With 8 days you have time to get out of the city. Although we do have some suggested day trips from the city (eg Pinnacles, Perth Hills, Mandurah, Swan Valley/Caversham wild life park Fremantle and Rottnest) many of our 'best bits' are several hours away and need several overnight stays.
The Margaret River Region is 3-4 hours south of Perth and definitely fits the nature/ wild life wish but you really need 2 if not 3 nights.
Info on the region:
You could add a night in Pemberton ( Karri forests and hiking) and then do a big loop of the south.
If you allocated 5 nights and are happy with a fair amount of driving you could cover a big loop of South West and Great Southern.
Ideas for Perth:
Remember June the weather can be changeable so although we might have sunny days equally can be cooler weather with some rain.Edited: 17 March 2016, 13:39
Thanks for advice guys. the South looks great! Can I arrange our accommodation like below? I'm still a bit lost as to where we should be staying
Wed (15/6) – Arrive 0515 - Stay Perth city - visit Camersham Wildlife Park
Thurs (16/6) – Stay fremantle - visit Pinnacles and Swan Valley?
Fri (17/6) – Stay fremantle - visit Rottnest?
Sat (18/6) – Stay Margaret River?
Sun (19/6) – Stay Margaret River?
Thurs (23/6) – Flight back at 17:10
Keep in mind with your planning that June is winter in Perth and daylight hours are at their shortest (unfortunately for you.) Sunrise is late in June - 7.15am. The sun sets early - about 5.20pm in fact, so it will be getting quite cold by 4.30pm and dark by 6pm.
On your first day, please note that Caversham Wildlife Park is close to the Swan Valley Region - maybe include any activities you especially wanted to do in the Swan Valley on the same day while you are nearby, such as lunch at one of the delightful vineyard restaurants. Also make sure you find out what times any special activities are happening at Caversham Wildlife Park so you get best value from your entrance fee (eg koalas):
Comments about your plans for Thursday 16/6:
- Pinnacles is north of Perth by 2.5 hrs drive each way.
- Fremantle is south of Perth by 30 mins drive.
- Swan Valley is east of Perth by 45 mins drive.
Its possible but not highly desirable to try to do Swan Valley and Pinnacles in one day, as you are STRONGLY advised to only drive in good daylight, due to risk of an accident with animals crossing roads at dusk and dawn. Many of the attractions in the Swan Valley will be starting to close around 4.30pm. Bus tours are already leaving to return their customers to Perth by 4.30. Despite being very close to the city, the Swan Valley is very rural, with many vineyard owners also busy with other farm activities like sheep farming.
I would also strongly advise that you should plan to stay in the Margaret River Region for a minimum of 3 nights, because you will lose at least half a day, 4 hours travelling each way.
Friday ( till Sunday) the Fremantle Markets are open and a bit later finish- many tourists and locals enjoy this attraction. Lots to do in Fremantle to occupy a day of activity and although you could stay in Fremantle it is oy a 30 minute train ride.
A suggestion mightbe to leave for the Margaret River region on the Sunday. Leave early to fit in visits say to Busselton. That leaves 4 full days in Perth/ Fremantle to juggle itinerary according to weather eg as mentioned if it's wet and stormy Rottnest won't be fun but on a clear day and hiring bikes can be great for a family.. Fit in a visit to Kings Park and some river areas like Matilda Bay.
Given you are heading to the MR region no need for Swan Valley.
Then 3/4 nights in the MR region. If you left relatively early on the day of your flight and only had a brief stop you could make it to the airport.Edited: 18 March 2016, 09:05
Hi all, does below makes more sense now? Kids love animal farms... any recommendation where we should go?
Caversham Willdlife Park and Swan Valley (if time permits)
Margaret River Chocolate Factory
Stay Perth city
Stay Perth City
Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre
Long Drive back to Perth Airport? Stops?
Flight back at 17:10
How are you planning to get to and from Caversham? I wouldn't recommend flying in on the red-eye special and getting into a car with the kiddies to drive around in an unfamiliar country with different driving conventions.
drive? I meant slow drive. we've driven in australia many times. we also wont be able to check in so early.