Tue 04 Jul 2017
Public transport can be a real novelty for kids, who spend much of their time travelling in Mum or Dad’s car. Young children will delight in a train ride or trip on a bus. The Chefs Wife Perth showed us a quick and easy way of getting around the city on a free CAT Bus to see what the CBD and Northbridge have to offer. A transport option that is also handy when little legs get weary.
Jump on and off the free CAT (Central Area Transit) busses at their dedicated stops all around Perth. Kids can answer their own “When will the bus be here?” question by pressing the big button and having the voice tell them how many minutes away the next CAT is. The busses are also pram friendly and have priority seating.
There are four coloured CAT BUS routes, zig zagging around the city from West Perth to East Perth and Northbridge. Grab a map from the bus ports, train stations or tourism information stand in Forrest Place and get exploring the attractions, parks and eateries of the city of Perth!
Here’s my guide to the best bus stops to hop on and off with your family in Perth.
If you’re planning a day exploring the city by CAT bus, you may even arrive here by bus or train. The Elizabeth Quay Bus Station is just over the road from the Quay itself. The brilliant Elizabeth Quay is a great place for a ride on the Venetian Carousel, game of mini golf, a scoop of delish Gusto Gelato or casual bite to eat at V Burger.
There’s loads to do at Barrack Square. This stop is also the best for the south side of Elizabeth Quay. Opposite the CAT Stop is the famous Perth Bell Tower, cafes and ferry stops for exploring the Swan River. Stroll over the Elizabeth Quay bridge and check out the excellent playground.
Go over the bridge to Northbridge and you’ll find a hidden gem – Nostalgia Box. The boutique gaming museum features a walk through console exhibit and gaming area, where young and old will love reliving gaming favourites of the 80’s and 90’s like Duck Hunt, Space Invaders, Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog, Crash Bandicoot and many more.
Wander around the corner to William Street to find cheap and delicious family eats (Flipside Burgers, Lil Toastface, Comet Pizza and more) or treat the kids to something scrumptious from Whisk Creamery – home of decedent soft serve gelato creations.
Take the CAT over the Horseshoe Bridge and hop off right in the city centre. Enjoy a walk around the malls, taking in the bustling atmosphere and buskers. Kids will love browsing National Geographic (Carillon), Roc Candy (Piccadilly) and the massive toy department in Myer. If you hear the historic London Court clock chime on the hour, stop for a moment to watch the knights jousting.
This stop is handy if you arrive in the city via the Armadale train line. Stop at the inner city veggie garden and café at Perth City Farm for a coffee and hearty brunch, while showing the kids where their food comes from.
The leafy Victoria Gardens is a lovely spot for a picnic overlooking Claisebrook Cove and the Swan River. Here you’ll also find popular cafes, playgrounds and many paths for walking along the river.
Hop off the CAT at Forrest Place, to discover the water labyrinth (in warmer months), the city shops and grab a bite to eat at one of the city’s many family friendly food court and dining spots like Jamie’s Italian, Ivy & Jack and Ribs & Burgers. Koko Black or Pancakes By Carillon are great places for sweet tooths to stop for afternoon tea.
This lush inner city park is a lovely spot for a picnic, with lots of shade and a playground too. It’s amazing how peaceful Harold Boas Gardens is, as it’s found on busy Wellington Street in West Perth. The kids can enjoy throwing a stick in the water and race them down the streams.
The Perth Mint, Australia’s oldest operating mint, is one of Perth city’s most popular attractions. Here you can watch a gold pour, find out what your weight is worth in gold, and engrave your very own medallion. The Mint is also proud to have the world’s largest gold bullion coin, it’s huge and worth a cool $50 million.
The wonderful new City of Perth Library, located next to the Cathedral square precinct, is a quiet city haven for little book worms. The multi story (pun intended) building has a entire level dedicated just to children. Saint Larry Café is a good spot to stop for a coffee and bite to eat at the library.
A little 'secret' spot we love is the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Education and Heritage Centre, which is found at the old Perth Fire Station. Kids can dress up as a fire person, discover the old fire engines and play with the many interactive displays. The free attraction, run by volunteers, is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.
**Note the Green CAT does not run on weekends
This CAT bus stop is the closest to Kings Park. There’s a short walk to Fraser Avenue, which overlooks the city skyline and there’s always something tasty on the menu at The Botanical Café.
The Green CAT goes as far as City West, where kids (and adults) love the fun and interactive science museum Scitech. Exhibits change regularly, so you’ll discover something new every time you visit.
It’s easy to make up your very own bus tour of our city, making for a cheap and action packed day out. Simply see the sights and stop at a playground or two or include a trip to a museum, spot of lunch and even a sweet treat.