The historic town of York offers a great destination for a family weekend break from Perth or even a day trip, within easy driving distance (60 - 90 minutes) from Perth’s North Eastern suburbs. Settled in 1831, York holds the title of the oldest inland settlement in WA. It boasts many stunning Victorian and Federation buildings that date back to early European settlement.
We enjoyed a weekend stay in York in Spring to coincide with the final weekend of the popular York Festival. There was plenty of activity around the town including an art exhibition in the spectacular town hall, a swap meet (Saturday) and a two day makers market including food trucks.
At the makers market, there was a kids activity area with free music activities and my 4 year old especially enjoyed having a go at knitting without needles! The full York Festival program included a wide range of arts events, trails and more extended over a four week period from mid September to mid October.
During our stay we found some great family-friendly places to visit in York. Here’s my top tips:
Keis Alpaca Farm Wind your way up the twisty driveway in the hillside above the Avon Valley and enjoy the spectacular views of the wider area as well as the chance to see dozens of alpacas, including some very young cria (baby alpacas) grazing in the rugged landscape.
The alpacas at Keis Alpacas roam on the rugged hillside
My almost two year old Little Miss Sunshine was mesmerised by the alpacas, and both kids loved the chance to feed the young animals in their pen. Owners Keith and Isi Cameron have put their hearts into breeding rare black huacaya alpacas and offer a warm and enthusiastic welcome to visitors.
Visitors to Keis Alpacas are invited to hand feed the young animals
There’s a large gift shop and indoor seating area where you are welcome to help yourself to free hot drinks. The kids were very kindly given icy poles and free colouring packs to take home too.
Open on Sundays only between 10am-4pm (and some Saturdays, but please call beforehand)
Tel: 0458 486 601
www.keis.net.au Free admission
York Motor Museum Car mad kids will love the York Motor Museum! This large exhibition has underpinned York's tourism trade for almost 40 years and still has a timeless charm. There are dozens of vintage and racing cars plus motorcycles and racing bikes. Master B was enthralled by the jet powered high speed go kart!
Open daily 9.30am - 2pm
www.yorkmotormuseum.com Admission Adults $9.00
Children Under 12 $4.00
Avon Park and Suspension Bridge
Avon Park has a large climbing frame with plenty of shade
This grassy park and playground on the banks of the river has a large climbing frame, seesaw, swings and more. Its well shaded with shade sails and trees, and there are public toilets, free BBQs and drinking water fountains. If you are road tripping with a caravan, this park offers the added bonus of a free 24 hour rest stop with a large lay-by with space for several vans.
The Avon Suspension Bridge is a great spot for a scenic photo
Directly beside the park is the suspension bridge, which is a narrow footbridge across the Avon River. The kids will love bouncing across it and the whole family can enjoy a moment to take in the view.
The Olive Branch We stayed at this superb bed and breakfast on the edge of York, which also has a welcoming cafe (limited opening times). The hospitality of Adrian and Paula Kinsey is exceptional and they went out of their way to welcome us and the children. Master B was delighted to be offered a free chocolate milkshake on arrival and the stack of pancakes which arrived in the morning for breakfast was also a hugely kind gesture.
The spa suite had an enormous corner spa bath plus separate shower and it was spacious enough to accommodate 3 adults and 2 kids - there was probably room for another bed in the huge ensuite bathroom if necessary! Set in a lovely elevated spot, the gardens are quite beautiful and the splendid views extend to Mount Brown and the iconic Mount Bakewell. Sit on the balcony after the kids are asleep and just breathe it all in!