what should we see in Perth, WA?
April 13, 2014 1:56 AM   Subscribe

About to visit Perth WA with an eight and a five year old. Googling isn't really coming up with much exciting to see or do. Advice and suggestions?

The first few days we'll be in the CBD without a car, while the missus works, then we'll have four days, with a car, in Freo. Not going to any wineries due to kids. A short (no more than a few kms) bushwalk would be nice.
Boys have usual sorts of interests for their age.

Some adventure park thingy?
The zoo?
posted by wilful to Travel & Transportation around Perth, Australia (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Rottnest is very beautiful. Restaurants there are expensive, btw- as in overpriced, not swanky. It is easy to walk around and have a swim. Perth cbd is not do great- or it wasn't 5 years ago, anyway. There are some lovely beaches a short train trip away. Cottesloe is quite a famous one. Fremantle is also a train trip away and a nice place for a stroll and a coffee. Good restaurants too. Haven't done the zoo- went there for a honeymoon, not with kids!
posted by jojobobo at 2:05 AM on April 13, 2014

Rottnest is awesome. It can be difficult & pricey to get accommodation, especially around Easter or school holidays, but even a day trip is well worth it.

Scitech and AQWA are also big hits with primary-school-aged kids.

The Synergy Parklands in Kings Park have a fantastic playground, very good cafe/restaurant, and free facilities to cook your own barbecue.

These are my top recommendations, off the top of my head, but am a but rushed at the moment so will prob think of more. I've lived in Perth most of my life. Drop me a PM if you need more detailed advice/info, I'd be happy to help!
posted by Salamander at 2:08 AM on April 13, 2014

Ps your boys are the perfect ages for everything I've mentioned; also, there is a free bus (called the CAT bus) that loops from the CBD to Kings Park all day.

And from Freo, you are in pole position for the ferry across to Rottnest Island. You can hire bikes there, and cycle around to some stunning little bays and natural beauty spots.
posted by Salamander at 2:11 AM on April 13, 2014

(Sorry, keep remembering things) - You can do lovely bush walks in Kings Park itself. There is lots of natural flora, and amazing views across the city.
posted by Salamander at 2:13 AM on April 13, 2014

Beatty Park swimming pool
Forest Chase water feature (we're in the middle of a late heat wave...)
Hyde Park great playground and water play spot
Little creatures in Freo... Has a sand pit out the back!

On my phone ATM but will post some more later.
posted by sconbie at 3:18 AM on April 13, 2014

The tour of Fremantle Prison ("WA's only World Heritage listed building") might be just the ticket for boys of that age.
posted by fairmettle at 4:20 AM on April 13, 2014

Since no one has mentioned quokkas, I felt the need to put this here. I would have been thrilled to meet one at the age of five (or eight).
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 4:25 AM on April 13, 2014

Catch the ferry from Barrack st to South Perth and then walk to the zoo.
Spare parts puppet theatre has a show on these school hols. We're going on Tuesday... Memail me if you want to meet up!
Scitech Is similar to Scienceworks in Melbourne. Haven't been for a while but it's meant to be great!
posted by sconbie at 6:20 AM on April 13, 2014

Kings Park is fantastic and has great views of the city!
posted by ryanbryan at 7:48 AM on April 13, 2014

Thanks for the answers everyone. I must say, not to diss it, for a big modern city it's not bursting with things to do. But we'll have fun I'm sure. Any further contributions welcome!
posted by wilful at 4:53 PM on April 13, 2014

From the CBD you could take the ferry over to South Perth [grab a coffee at Atomic on the walk up Mends St] to the zoo. It's not a bad zoo as zoos go. The elephants walk out of their enclosures around the grounds twice daily following their keeper and that feels pretty damn good for a zoo. Plus being on the Swan River is nice. There's a lovely set of biographical short stories by Tom Hungerford called Stories of Suburban Road which is nice to read about life in that part of town, and lovely grassy areas to sit n relax in our lately hot days.

You could walk along the river from the South Perth ferry East up to the Boatshed and take a catamaran out. That's a fun thing to do on the Swan and in our lovely weather, I bet you'd have a beautiful time. I was out on that part of the river the other day and it was divine. Ignore the jellyfish.

You could walk from the CBD and take your kids to William Kentridge's amazing installation at PICA in the Cultural Centre. A great experience. It would intrigue you and intrigue your kids. The Museum is great, or you could go to Timezone in Northbridge for a smash up Air Hockey game, and then cross Lake St and loll on free beanbags watching free movies in the Northbridge piazza.

