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Griffin Longley, CEO of Nature Play, says getting children active is not just about fending off obesity. “There are other
benefits of being active that tend to get overlooked,” he says. He believes being active is part of feeling good and can
also be a protective factor in the fight against mental health disorders. “Physical activity is a great way for people to connect
and to feel part of something,” Griffin says. “Community, and the sense of belonging that comes from that, is incredibly
important for young people.” For more ideas, research and tips, head to natureplaywa.org.au .
Sam Hill, two-time UCI World Downhill Champion, grew up
in the hills of Perth and has had plenty of time to explore the
most daring bike trails of the region. “I pretty much was on
my bike my whole life growing up, building jumps and
messing around,” he says.
If it’s an exhilarating ride that you’re looking for, Sam
recommends the Mundaring, Wellington Mills and Nannup
areas. “All three of these places have a few different tracks
to ride and they keep you entertained all day.”
For younger riders who need a gentler time of it, check out
the family-friendly tracks at Turners Hill, the Railway Reserves
Heritage Trail, or Goat Farm Mountain Bike Park. Trails are
listed online at wamba.org.au, pdmbc.com or perthmtb.asn.au .
Children in this age bracket should be physically active
every day for at least three hours, spread throughout
the day, according to the Department of Health. Here
are some places for toddlers to wear themselves out.
KINGS PARK LOTTERYWEST FAMILY AREA
The Ivey Watson Playground is tailored specifically
for children under the age of six... and Stickybeaks
Cafe is tailored specifically for their thirsty parents.
This relatively new playground is fenced and extensive,
with everything from a miniature rock-climbing wall to
a musical play area. Access from Wordsworth Avenue.
JUNGLE GYM INDOOR PLAYGROUND
Perfect for a rainy day, this gym hosts an under-5
time slot and is seriously safe; almost every surface is
covered in soft mats. Includes a giant blow-up slide
and foam pit. junglegym.com.au .
If your kids are signalling for locomotives, Perth has
a number of options for youngsters to get on board
with. castledare.com.au, bennettbrookrailway.org or
The main aquarium at AQWA.
Meeting a Stimson
python at Peel Zoo.
Hanging out in Kings
Park (photography In-
Sam Hill in action.
SHARKS | Sending your children out around
Perth looking for sharks is not normally
encouraged... unless you’re at the Aquarium of
Western Australia, of course. There, you can dive
into AQWA’s stunning Shipwreck Coast aquarium
(for over 15s) and come face-to-fin with sharks, or
you can become a Reefwalker (over 12s), donning
scuba gear to trek across the bottom of a living
reef exhibit. aqwa.com.au .
DOLPHINS | Just south of Perth, the team at
Rockingham Wild Encounters offers the chance to
swim with these intelligent mammals – in fact, you’re
guaranteed to find some on the luxury cruise, or you
get to go again for free. dolphins.com.au .
SNAKES | Those with more
fearless offspring (the kind
brave enough to hug
a python) can head south
to Peel Zoo for a slithery
encounter, or north into
the Swan Valley wine
region to the West
Australian Reptile Park.
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