Best of Western Australia Itinerary For Families
Here is our recommendation for a great Western Australia itinerary for families! As a Western Australian family we obviously are a tad biased about what this wild – and wonderful – part of Australia and what it has to offer! Despite having lots of wide open spaces, there is a lot do in Western Australia for families of all ages
Western Australia is such a massive state – 2.6 million square kilometres (10,021,748 square miles – the combined size of Alaska and Texas)! People are sometimes overwhelmed with the vast number of choices and travel distances. For that reason we have divided our recommendations in this Western Australia itinerary post. We have separated it into “drivable from Perth’ and “more far flung places” which need a flight unless you are on a long camping or caravan trip.
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1. Within Driving Distance From Perth -Western Australia Itinerary
1.1 Kings Park
1.2 Perth Beaches
1.4 Rottnest Island
1.5 Penguin Island
2. Day Trip North Of Perth – Western Australia Itinerary
2.2 The Pinnacles
3. Heading South From Perth – Western Australia Itinerary
3.1 Ferguson Valley
3.2 Margaret River
3.3 South Coast
4. Further Afield (Requires Flights*) – Western Australia Itinerary
4.1 Monkey Mia
- Requires flights due to distance and time considerations. If you are on a long term trip you can drive there!
Within Driving Distance From Perth -Western Australia Itinerary
Perth, the capital of Western Australia, consistently makes it into the top 10 World’s Most Livable Cities. There are lots of reasons why you could spend more than a few days here.
However, if you are short of time we recommend hitting a few key spots in the city (either on arrival or departure) and otherwise head out to explore the stunning beauty of Western Australia. Here are the top spots not to miss in Perth for visiting families.
Kings Park is famous for its great views across Perth city, the Swan River and also a wealth of botanical specimens. Our kids love the walk area that leads up to the 620 metre long Lotterywest Federation Walkway which gives a unique view of the forest and gives great views across the city! We also enjoy at the DNA tower that offers a fantastic view and a good run for the kids.
For the kids there are a range of different playgrounds. Here is a post which covers them all.
Perth has some stunning beaches; two of our favorites are Cottesloe and Scarborough. If you are traveling your Western Australia itinerary you might get a chance to experience more than one of Western Australia’s amazing beaches. However, if you aren’t, definitely organize to visit one in Perth. Even better, plan to stay in one of Perth’s coastal suburbs to maximise your time!
Where To Stay In Perth For Families
Our post Best Perth Family Accommodation details our very favorite places to stay for people with kids in Perth.
For a brief summary, we like Mounts Bay Apartments for extremely central accommodation, well connected by public transport. Mantra On Hay is another good central option near the city. If you have your own wheels then you could consider one of the stunning beachside hotels like the Rendezvous Observation City in Scarborough.
If you are looking for an area with great food and atmosphere then Fremantle is fabulous. We particularly like the Rydges Esplanade Fremantle which is a housed in a gorgeous old building and conveniently located directly across from a park with playground. Public transport is nearby; it takes around 40 minutes one way if you take the train straight into the city.
With pure white sands, and turquoise waters, Rottnest Island is a short ferry ride from Perth. It is often included as a must see on many travelers itineraries. We say: check your dates! Avoid visiting during peak periods around Western Australian long weekends, New Year’s Eve or the infamous schoolies/Leavers week in November. Otherwise, a trip over to Rotto “as the locals call it” is a unique experience.
Swimming from beautiful beaches, white sands, and with bicycle only access around the whole island, there is a remote frontier feel about Rottnest. Not to mention the island’s most famous inhabitants the “rats” that the island is named for (rat’s nest). Cute and very instagrammable, the Quokkas are sure to be a winner with the kids.
For general Rottnest information and accommodation, check out the Rottnest Island official website.
We’d love to stay at the Karma Rottnest. This looks like a great family accommodation to add to your Western Australia itinerary.
Insider hint; if you are visiting during one of the above mentioned peak periods, or are short of a day of two, then you can see quokkas down south at the Tree Top walk. Check here for our post on a “Visit To The Treetop Walk in Denmark”.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a unique island experience that can be visited from Perth and is significantly cheaper than Rottnest, consider Penguin Island, just out of Rockingham. With a boat ride, beautiful beaches, abundant bird life and – penguins – our kids think it is a magnificent day out. Our full review can be found here in our post “Penguin Island Western Australia”.
Day Trip North Of Perth – Western Australia Itinerary For Families
Heading north of Perth you can make a great day trip that takes in three great sites. Yes, it would be a pretty long day but also packed with lots to see and do!
Yanchep National Park
Less than an hour from Perth city, plan to stop at Yanchep National Park to see the koalas and the grey kangaroos. With a range of walk trails, native bush and caves there is a lot more to see than just these fluffy animals, and you could pack a picnic lunch and spend the whole day here.
The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park are out of this world, and an easy 2 hour drive further north from Yanchep National Park. The shapes are quite intriguing and our kids loved imagining what might have lived there. Photographers might prefer to plan a sunset visit when the colors on the sand are spectacular.
If you feel like treating yourself to some fresh Western Australian seafood, then the Lobster Shack in Cervantes gets rave reviews and is a short 15 minute drive from the Pinnacles. You might like to fill up at the Lobster Shack and then head back to the Pinnacles to walk off your lunch!
On your way home – about an hour back south from the Pinnacles, swing by Lancelin which has now become one of Australia’s favorite sandboarding destinations. With white sand dunes 3 stories high, you can access the dunes with your 2wd car as long as you don’t get off the road! For those that want to give sandboarding a go, boards can be hired for $12 and picked up nearby. For more information check out the Lancelin website here.