You could walk from there north on Lake St until you get to Hyde Park. Maybe get some yummy French tarts from Le Papillon or stop at Sayers Sister [recommended] for something tasty. Btw Phi Yen on the corner of Lake and Brisbane St is great Vietnamese.

I live near the CBD and I am on university non contact week - I'd be happy to hang out with an out of town Me-Fite.

If you have a car from Fremantle why not drive to Point Walter in East Fremantle and walk out onto the spit into almost the middle of the river. You can see a lot of great things from that vantage point. I also recommend Little Creatures in Fremantle on a week day [or otherwise it's super crowded] for chilling. If you feel adventurous you could drive down the coast a little way to Shoalwater Bay and walk out at low tide, or ferry out to Penguin Island. I loved doing that when I was a kid. Better than Adventure World.

What I like about Perth is that we really enjoy our natural environment. Walking through King's Park, playing in the river and at our beautiful beaches is cheap and fun.
posted by honey-barbara at 6:20 PM on April 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've been told that there's an awesome water park thingy, I can't get in touch with the friend who took her son there to find out what/where it is, but google brought this up: Outback Splash. Sounds like great fun to me.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 6:44 PM on April 13, 2014

Adventure World, Adventure World, they made it just for fun!
posted by Wantok at 7:14 PM on April 13, 2014

It's been a while since I've been, but Indiana's at Cottlesloe Beach is one of my favorite restaurants in the world. I mean that literally.
posted by matty at 7:58 PM on April 13, 2014

Thanks again everyone. Last few days have been chaotic, so I've barely had time read this thread, let alone respond. OMW to the airport now, pray Jetstar exceeds expectations. Five hours in an aeroplane with two small boys, looking forward to that. Will look more closely at all suggestions when we get in.
posted by wilful at 4:08 PM on April 14, 2014

It's sounds as though you are already in Perth by now so will be in Fremantle in a few days. I can't believe you haven't heard about the Fremantle Street Arts festival happening this weekend from Easter Sat to Mon. It's free but they ask you to make a donation to each act you see if you can.
I live in Fremantle but if I didn't, I would be coming here each year for the festival anyway. I have a 7 and a 5 year old and we always find great stuff to watch with the kids. Plus Fremantle will be jumping this weekend with lots of visitors so there will be a good vibe.
Take the kids on the big wheel at Fremantle esplanade, check out the newly opened kids skatepark with parkour zone. This Sunday (Easter Sunday) they are running free skateboarding lessons for young kids and supply helmets and boards. 12 30 to 2 30pm http://sba.org.au/WA/perth
The old prison in Freo does special tours catering for kids.
Check out the beaches round Freo - south beach in south Freo is good or with the car, visit point Walter in bicton which isn't far away and is great for the kids as is on the river not the ocean. There are often lots of dolphins around there too. Great for swimming or paddling with a sand spit you can walk out on plus a cafe, BBQ pits, playground etc.

The round house in Freo has great views and was one of the first buildings built in Freo. It has stocks you can out the kids in, ha ha! the adjacent fishing boat harbour is good for a walk around and get some fish and chips but it will be v busy with the festival.

Out of Freo, as other say, Cottesloe beach, kings park is AMAZING with loads of fun stuff for the kids from tree top walks to nature playgrounds, perth zoo, take a river cruise from Freo to perth city then go up the swan bell tower, check out the kangaroos at heirisson island, day trip to Rottnest island and hire bikes, heathcote reserve in applecross is also a great play area with amazing city views, the list goes on. ...

I'm British but I love Perth and I particularly love Fremantle. I hope you have a great stay :-)
posted by ozem at 1:43 AM on April 15, 2014

Ooh, also check out the Fremantle markets and look at experienceperth.com for general perth info
posted by ozem at 1:49 AM on April 15, 2014

Back home now. had a great time. We saw Kings Park (including Synergy play area, which was nice), Perth CBD, the dinosaurs at the Museum (OK, but the rest of the Museum was a bit pathetic), the Zoo (pretty good, quite like Melbourne, needs a butterfly house though), Rottnest island, Mandurah, heaps of great street performers in Freo, the HMAS Ovens (my highlight), and the Manduring Weir and bushwalk. All good stuff.
posted by wilful at 4:29 AM on April 23, 2014

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