The most remote region of Australia, Western Australia is emerging as the country’s powerhouse. Perth is booming into an exciting metropolis that still enjoys a small-town charm, while the natural environment offers unique views and close-up wildlife encounters to enchant the entire family.
Progress Drive, Bibra Lake, +61 (08) 9417 9666
Splash out at Perth’s premier water park, with a smorgasbord of adventures for travellers looking for an adrenaline rush. From speed slides, to freefalls and G-Force rides, Adventure World has it all. Daring older kids can get the heartbeat going on rides like the Tunnel of Terror, an exhilarating two-person plunge into watery darkness, fly through the stratosphere on The Rampage, or swing out on the thrilling Bounty’s Revenge ship. Meanwhile, younger kids are catered for in scaled-down versions like the 6-metre Little Leaper freefall or The Barnacle (a mini-Bounty). There’s even a small menagerie of native animals, including koalas, wombats, emus and kangaroos. Brand new is the Kahuna Falls tiki-themed tree fort, complete with water guns and cannons, geysers, slides, smoking volcanoes and 1,000-litre tipping buckets!
20 Labouchere Road, South Perth, +61 (08) 9474 0444
Go walkabout at this modern zoo and conservation centre, where visitors can encounter numerous species from both native and foreign shores. From an Aussie bushwalk alongside red and grey kangaroos, Tasmanian devils and echidnas, to lions, Sumatran tigers (eek!), sun bears, Galapagos tortoises, slow lorises, meerkats, and many more! Join one of the Close Encounters for an unforgettable experience: spend the day as a zoo keeper, scrubbing the elephants and preparing their fodder (and cleaning out the stalls!), serve lunch to a penguin or gibbon, pat a rhino, or get on a rooftop with an orangutan. You can even help out at feeding time for their giant Estuarine Crocodile – watch out for those jaws! The visit supports the zoo’s efforts at conservation, including breeding programmes for rare and critically endangered species, while providing an interactive education on biodiversity. Open every day of the year, Perth Zoo is located just five minutes from the Perth CBD.
Scitech Discovery Centre
Sutherland Street, West Perth, +61 (08) 9215 0700
Taking science out of the classroom and into the hands of youngsters, Scitech is all about sparking the fires of intellectual curiosity in the innovators of the future. Experience extreme physics in action on the 360˚ Bike, an incredible ride that allows you to experience firsthand the power of velocity and momentum. Explore the planets in “Wildest Weather in the Solar System”, an internationally-acclaimed show screened in Australia’s largest planetarium, then shrink down into Incredible Inner Space with up-close views of the immune system and hair follicles, before checking out the live theatre shows. Hands-on, interactive and totally awesome, Scitech is sure to leave the family hungry to learn more about the wonders of reality.
Caversham Wildlife Park
Whiteman Park, Lord Street, +61 (08) 9248 1984
This family-operated park was a small operation when it opened in 1987, but today boasts about 200 species, and over 2,000 individual animals and counting; their excellent breeding programmes contribute to other zoos around Australia. Enclosures are divided regionally, so animals can be seen with their natural neighbours, from the tropical North East, arid North, coastal South East and local South West ecosystems. There is also a dedicated kangaroo enclosure and a farm where kids can get to know Tommy the donkey, Snowy the llama and other furry pals. Caversham is located within the Whiteman Park recreation and conservation reserve, which also contains other family friendly attractions, including train rides, Motor & Tractor Museums, a vintage bus tour and an irresistible lolly shop.
The Great Escape
22 Southside Drive, Hillarys, +61 (08) 9448 0800
Escape to a slew of action-packed activities, all in one wild fun park located in Hillarys Boat Harbour, 20 minutes from the city centre. Kids can really get up to some monkey business scaling the sheer rock climbing walls, scrabbling up the Jungle Mountain Climbing Tower, or taking on the 10m High Ropes Course traversing rope bridges, netting and platforms (height and age restrictions apply). Pint-sized Luke Donalds can try their hand at Wacky Putt, with 18 holes of miniature golf craziness, while aspiring acrobats can spring into action on one of the 16 state-of-the-art trampolines at Jump ‘n’ Tramps. There’s also the Kiddeez Zone with a Spinning Cup & Saucer, Merry-go-round, Monkey Maze, Ferris Wheel and Chairoplane… and don’t forget the swimmers! What better way to cool off on a hot Australian summer’s day than hurtling down one of the water slides?