Asia’s fave playground. In “Says the Local” this week, we have Sally-Ann, mum of two and blogger over at family travel site Toddlers On Tour, share with us her Top 5 Things to do in Perth… Have we told you we heart Hillarys Boat Harbour too?
The city of Perth, the capital of Western Australia, is often classified as one of the most isolated cities in the world. It sits on the banks of the Swan River at the edge of Western Australia flanked by the Great Sandy Desert on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. It takes about 5 hours to fly here from Singapore, about 5 hours to fly here from other major cities in Australia (such as Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra) – days to drive. But it is so totally worth it. I love that Perth is my home. These are my top 5 picks for where to visit and things to do in Perth when you visit with the kids – in no particular order
Kings Park has been a special place for ceremonies and culture since before European settlers arrived in Perth in 1829. The park has changed names several times but has always remained a place to nurture nature and respect those that fought for our way of life. Today it is host to a 1003 acre native and botanical city garden for all to enjoy. Dotted throughout the park are some adventurous and educational playgrounds for children of all ages. It is also a beautiful place to have a picnic and enjoy the vista over the city of Perth and the Swan River.
Before the early settlers made their way up the river they docked their large vessels in what is now the Port of Fremantle. Fremantle offers some wonderful insights into the history of Western Australia.
(Read too: Move over Cicerello’s! Mummy Rachel recommends Kailis Fishmarket Cafe for that famed Frementle Fish & Chips instead – her family ate there three times over a 10-day visit in Perth… that’s 30% of their dinners! Read about Jahbella’s Perth adventures here.)
Use the free Cat bus to explore the many attractions in the area – the Fremantle Markets (check their opening hours here), the Round House, Fremantle Arts centre, and my favourite, the Fremantle Prison.
Then finish off with a cuppa on the famous Cappuccino strip.
Whilst there is more history to be discovered in the Swan Valley, this area is all about your taste buds. There are wineries, breweries, cheese factory, nougat tastings, honey sampling, and preserve to experience at Providore. Think this isn’t for the kids? Don’t worry there is also chocolate to be devoured or playgrounds to burn off the energy.
Whilst you are out in this region, why not stop for a picnic at Whiteman Park. There is a lot to explore in this 9,800 acre park just 30 minutes from the Perth city. Take a tram ride, historic bus ride, let the kids discover transport from a bygone era. And while visiting on a warm sunny day is ideal, we found out that Whiteman Park is enjoyable on a rainy day, too! 😉
Or pop into Caversham Wildlife Park and see the native Australian animals.
(Read too: Or, do like Mummy Bel does and go for an adventure at West Moto Park! Great for older kids who get to ride their own dirt bikes in a controlled environment… check out Mummy Bel’s review on one of the unique things to do in Perth here.)
But to me one of the best things about Perth is our white sandy beaches; I think we have some of the best in the world!
If you’re worried about the waves for your littlies, a great place to take them is Hillarys Marina. This is a sheltered beach with shade sails and a playground on the beach. After cool off you can meander along the boardwalk or visit AQUA to discover the marine life found in over 20,000km of Western Australia’s coastline.
Hillarys Boat Harbour is great with the kiddies, but definitely has something to offer everyone – from group of friends, to couples on a date. Get in early and claim your shady picnic table.
Editor’s note: Thanks, Sally-Ann for these recommendations! Do YOU have favourite spot or activity to do in Perth? Share with us in the comments, or share with us your story here – our community of travel-loving mums and dads would love to hear from ya!