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 August 10th 2015
A Cool Place To Hang On A Hot Summer Day
Every city has its special secrets. Even large modern metropolises such as Perth that seem too busy and bustling to hide anything from the world always possess some secluded nooks and crannies known only to a few lucky locals. Encircled on three sides by the Swan River, Maylands Peninsula is one such place. A magical spot that seems worlds away from the noise and chaos of suburbia, it's hard to believe that the Perth CBD is just six kilometres away, when you're strolling along the banks of the Swan River with a fresh breeze in your hair.
When life gets too hectic or you're feeling down, this beautiful area is a great spot to head for. Apart from spectacular views along the river, there are pockets of remnant bushland, natural wetlands teeming with native birdlife and plenty of seating where you can quietly read, write or simply watch the world go by. For families with young children, a good selection of play equipment and of course, the wonderful Maylands Water Park, will keep the youngsters happy and entertained. If you're lucky you may even spot some of the local Swan River dolphins.
The following paragraphs contain a few suggestions of fun things to see and do on the beautiful Maylands Peninsula. Whether you're simply whiling away an hour or two, or you'd like to spend a whole day chilling out near the river, this magical and little-known corner of the Perth metro area will be somewhere you'll want to return to, time and time again.
Explore some local history
One of the Swan River Colony's earliest farms, Peninsula Farm is now considered to be one of Western Australia's most historically-significant locations. Tranby House, the old farm's homestead, was constructed in 1839 by Joseph Hardy, an English settler who became influential in the early religious, political and business activities of the fledgling colony.
These days Tranby House is a museum managed by the National Trust, providing visitors with an insight into the early colonial years of the Swan River Colony, and especially the lives of the womenfolk who presided over social functions there, and the servants and workers who laboured hard on the property. To learn more about Peninsula Farm and Tranby House, including opening times and admission costs, take a look at the National Trust website.
Enjoy a picnic Much of Maylands Peninsula's riverside precinct consists of lovely parklands, making it the perfect place to enjoy a picnic with family or friends. In comparison to many other riverside parks in Perth it's quite uncrowded too, with plenty of room to enjoy active sports or ball games. Parks on the peninsula include Tranby, Clarkson and Maylands Foreshore Reserves. Facilities include picnic tables, barbecues, playgrounds, adult exercise equipment and public toilets, not to mention some of the most beautiful views in Perth. While you're in the area be sure to also take a wander near the nearby wetlands of Lake Bungana and Lake Brearly - great spots for bird-watching and photography.
Get some exercise Mayland Peninsula is a great place to get some exercise, and a dual-purpose path follows the river, enabling walkers or cyclists to explore the area. The path is part of a longer riverside route that links Guildford with the city and traverses parklands and wetlands along the edge of river. Be sure to take your time, stopping to admire the sculptures along the way and to read the interpretative signage about the local history - both of the original Noongar inhabitants and the European settlers who came later. If you enjoy working out at your local gym, you also might want try out the free fitness equipment located along the path,
Other sporting facilities on the peninsula include Maylands Peninsula Golf Course, Maylands Sailing Club, Maylands Sport and Recreation Club and Maylands Tennis Club. Canoeists also enjoy exploring this beautiful and sheltered part of the river, so if you're an enthusiastic paddler be sure to check it out. There's also a boat jetty and ramp if you have a larger vessel.
Fun for kids One of Perth's most beautiful and well-loved water parks, Maylands Water World is situated on Maylands Peninsula, surrounded by large shady trees and right next to the Swan River. A favourite with local families for decades, the park consists of a few shallow pools that are suitable for younger children to cool down in on long hot summer days.
In cooler weather or on days when Water World isn't open, the nearby adventure playgrounds are big hit with youngsters as well. If your children are just learning to ride a bike or scooter, the paths along the river are also wonderful, providing a safe sheltered environment where they can gain confidence. The peninsula is also a great spot to introduce youngsters to nature, with abundant birdlife, wildflowers in spring and sometimes even dolphins to be seen. Close to Water World, a boat building yard will be of interest to many children too.