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NATURE & WILDLIFE

Family Fun in Western Australia: Native Wildlife Encounters

Experiencing something new together with your family always makes for a special memory.  Dubbed as the “World’s Biggest Adventure Playground”, Western Australia (WA) offers a range of experiences perfect for the family.  We’ve compiled a list of fun family activities for you to curate your own memorable experiences!

Whale watching dunsborough
Whales come out to frolic along the Dunsborough coastline. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

A bucket-list destination for most nature and wildlife lovers, Western Australia is home to some of the world’s most incredible wildlife encounters both on land and sea.


PERTH

Perth may be a cosmopolitan city but it has a lot of raw natural charm. Kings Park and Botanic Garden is one of the world’s largest inner-city parks (even bigger than Central Park New York) housing over 3,000 species of native plants and over 80 different types of birds. Take a picnic or go riding with the family across the park for a leisurely day out.

biking kingspark
Go biking with the family around Kings Park and Botanic Garden. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

A day out at Perth Zoo across the Swan River is a must-do family activity, where you can get close to over a thousand animals, especially species close to Australia such as the numbat, Tasmania devil and even marsupials!

Dolphins Rockingham
Dolphins playing near Rockingham | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

Go swimming with bottlenose dolphins at the Rockingham Dolphin Swim, an hour away from Perth. You can interact with these fascinating animals as you go on a group snorkelling tour. If swimming isn’t your thing, get up close to sharks and rays without getting wet at the Aquarium of Western Australia.


ROTTNEST ISLAND

Rottnest is the place to get up close to the world’s friendliest animal, Quokka. Free guided Quokka walks are available daily for you to take selfies with these cute locals, especially as they come out around mid-day to late afternoon. During the colder months (March – August), you may also get sightings of young joeys popping out of their mother’s pouches for a brave wander into the world.

Quokka Selfie Rottnest
Take a selfie to remember the friendliest animal on earth, Quokka in Rottnest Island. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

Take a leisurely stroll to West End Boardwalk with your family to do a spot of whale or bird watching. The boardwalk was constructed completely using recycled materials to reduce impacts on nesting shearwater birds whilst also providing a unique recreational experience. At the end of the platform, you can get binoculars to spot thousands of Humpback and Southern Right whales migrating from April onwards.


THE SWAN VALLEY

A well-known recreation and conservation reserve in Swan Valley, Whiteman Park covers over 4,000 hectares of natural and leisure facilities. The park houses Caversham Wildlife Park, three heritage transport museums, lush lawns and a woodland reserve for you to explore.

child kangaroo cavershampark
Children can pet and be up close to the friendly residents of Caversham Wildlife Park, Swan Valley. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

Caversham Wildlife Park makes for an educational and fun day out with kids, just 30 minutes from Perth city centre. Meet native Australian animals such as koalas, wombats and kangaroos plus get to see 200 other species of animal up close! Kids will be thrilled to join a farm show where they get a chance to feed and pet animals up close.


THE MARGARET RIVER REGION

A magnificent experience not to be missed is going whale watching in Flinders Bay, Augusta. A sight to behold, the Humpback, Southern Right, Minke and Blue Whales all make their journey from June to August.  You can also catch bottlenose dolphins and rare blue whales frolicking down Dunsborough in September.

Eagles Margaret river
Visitors can have owls sit on their arms at the Eagles Heritage Raptor Wildlife Centre. | Credit: Eagles Heritage Raptor Wildlife Centre official website

Fans of feathered friends can visit Eagles Heritage Raptor Wildlife Centre, housing the largest collection of raptors, which provides care and rehabilitation for these birds of prey that have been injured or displaced. Marvel at hawks, falcons and owls, and watch them up close while they sit on your arm.

underwater busselton Jetty
View hundreds of different marine life without getting wet at Underwater Observatory, Busselton Jetty | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

Stay dry and enjoy the natural marine wonders when you visit the Underwater Observatory at Busselton Jetty. Being one of only six in the world, the observatory allows you to descend 8 metres underwater of Geographe Bay and experience the vividly-coloured tropical and sub-tropical corals lying beneath the jetty.


THE SOUTH WEST EDGE

Get front-row views of the majestic Humpback and South Right whales in King George Sound, Albany. As these graceful creatures migrate from late May to early October, visitors would be treated to various sightings of the WA’s beloved whales interacting with their calves. While you are in Albany, you can also visit the Historic Whaling Station to learn about the now-defunct whaling industry in WA. Another iconic spot would be Bremer Bay, where you can sight orcas as they come up to the bay in February for two months.

