Those of us lucky enough to live in Perth will have experienced the perfect winter day often enough - it's sunny, mild and the sky is a huge expanse of blue. These are the days we pack the kids and a picnic in the car and head off to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and the kids' ability to see everything as an adventure.
Towards the end of winter and into spring many of the creeks and brooks are flowing, resulting in flowing waterfalls and blooming wildflowers.
Here are three great places on the outskirts of Perth you can go to enjoy the scenery, wildlife and some family time.
1. Bell's Rapids Swan Valley. Just past Ellenbrook in the beautiful Swan Valley you'll find Bell's Rapids. Famous for being part of the Avon Descent there are many other reasons for visiting this spot.
Plenty of fun to be had amongst the water and rocks.
There are plenty of places along the riverbank to put the nets in the water. We only saw one little fish but the kids still enjoyed looking. Throwing rocks into the water to see how big a splash you can make is always a fun pastime. Once that's lost its excitement a walk up to and over the footbridge is a must. Towards the end of winter and into spring the greenery around the river creates a beautiful contrast to the greys and browns of the rocks and trees.
The path on the other side of the bridge was beautiful.
2. Lesmurdie Falls This spot is not far off the beaten track at all with houses on one side of the street and a bitumised parking lot. Toilets and picnic tables near the car park make it easy to leave everything in the car while you are off exploring.
We took the track to the top of the hill first for a view of the city.
Once lunch was over we headed to the main attraction - the waterfall. It was a short walk to the lookout that stretches out over the top of the waterfall itself. We decided to follow the trail down to the foot of the falls. There are a lot of steps down but our 5 and 6 year old children managed just fine.
The foot of the falls was a great place to explore and looked amazing with the water falling over the rocks. It was a steep trek back up the hill, but not too bad. If you prefer you could park at the picnic area at the bottom and walk up so that on your return you are doing the downhill section.
3. Noble Falls
If you're willing to drive a little further then out on Toodyay Road just past Gidgegannup you can find Noble Falls. Stop athttps://www.facebook.com/Gidgegannupbakerycafe for a sweet treat on your way out and enjoy a picnic before exploring the area.
The little waterfall is great for the kids to splash around in, walk over and generally have fun in their gumboots. There is a short loop walk around the brook which is easy for kids of all ages as it is flat most of the way. You do need to be careful when coming up the trail back to picnic area as the path veers onto the verge of the road for a few metres before heading back down into the carpark.