Hillarys Boat Harbour has been a popular place for Perth families to spend the day for decades. The seaside spot has lots to do, making it a fun place to enjoy the attractions, shops, parklands and safe swimming beach. Hillarys is also a big dining hub, where you can chomp on sweet snacks like gelato and the Honeycake, to easy takeaways best enjoyed on the grass, or kid-friendly venues enjoy a more substantial feed.
See our big guide to Hillarys Boat Harbour here:
Things to do
There’s tones of fun to be had at Hillarys Boat Harbour! It’s easy to spend the whole day there, with lots of free parking. The shallow, sheltered harbour beach is ideal for little ones to have a paddle and there’s lots of shade provided under big shade sails on the sand. There’s also a hard surface path through the sand for beach wheelchairs and strollers to gain easy entry. The beach features pontoons with slides for confident swimmers, and a shaded beach playground on the sand for little ones. The beach directly south of the southern carpark is also protected with a shark net.
People of all ages will love discovering WA’s underwater world. Spend a few hours at AQWA (The Aquarium of WA) where there’s many different species of fish and marine life that can be found in the oceans around Western Australia. Head downstairs to the huge underground walk through aquarium, heaving with sting rays, sharks, turtles and many more species of fish.
In winter the replica of the Dyfken boat is moored at AQWA.
Heading to Rotto? Hillarys Boat Harbour is a handy departure point in the northern suburbs (just behind the breakwater). Rottnest Fast Ferries can get you to the holiday island in around 40 minutes. The ferry company offers whale watching tours in migration season too.
The lush green lawns of Hillarys Boat Harbour make for a fab picnic spot or BBQ. Throw down a rug and bring along a picnic, or why not cheat a little and get a take away fish and chips or pizza from a nearby eatery. There are plenty of picnic shelters and tables at the northern part of the grassed area.
Head slightly north of the boat harbour to enjoy a play or picnic at the Hillays Beach Park at Whitfords Nodes. A new playground which has plenty of nature play and traditional equipment to kids active and entertained.
On the boardwalk there’s a small gaming arcade zone, with plenty to keep the kids entertained.
And we can’t forget about the Tiny Tackers sailing club – it is Hillarys BOAT harbour after all! See the Buggybuddys review here.
While Hillarys is open year-round, it really come alive in summer. Seasonal attractions include a fairground with bumper cars, thrilling rides, and sideshow alley games. And there’s lots of high energy water fun on the Island Aqua Park inflatable obstacle course.
Eating at Hillarys Boat Harbour
Hillarys Boat Harbour is perfect for a coffee and cake catch up with kids in tow. Little chocoholics will love a San Churro hot chocolate and side of churros (Spanish doughnuts). Dome has a good selection on their kids menu too, and enjoys a water view.
Looking for brunch or lunch? Overboard Café has tasty options for the whole family. The café (next to the Rottnest Ferry Jetty) overlooks the boat pens on the harbour. Or tuck into a casual family feed at The Local Shack over a board game.
Little C’s gourmet pizza has opened in the former California Pizza spot.
If you love a steakhouse, the themed Old Wild West may be for you. Kids will love dining in a you can sit by the saloon-style bar, like something straight out of a western or even dine in a mine train!
3 Sheets is a firm family favourite at Hillarys Boat Harbour. The menu is full of crowd pleasers from ribs and pizza to salads and more. Kids can even help to shoo the seagulls away with water pistols!
Hillarys Boat Harbour has loads of quick and easy takeaway options too – Subway, Nandos, Frankly my Dog gourmet hotdogs, Grill’d, fish and chips… the options are endless. And after that, how about a scoop or two from Bellissimo Gelato or Cold Rock Ice creamery?
Sorrento Quay is full of shops, from clothing boutiques for the whole family to jewelers, shoe shops, homewares, gourmet foods, lolly shops, souvenir stores and much more. There’s plenty treat yourself to, for kids to spend their pocket money on, or simply enjoy a little window shopping. The monthly Mili Markets are held at Hillarys, adding a selection of handmade giftware from local Perth artisans.
Hillarys Boat Harbour makes an ideal location for an easy and close-to-home staycation. There’s easily enough to do to fill a relaxing weekend. Quality apartment style accommodation at Hillarys Harbour Resort (found opposite AQWA) has Sorrento Quay right on the doorstep, and it also offers a cool pool and spa.
Where’s your favourite family friendly place to visit or dine at Hillarys Boat Harbour? Let us know in the comments below!
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