Whale museum Albany
Be awed by the life size whale skeleton at Albany’s Historic Whaling Station at Discovery Bay, Albany. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

A botanical paradise popular for its rugged and spectacular scenery, the Fitzgerald River National Park is one of the diverse conservation areas in WA. Be amongst the unspoilt wilderness and get acquainted with hundreds of different species of animals plus rare species of birds such as the ground parrot, the Western whip bird and the Western bristlebird.

Valley of the Giant is a must-visit for family fun to experience the famous Tree Top Walk set 40 metres above the forest floor. The walk is child and wheelchair friendly, so everyone can enjoy the 600 metres walk featuring plants with origins that can be traced back to 65 million years ago.


NINGALOO REEF

An absolute must-do when visiting the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef is to go snorkelling and be awed by one of the world’s largest fringing reefs. Swim with the world’s biggest fish, Whale shark, the majestic Humpback whale, and another beautiful local, the manta ray. Tours from Exmouth and Coral Bay operate all year round and will take you to the calm turquoise waters to have an unforgettable experience with your family.

familykayak Coral Bay
Have a fun day on the waters and kayak above turquoise waters of Ningaloo Reef. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

Go kayaking above the clear waters of Ningaloo Reef Marine Park and spot some of the abundant wildlife locals such as diverse coral formations,  turtles, rays and schools of colourful fish. Small group sea kayak and snorkel eco-tours are family-friendly and available all year round.

WhaleShark NingalooMarinePark
Go swimming with the majestic Whale Shark in Ningaloo Reef Marine Park. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

Ningaloo Reef isn’t just a marine life paradise. Cape Range National Park is a breath-taking limestone range and is an iconic WA landmark with a treasure trove of native Australian animals including red kangaroos, emus, echidnas, wallabies and more. The park offers activities for all and it’s perfect for families to camp out, swim, snorkel and go beach fishing while they are staying here.


THE KIMBERLEY

A World Heritage gem in the Kimberly that must be explored with your family is the breathtaking Purnululu National Park, home to the unique Bungle Bungle Range – a cluster of 350 million-year-old giant, beehive-like striped mounds. There are a wide variety of things for you to experience; take a thrilling helicopter ride over the range, stroll through the domes of Cathedral Gorge or go glamping at the eco-lodges!

Crocodiles windjana
Freshwater crocodiles sunbathing at Windjana Gorge National Park. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

Windjana Gorge makes a memorable day out with the family, as you traverse along the Lennard River and arrive at the deep freshwater pools surrounded by native trees and animals. If it’s your lucky day, you might even spot freshwater crocodiles basking along the riverbank.

Kimberley is also diverse with its marine life and is home to the largest marine park in the state. The North Kimberley Marine Park has tonnes for children to experience – get close to sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins and the rarely sighted dugongs!


BROOME

One of the most iconic experiences you can have in WA would be the leisurely camel caravan along Cable Beach in Broome. Hop on the back of these docile creatures for a sunset stroll down the pristine sands of Cable Beach. Enjoy and capture awe-inspiring sunsets with your family as you ride down one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia.

Camel sunset cablebeach
Go on a sunset camel ride with the family along Cable Beach, Broome. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

Broome is also known as a haven for turtle nesting. Join an Indigenous cultural tour to spot turtle nesting and help these gentle creatures build their nest as you get to observe them laying their eggs.  You can also join a kayaking experience to spot turtles with Turtle Kayak. The 3-hour experience will lead you through the warm turquoise waters of Broome while you get acquainted with turtles, manta rays and other marine wildlife.


ESPERANCE & THE GOLDEN OUTBACK

Just out of Esperance, Lucky Bay is synonymous with having the whitest beach in all of Australia, which is located inside Cape Le Grand National Park. Find kangaroos soaking up the sun on the pristine beach, explore the bushwalking trails linking to spectacular coast sections or in spring, and witness the park come to life as groves of wildflowers bloom.

lucky bay kangaroo
Sight kangaroos at Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

Be mesmerised by Lake Hillier, the bubblegum pink lakes of Middle Island, just off the coast of Esperance. Book a day out with the family by either taking a helicopter ride and flying over the bright pink lake or you can take a cruise to Middle Island to explore the island ruins.

helicopter lake hillier
Take a scenic flight with your loved ones over Lake Hillier, Middle Island. | Credit: Tourism Western Australia

Western Australia truly offers a unique experience if you are looking to create a memory like no other with your loved ones. With abundant nature and wildlife that are sure to be one in a million encounters, it would go down as the trip of a lifetime.

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