If you're looking to get the kids outside during the school holidays, you could introduce them to one of Western Australia's great walking trails, the Bibbulmun Track.
Although the full Bibbulmun Track stretches around 1000km from Kalamunda through the South West to Albany, it includes options for short walks suitable for little legs as well as longer hikes for families with older children. Depending on the age of your kids, you could even camp overnight or hike a whole section of the track.
Here, the team at the Bibbulmun Track Foundation suggest five of their favourite family friendly walks within easy driving distance of Perth...
Day walks: families with children aged 4+
Return walk from Asher Road to Hewett’s Hill Campsite
This easy walk is suitable for beginners and covers 3km, or about an hour's walking. Park your car off the road where the Bibbulmun Track crosses Asher Road in the Perth Hills and walk through the jarrah and marri forest along a gravel pathway to the first campsite from the track's northern terminus in Kalamunda.
Return walk from Brookton Highway to Brookton Campsite
Also suitable for beginners, this 4km section has been designed for wheelchair access and also allows robust all-terrain prams. Park your car off the road where the track passes Brookton Highway, about an hour's drive from the city, and walk to the campsite, which overlooks a wandoo-lined creek. The approximate walking time is one-and-a-quarter hours.
Day walks: families with children aged 6+
Return walk from the Perth Hills Discovery Centre to Ball Creek Campsite
This 5km intermediate walk should take around an hour-and-a-half and passes through jarrah and wandoo forest with interpretive signs along the way. Park at the Perth Hills Discovery Centre, where you can also pick up information and refreshments.
Return walk from Calamunnda Camel Farm (Paulls Valley Road) to Hewett’s Hill Campsite
Passing over undulating terrain through jarrah and marri forest interspersed with sheoak and banksia, this intermediate walk covers about 7km and should take around three hours. Park at the carpark at the camel farm, which offers camel rides.
Day walks: families with children aged 8+
Return walk from Sullivan's Rock, Albany Highway, to Mt Cooke Campsite
Park at the carpark at Sullivan's Rock for this approximately four-hour walk, which is rated advanced. The track follows old rail formations through a creek system, and you can also continue for another 2km or so to ascend Mt Cooke for spectacular views.
- Before you set off, it's a good idea to have a map. All of the above are covered by the Bibbulmun Track Foundation's Map 1 Darling Range or its Darling Range Day Walk Map Pack.
- For more information, go to bibbulmuntrack.org.au, phone 9481 0551 or visit the foundation's offices between 9am-4pm on weekdays at Level 1, 862 Hay Street (the Mountain Designs building) in Perth.
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