The long “summer” break is just around the corner! This means the kids get to enjoy time away from school and – with a bit of luck – you get to take a much-needed break from work. If you’re looking for a great place to spend your summer and reconnect with your family, Western Australia could be just the place. Here, in our holiday must-do guide, we show you just a few reasons why this Aussie destination delivers unforgettable experiences for any vacationing fam.
Enjoy a picnic in Kings Park
Kings Park is one of Western Australia’s most popular visitor destinations, offering scenic vantage points, points of interest such as the State War Memorial, extensive city and river views, and panoramic views to the Darling Range.
The remarkable expanse of greenery is complemented by picnic and barbecue facilities, public toilets and playgrounds, making it an ideal place for picnics, pleasant walks, and cultural and ceremonial events.
The nearby Ivey Watson Playground in the Lotterywest Family Area is a perfect location for families with very young children. Alternatively, Synergy Parkland, accessible from May Drive, is wheelchair friendly and features the popular Zamia Cafe.
Location: Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia, 6005
Explore Elizabeth Quay
Elizabeth Quay has transformed the Perth foreshore into a free playground for all ages to enjoy the city’s active lifestyle, abundant sunshine, breathtaking views, alfresco dining, outdoor markets and lively festival scene.
Hop aboard the ferry running between the quay inlet and South Perth. Or, join a river cruise from Barrack Street Jetty, or take your own boat, canoe or kayak and pitch up at the free public moorings in the quay. Cycle or walk the riverside trail and explore the 1.5 hectares of inlet, island, landscaped gardens and public art via the striking arched suspension bridge and promenade circuit.
Do check Perth’s calendar before visiting for special events at Elizabeth Quay inlet, and try to take in a show against the stunning backdrop of Perth’s cityscape and Swan River.
Indulge in wines in the Swan Valley
Take a trip down to the Swan Valley and the Darling Range. The vineyards of Western Australia’s oldest wine region are a prime spot for sampling fruits, feasting on award-winning local produce, discovering local heritage and relaxing in the natural bushland of this gorgeous region.
Just a 25-minute drive east of Perth, the Swan Valley is a world away from city life. You can reach it by road, or take the scenic route aboard a Swan River cruise from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty. You can even winery-hop in the back of a horse-drawn wagon or chauffeured classic car!
For the family foodies, those with kids will also love the chocolate factory, lavender farm, Whiteman Park, wildlife parks, mazes, Supa Golf plus a whole range of activities and fresh food to sample.
Location: Guildford, Western Australia, 6055
Visit a postcard-perfect beach
Cottesloe Beach is Perth’s most iconic beach. A living picture postcard known for its white sand, majestic Norfolk Pines and buzzing boulevard of cafes and bars, Cottesloe is the ideal spot for a swim, surf, snorkel, picnic, sunset drinks, or a fish-and-chips dinner by the sea.
‘Cott’, as it’s affectionately known, can be reached by car, bus or train from Perth. Take a 15-minute drive from the city, hop on the regular Transperth buses, or jump on the Fremantle train line and enjoy a pleasant 600-metre walk to the beach from Cottesloe station.
Location: Marine Parade, Cottesloe, Western Australia, 6011
Take the ferry to Rottnest Island
Rottnest, or ‘Rotto’ as the locals affectionately call it, is a short ferry ride from the mainland. Ferries regularly ply the 19km distance, departing from Fremantle, Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty and Hillarys Boat Harbour. You can even choose to arrive in style by helicopter or air taxi, or cruise across in your own boat.
With 63 stunning beaches, 20 beautiful bays and many coral reefs, you can enjoy some of Australia’s finest swimming spots, snorkel trails and surf breaks at this island paradise. You’ll also meet the cutest mini marsupial, the quokka – found only in WA – and see many unique plant and animal species.
With no cars on the roads, riding is the best way to get around, and bicycle hire is available at the ferry terminals and on Rottnest. You can also hop on and off the Bayseeker Bus that regularly runs around the island.
More family fun in the form of golf, tennis, shopping and guided tours can be found in Thomson Bay, as well as cafes, restaurants and takeaway options. Tours on land and sea offer insightful experiences, from wildlife encounters with quokkas, seals, ospreys and whales, to history and cultural tours bringing Rottnest’s colourful maritime, convict, colonial and World War II heritage vividly to life.
Location: Rottnest Island, Western Australia, 6161
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