Sometimes you just need a break from the cleaning, the cooking and the never-ending cycle of laundry. Plus, the kids need a change of scenery once in a while too – after all, there’s only so many times you can go to the same old park or play centre. Perth has some great places to get away for a day trip when you just need to chill out somewhere other than at home. Here are some top day trips for Perth families that are less than an hour out of the city.
While everything slows down when you have children, it’s still possible to see Rottnest in a day. Catch the early morning ferry from Fremantle, hire a bike, explore the island, pat a few quokkas, stop for lunch, more bike riding and an afternoon picnic on the beach before hopping back on the late ferry. Phew! It is better to spend a few days on the island if possible, but a day trip is still a great way to explore Rottnest if you’re time poor.
Rottnest is a lovely place for a day trip from Perth.
Penguin Island, Rockingham
Penguin Island is located 700 metres off Rockingham and can be reached via a five-minute ferry ride, which departs from Shoalwater hourly. Whilst on the island, you will encounter Western Australia’s largest colony of little penguins, the world’s smallest penguin. It’s a great place to spend the day exploring nature trails, swimming or picnicking on the beautiful coastline. Penguin Island is open to the public from September 15 to early June 2017.
Penguin Island is home to around 1,200 little penguins (pic: Rockingham Wild Encounters Facebook.)
Peel Zoo is a boutique wildlife sanctuary situated in Pinjarra, just outside Mandurah. It is a hands-on zoo – perfect for little kids who love to pet and cuddle different animals. You’ll find a kangaroo enclosure, in which you can feed the roos, as well as alpacas, Tasmanian devils, wombats and a myriad of colourful birds. There is a picnic area if you want to take your own lunch, and alternatively the Redcliffe on the Murray restaurant is just a short stroll away.
The Peel Zoo is Pinjarra’s very own boutique wildlife sanctuary.
Whether it’s chilling out on the Mandurah Ocean Marina or enjoying fish and chips by the water, Mandurah is a top day trip for city-dwelling families. The marina houses a huge variety of waterfront market stalls, cafes and restaurants, as well as a playground and safe swimming beach.
Araluen Botanic Park Address: 362 Croyden Road, Roleystone
This beautiful reserve in Roleystone is a wonderful way to spend the day with family. There are scores of different native wildflowers to view, plus hundreds of beautiful tulips to adore in spring. There is plenty space to have a picnic, plus the Chalet Healy café, and even an amphitheatre with live entertainment on some days. The park is open between 9am and 6pm every day. You can read more about Araluen Botanic Park here.
Take a day trip to the beautiful Araluen Botanic Park.
Hillarys makes for a brilliant day out with the kids. There’s a heap of great things to do, including shopping, the Aquarium of WA (AQWA), a man-made beach with a playground, The Great Escape and restaurants and cafes to suit every budget. You can also pack a picnic and pick a spot on the grassed areas overlooking the marina.
Hillary’s Boat Harbour, Hillarys.
Yanchep is home to pristine coastline, beachside cafes and the Yanchep National Park. Located 50km north of Perth, you can enjoy bushwalking, caving, barbeque and picnic areas and view a huge variety of Western Australia’s native flora and fauna.
Serpentine National Park Address: Falls Road, Serpentine
Serpentine National Park is a scenic nature reserve located 55km south east of Perth and is known for its stunning waterfalls, transfixing scenery, walks and trails and forestry. There are plenty of places to have a picnic and a swim, while wildflowers are in abundance during July to November. The park is open from 8:30am to 5pm daily, but during summer can fill to capacity early, so it’s best to try and arrive before 10am.
Serpentine Reserve (pic: Facebook)
For a list of other great outdoor activities, read on here.