With its outdoorsy culture, sunny Mediterranean climate and mild winters, Perth is a perfect city for nature lovers year-round.
From following the trail of the world's largest wildflower collection in Spring, and summers spent sunbathing at pristine white sand beaches, to trekking in the cool of autumn and admiring gushing waterfalls in winter, there's something in the Perth outdoors on offer for every season.
Enjoying the natural beauty of Perth is best done with your loved ones, and there's a wide variety of family-friendly places to explore outdoors with children big and small.
Here are 7 of our favourite outdoor spots to explore with your family, making amazing Perth memories to remember.
John Forrest National Park
One of Perth's most beloved outdoor day-trip getaway destinations, the park boasts incredible scenery, as well as the beautiful Hovea Falls, Jane Brook and the National Park Falls. You'll find excellent signage explaining the rich historical significance of this gorgeous spot, proclaimed as WA's first national park over a century ago.
There are several trails which make for an easy walk for visitors of all ages: the Jane Brook Promenade is an easy stroll at 300m, and the National Parks Falls Walk is a 2.5km loop over easy terrain.
If your children are a bit older, the 4.5km loop Wildflower Walk can be a bit more challenging but is a real treat during wildflower season. The cute little fairy huts are very photogenic, there's stunning waterfalls to explore, and also plenty of perfect spots for a relaxing picnic!
For more information on John Forrest National Park, check out its listing and brochure on the Department of Parks and Wildlife website.
Only 25 minutes from Perth City, nestled on the doorstep of the Swan Valley, Whiteman Park is a unique conservation and recreation reserve, considered to be the largest outdoor metropolitan park in the world.
With 4,000 hectares of leisure facilities and breathtaking natural bushland, there's plenty to see and do: enjoy heritage tram and train rides within the park, check out the highly informative transport museums, and explore the many wonders of the beautiful Children's Forest, from giant marching ants, colourful birds, peeking possums and more.
Located within the grounds of Whiteman Park, multi-award-winning Caversham Wildlife Park boasts a fantastic collection of birds, mammals, marsupials and reptiles. There's a range of exciting daily attractions for everyone in the family to enjoy including a farmyard, interactive wombat and koala experiences, kangaroo and even penguin feeding. The team at Caversham Wildlife Park suggest allowing at least 3 hours to take full advantage of the exciting range of activities on offer.
Finally, Whiteman Park is a perfect place for a family BBQ, or for walking or cycling as you explore beautiful WA scenery and abundant outdoor wildlife. This is a firm Perth favourite and a great day out for the whole family.
The jewel in the crown of Perth City, Kings Park and Botanic Garden is one of the largest inner-city parks in the world, and its stunning location overlooking Perth CBD makes for extraordinary views of the twinkling city lights, the azure blue of the Swan and Canning Rivers and the picturesque Darling Ranges.
This beloved park is visited by over 6 million people annually, who can enjoy the wide variety of spaces in the park such as children's play and discovery areas, bushland trails and lovely verdant parkland perfect for picnics and outdoor fun. The gorgeous Western Australian Botanic Garden on-site is well worth a visit, displaying over 3,000 species of the unique flora of Western Australia.
There's also plenty of happenings at Kings Park: from cultural and ceremonial events to educational guided walks, concerts by local and international acts, and the exciting annual Kings Park Festival in September each year. For more information, head to the Kings Park & Botanic Garden website.
Swan Valley Walking Trails
The 2.5-3km Bells Rapid Walk Trail is known as one of the best vantage points to see the majestic boulders and rushing waters of the Avon Descent in winter, and also boasts lovely views of the countryside and coastal plains. The 2-3.5km Wandoo Heights Walking Trail is a beautiful wildflower walk which is particularly a treat from mid-Autumn to late Spring; you can enjoy gorgeous flowers such as Bull Banksia, Kangaroo Paw, Cat’s Paws, Everlastings, Sundews and even Orchids.
Both trails are considered moderate, while the 3.5km Noble Falls Walk Trail is an easy stroll while staying gorgeous all-year-round, from abundant wildflowers in Spring to the stunning Noble Falls waterfall in Winter. The nature reserve next to the walk is home to abundant bird and wildlife, and is also well worth exploring.
The Kids in the Valley Trail is a must for families visiting the Swan Valley. Whether it's the excitement of seeing some of WA's coolest reptiles, enjoying delicious chocolate and ice cream, playing a round of mini golf, or giving the cutest baby animals a big hug, the Kids in the Valley Trail has something for everyone.
Shoalwater Islands Marine Park
Located just 45 minutes south of Perth, Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is situated in Perth's marine playground, Rockingham. The Park is home of Penguin Island, so named for its colony of tiny, adorable fairy penguins, and makes a great spot for fishing, snorkelling, kayaking, and watching a variety of marine animals such as sea lions and dolphins.
For an even more interactive, exciting experience, you can also swim with dolphins (September to April), thanks to the team at Rockingham Wild Encounters.
There are over 200 local bottlenose dolphins living in the waters of Rockingham's bays and islands, and the tour operators have built up a close bond of friendship and trust with these dolphins, leading to a truly incredible and memorable experience (recommended for children aged 7 and above).
Enjoy exploring the weathered strings of craggy limestone islands by kayak, catch some sun on the white sandy bays, check out the heritage trails, or have a relaxing family picnic: there’s something for every age and stage at Shoalwater.
Perth's favourite island getaway, Rottnest, is only a short ferry ride away and has been a firm family favourite for generations. Relax on the beach, cycle around the island, enjoy an underwater adventure with a Glass Bottom Sea Kayaking Tour, or enjoy a variety of water sports. And of course, get close to the famous furry denizens of the island, the adorable quokkas of quokka selfie fame.
Located in the green and gorgeous Mandurah and Peel region, Serpentine Jarrahdale is a nature lover's paradise. A mere half-hour from Perth, the area abounds with natural attractions such as forests, parks and rivers, as well as the iconic Serpentine Falls with its cool, emerald-blue waters.
Serpentine National Park has been a Perth favourite for almost a century, with its distinct and stunning weathered landscape, and is home to a variety of plants and animals including abundant birdlife and western grey kangaroos. You can find more information on the park at its listing on the Department of Parks and Wildlife website.
The historic town of Jarrahdale is also an exciting destination, full of art and heritage to enjoy, and well worth a visit after you finish your Serpentine exploration. Enjoy delicious modern Australian pub fare at the kid-friendly Jarrahdale Tavern, explore the charming tea gardens, artist studios and antique stores, or enjoy a relaxing picnic or BBQ with the family.
For more ways to keep the kids entertained when you're in Perth, go to: Family Fun in Perth.