I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published September 19th 2012
Fun that doesn't cost the earth
Isolated from the rest of the world by desert and ocean, Western Australia is a place where unique flora and fauna flourishes, and school holidays are the perfect time to introduce your children to these natural wonders. The following are a few nature-based activities which can be enjoyed, even by very young children:
Western Australian Museum Every school holidays the Western Australian Museum coordinates many fun and affordable kids' activities which focus on a particular natural theme. Its Discovery Centre also has lots of cool resources and activities relating to Western Australia's natural and cultural heritage.
Home of the wonderful Nearer to Nature program, the Perth Hills Centre in the Beelu National Park near Mundaring runs a variety of nature-based activities. Kids get the opportunity to ramble with a ranger, see native animals up close and lots, lots more. Although Nearer to Nature is based here, they also coordinate activities at other venues as well.
Canning River Eco Education Centre The Canning River Eco Education Centre holds some great holiday programs, including canoeing adventures on the river. More details about this and other activities at the centre can be found on the Nearer to Nature website.
Naragebup Environment Centre Naragebup Environmental Centre holds a terrific and very affordable school holiday program, with activities about the area's marine environment, gardening and creating a worm farm.Creative writing and nature-based craft activities are also offered.
Image from the Rockingham Regional Environment Centre website
Piney Lakes Environment Education Centre Piney Lakes Environmental Education Centre offers a good choice of activities for kids of all ages. Children under 12 will love Reptile Awareness, Bush Survival for Kids and Ranger Red's Wildlife Show, while teens with an interest in sustainability are encouraged to volunteer at the centre.
Image from Piney Lakes Environmental Education Centre website
Rottnest Island Every school holidays there are lots of wonderful activities for the whole family at Rottnest Island. Throughout the year it's fun to wander or cycle along the island's tranquil roads and paths, looking out for the cuddly quokkas, while from April to October, whales are often sighted from the lookout at the rugged West End. The Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association also offers various interesting guided walks.
Rottnest Island Salt Store: Image from Wikimedia Commons.
Penguin Island Penguin Island, just off the coast of Rockingham, is home to the smallest penguins in the world, the little penguins. Visitors can learn more about the penguins' life cycle at the Discovery Centre, and observe them being fed.
A cruise can also be taken to see wild dolphins and sea-lions, or you can spend the whole day simply relaxing, swimming and exploring.
Night stalk Every year from September to October, the Perth Zoo Night Stalk takes place, and armed with torches and a 'log', volunteers visit their local bushland at night, taking note of the mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs which are seen. The log is then returned to Perth Zoo, where the information is made available to various environmental groups. It's heaps of fun, and a project which most kids would love to be involved in.
In conclusion, these are just a few of many great nature-based holiday activities which are held around Perth. In addition, you can always organise activities independently with your family such as hiking or cycling in one of our beautiful national or regional parks. Such activities are great ways to bond together as a family and they show kids that a healthy, natural way of life can be lots of fun.