The capital of Western Australia is an outdoor city. Romantic sunsets over the picturesque Swan River, nature walks in the nearby King Parks, shopping along the open-air pedestrian malls, people-watching at the alfresco cafes and free guided walks in the city all make for an outdoor lifestyle in Perth. As the cold of winter fastens its hold on the city, there's no need to hide under the covers. Perth offers plenty to see and do for all ages in the winter months. There are galleries, theatres, festivals, school holiday programs and even free events. To help you get out there and enjoy the chilly season before it retires, here are some of the best ways to spend winter in Perth with family and friends that won't break the bank.
You can't miss the iconic Bell Tower located on Riverside Drive overlooking the picturesque Swan River. From 7 to 19 July, this popular attraction is offering FREE entry for kids, up to a maximum of 4 with each paying adults. Open daily from 10am to 3.45pm daily, your kids will be able to see the oldest bell in Australia, have a go at chiming a bell and send video postcards of themselves at the Tower to their friends.
Captain Cook Cruises (WA) have been showing thousands of visitors the best of Swan River for over 30 years. This winter, Perth's premier cruise company is offering 25% off all of their cruise products. You can choose to travel from Perth CBD to the port city of Fremantle, experience the Swan Valley wine region or enjoy an evening with dinner on the water. To book your cruise simply visit the website or call 61 8 9325 3341, and use the online code 'WINTER14' to redeem the winter offer. The offer is valid till 30 September 2014 and conditions apply.
Children aged 3 to 12 years and their parents can enjoy real snow in the heart of Perth city. From 7 to 19 July, Forrest Place in the Murray Street Mall will be transformed into a FREE winter wonderland.
You will take a snow-filled journey to the Snow Plaza where you can throw a snowball, build a snowman, take photos with Frosty the Snowman and the Snow Fairy, and ride down a 14m snow slide.
Each journey takes place in 30 minute sessions starting at 10.30am and ending at 3pm. The entry tickets are available from the City Playground Pass marquee in Murray Street Mall on the day.
Fremantle's favourite market will be celebrating the gourmet fungi between 5 and 6 July. The Fremantle Markets is working with Great Southern Truffles and their stall holders to offer the best truffle experience in Perth. Make a date with the Fremantle Truffle Festival from 9am to 5pm to sample loads of truffle products, watch cooking demonstrations in and outside the market and enjoy a great day out with family and friends.
Families with kids over 12 years can segway around Perth for 60 or 90 minutes at only 75% of the original price between 5 to 20 July. Simply quote 'JUNEFAMILYDEAL' when phoning or booking online to access this 25% discount deal for 3 family members. This offer is also valid on Rottnest Island.
Perth will become the nation's centre of food and wine from 11 to 13 July during the Good Food & Wine Show (GF&WS). You can get up-close to famous chefs and restauranteurs, participate in masterclasses, sample wines from around Australia and exchange notes with vintners, and many more. Go to the GF&WS website to get your tickets before they sell out.
Western Australia's own island retreat will be hosting several winter activities. Rottnest Island Authority is inviting everyone to revisit the history and real-life stories of the island during WWI through photographic film and theatre entitled "Capturing the Enemy" on 25 and 26 July and 1 and 2 August. This production is accompanied by an exhibition. Rottnest Open House from July 24 to 27 and August 28 to 31 is a rare opportunity for you to visit the island's historic cottages.
To help you enjoy the many activities, the island is offering a 3-nights winter stay package from $312 midweek or $345 weekends which includes promotional ferry fares. You also receive exclusive access to the Island's Winter 50 experiences such as a massage from Karma Day Spa or take off on a romantic scenic flight, all for just $50. To book any of the above, visit the Rottnest Island website.
Western Australia's only World Heritage listed building and Perth's famous Fremantle Prison is offering an exclusive tour for children 5 to 12 years. Each tour only costs $11 per child and runs for 85 minutes from 10am. A guide will lead your kids through the history of the prison and share stories of desperate and dangerous escapes. The tour is available on 7, 9, 11,14, 16 and 18 July 2014. For more information or to book the tour, visit the Fremantle Prison website.
Mandurah's friendly dolphins are a popular attraction and one of the best ways to see them is out on the waters with Mandurah Cruises' Dolphin & Scenic Canal Cruise. During the July school holidays, your child under 12 years can sail for FREE on this 1 hour tour when accompanied by one paying adult. The tour departs every hour on the hour from 11am to 4pm. The offer is available from Monday to Friday, except public holidays.
Mandurah Cruises is also offering a special Movie and Cruise on 20 July where you can enjoy a 10am screening of RIO 2 at Reading Cinemas Mandurah followed by an hour Dolphin & Scenic Canal Cruise with Mandurah Cruises at 1pm for just $22 per person. To book either tours call 61 8 9581 1242 or visit the company website.
A festival of the City of Fremantle, the Hidden Treasures Winter Music Series is taking over the West End of Fremantle every Thursday evening in July. A $10 ticket will get you into these 4 venues with each hosting staggered musical acts so you can hop from one venue to another to enjoy all the shows. The venues include PS Art Space, The Workers Club, The Navy Club and The Buffalo Club. Tickets are available at the door of the venues on 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 July. For more information, visit the festival website.
You have heard about matching food and wine but have you experienced food matched with music? The theatrics of food and music will come together through celebrity chefs Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant, and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) at Riverside Theatre on 18 July. Be enthralled as the cooking of the ABC series 'The Cook and the Chef' come to you live on stage and accompanied by selected pieces from WASO. Martinis will be shaken alongside the 007 theme; the Ride of the Valkyries will lift the Peking duck into flight; sweet melodies of Tchaikovsky's Sugar Plum Fairy will help shape delicate chocolate truffles. Don't miss this unique event for foodies and music lovers combined. To grab your tickets, check out the website.
The Avon Descent is the location for the world's greatest white water event every year on the first weekend in August. Clear your calender and join the local, interstate and foreign spectators and competitors who gather to enjoy Western Australia's own unique sporting event. The 124 kilometre white water race from Northam to Bayswater is also packed with community events in locations including Northam, Toodyay, Guildford, Belmont and Bayswater. You can expect a whole host of free entertainment, children's activities, street parade, heaps of food and even fireworks. For more details, visit the festival website.
The City of Perth has organised an cornucopia of activities and events to entertain kids of all ages without breaking the family piggy bank. Between 7 to 19 July, you can enjoy family discounts, activities and events in the City. A City Playground Pass and Guide will show you the way to special offers, activities and freebies only available in the City. You can download the Guide from the website or pick a copy from the marquee in Murray Street Mall and City of Perth i-City kiosk.