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Published March 22nd 2017
Hidden gems so close to home
I'm encouraging us locals, and educating any visitors, to make the most of the weekend-prime areas of Perth, with a collection of articles 'Spend a Day inů'. These places are home to our favourite spots, and full of great things to do, eat, and drink. All of them can easily make it a day.
When most of us think of a break from Perth, our minds go south, to the many coastal hubs and inland towns that surround Perth. Today I have a challenge for you. Think outside the box. Hillarys Boat Harbour sits a comfortable 30 mins north of Perth, with the out-of-town feel we sometimes crave. It's beachy, relaxed, and contains everything you need within a very walkable radius. Free parking makes it more accessible, and leaves you money for some of the activities below.
Most of us have been to Hillarys at least once, and probably know it as the home of AQWA- the Aquarium of WA. Since the 90's AQWA (previously known as Underwater World) has provided a unique experience to see, touch, and even dive with native and exotic sea life. Any day of the week you can visit the Aquarium, with their touch pool full of strange creatures, and walk through aquarium. For a special experience see their website for info on snorkelling with sharks, sleepover evenings, whale watching tours, and more. These activities start from $49.
Sideshow Amusements is a program running until the end of April, on Friday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It features carnival rides for all ages, and a great chance to burn off some energy. You can also bet there will be food and drinks available for purchase.
Sorrento Quay has a shaded beach that provides a great place for an afternoon swim, as well as a playground and lawned areas. Near the beach is the Sorrento Quay Boardwalk. During the day there are plenty of cafes and boutique shopping, all along the same scenic boardwalk. Get a scoop of Ben and Jerry's to enjoy as you walk out along the boardwalk to the open views of the ocean.
As the sun goes down Hillarys lights up. For a nice dinner you can't go past The Breakwater, with the choice of a lower deck bar, or the Ishka restaurant upstairs. If you're looking for something more low key, there are plenty of other restaurants to browse from, and a San Churro Chocolateria open for that night-time chocolate craving.
Head to the linked websites to plan your day, and don't forget to pack sunscreen and water bottles. Enjoy!