Perth for Pint-Sized Explorers: Our Favourite Kid-Friendly Wonders
What makes Perth (or SingaPerth given how many Singaporeans are in Perth at any time) so popular with young families?
Easy! Aside being just a 5-hour plane ride away from Singapore, everywhere you go, there’s a playground, there’s good coffee near the playground, there are green spaces everywhere, and the weather is amazing – blue skies and mild temperatures year-round.
So where exactly to take the kids when you’re in Perth? Start with this list:
As one of the world's largest and most scenic inner-city parks, the sprawling 400-hectare Kings Park (equivalent to over 570 soccer fields) is home to scenic lush green spaces with sweeping views of the Swan and Canning Rivers, the city skyline, and Perth's central business district.
It also houses the spectacular Western Australian Botanic Garden. With an impressive display of over 3,000 species of the State's unique flora, two-thirds of the park is protected as bushland, making Kings Park rich in contemporary culture and as well as aspects of Aboriginal and European history.
You can let the little ones run free in the ample immaculate green spaces, or take them on one of the many Bushland walk trails or any of the free daily guided walks. The Park also offers a variety of big adventures for little nature lovers aged 3-5 years, such as Zippy's Bush Kindy Kings Park. This program is designed to reflect different themes, the changing seasons, and introduce new skills through nature play activities.
If you’re planning to visit Perth during their summer (remember Australia is in the southern hemisphere, so summer technically starts from October, with December being their warmest month, while peak winter is in July), then you’ve got to spend some family quality time at any of their beaches (there are 19 to choose from)!
My personal favourite is Cottesloe Beach (not only for the perennial old-fashioned ice-cream truck that’s always parked there), but because of its stunning colours, gorgeous sunsets, crystal clear water and perfectly chilled glasses of wine to complement the chilled beach vibes. Plus, there are so many F&B options perfect for little ones, be it the must-do fish & chips, burgers and sausage rolls, or just hot chocolate (coffee for the adults) and huge slices of cake.
And don’t worry about the odd news about shark attacks either - the beach has a net installed around its deep waters to keep scary things at bay.
The animals and plants at Perth Zoo, which turns 125 years old this October, come from all corners of the globe. You can take the kids on a free keeper talk or join a free guided walk to learn more about the amazing animals.
Perth Zoo also plays a vital role in wildlife conservation and education, both internationally and at home. You can also take little ones on any of the zoo’s specialty curated programs, with options available for those as young as 1 year old. One especially popular program is the A to Zoo program designed for children aged 2.5 to 5 years old.
During this program, children are introduced to a different animal each week through storytelling, craft, movement, and music. The 45-minute session concludes by encouraging the children to look for the featured animal on the zoo grounds.
Situated approximately half an hour outside of Perth city centre, Caversham Wildlife Park is a premiere development of its kind in Western Australia, a world class attraction with that signature laid-back Aussie touch. Home to approximately 200 species, and more than 2000 animals, birds and reptiles, the Park is the largest privately owned collection of native wildlife in the state, most famous for letting guests get up close and personal for unique interactive experiences with the animals. For instance, their daily Farm Show (happening everyday at 10.00am, 1.00pm and 3.00pm), is the cutest way to get small ones to experience what goes on at a real Aussie farm. Sheep shearing, milking a cow, bottle feeding a lamb, watching sheep dogs mustering sheep, all things that we just don’t get to do in Singapore. And no trip to Australia is complete with seeing a cuddly koala. Meeting the koalas is included in the entrance ticket price, while holding the koalas is an extra AUD $35.
Wadjemup Rottnest Island or ‘Rotto’ as it’s affectionately called, is a car-free, 11-km protected nature reserve just a short 25-minute ferry ride from Perth mainland, and is home to Australia’s adorable quokkas. Come to Rottnest for a beautiful family day out or stay over for a couple of. Spend the day swimming or snorkelling at any of the island’s incredible beaches and bays, or set off on a leisurely walking trail to take in the beautiful natural surroundings. Tuck in to fish & chips and ice creams at any of the many restaurants dotted along Rottnest. The island also offers a whole list of FREE programs specially tailor made for young ones, such as Nature Passport, an engaging nature-based scavenger hunt around Wadjemup’s nature-rich locations.