Spring is a vibrant time of the year in Australia, welcoming us outside with sunny days, melodies sung by songbirds, new life budding in gardens and the occasional Magpie swooping our heads.
Unless you’ve been in Perth, where the cold has hung around for far too long this year. With the wintery weather finally beginning to depart from our west coast city, here are nine outings to enjoy a day outside with friends and family, or even your canine companion.
1. See spring in bloom at the Araluen Botanical Park
Even a cloudy spring day will be brightened with a trip to Araluen Botanic Park, where you can walk among the colourful tulips and other seasonal flowers or ride the Araluen train through the gardens.
Araluen Botanic Park hosts an annual Tulip Festival at the beginning of spring where over 125, 000 vibrant tulips and other spring flowers blossom in the park’s gardens. While the official festival month is over, there are still plenty of spring colour to see at the park. You can even bring a picnic to enjoy on the lawn or use the park’s facilities to cook a barbecue.
Where: 362 Croyden Road, Roleystone, 6111
Open: 7 days, 9 am to 6 pm
Other things to note: Entrance fees apply.
2. Fairy floss on French toast at Mill Point Cafe & Bookshop
The Mill Point Cafe & Bookshop serves up a sweet tooth’s delight in the form of French toast. The cafe’s variation of French toast is dressed in a mixed berry compote and lemon vanilla mascarpone cheese topped with pink Persian fairy floss.
With more on the menu to suit different taste buds, you enjoy breakfast, lunch or tea in the cafe’s outdoor eating area. Patrons can soak up the spring sun and the atmosphere that the cafe’s many regular customers return to enjoy.
Where: 254 Mill Point Road, South Perth, 6151
Open: 7 days, 8.30am – 5 pm
Contact: (08) 9367 4567
Other things to note: Reservations are recommended
3. Walk the campus at the University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia (UWA) was the state’s first university, established in 1911. When the university first opened its doors for teaching in 1913, it accommodated 184 students. A century on, UWA’s enrolments from 2014 show that the number of enrolled students is now well over 24, 000.
Renowned for its heritage architecture and landscaped gardens, especially the Sunken Garden, UWA has become a popular spot for wedding ceremonies, school graduations, photo shoots, and other events.
Where: 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, 6009
Opening time: Open daily
4. Visit Perth’s most photographed spot: Crawley’s Blue Boat Shed
Raised above the calm waters of the Swan River is one of Perth’s most photographed sites – the Crawley Edge Boatshed. This humble little boat shed was believed to be constructed around the 1930’s.
Where: Jetty 73, opposite 8 Mounts Bay Road. Perth, 6009
Other things to note: The boat shed is a popular spot and often is quite busy with people taking photographs. There is no parking in front of the boat shed, you will need to walk to the location from parking areas nearby.
5. Take a hike at Lesmurdie Falls
Spring means that the Lesmurdie Falls are gushing with water and the wildflowers are out in full bloom, which makes it an ideal location for a hike. Known for its numerous walking trails with varying degrees of difficulty, Lesmurdie Falls is a great place to whip out your walking shoes and go for a hike in the Perth Hills.
Even if you’re not up for the physical challenge that draws so many hikers to this area, you can bring a packed lunch and relax with family and friends at the picnic area located on Falls Road. There are also multiple lookout platforms overlooking the falls, which offer panoramic views over the Swan Coastal Plains.
Where: Lesmurdie Falls Carpark, Lesmurdie National Park, Falls Road, Lesmurdie, 6076
Time: 1 – 3 hours
Other things to note: Dog-friendly. Bring your own water as there are no water facilities at this site.
6. Find vibrant street art brightening the walls in Northbridge
The lanes and alleyways of Northbridge are canvases to an extraordinary gallery of wall murals by local artists. Bursting off the walls in vibrant shades of almost every colour is familiar and foreign characters and shapes concealing stories and ideas.
Spring weather brings an opportunity to make your way outside into the city and discover some of the incredible art painted on the walls of streets and laneways in Northbridge.
Where: Near the entry of Arcade 189, William Street, Northbridge, 6003
7. Celebrate Australia’s native flora at King’s Park
King’s Park and Botanic Garden is one of Perth’s biggest attractions, as well as being the largest inner city park in the world. It hosts a variety attractions including the State’s War Memorial, treetop and guided walks, Indigenous heritage tours, playgrounds, cafes, and is home to a display of Australia’s beautiful native flora.
The King’s Park “Floral Fantasy” Festival is currently being celebrated until the end of September. The display hosts the biggest display of Western Australia’s wildflowers from every region in the state.
Where: Fraser Avenue, Kings Park, 6005
Opening time: Open daily
Contact: (08) 9480 3600
Other things to note: Free entry. Certain areas of the parkland are pet-friendly.
8. Explore the shipwreck at CY O’Connor Beach and stay for a sunset
CY O’Connor Beach is not only home to incredible sunsets but also remains of Perth’s Maritime history, including the wreck of steam tugboat SS Wyola and remains of Robb Jetty.
SS Wyola was built in 1912 and left her home in South Shields, U.K. to become part of the Swan River Shipping Company located in Western Australia. In 1970, the ship was run ashore and the stern of the ship can still be seen protruding from the sand. Alongside Wyola are the remains of Robb Jetty. The jetty was used back in the late 1800s to early 1970s to unload cattle that had been shipped down from the state’s north-west region.
Where: C Y O’Connor Beach, North Coogee, 6163
Other things to note: Dog-friendly beach
9.Let love blossom at Elizabeth Quay
Elizabeth Quay is a development project located on the edge of Perth’s Swan River. Pop-up bars and festivals are a regular feature at the Quay, alongside its more permanent features such as the Elizabeth Quay Bridge, BHP Billiton Water Park and Spanda, the 29-metre tall art structure representing the “ripples and links the Swan River, land and sky.”
As part of the new Elizabeth Quay development, the surroundings of the Swan Bell Tower have also undergone renovations introducing a new element the tourist attraction: love locks. The engraved locks can be ordered on the Bell Tower’s website for $35. The heart-shaped padlocks can be fixed to the chains around the tower.
Where: The Esplanade, Perth, 6000
Opening time: Open daily
Contact: (08) 6557 0700