image: Tourism WA
Top Ten Amazing Day Trips To Do With The Kids
The Avon Valley covers a massive area. It’s not too far from Perth, and there are stacks and stacks of things to do. Check out Beverley’s historic working farm, explore the aeronautical museum, or get a taste of the real thing with a birds-eye view from a glider. Eat and drink your way around Chittering while the kids run amok on the walking trails, and don’t forget their spectacular wildflower displays in Spring. Visit the enormous wheatbins and deep space radio antenna in Victoria Plains, or get all spooked-out at Toodyay’s award-winning gaol. Come on, you know you want to.
Kids will go nuts for Boshack Outback, a 350 acre working farm. Their Wild Eco Outback Adventure day tour includes boomerang throwing, feeding farm animals, bushtucker tasting, fishing for yabbies and playing the didgeridoo.
Walking shoes (for the trails). Don’t forget to head to the Bindoon Agricultural Show in October, too.
What’s not to love about cooking fresh damper out in the bush? Children’s Camp Kitchen sessions are held regularly throughout the year, with the next one held in October.
Sturdy walking shoes with thick socks, water, sunscreen, hat, insect repellent, map, weather-appropriate clothing, energy snacks, bag for rubbish, first aid kit, charged mobile phone.
Just an hour’s drive north of Perth is Gingin, a small town with a truckload of family things to do. Check out the wonders of space through a fully-retractable roof at the Gingin Observatory, then head next door to the Gravity Discovery Centre for a solar system walk. If the temperature’s rising, cool off at the aquatic centre or follow the coastal road out to Moore River, a mecca for Perth families. Hire a dinghy, jump on a horse for a trail ride, check out the spanking new farmyard zoo, or just stretch out on the sand for a bit of shut-eye - if the kids will let you.
Caladenia mini golf is a local treasure, and one of the best we’ve seen. Eighteen holes in a lush setting, with animal feeding and a restaurant with home-cooked meals to boot.
Bathers and towels (for Moore River), coins (to buy animal food at mini golf), your camera (to catch all the action).
Hillary’s Boat Harbour is a Mecca for families, with lots of entertainment for the kidlets and lots of eating out for the adults. Go for broke on the waterslides or five hundred square foot rock climbing wall at The Great Escape or, for some more relaxed action, try your hand at their mini-golf, 6D cinema and trampolines. For a taste of marine action, head to AQWA or simply chillax on the sheltered swimming beach with nothing but a towel, bucket and spade. When tummies start to rumble, there’s a mecca of kid-friendly dining options in the form of burgers, steak, pizza, fish ‘n chips, Tex-Mex, chocolate and ice-cream.
Whale watching season runs through Spring, when the majestic humpbacks are on the move. We’re blessed to have them right on our doorstep. Whale watching tours run daily from Hillarys Boat Harbour, with guaranteed sightings.
Sunscreen, hat, bathers and towel, snorkel gear, camera, water.
An hour’s drive due north of Perth, Lancelin boasts some of the best windsurfing in the world. There are also fourteen shipwrecks and a host of reefs along the coastline to explore via snorkelling, scuba diving and swimming. And let’s not forget boogie-boarding and surfing around the point at Back Beach. Keep your eyes peeled for sea lions and pods of dolphins too – the area is renowned for them - or head over to Lancelin Island for birdwatching. For land lubbers, the enormous sand dunes will provide hours of thrillseeking, with sand boarding, dune buggy racing and four-wheel driving all on offer. Don’t forget a visit to the eerie majesty of the Pinnacles – it’s a must-do.
At Lake Thetis, 3500 year old living stromatolites abound, and are linked to the earliest life on Earth. Explore the walkways and read up on these fascinating structures.
Sunscreen, snorkel gear, water, camera.
6. Penguin Island
If you’re thirsting for adventure, jump aboard the dolphin, penguin and sea lion cruise. Visit fossils in Aladdin’s Cave, watch ospreys nest and listen to the clicks and whistles of dolphins thanks to an underwater microphone.
BYO food and drink, snorkel gear, camera, sunscreen, hat, water.
Swimming around in the ocean with wild dolphins is right up there on most people’s bucket list. It’s the wildlife encounter of a lifetime, and it’s right here on our doorstep, so what are you waiting for!
Sunscreen, hat, waterproof camera (for swimming with dolphins), bathers, snorkel gear, towels, water, torch (for frog walk).
8. Rottnest Island
What’s not to love about ‘Rotto’? Just a glimpse of its pristine waters will have you breathing easier. Only a short trip from the mainland by ferry, there’s bike riding (electric or manual to hire, or bring your own) that will take you around the tiny isle past an incredible sixty-three beaches, twenty bays, salt lakes, lighthouses and lookouts. See if you can spot the adorable quokkas on the way, or grab a bus to the outer reaches of the island, West End, and check out the colony of fur seals. If you prefer something wetter, there’s world-class snorkelling, swimming and diving. And don’t forget to pop over for the inaugural family-friendly event Carnivale in September. We hear it’s going to be huge.
Lying beneath Oliver Hill, which features a gun used in WWII, is a maze of underground tunnels just itching for kids to explore. Tours run several times a day.
Sunscreen, hat, bike, snorkel gear, water,
9. Swan Valley
The Great Valley Rally is a fun trail that leads families around the Valley via a list of cryptic clues. There are ten different checkpoints and a prize waiting at the end.
Bring your appetite and, if you’re visiting grown-up wineries, some colouring-in books for the kids.
10. Whiteman Park
Explore the Children’s Forest, which has been planted by children. Discover the giant marching antis, colourful birds and the Forest’s ‘guardians’, the Boy of the Bush and his sister Fern.
Torch (for Woodland Reserve night tour), sunscreen, hat, picnic, camera.