Perth City has so much to offer families visiting the CBD during the weekend and on the weekend. Here is our guide of the MUST things to do and see in Perth City. You’ll be pushed to do them all in one day though so plan your day using google maps. The City of Perth offers many forms of transport around the City, including CAT buses which are free and the underground train network – both are great fun for kids of all ages!
1. KINGS PARK AND BOTANICAL GARDENS
Explore what this massive park has to offer – from its fabulous views of Perth City across the Swan River, to its lush Botanical Gardens showcasing WA flora. There are expanses of beautiful bushland and parkland to explore for walks or picnics. Visit some unique kid playgrounds: Rio Tinto Naturescape; Lotterywest Family Area or Synergy Parkland. Climb the DNA Tower or follow the Lotterywest Federation Walkway for more lovely views and scenery.2. THE BELL TOWER
Visit The Bell Tower on the Perth City shores of the Swan River, situated at Barrack Street Jetty. The spire-like blue tower is home to the Swan Bells which date back to 1550 – you can have a go at ringing them in an interactive demonstration. Afterwards hop on a ferry across to South Perth or a meandering river cruise down to Fremantle. The Bell Tower is open from 10am daily.
3. CITY CENTRE
Perth City Centre has plenty of shops from small boutiques to big department stores and everything in-between. Several pedestrian malls make for easy car-free exploring. Forrest Chase is an open square situated in front of Myer, which has a fun water fountain – in the summer months you will see many happy children trying to dodge the moving walls of water. Step back in time by meandering down London Court – a unique shopping arcade with Tudor facades, or stroll along St George’s Terrace to see some historical architecture. Make use of the free CAT busses to get you around the city, or catch one of the daily double decker bus tours. 4. PERTH ZOO
Located in South Perth near the Swan River, Perth Zoo is home to over 1300 native and exotic animals. They are cared for in enclosures that closely replicate their natural environments. Grassy picnic areas and shaded walkways allow you to meander the large zoo for hours, taking breaks as you go. For little feet you can hire a wagon to pull along. There is a lovely old-fashioned carousel and a great café to buy coffees or ice cream or have a light meal at its outdoor tables. Open daily, 9–5pm.
Scitech is an interactive science discovery centre that is well worth a visit as a fun family outing. Inside there is Discoverland, which is perfect for ages 3–7, as well as the Horizon Planetarium for the older kids. Educational puppet shows and science shows run throughout the day, but all the exhibits can keep you entertained for hours anyway.
6. PERTH MINT
Perth boasts one of the world’s oldest mints still operating from its original premises in a historical building. Watch gold being poured in the Melting House, and view the large collection of gold bars and nuggets. Discover the value of your weight in gold, or engrave a medallion with your own personal message. Open daily, 9–5pm.
www.perthmint.com.au7. WA MUSEUM & ART GALLERY OF WA
At the Perth Cultural Centre you’ll not only find the WA Museum and the Art Gallery of WA, but other cultural institutions such as the State Library of WA and State Theatre Centre of WA, as well as a playground and cafés in a dynamic and lively public space. The Museum contains fascinating exhibits of minerals, flora, fauna and dinosaur artifacts, interspersed with fun activities for kids – especially in the Discovery Centre. Explore the stories and culture of the local Indigenous people, and then move on to the Art Gallery to see stunning examples of Indigenous Art and the State Art Collection of Australian and International Art. Special exhibitions change regularly, so check out their websites to see what’s on before you visit.
WA Museum: Open daily, 9.30–5pm.
Art Gallery of WA: Open Weds–Mon, 10–5pm.
8. C RESTAURANT FOR PERTH CITY VIEWS
For an amazing 360º view of Perth, visit C Restauranton St George’s Terrace – the revolving restaurant “in the sky” on the top floor of a skyscraper. Indulge in a light lunch, or a fancy afternoon High Tea with champers, or simply a coffee while you enjoy the view above the city. The restaurant is also open in the evenings for a romantic dinner that is hard to beat, or civilized drinks in the Cigar Lounge. A neat smart-casual dresscode applies.9. COTTESLOE BEACH
Cottesloe Beach is well known as one of the best city beaches in Western Australia. Its 1.5km of golden sands and clear warm waters make it a beautiful spot to spend a day sunbathing, surfing or snorkeling, and later watch the Sun go down. Cottesloe has a village atmosphere and rich maritime heritage. The iconic Indiana Tea House building and restaurant overlooks the beach and offers an old-world charm – have a meal or simply a coffee there while you enjoy sweeping views of the Indian Ocean. The grassy Esplanade, shaded by trees, offers good spots for family picnics, and there is a buzzing boulevard of restaurants, cafes and bars along Marine Parade. Each year Cottesloe Beach is transformed by the free public exhibition Sculptures by the Sea, featuring works by local artists. There is also a good kids playground overlooking the beach. Cottesloe can be reached by bus or train on the Fremantle line from the city.10. CRUISE TO FREMANTLE
Captain Cook Cruises offer various cruises down the Swan River between Barrack St Jetty and Fremantle. Enjoy the river sights leisurely as the Captain’s commentary informs you of interesting facts along the way. Beverages and snacks are available on board depending on the cruise you choose.
You can easily spend a day in Fremantle exploring the Port City – the Cappuccino Strip cafés, the Fishing Boat Harbour, and the many sights and museums that it has to offer, including the WA Maritime Museum and Shipwreck Galleries.
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