Get the kids back to nature with these hikes over the summer holidays.
Hiking offers a great family outing, whether it be with the kids, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or a friend’s kids.
It’s tech free, and hopefully in the long run will give the little ones an appreciation of nature. (Try and remember that when they are complaining their legs hurt or chucking a tantrum mid-hike…)
There are plenty of fantastic short hikes in and around Perth. Here are Trails WA’s top picks.
Penguin Island walk trail, Shoalwater
What kid doesn’t like penguins? This easy 1.5km walk on Penguin Island traverses a boardwalk to avoid disturbing the fairy penguin habitat.
Although you will be lucky to spot one, you can also see the penguins at the Penguin Experience Island Discovery Centre.
The island is a five-minute ferry ride across the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. And don’t forget to pack the bathers if the kids want to take a dip at the lovely little beach next to the Discovery Centre.
Butterflies, birds and bridges trail, Canning River, Wilson
Follow this 4km loop through Canning River Regional Park and see how many birds you can spot. The trail leads through wetlands, lagoons, meadows and paperbark forest, giving walkers with the chance to spot any of the 97 bird species that call the park home, including swamp hens, ibis, pelican, egret, ducks and spoonbills.
The trail is wheelchair, pram and cycle-friendly.
Mariner’s Cove Trail, Creery Wetlands, Mandurah
Another loop trail, this hike will thrill younger kids as they walk (or probably run) the boardwalk over the Mandurah wetlands.
The easy 3km trail takes walkers through the Creery Wetlands, with opportunity to spot birds and other wildlife.
Jenna Biddi Yorga, Blackwall Reach, Bicton
This easy 2km hike and should easily take less than an hour. The trail runs along the clifftops from the Bicton Foreshore to Blackwall Reach.
It is a special place for the Whadjuk Noongar people and the trail passes culturally significant sites including a traditional birthing place of the Whadjuk women.
If you would like to learn more along the walk, Geotourist has an app that gives a guided audio tour from Whadjuk Elders.
Herdsman Loop and Olive Seymour Boardwalk
It's not far from the centre of the city, but Herdsman Lake offers great bird spotting. It's a longer walk for bigger kids, or better still, cycle the 8km around the lake.
More than 100 species of bird have been recorded on the lake, some migrating from the other side of the world. You can also add the Olive Seymour Boardwalk to your circuit.
Noble Falls Walk Trail, Gidgegannup
This 3.6km loop will take one to three hours and starts opposite the Noble Falls Car Park, across the road from the Noble Falls Tavern.
Stroll alongside Wooroloo Brook, let the kids play waterside and keep your eye out for birds and other wildlife.
Wetlands Walk Trail, Yanchep National Park
If you are heading to Yanchep National Park or live close by, don't miss this easy 2km trail through the park’s wetlands.
- Before you set off on any hike, Trails WA says to pick a trail that suits the least-fit or youngest member of your group, avoid the heat of the day and tell someone you are walking and when they can expect you back. Drink plenty of water; slip, slop, slap; wear sturdy, comfortable shoes (no thongs!); and watch for snakes (if you do see one, leave it alone and move away quickly and calmly).
- For full hike details, maps and more, search the Trails WA website.
- Trails WA also has a free app for Apple users, where trails can be searched by location, experience and more. It also offers maps and descriptions of the trails.