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5 Family Adventures

You love the outdoors, and you're ready to take your family nature experience to the next level. You're looking for more than an outing, or a getaway; you want an adventure.

So, what makes an adventure? The first thing to recognise is that adventures are relative. You don't have to climb Everest in a wrestling onesie to have an adventure. For people who aren't familiar with the outdoors just sleeping in a tent beneath a canopy of stars, or the pergola, can be an adventure.

The key to family adventure is to take on something challenging but within the capability (just) of your youngest adventurer. Add in a dash of excitement, even adrenaline, and you are almost there. The last ingredient in any adventure is freedom – that sense of being unshackled from your everyday life with its routines and demands (e.g. if your mind strays to bills or homework you are not having an adventure).

There are endless opportunities for outdoor adventure in WA, but to help you get started, we've compiled five ideas that don't involve a 4WD. We've avoided vehicular adventure partly because there are loads of 4WD magazines, websites, and forums out there that we don't need to add to. But also because we think there is something special about being your own engine and discovering the outdoors at a human pace – especially when you are doing it with kids.

Each suggestion below is a gateway to an outdoor pursuit that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. There is gear involved for some of these suggestions, and that comes at a cost. We'd encourage anyone getting started with these adventures to begin with a short trip and to borrow or rent as much of the gear as you can. If the adventure takes hold (and believe me, it can), you may want to build up your own equipment over time.

Kayak/Canoe Camping

There is nothing better to bring out your family's inner explorer than tackling an expedition by paddle power. There are multiple opportunities for paddle craft camping in WA including on the Ord River in Kununurra, the Broke Inlet in Walpole, and on the Murchison and Murray rivers. A great first expedition is on the Blackwood River near Nannup where you can paddle through beautiful forest in the Blackwood National Park and camp at Sue's Bridge, Warner Glen, or Alexander Bridge.

Top tips:

  • Kayaks and canoes are available for hire (Google canoe hire WA)
  • Always check river conditions before kayaking and avoid trips after heavy rainfall
  • Store your clothes and sleeping gear in waterproof 'dry-bags' or doubled up rubbish bags
  • Always wear personal flotation devices when kayaking
  • Never overload your paddle craft
  • Put in some paddling practice before your trip

Sue's Bridge Campsite

  • Location

    • Region: Southwest

    • Distance from Perth CBD: 265km

  • Facilities

    • Gas BBQs

    • Toilets

    • Undercover shelters

    • Picnic tables

  • Activities

    • Swimming

    • Canoeing/paddling

    • Fishing

  • Need to know:

    • No reservations at Sues Bridge

 

Climbing Day, Trees Adventure

Climbing is a fantastic sport that can be done at indoor climbing gyms or in the great outdoors. You can get started with classes at places like City Summit in Malaga or Portside Boulders in O'Connor and find out more about the sport at the Climber's Association of Western Australia. Or if you want an outdoor adrenaline fix that is accessible, safe, loads of fun, and more about zip lines and obstacle courses rather than technical climbing, you can take the family to Trees Adventure in Lane Pool or Yanchep. Their climbing courses are designed for kids as young as 4-years-old.

Top tips:

  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes for climbing
  • Always follow safety guidelines and advice

Trees Adventure, Dwellingup

  • ​​Location

    • Region: Perth

    • Distance from Perth CBD: 100km

  • Facilities

    • Nine long courses

    • 80+ challenges

    • 23 flying foxes

    • Café

    • Picnic tables

    • Toilets

  • Activities

    • Ziplining

    • Ropes courses

  • Need to know:

    • Book in advance

Overnight Hike, Bibbulmun Track

There is nothing quite like the freedom of walking on a trail in the bush with everything you need on your back. And moving through the bush at walking speed gives you time to observe, to talk, to imagine, and really soak in the sense of separation from the regular week of homework, bills, and trips to the dentist. WA has hundreds of great trails, and you can find most of them at the Trails WA website. But the king of hiking trails in WA is the world-famous 1,000km Bibbulmun Track that runs from Kalamunda to Albany. You can spend an hour on the track or go end to end if you have a lazy eight weeks to spare. We recommend starting your family love affair with hiking with an overnighter. The Bibbulmun Track Foundation has loads of information to help get you started and even hires out the gear you need.

Top tips:

  • Carrying water and wearing weather-appropriate clothing is vital
  • Keep your eyes up and look out for trail markers
  • Pause at any trail intersections to make sure you don't miss a turn
  • Keep your pack as light as you can – every kilo makes a difference
  • Consider renting a Personal Locator Beacon (just in case)

Bibbulmun Track

  • Location

    • Region: Perth – Great Southern

  • Facilities (at campsites)

    • Undercover shelters

    • Tent sites

    • Drop toilets

    • Rainwater tanks

    • Use the Bibbulmun Track website for trip planning

    • Detailed trail maps available for purchase from the website

    • Trail campsites are free

    • Don't rely on campsite water

Bluff Knoll, near Mount Barker

Bluff Knoll is the highest peak in the dramatic Stirling Range National Park 100km NE of Albany. At just over 1km above sea level it is a challenging uphill walk but well worth the effort for the incredible views out over the Ranges and across the plains to the Porongurups. When conditions are just right, Bluff Knoll can even receive light snowfalls. Discover more at the Trails WA website.

Top tips:

  • Be sure and check the weather before you tackle this adventure
  • The walk is approximately 6km (round trip) and takes around four hours
  • Take water for both legs of the walk (there is no water at the top)

 

  • Location

    • Region: Great Southern
    • Distance from Perth CBD: 405km

  • Facilities (at car park)

    • Picnic tables

    • Toilets

  • Notes
    • Park entry fees apply
  • Activities
    • Bushwalking​
    • Outdoor games
    • Birdwatching
  • Need to know:

    • No toilets or water at the top

Mountain Bike Overnighter, Munda Biddi Trail

The famous Munda Biddi Trail is an off-road cycling trail from Mundaring to Albany running for over 1051 km, with dozens of sections that can be done as overnight adventures. Sections of the trail vary in terms of their difficulty and terrain and in many places it is easily accessible by car. The Nanga to Bidjar Ngoulin campsite section is only 13km and a great place to dip your toes into bike touring.

Top tips:

  • Pick a section of the trail that suits your family's riding skill
  • Take plenty of drinking water
  • Be sure to carry a good puncture repair kit
  • Carry a tent in case shelters are full

Munda Biddi Trail

  • Location

    • Region: Perth – Great Southern

  • Facilities (at campsites)
    • Undercover shelters
    • Tent sites
    • Drop toilets
    • Rainwater
  • Notes
    • Use the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation website for trip planning​
    • Detailed trail maps available for purchase from the website
    • Trail campsites are free
    • Don't rely on campsite water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download Resource

Download our 5 FAMILY ADVENTURES Resource, and be sure to share your photos and videos of your adventures to our Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtags #natureplaywa #natureasmedicine 

All of these trails can be found in the Play in WA section of our free Nature Play WA app. Enjoy!

We'll be sharing some other Top 5s in the coming weeks. In the meantime, get out, discover new nature spaces in our wonderful region and enjoy the sanctuary of distance.

Be sure to keep up to date with information about COVID-19 at the official Australian government website - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert and the Western Australian government website - Coronavirus: COVID-19

*Check Regional Travel Restrictions to be sure these trails are within your travel area.

  

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