If you love the ocean and marine life, Western Australia with the country's longest coastline, offers plenty of both. Getaway
asked Angela Tsun to take us to places for families to enjoy and she came up with some exciting destinations.
The Aquarium of Western Australia
AQWA, at Hillary's Boat Harbour, is Australia's largest place where you can come face to face with thousands of marine creatures. It's fun and educational.
The 40m-long aquarium holds 3 million litres of filtered seawater straight from the Indian Ocean. There's also a 98m-long tunnel and visitors experience marine regions making up the Western Australian coastline. It's divided into five regions that highlight the Great Southern Coast, Perth coast, Marmion Marine Park, Shipwreck Coast and the far north.
You'll see 400 species of marine life, including eight species of shark. The thick glass doesn't magnify the residents, and when you see a diver in with the sharks, you realise just how huge the sharks are.
The coral reef display opened early this year. It takes you from the shores of Perth past Rottnest Island. In summer, children from 12 years old can become a reef walker and scuba amongst colourful fish.
Dangerzone has sea snakes, stone fish and cone shells amongst other deadly creatures. Their in-built poison or sharp teeth are deadly to their prey and occasionally humans.
There are loads of other attractions, a cafe and the shop has marine themed souvenirs.
Few cities can boast bottle nose dolphins, penguins and sea lions on their doorstep. Riding on a quiet water-scooter you can get really close to the dolphins, some of the world's most intelligent and playful animals.
Once your Rockingham Wild Encounters guide has located them, you put on your mask and snorkel and hop into the water to enjoy an unforgettable experience. Before long you will watch in awe as the bottle noses rise from the depths and swim around you twisting, turning, gliding and jumping. You don't need to be a strong swimmer to share in the fun.
Yallingup Beach Holiday Park
A holiday spot that's been enjoyed by generations of families, this place has the perfect beach with a safe lagoon and the famous Yallingup surf break. It's also an excellent fishing beach.
At Yallingup Beach Holiday Park you can camp on well-grassed van and tent sites or rent a budget or ensuite cabin. It's all about enjoying a simple holiday fun with the family, swimming all day and tucking into an old-fashioned barbecue on the beach.
Western Australia's most famous wine region is also on the list for family breaks.
Cave, canoe and bush tucker tours start at Prevelly Beach with equipment and canoe instruction and then you hit the Margaret River Valley. You will see beautiful cliffs, caves, and pioneer and Aboriginal sites. The healthy native ecosystem has limited public access and motor craft are prohibited.
There's lots of wildlife, unique forests and tranquil waters. You'll hear shipwreck stories at the caves entrance or be adventurous and join your guide on a cave adventure.
After a lunch of wild foods you paddle upstream past forested kangaroo habitats and hear all about the trials of the famous Bussell family.
Related: cave, canoe and bush tucker tour
Places to enjoy in and around Perth.
Aquarium of Western Australia entry is $28 for adults and $16 for children. A family of two adults and two children costs $75. It's open between 10am and 5pm every day.
Rockingham Dolphins tours start at $205 per person. Gear, lunch and return transport from Perth are included. They run between September and May. Book in September and receive a discount of $30.
Yallingup Beach Holiday Park camping starts at $21 a single and $28 a double a night. Cabins start at $80 a double a night.
Bushtucker River and Winery Cave & Canoe tours are $85 for adults, $40 for children and $220 for two adults and up to three children. They run with a minimum of four people. They include canoeing, bushwalking, cave exploration and bush tucker wild food lunch and run between 10am and 2pm every day.
Prices correct at August 19, 2010.
For further information
1 Southside Drive
Ph: (08) 9447 7500
Fax: (08) 9447 7856
Rockingham Wild Encounters
153 Arcadia Drive
Ph: (08) 95991 1333
Fax: (08) 9528 1715
Yallingup Beach Holiday Park
Ph: (08) 9755 2164 or 1800 220 002
Bushtucker River and Winery Tours
20 Auger Way
Margaret River 6285
Ph: (08) 9757 9084