Heading South From Perth –Western Australia Itinerary For Families
If you have time, or like to travel more slowly (especially if you have smaller kids that need to stop frequently to avoid an outbreak of World War 3) then we’d recommend checking out our places to stop between Perth and Margaret River. Check out our blog post Perth To Margaret River Places To Stop for more in depth information.
For kids – and general quirkiness value – we’d recommend making a detour into the Ferguson Valley to see Gnomesville, a curious collection of garden gnomes congregated in the middle of the countryside! For more information on all things Ferguson Valley, read our blog post Ferguson Valley Western Australia With Kids.
Margaret River is world famous as a wine region, a home of fine food and globally famous gnarly surf breaks; what is less well known is that there is plenty to do for families with kids, and children will have a ball in the Margaret River area. Our Top Things To Do In Margaret River For Kids are found here.
If you are coming in the Western Australian winter months (from May through to October) and your kids are always full of beans, we’d highly recommend a heated pool for keeping them content after a day’s touring. We have compiled a list of the best heated pools in our post Accommodation in South West WA: Best Indoor Pools For A Winter Family Escape.
Heading further south, we love the untamed wilderness and remote feeling of the Walpole Wilderness area. Especially the world renowned Tree Top Walk at the Valley of the Giants. Our top tips for a visit are found here in our post Valley Of The Giants Tree Top Walk With Kids Tips.
Depending on your amount of time in the area, you could spend a night or two in the gorgeous little community of Denmark – we have covered the best in this in-depth post called 11 Great Things To Do In Denmark With Kids here.
For those aiming to just hit the highlights of the South Coast of Western Australia, we’ve selected them for you here, 11 Great Things For Kids On The South Coast Of Western Australia.
In summary, we wouldn’t miss Greens Pool in the William Bay National Park. Consider combining it with a visit to the Denmark Alpaca Farm.
In Albany the Gap and Natural Bridge in Tondirrup national Park are mind-blowing (although also scary) and worth a visit. The National Anzac Museum comes highly recommended. However, we haven’t personally visited with our kids who are still a bit young.
If you are visiting before April 2019, check out the Field of Light Western Australia
From Albany, your time in Western Australia is likely coming to a close. For those short of time they can make a comfortable trip back up the Albany highway to Perth in 4 hours. However, we would highly recommend making the detour to Hyden, and one of Western Australia’s most iconic sites at the totally incredible Wave Rock. Heading into this cropping country gives you a real sense of the vastness of this state.
Wheatbelt Detour –Western Australia Itinerary For Families
First stop on route from Albany would be taking a hike in the Porongurup National Park, to Castle Rock or the Granite Skywalk. If you feel energetic it is an exciting hike to the top, read our full post about Granite Skywalk with Kids.
From here, check out The Lily Dutch Windmill. An interesting visit for kids (thought it was closed on the day we visited). You can also stay in some really quirky lodgings including a remodeled 1944 DC3!
From here it is about 3 hours’ drive to Wave Rock where you can stay either in the town of Hyden or at Wave Rock itself.
Please take a look at our please take a look at our 6 Tips for a Visit to Wave Rock with Kids suggestions.
This whole itinerary is a whopping 1328 kilometres (825 miles) so is going to involve a lot of driving. We wouldn’t attempt the whole itinerary described in less than 10 days. It would more ideally be done in 14 days or more. The intention of the post is not have you cram in all these sights but to give you sense of what you would like to see and do when visiting planning your Western Australia itinerary.
Further Afield (Requires Flights) –Western Australia Itinerary For Families
Monkey Mia is 9 hours’ drive to the north of Perth.
With a pod of dolphins visiting frequently, Monkey Mia dolphins visit daily year round and people are able to get up close to them. This makes it a popular spot to visit for families.
We have heard mixed reports, so haven’t visited yet ourselves. Check out once such review here on the Ytravel Blog.
Something high on our Western Australia family bucket list is Ningaloo Reef based out of Exmouth or Coral Bay. We a super keen to go swimming with the Whale Sharks and Reef Sharks!
It is a total of 13 hours’ drive from Perth or a further 4 hours from Monkey Mia. If you are a family with several kids the flights are going to add up. You might consider driving in order to save. However, if budget was not a consideration or you were very short of time, then we would most definitely fly.
We’d fly to Exmouth (Learmonth airport) and base ourselves at Coral Bay to explore the reef. If time permits, and you have a car, then you can spend a couple of days at Cape Range National Park out of Exmouth.
This post here on Wild Western Australia blog explains what you could do very succinctly in about a week.
Broome with Kids
The pearl of Northern Western Australia. I really want to visit Broome but at the same time find it hard to justify the expense. Traveling slow as we do, a week in Broome is going to cost us more than a week in Bali. It goes without saying that we haven’t done it yet. I hope that we will one day reach Broome.
Together We Roam provide lots of photographic inspiration for a visit. While blogger Sharon provides her consistent, down to earth advice about her experiences.
Take a Northern Western Australia Road trip
It is our a dream to do a Northern Western Australia road trip. If you have the time and dream take a look at these two blogs. We hope you will come away feeling absolutely inspired as we do.
YTravel Blog – Things To Do in Western Australia
Blonde Nomads – Western Australia Travel Inspiration
We always travel with insurance, it has saved us numerous times. World Nomads have specially designed travel insurance for families! Take a look at their Family Travel Insurance here.
For more information on Western Australia and additional resources to plan your trip, check out our recommended guide books below. Click on each to see the current price.
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