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Family Travel Guide to Perth: Things To Do, Where to Eat & Stay

Family Travel Guide to Perth
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From when to go to all the best things to do in Perth, here’s everything you need to know to plan a fun family trip to Perth, Australia which is only 5 hours away from Singapore.

When friends suggested we do a trip together to Perth, we shrugged and said, why not? We didn’t know much about Perth as a destination, but what we found was a family-friendly paradise. Gorgeous weather, safe cycling lanes and a laid-back vibe all made Perth a perfect vacation spot for us and our toddlers.

Best time to go to Perth

Family Travel Guide to Perth
Margaret River near Perth

Different seasons have their unique charms. Check out this calendar to see what Perth festivals are on. Many of the activities and family things to do in Perth are free!

In July, a new winter festival called RE//PERTH is launching. So far, events announced include live ice sculpting, Mini Mosher – a rave party for kids, and Flurry Fete – a snow party with a snowflake mermaid and ice ballerinas.

Every Spring, Perth’s Awesome Festival puts on loads of events for kids celebrating the arts and creative learning. When we went, the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra held a Fairytale Ball with lots of kids and musicians dressed up in costumes!

Spring is also when the Perth Royal Show is held. This is a huge event which is traditionally a farm show, so you get to pet some really cute animals. But more than that, it’s a big fair with carnival rides, game booths, a little train, performers on stilts, and lots of eccentric stuff like camel rides, chicken races and the “globe of death” with motorcycles. You could easily spend a few days there!

Whale watching is a great thing to do in Perth between September to November. Humpback whales give birth in the waters of Northern Australia, then make their way south to Antarctica, so you can see mummy and calf pairs at that time of the year. Plan to go early on in your trip because if you don’t see whales, they will let you go again on another cruise for free. You’re almost guaranteed a whale sighting!

Best things to do in Perth

Family Travel Guide to Perth
Rottnest Island, Perth

To me, Rottnest Island is the number one thing to do in Perth! It is the only place in the world where you can see quokkas, and don’t worry, you don’t have to work hard to find them. They are all over the main street. They’re actually a kind of wallaby. The rest of the island is gorgeous, with lighthouses, beaches, lakes and playgrounds. Bring a bike or rent one on the island. An electric bike may be a good idea because it’s hilly!

Family Travel Guide to Perth
Caversham Quoll

To see other Australian wildlife, Caversham Wildlife Park is a good bet because there are so many opportunities for up close encounters! At Caversham, you can pat and feed kangaroos pretty safely because the more aggressive ones are kept in a separate pen. Other animals you could pet include wombats, possums and snakes. It’s also possible to hug a koala for an extra fee but you have to be at least 130cm tall. Even if you’re not keen on touching them, this is a wonderful place to see many of Australia’s endemic species and catch a farm show with dogs mustering sheep for shearing.

Family Travel Guide to Perth
King’s Park, Perth

King’s Park has an epic playground with Zamia cafe close by. There are lots of smaller playgrounds around this massive park, including a water play area. The Lotterywest Federation Walkway provides great views of the city skyline.

Family Travel Guide to Perth
King’s Park, Perth

Fremantle Roundhouse is the only place in Australia and possibly the world where a member of the public – even a kid(!) – can fire a cannon. Just email them to reserve your slot. It’s free! The cannon is fired every day at 1pm, weather permitting. And afterwards you get a certificate saying you were an honorary gunner.

Where to eat in Perth: restaurants & cafes

Self-catering is easy to do in Perth, with excellent organic produce available at supermarkets. Woolworth’s has baskets of free fruit for kids to snack on as you do your grocery shopping.

Family Travel Guide to Perth
Gage Roads

You could spend ages at Gage Roads not so much because of the food but because of the brilliant playground. It is deceptively simple, just a real car and a real boat, but a lot of thought must actually have been put into making it safe and user-friendly, because my 3-year-old and 1-year-old were able to play independently for hours with minimal supervision.
Gage Roads, Peter Hughes Dr, Fremantle WA 6160, Perth Australia

I also highly recommend The Old Courthouse. You may think a historical building doesn’t sound particularly kid-friendly, but they have a huge field, sandpit, giant jenga and Connect 4, hula hoops, bowling, live music in the evenings and a pizza oven. Pizza will boost morale while the family rotisserie chicken meal with a side of broccoli will tick the nutrition boxes.
The Old Courthouse, Perth WA 6000, Australia

There is a cluster of restaurants in the Sardine Jetty area which is very pleasant. Kids will enjoy chasing seagulls outside Kaili’s, which has good lobster and was actually more crowded than the more famous Cicerello’s next door when we went.
Sardine Jetty, 1 Mews Rd, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia

Beyond Perth: things to do

Family Travel Guide to Perth
Pinnacles Desert, outside Perth, Australia

About two hours drive north of Perth is the Pinnacles Desert which is where to head for geological wonders and a massive sandbox for the kids. We saw wild kangaroos and scrambled up and down massive dunes at the North Spur.

Family Travel Guide to Perth
Jurien Bay outside Perth, Australia

A little further north from there is Jurien Bay, where you can snorkel with wild sea lions!

Family Travel Guide to Perth
Busselton outside Perth, Australia

3 hours’ drive south of Perth is Busselton. A train takes you to the end of the longest timber jetty in the world, where you can visit the underwater observatory. Booking tickets in advance is advised.

Family Travel Guide to Perth

There is also a massive playground close by on the beach. The Shipwreck Adventure Playground by the Busselton Jetty is a wooden shipwreck that lays on its side. There’s also water play and a fun hand-operated water pump that kids can have a go playing with.

Located a short walk down from the Busselton Jetty is another small playground which is quieter.

Family Travel Guide to Perth
Margaret River vineyards

A little further south from there is Margaret River. Grown-ups can enjoy wine tasting. at the numerous vineyards with restaurants (and some have playgrounds on site too), while kids will enjoy exploring Mammoth Cave and the towering Boranup Karri Forest.

How to get to Perth from Singapore

Scoot, Singapore Airlines and Qantas fly to Perth. The flight is about 5 hours long, and Perth airport is only about 20 minutes’ drive to the Central Business District (CBD).

Public transport systems in Perth are good, but you may wish to rent a car for greater flexibility. Driving in Perth is fairly straightforward, with polite drivers and manageable traffic. Cycling in Perth is also very safe, with many dedicated bike lanes.

Where to stay in Perth

If you’re a large group, Airbnb provides good value and the comforts of home. Otherwise, many hotel chains have a presence in Perth. Fremantle is a lovely area with craft breweries and beautiful beaches so families often like to base themselves there. For an unusual stay, you could bunk in a former jail cell at Fremantle Prison or the old warders’ cottages. You can also stay on the idyllic Rottnest Island or explore Perth farmstays if you’d like to retreat from city life.

Have a great Perth vacation!

Lead image: Pexels and Maureen Yeo

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