10 great ways to keep the kids, and adults, amused in Perth
|1. Talk to the fish at |
AQWA (The Aquarium of Western Australia), where you can wander down the 98m tunnel aquarium and check out sharks, turtles, stingrays and hundreds of colourful fish as they glide around you. For an even closer look, head to the Touch Pool, where you can interact with marine life. Snorkelers or qualified divers can pay extra for a guaranteed face-to-face shark experience. Hillarys Boat Harbour. Open daily, 10am-5pm. Adults $28, kids $16.www.aqwa.com.au
2. Caversham Wildlife Park: wide range of native and exotic fauna, and shady picnic and barbecue areas. Kiosk for light refreshments. Cnr Arthur and Cranleigh streets, West Swan. Open daily, 9am-5pm. Adults $22, kids $9.50. www.cavershamwildlife.com.au
3. Rottnest Island: 18km off the coast of Perth (25 minutes from Fremantle, an hour and a half from Perth) ‘Rotto’ is renowned for superb snorkeling, diving, surfing, fishing, boating and swimming in crystal bays, as well as the resident quokkas. www.rottnestisland.com
4. Mundaring Weir: built in the 1890s to provide water for the Goldfields Water Scheme that still pumps water 400km to Kalgoorlie. Today the weir is a popular picnic spot and you can visit the museum in the No.1 Pump Station on Sunday afternoons.
|5. Take the kids to |
Whiteman Park in the Swan Valley, 30 minutes drive from the city centre. It’s a huge recreation park with acres of natural bush and farmland, shops, restaurants, cafes and museums and the real highlight, lots of kids' rides, including the Ozzi Bug, an electronic cars that adults and kids from four years upwards can drive. There’s also train rides, a wildlife park and Swan Valley Oasis, an 18-hole golf course which has been especially modified for the kids. The clubs are bigger and the balls are around the same size as tennis balls. Open daily, 8.30am-6pm. Entry is free. www.whitemanpark.com.au
|6. Take the older kids on a haunting tour through |
Fremantle Prison . Built by convicts in the 1850s and closed in 1991 after 136 years of use, it now offers several tours including a spooky night-time candlelight tour. For those with a spirit of adventure and don’t mind ladders and boats, you can don a hardhat, pair of overalls and harness on the new tunnels tour for a trip through the one-kilometre labyrinth of tunnels built, more than a century ago, 20 metres underneath the Prison. Open daily. Call (08) 9336 9200 for tour times and prices. Tours start from $18.50. www.fremantleprison.com.au
7. Maylands Waterland, 7km from the city centre, has beautiful wildflower gardens and lawns surrounding four pools (including a splash pool for babies) and is the perfect place to take the kids on a hot day. There’s also a mini golf course, free barbecues, picnic shelters, playground and bouncy castle. Clarkson Rd, Maylands. Open daily, 10am-5pm. Call 9272 4456. Adults $3, kids $2.50.
8. Cottesloe Beach , just 15 minutes from the city centre, is a favourite summer spot, its bustling cafes and children’s playgrounds draw young crowds and families for body boarding, surfing and snorkeling.
9. Learn to surf in Perth at Scarborough beach surf school and Lancelin beach surf school. Both surf schools are fully accredited by Surfing Australia Surf Schools. www.learntosurf.net.au
10. Jet boating: according to the crew at Westcoast Jet in Fremantle, “wetta iz betta” and that’s exactly what you’ll get on their 20-minute open ocean jet boat ride. Reaching speeds of around 40 knots the Okiedokie is put through her paces with some bucket stops, fancy fishtails, hilarious high-speed turns and if the conditions are OK even a surf! Prices are $40 for adults and $35 for kids. www.westcoastjet.com.au
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