I am a stay at home mum trying to be a freelance writer - or a freelance writer trying to be a stay at home mum. I enjoy getting out and about with my two little girls and am Chief Editor of Perth Mums Group perthmumsgroup.com.au
Published September 13th 2016
Save your money with Cockburn's top ten free things to do
Cockburn is a coastal city with a name that probably makes you giggle and I'm forever telling people that it's pronounced Co-burn. Funny names aside (it takes its name after renowned navy officer Sir George Cockburn, by the way) it is a wonderful place to live and I love finding new, free things to do here. So, put your wallet away and enjoy these top ten free things to do in Cockburn.
Community groups and workshops
Do you fancy becoming more snake aware, building a worm farm or learning more about indigenous culture? From July to November the City of Cockburn runs Sustainable Living Events, some of which won't cost you a cent, including the Snake Awareness and Worm Farming workshops and the Guided Indigenous Tours.
The City also runs free workshops for women, including 'Women of the World' and workshops for women over 45 to discuss wellbeing, anxiety and worry and other relevant topics. For more information, see the City website.
The City of Cockburn runs Sustainable Living Events during July to November (Picture: City of Cockburn Facebook.)
Manning Park itself has local historical significance. It is home to the Azelia Ley Homestead Museum, the Davilak Ruins, and the Davilak Walking Trail. The museum is open to the public every Sunday afternoon and provides a glimpse into Cockburn's history through this Victorian Era homestead and its many artefacts. You can also visit the Wagon House, which displays various plant and farming equipment from Cockburn's bygone days.
The Azelia Ley Homestead
Walking tracks, trails and reserves
Cockburn is a great place for walking. The Davilak Walking Trail begins just behind the homestead and takes you through the Beeliar Regional Park, providing lookout points and panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.
Alternatively, the Mount Brown trail is a leisurely 2km or a more challenging 7km walk set in the Beeliar Regional Park and offers picturesque scenery along the way. The trail carpark is on Cockburn Road, opposite the Naval Base Holiday Park. Then there is the Coogee Beach Trail, Bibra Lake, Lake Coogee Reserve…the list goes on. See the Walking Booklet for more paths and trails. There are also a number of reserves situated within the Jandakot and Beeliar Regional Parks, such as the Denis De Young Reserve, in which you can spot rare plant species and native animals.
'Drive Thru' Art Gallery
Cockburn has a number of pieces of public artworks scattered throughout the city that residents and visitors can view, in what it calls the 'Drive Thru Art Gallery'. The artworks range from murals in Spearwood, to sculptures and murals painted onto the bus stops. In addition, there is also the Renewable Energy Art project consisting of decorative yet functional pieces of public art made from reusable materials. You can views these at the Spearwood skate facility and Market Garden Swamp.
Cockburn Splash Pad
The Cockburn Splash Pad is a set of interactive sprinklers located at the entrance to the Cockburn Central train station. Children (or adults) can run in and out of the sprinklers and chase the random spouts of water.
Cockburn has three libraries – in Success, Coolbellup and Spearwood, all of which are a haven for freebie events. Some events, like the Sushi Cooking class at Success fill quickly. All three libraries run free Knitting Group sessions, while you can improve your brain power at the Memory Maintenance Café at Success or share poems at the Poetry Lovers meetings at Coolbellup.
If English is your second language, you can take part in a free English Conversation Group at Spearwood. The sessions are also held at Coolbellup and Success, although a gold coin donation is required.
A barbecue at the beach
Cockburn is home to some stunning coastline, all with their own qualities and attractions – North Coogee has a dedicated dog beach, while Port Coogee has a family-friendly, sheltered beach.
Coogee Beach hosts the annual Coogee Beach Festival, Australia Day Breakfast and the Jetty Swim, while the Coogee Beach Reserve has summertime pontoons, a shark proof barrier, fishing jetty and vast parkland.
The City of Cockburn Summer Nights Community Concerts are free, all-ages events which have in the past featured some of Australia's best talent, including Kate Ceberano, Jebediah, Jessica Mauboy, Samantha Jade and Justice Crew. Details of these family-friendly concerts are usually released in summer, and for more information, see the City of Cockburn website.
Take part in a fun run
Yes, 'fun' and 'run' should not be in the same sentence, but the City of Cockburn hosts a couple of free runs every year, including the 6km Bibra Lake Fun Run and the Fur Run, a fun event for you and your pet.
Just some of the free outdoor gym equipment in Cockburn
If you like to exercise in the fresh air, Cockburn has you covered, with outdoor gym equipment popping up in many parks and playgrounds, complete with instructions for usage. You can find this type of equipment next to the Cockburn Youth Centre and at Botany Park in Hammond Park, just to name a couple.
There is plenty of free things to see and do in this lovely city, from sand and surf, to history and culture. Just don't call it Cock-burn.