With its vibrant climate and cityscape, Perth is an ideal spot for a family holiday. Its array of attractions including zoos, art galleries, theme parks and museums will delight visitors of all ages. Here’s our pick of the best.
1. Art Gallery of Western Australia
Founded in 1895, the Art Gallery of Western Australia occupies a precinct of three heritage buildings in the Perth Cultural Centre. There is plenty for the entire family to enjoy, with one of the world’s finest collections of indigenous art, the pre-eminent collection of Western Australian art and design, and a broad selection of Australian and international art, travelling exhibitions and free tours.
2. Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA)
Discover an array of spectacular marine life at AQWA, encompassing giant sharks, stingrays, turtles, a living coral exhibit and rare sea creatures. There are five themed areas representing distinct regions of WA’s coastline, encompassing Australia’s largest single aquarium, one of the world’s biggest living coral reefs, and a child-friendly discovery pool, or choose one of the ‘adventures’ for a thrill, including diving with sharks, an ocean safari or a shark sleepover.
3. Perth Zoo
About 5 minutes from the CBD, Perth Zoo is home to more than 1,200 animals from around the world, with exhibits set in lush, natural surroundings. Wander through the Australian Walkabout and Australian Wetlands regions filled with native animals, explore the African Savannah in search of rhinoceros, lions and giraffe, and wander through the Asian Rainforest with its colony of Sumatran Orangutans, elephants and tigers. Those wanting to get up close with the animals can pay a little extra for an Eye-to-Eye Encounter – choose from elephants, giraffe, lions, rhinoceros and many more.
4. Adventure World
Located about 25 minutes by car from Perth, this seasonal theme park is open seven months of the year to take advantage of Western Australia’s summer climate. Enjoy more than 25 world-class attractions such as the Kraken – the tallest, longest and steepest funnel water slide in the world, the Abyss roller coaster, the enchanting Dragon’s Kingdom, and the popular Hawaiian resort-themed Kahuna Falls with its water slides and giant 1,000 litre tipping bucket.
5. The Western Australian Museum
While the largest branch of Perth’s museum is currently closed until 2020 for extensive renovations, the official Western Australian Museum network is still spread across five other sites located at Fremantle, Kalgoorlie, Geraldton and Albany. There is plenty for everyone in the family to discover, including various aspects of the state’s history such as shipwrecks, Aboriginal artwork and artefacts, and goldmining, while a series of pop-up events and exhibits will be running around Perth and the state as well.
6. Kings Park
Kings Park and Botanic Gardens is one of the largest inner-city parks in the world, making it a great place for family picnics, walks and a play in one of the many children’s playgrounds. Featuring cultivated gardens and untamed bushland, the stunning location overlooks Perth’s CBD and the Swan River, while attractions include free guided walks, a cafe and gallery shop, and a range of festivals and events during the summer months.
7. Outdoor cinemas
Ben and Jerry’s Openair cinema runs through the warmer, balmy months of the year and features an array of blockbusters, classics, family movies and cult favourites. Set amongst parklands with films beginning at dusk, families can chill out with their picnic blankets and enjoy a range of food and beverages, or upgrade to a bean lounger seating with a blanket and cushion for an extra comfortable experience.
8. Scitech Perth
Western Australia’s leading science centre is a popular destination for families, with its planetarium, interactive exhibits, plays, puppet shows and more. Parents and children alike will enjoy learning about the beauty and wonder of the solar system, as well as aspects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics through the range of creative exhibits and displays. Younger children are also well-catered for with Discoverland – a section designed just for under sevens’.
9. The Perth Mint
Those looking for a unique attraction should head to The Perth Mint, located in the east end of the city in its original premises. A distinct combination of activities, exhibitions and demonstrations provide visitors of all ages the opportunity to learn about gold-making, including a guided heritage walk, watching a live gold pour and the chance to engrave your own medallion. It is still a functioning mint today, manufacturing coins and gold jewellery.
10. Fremantle Prison
Dominating the Fremantle landscape, this convict-era prison on the UNESCO World Heritage list is free of charge to visit and includes the Convict Cafe, gift shop, prison gallery and an interactive visitor centre, however the highlights of the attraction are the entertaining tours and guides who bring its history to life. Take a look through the mens’ cells, solitary confinement cells and kitchens, or opt for the torchlight tour focusing on the macabre aspects of the prison’s history.