Perth is a popular year-round destination for Singapore families. One travel-loving mama rounds up the Top 5 Parks and Playgrounds in Perth (out of the 15 she and her daughter sampled!)
An hour into our arrival in Perth, Australia and our 4-year-old was not impressed. It was winter — and she wanted to know where the snow was.
I attempted to distract her, citing the many places we could visit: kangaroos and wallabies at the Caversham Wildlife Park? Marine life at The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA)? Perth Zoo? Playground at King’s Park?
At the mention of a Perth playground, her ears perked up.
Winter in Perth didn’t quite feel like winter anywhere else; it was 20 °C, the sky was blue, the jacaranda trees in full bloom and rainbow lorikeets and green parrots flitted about, perfect park weather – so off we went.
That day, we did two playgrounds, the first was the Ivey Watson Playground at King’s Park. The park itself is one of the most stunning inner city parks we’d ever been to, with some parts overlooking the sparkling Swan River. The playground was fenced and shaded, with tunnels, swings, slides and see-saws as part of the ship, the fort and the princess, right next to the Stickybeaks cafe for a much needed energy (or caffeine) boost.
When we finally made our way to our accommodations, we found it facing a large suburban park, complete with playground, sandpit and zipline.
On the second morning, I recited the list of attractions again. ‘Can we just go to playgrounds every day instead?’ she asked. And since there are multiple parks with playgrounds in all the Perth city neighbourhoods (plus we love being outdoors in nature and it was cheaper than visiting attractions), we said OK.
Thus our Perth playground tour began. We were content to enjoy the scenery, food and culture as we drove from one to the next, visiting some 15 (thanks to the Playground Finder app) across the city over the course of four days.
Click through for our top 5 Playgrounds in Perth!
In the centre of a pond on the western side of King’s, a scenic treehouse/fort playground sits on Lycopod Island – accessible through zig-zagging wooden platforms across the water. Back across the water in the north, through large-scale replicas of extinct Australian animals, the Arthur Farrall Playground is a rustic timber structure with ladders, fireman pole, swings and a slide. Both are part of the May Drive Parkland.
Farther into the park, the Rio Tinto Naturescape lies on the northeast and offers an exploration into Australia’s unique natural environment. Our little one’s highlights were building her own cubby, getting caught in The Tangle, waterhole wading and exploring ‘The Python’ while climbing over the parkland through the treetops.
Do more: Take a picnic or have a barbecue! King’s Park is an outing on its own, to be savoured and not rushed through, so pack a picnic blanket, sunblock, a ball, books and some good food.
We went to this beautiful park one afternoon, and decided to visit it again on our final morning. Hyde Park is pretty perfect as parks go, with a tranquil lake filled with breeding birds in the centre, bordered by lush lawns filled with beautiful people picnicking under the ancient fig trees. The playgrounds (including a water playground) are accessed easiest from Throssell Street.
Do more: What is a visit to Perth without an Aussie-style brunch? Tarts and Sayers Sister are a 5-minute walk southwest of the park, while Chu Bakery on William Street are purveyors of divine sweet and savoury pastries – they also do good coffee.
We had visited AQWA, but it was more a ‘filler’ before we drove down the coast to Lotterywest Whale Playground, which is located right on Scarborough Beach. With various parts of a blue whale’s body as design inspiration, little ones can slide down the head, or climb up into the ‘rib cage’, before crawling through a netted tunnel and sliding down a tube slide towards the tail, where the bird’s nest swing is located. There’s also a log-swing in the belly and a driftwood fort on the side.
Do more: Scarborough itself is a popular swimming and surf beach. The beachside community is undergoing a facelift, but there a plenty of cafes and restaurants to make it a mini daytrip.
Conveniently located between the Cappuccino Strip and the harbourfront, this sprawling playground is shaded by giant norfolk pines. There were areas for kids of every age, from toddlers on the see-saws, to tweens bounding up the climbing net and down the tunnel slide. If you feel like an extra treat, there’s the ferris wheel for a bird’s eye view of the bustling town and it’s beautiful coastline.
Do more: The historic port city of Fremantle is known for many things; the vibrant Fremantle Markets, the tram ride, the prison tours, museums and historic Bather’s Beach, making it worth a full day out. We loved sitting in the sunshine eating Western Australian mussels at Little Creatures Brewery, where there’s also a play area for the little ones.
When friends heard about our playground tour, they chipped in with their favourites and Chevron Parklands was the playground that kept cropping up. We left it as our finale, the last stop two hours before our flight, and boy, what a thrill it was! (Don’t worry, the airport was 15 minutes away and we were checked in).
The Sensory Playground is completely fenced in, featuring a flying fox, climbing net, sand pit, ground trampolines and basketball court. Meanwhile, the nature-based play areas at the Chevron Parkland offer a glimpse into seasons through aboriginal culture with burrows, tunnels, slides, balancing logs, lookouts, obstacle courses, music and water play.
Do more: Australia’s largest pub, The Camfield, is 100m away from the Sensory Playground and offers views of the playground AND the Swan River. Families with kids like the outdoor dining area, and kid-friendly favourites on the menu include pizzas, burgers and fish n chips. Babyccinos here go for an Aussie dollar each.
Lead image: Optus Stadium Park