Perth’s northern suburbs has expanded at a rapid rate over the last 30 years or so.
Gone are the days of a dirt road greeting you at the end of the Freeway at Burns Beach Road – It’s hello to new high-density suburbs that will push the Perth metro area beyond Two Rocks.
It’s expected that the population in the north will double by 2036 and that’s no surprise, given its proximity to stunning beaches, relaxed lifestyle and relatively cheap housing.
A couple of decades ago entertainment in the far northern suburbs was sparse, to say the least, but as the population has grown, restaurants, pubs and other entertainment hotspots have been added to compliment the pristine white coast line.
There’s plenty going on in Perth’s northern suburbs so we’ve highlighted nine things to keep family members and tourists entertained.
Wanneroo Botanic Gardens, Wanneroo
Fancy a spot of mini golf, a wedding or a walk around the beautiful botanic gardens? The Wanneroo Bontanic Gardens has it all and is a fantastic place to take visiting family from overseas or to entertain the kids for a few hours.
The gardens are one of the largest and most historic privately owned gardens in Western Australia with more than 500 species of plants and trees to explore.
You’ll notice a difference between the seasons depending on when you visit with the changing flower displays and the rockeries, ponds and waterfalls provide a cool and serene escape form the bustle of city life.
The 18-hole Mini Golf and Billiard Golf courses are great fun too with a range of obstacles and challenges that will test your putting skills to the max.
On Thursday to Sunday there’s also a Night Golf (Mini Golf in the dark) session which involves coloured LED golf balls - perfect for a date night with a twist or a family night out in the Northern Suburbs.
An underwater adventure at the ever popular Aquarium of Western Australia awaits families who have half a day to fill during winter in Perth’s northern suburbs.
Australia’s largest walk-through aquarium tunnel gives you the opportunity to explore the various species of stingray, sharks, fish and other underwater species that will have visitors in awe of the what lies beneath the ocean.
If family are visiting from overseas, this is the perfect place to showcase Western Australia’s unique underwater wildlife.
The indoor and outdoor exhibition halls have plenty to offer, including a diving aquarium, an underwater coral viewing room and a glass bottom boat experience which you must do to unlock one of the best things about AQWA.
Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park, Pinnaroo
A visit to the cemetery may seem a bit morbid upon first glance, until you realise this is the prime location in Perth to see Kangaroos in the wild.
Tourists from outside Australia will love this as you’re pretty much guaranteed to see Kangaroos all year round.
The grounds are also a popular attraction for walks, jogging and picnics too – a fantastic way to watch the kangaroos going about their daily business.
There is also a small café called Pinnaroo Café to grab a bite to eat, or you can hop in the car for 10 minutes and head to Hillarys, another attraction to visit in Perth’s northern suburbs.
As seen in many postcards and Instagram shots in Perth, Hillarys Boat Harbour offers a wide appeal of day time and night life entertainment in the northern suburbs.
After visiting the aforementioned AQWA, Families can enjoy leisure and adventure activities such as boat cruises, seasonal whale watching, jet skiing, deep-sea fishing, diving, jet boarding and helicopter flights.
There’s plenty of shopping and dining opportunities with a great variety of bespoke art and souvenir shops, cocktail bars, fine-dining and family-friendly restaurants.
Don’t forget to explore the beautifully groomed public parklands and sheltered beaches easily accessible by pram or wheelchair.
The Marina, Mindarie
The boardwalk contains the Boat Restaurant and bar which serves good old grills, salads and traditional heartwarming pub favourites. There’s also the Indian Ocean Brewing Company in close proximity which allows you to sample their craft beers brewed on site.
Once you’ve finished your pub lunch with a beer you can hop in the car for just over a minute explore Clayton’s Beach - a beautiful unspoilt beach right on the Marina’s doorstep.
The Perth metro area isn’t known for its variety of caves but the small and cosy Yanchep Crystal Cave delivers an informative and entertaining afternoon visit for families in Perth’s northern suburbs.
There are stalactites, stalagmites and helicities throughout the caves and the crystal formations shimmer when the spotlight is shone on them by the tour guides.
The 45-minute tour is of excellent quality and value, and the strange looking formations that resemble various animals or humans will keep the kids entertained and guessing what the next one will look like.
The Yanchep National Park has several interesting walking routes and is another good location to spot kangaroos out in the wild. There is also a koala sanctuary which allows you to look at these fascinating creatures as they go about their daily business.
Go Karting at Barbagallo Raceway, Neerabup
Petrol heads and Mario kart fans will be thrilled to know that twenty minutes north of Wanneroo lies the Barbagallo Raceway.
It plays host to several key motorsport events across the year such as the Supercars series but there is also a fine karting track to take on friends and family for the top step of the podium.
A young Daniel Riccardo used to frequent here to learn the tools of the trade and now he’s a 7-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winner!
There’s karts of all different speeds and sizes, depending on how daring you are and you can even have a mini Grand Prix race if you can find 9 other mates to join you.
The track has a series of 90 degree corners, hairpins and chicanes which will test karters of all levels.
Surfing in Lancelin, Lancelin
Only an hour and twenty minutes north of Perth, Lancelin has been a bit of a windsurfing haven due to it’s strong on shore winds.
You can rent a surfboard for as little as $5 an hour but make sure you book online in advance to avoid disappointment.
If you have any non-surfing friends coming along for the adventure they can stay warm inside their 4WD, which is allowed on the beach, and watch you surf from the comfort of their car.
Stand up paddleboards are popular here, and if you’re a novice you’ll be up to speed pretty quickly in the shallow waters before heading out further from shore.
Once you’ve finished surfing, there’s plenty of opportunities for a spot of dolphin watching in Lancelin and the Lancelin Sand Dunes are also worth a look on dirt-bike, a four-wheel drive or a sandboard.
The dunes are one of the biggest in WA and you could be mistaken for being in the middle east.
The Pinnacles, Cervantes
The Pinnacles are a solid three hours’ drive north of Perth, so we’re stretching it a bit to include it in Perth’s northern suburbs, but this attraction is well worth the trek once you arrive to explore the towering columns of limestone.
These unique rock formations can be explored on foot or in the car, and whilst there is a small tourist shop it’s best to bring your own food and drink so you’re fully prepared for the lack of shade in the warm midday winter sun.
One of the best time for photographs is at sunset, where the reddening sky complements the million-year-old rock formations, tricking your brain into thinking you’re on another planet!
The Pinnacles are simply a geological marvel which is a must-see for friends and family visiting Perth this winter.