Family vacations are fun, memorable, rewarding, and a wonderful way to strengthen family bonds. Travelling also exposes your children to the world, encouraging them to embrace diverse cultures and appreciate the beauty of mother nature.
Western Australia (WA) has all the ingredients to make your family holiday one to remember – adorable dolphins, friendly farm animals, stunning wildlife parks, white sandy beaches and more! Whether you plan to travel with your darling infants, high-energy toddlers, or even teenagers, the perfect family getaway awaits you in WA!
Here are nine reasons why Western Australia is the ideal destination for your next holiday.
1. Play with the friendly dolphins
One of the world’s top destinations for memorable and close encounters with these intelligent mammals, Western Australia is a must-visit place for families and nature lovers alike.
At Monkey Mia, bottlenose dolphins visit the beautiful shores daily to interact with beach-goers, so dip your toes in the shimmering waters and grab the opportunity to help handfeed the dolphins under the supervision of park rangers. Remember to catch an early start, because feeding times are between 7:45am and 12:00 noon!
If you happen to be in the South West region, a visit to the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury is certainly worth your time. Explore the Digital Dolphinarium and learn everything about dolphins when they approach the shore in warmer months, or go on the Dolphin Eco Cruise to meet these gentle creature.
2. Discover amazing national parks
Measuring over 2.5 million square kilometres, WA has over half of the nation’s biodiversity hotspots and several national parks featuring a multitude of flora and fauna. Home to iconic Australian animals like quokkas and kangaroos, WA is certainly the best place for your children to learn more about and be closer to nature’s best.
Perth Hills’ John Forest National Park, a mere 45 minutes’ drive east of the city centre, is a hub of excitement. Cycle along the Railway Reserves Heritage trail, bushwalk, or take scenic drives where your family will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the city and the opportunity to observe wildlife in their natural habitats.
Located in the Coral Coast region and well-known for its towering limestone spires, up to five metres tall and formed over millennia in the golden sands of the Pinnacles Desert, Nambung National Park makes for the perfect family day trip from Perth. You can opt for a leisurely stroll through the desert on its 1.2 kilometre walking trail, or breeze through its 4 kilometre driving one! Be sure to also visit the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre for more about the park’s fascinating geology and natural history.
WA’s impressive list of national parks also includes Cape Le Grand National Park (Golden Outback), D’Entrecasteaux National Park (South West), Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park (South West), Rottnest Island (Perth & Surrounds), William Bay National Park (Denmark, South West) and Walpole-Nornalup National Park (South West).
3. Pick fruit straight from the orchard
Why not spend some family time picking fruit and vegetables in one of the many orchards in WA? Different kinds of produce have different harvesting seasons, so do ask the friendly staff at a visitor centre for updated information on the produce currently in season and which orchards allow you to pick your own.
Head over to the orchards located in Perth Hills, where the fresh country air and the fragrance of various blossoms will provide the perfect atmosphere for you and your family to pick fruit and vegetables right off the trees, or even enjoy a picnic outdoors together! The region is also home to many markets and cafés that make the most of these crops.
Travel south from Perth to Western Australia’s apple capital, Donnybrook, to discover an abundance of the freshest local produce, such as apples, oranges and stone fruit. This charming South West town is a blissful countryside break, where its visitors can marvel at the display of apples and cherry blossoms in spring.
4. Experience farmstays with adorable farm animals
Take the kids, escape the hustle of the city, and experience country life on a homestead, cattle station, or farm – a priceless and culturally-rich rural dimension to your stay. Western Australia offers a myriad of country-living options, from Bullara Station and the Kimberley cattle country to the rolling pastures of South West.
On these farmstays and homesteads, you will be invited to do as the locals do – feed the livestock, collect eggs, milk cows, pet goats, and take leisurely bushwalks in the misty morning sunshine. Your young ones will certainly be thrilled by the endearing farm animals, and can even try horse of pony riding in certain locations!
Farm charm awaits you at all of WA’s many local farms, many of which are close to and easily accessible from the city centre, such as Bindoons Windmill Farm (Perth & Surrounds), Cinnamon Coloureds Farmstay (South West), Kerriley Park Forest and Farmstay (South West), Mary’s Farm Cottages (Golden Outback) and Settlers Rest Farmstay Swan Valley (Perth & Surrounds).
5. Family fun at breathtaking beaches
If your family prefers the relaxing, wide expanses of the sea, then WA’s beaches are the perfect fit for you! Crystal-clear waters, pristine white sand, and abundant sunshine can be found all year round on WA’s extensive stretch of coast – a total of 12,500 kilometres of coastline. Perth’s iconic Cottesloe Beach even has smooth terraced lawns and majestic Norfolk pines, perfect for a laidback afternoon with the family.
Frolic in the sand or indulge in water-based activities like swimming, snorkelling and surfing at more of WA’s immaculate beaches – Bathers Beach (Fremantle, Perth), Hameline Bay (South West), Middleton Beach (Albany, South West), Scarborough Beach (Perth), and Shell Bay (Coral Coast).
6. Meet the native animals of Western Australia
Rich in biodiversity, WA boasts a plethora of native Australian mammals, some of which are even unique to the state! One of these animals are the renowned quokka of Rottnest Island; part of the kangaroo and wallaby families, the quokka has been dubbed the world’s happiest animal due to their approachable and gentle nature. They are classified as a vulnerable species and have been almost completely wiped out on the mainland, so where better than the sanctuaries of WA to meet and greet these rare gems?
Caversham Wildlife Park in Swan Valley, a mere 30 minutes’ drive from Perth, is one of the largest collections of WA’s cutest inhabitants. Feed the kangaroos, cuddle with koalas, gawk at wombats, and even listen to keeper talks by the park rangers on the weekend.
7. Streets, shopping, and sightseeing
WA is not only a hub of adventure and new experiences, but is also excellent for families to admire the sights and experience street culture. With its outdoor markets, alfresco dining, and an active waterfront, Elizabeth Quay is the perfect playground for both adults and children to enjoy a casual day out. Every weekend, Fremantle Market also hosts approximately 150 traders in a beautiful bohemian building, selling food, homeware, art products, jewellery, toys, clothing for all ages, and more! Meanwhile, those in search of quainter finds like curiosities and vintage items will be spoilt for choice at Leederville and the Inglewood Night Market.
8. Scrumptious delights straight to your table
Blessed with a lengthy coastline, diverse soil types, and sunny climate all-year long, WA yields a profusion of fresh produce, seafood, and highly-prized black truffles – a gourmet’s delight! No matter which town or city you find yourself in, there are ample family-friendly eateries that serve up a variety of fresh food.
Perth alone will leave you thoroughly satiated – the city has more restaurants per capita than any other capital city in Australia, many of which have received accolades for their commitment to excellence in food.
9. Stay at family-friendly accommodation
Be it a weekend getaway or an extended holiday, WA offers plenty of family- and children-family accommodation for you to choose from. Most of them are strategically located in close proximity to eateries, shopping outlets, and facilities that will keep the entire family entertained. Alternatively, there are plenty of self-catering accommodation options where you can be hands-on with your food and cook your own meals!
The next time planning a family holiday is in the works, include Western Australia as one of your desired destinations to experience extraordinary adventure and family fun time, which will leave remarkable memories for you to cherish!
For more information about Western Australia, kindly visit http://www.westernaustralia.com or its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ExtraordinaryWesternAustralia.