Perth, capital of Western Australia, is a laid back city with lots for the whole family to enjoy. From the gorgeous weather to the stunning beaches, natural beauty and cosmopolitan city centre, there are plenty of things to do in Perth with kids.
The most iconic of Perth’s city beaches, Cottesloe is also one of it’s most popular. Located midway between the Perth central business district and the port of Fremantle in Perth’s western suburbs, it’s only a 15 minute drive from the city centre. Located directly on a train line and equipped with bathrooms, cafes and plenty of shady trees, Cottesloe is the perfect beach to while away the day on.
We loved the beach’s clean white sand and beautiful clear turquoise water, and particularly the grassed areas behind the beach with plenty of tall pine trees for shade. A short walk around the rock line gives a fantastic view of the striking art-deco Indiana Teahouse building that is a Cottesloe land mark featured on many post cards and tourist brochures.
More info on Cottesloe Beach.
An absolute must when visiting Perth, Rottnest is an island off the coast of Western Australia, located 18 kilometres west of Fremantle. Take a day trip to “Rotto”, where you’ll come face-to-face with the world’s happiest animal, the quokka, swim on some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches and even spot a New Zealand fur seal or two. One day at Rottnest is never enough!
More info on the perfect day at Rottnest Island.
Brand new area on Perth’s waterfront, Elizabeth Quay is in the process of becoming a vibrant destination for tourists with activities for people of all ages. Take a ride on the gorgeous traditional, handcrafted Venetian carousel, walk across the Elizabeth Quay bridge to the new maritime inspired playground Island Playground, or cool down with a run through the BHP Billiton Water Park. The whole Elizabeth Quay area is a particularly great place in Perth for kids.
Before heading home, try a delicious scoop of Gusto Gelato and pose beneath the 8-story-high “Spanda” sculpture.
More info on Elizabeth Quay.
A port city that’s traditionally known for its maritime history, gorgeous Victorian architecture and remnants of the past, “Freo” is also the arts hub of Perth.
Visit Fremantle Prison, WA’s only UNESCO world heritage-listed building, grab a coffee from one of the many cafes on the Cappuccino strip or take a stroll through Fremantle Markets for fresh produce, food to go and baked goods, local arts and crafts and live music.
If you have a little one who believes in magic, be sure to visit The Pickled Fairy shop.
More info on Fremantle.
Kings Park & Botanic Garden
Let your wild thing roam free at Kings Park, a 4.06-square-kilometre park on the western edge of Perth’s CBD. If you’re driving through the park, pull over at the car park near the entrance to enjoy stunning views of the Swan and Canning Rivers, the city skyline and the Darling Ranges. It’s easy to spend a full day in Kings Park enjoying bush walking, the Botanic Gardens and the many children’s discovery play areas.
The highlight of Kings Park for us was Synergy Parkland, a recreation area featuring dinosaur-era themed play equipment, water play, and multiple climbing structures. There is a cafe and bathroom facilities in the park plus plenty of shade.
More info on Kings Park.
Take future engineers and scientists to visit Scitech, an interactive science museum located in West Perth. Scitech’s programs are aimed at kids aged up to 12, with a goal “To increase awareness, interest, capability and participation by all Western Australians in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
More info on Scitech.
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Part of the Perth Cultural Centre, the Art Gallery of Western Australia has been educating and engaging the public since opening in 1895. The gallery runs monthly kids programming as well as school holiday activities and has a permanent interactive drawing space for families.
More info on the Art Gallery of Western Australia
We hired a car because Perth is quite spread out. You can catch the train to get around (more info here) and in Fremantle use the free CAT bus.
Where to stay
There are numerous options for accommodation in and around Perth. I would recommend staying in Fremantle as there is plenty to do and it’s very kid-friendly, but Perth CBD is also very central.
Heading out after dark? We are early birds but if you’re after some night life, check out these tips.
Additional image courtesy of the Art Gallery of Western Australia