The week-long school holidays next month is an opportunity for families to take a break and reconnect, and where better to do this than an adventure out in the great outdoors. Here, Western Australia makes a great destination for a quick escape, thanks to its proximity to both Kuala Lumpur (an only 5½ hours flight away) and Mother Nature.
Here are four places and activities to share as a family.
Perth’s idyllic island playground, Rottnest is a short 25-minute ferry ride from Fremantle and a world away from city life. For such a tiny island, visitors are in for a treat with the amount of activities families can enjoy at this carefree island in a day.
Being a car-free island, cycling is the best way to get around. With rental bicycles available at the ferry terminals and on the island, kids (and parents) can set off on a journey to explore the island. Alternatively, the Bayseeker Bus regularly runs around the island, dropping visitors off at some of the more secluded beaches.
Also, Rottnest is your chance to take a selfie with the world’s cutest and friendliest marsupial – the quokka. Found only in Western Australia, getting a #QuokkaSelfie with the world-famous animal is a must.
Caversham Wildlife Park
Situated in the heart of Whiteman Park in the Swan Valley, Caversham Wildlife Park is a 30-minute drive north-east of Perth. Home to one of the largest collections of native fauna in Western Australia, the park invites visitors to experience magical encounters with many uniquely Australian animals. Children, especially, would be thrilled with the chance to hand-feed kangaroos and have their photo taken with cuddly koalas and wombats.
Visitors also have access to an interactive zone where they can see a variety of farmyard activities, including sheep shearing, and sheepdog and droving demonstrations, as well as try their hand at milking cows and bottle-feeding lambs.
After all the fun, head into the surrounding Whiteman Park, which is also a great picnic spot.
Kings Park Botanic Garden
Located just 1.5km from the Perth central business district and overlooking the Swan River and the iconic Perth skyline, the 17ha Kings Park Botanic Garden is home to over 3,000 flowering plant species.
Be sure to pick up a map at the Visitor Information Centre to discover the park’s amazing attractions. One of the best is the 40-minute Lotterywest Federation Walkway, which takes you up into the treetops to enjoy one of the best panoramic views of the river and city. If you have more time to explore, follow the Lotterywest Federation Walkway to the tranquil Water Garden and Pioneer Women’s Memorial Fountain.
The Dolphins of Monkey Mia
For families looking to take a road trip up north to the Coral Coast, The Dolphins of Monkey Mia in the Shark Bay World Heritage area is worth a detour. Famous for their almost daily ritual of swimming to shore, as many as five wild Bottlenose dolphins will visit the beach, making this spot a popular dolphin-watching destination.
For an extra kick of adrenaline, specially trained rangers, who are on hand to control the interaction sessions, will even let a few lucky hand-feed the dolphins!