The Aquarium of Western Australia, or more commonly AQWA, is an underwater adventure where you can discover the state’s superb marine life. Exploring the coastline, you will come face to face with unique and deadly animals, touch a starfish or a baby shark in the kid-approved touch pool, wander through one of the largest living coral reef exhibits in the world, and take a tour behind the scenes. For those wanting to make the most out of their trip to the largest single aquarium in Australia, you can dive or snorkel with the sharks or head out on an ocean safari to spot the humpback whales, rare sea lions and dolphins in their natural habitat.
Officially opening in 1988, the marina at Hillarys Boat Harbour was the first major marina for the north metropolitan region, Fremantle being in the south. Home to the elite Hillarys Yacht Club (formed in 1986) – boasting a relaxed and informal atmosphere encouraging people to participate or watch the activities unfold – this is the ideal place for you to dream of living on the boats, head out on a ferry, or book a trip to go out fishing, diving or whale watching on one of the boats in the marina.
Hillarys Yacht Club, 65 Northside Dr, Hillarys WA, Australia, +61 8 9246 2833
In the heart of Hillarys Boat Harbour lies the Sorrento Quay Boardwalk, offering an array of shops and food for all who visit. Whether you are seeking out some pearls, shoes, clothes or swimwear in the boutiques, a gift from the souvenir shops, or looking for somewhere to wine and dine the day away, there is plenty on offer – from lolly shops to chocolate and traditional gelato, pizza, American ribs and burgers. Within the boardwalk, there are also places for you to get a massage before heading down to the beach, and there is even a Leisure Zone for kids, and the young at heart, to play video games till their hearts’ content.
Protected within the bay, the swimmers cove at Hillarys Marina Beach is an ideal place to swim in the ocean without the fear of crashing waves. Under the warmth of the sun, you can swim with the native fish, build sandcastles in the sand, sunbathe along the beach, jump off the jetty, or realistically whatever floats your boat. With so much on offer in this area, there is no reason not to enjoy an hour or two in the ocean.
Along the boardwalk lies the iconic, multi-award winning Breakwater Tavern, offering remarkable views across the harbour. Whether you want to sip on a beer out on the deck, enjoy a cocktail as the sun sets, or head upstairs to the intimate lounge or vibrant restaurant, the Breakwater has an urban resort feel perfect for a casual lunch, happy hour or a Sunday session. What are you waiting for? Pull up a seat and a drink and watch the world go by.
For those looking for some fun or excitement to add to their day, The Great Escape has it all for you. From rock climbing one of the most accessible rock climbing challenges covering 500 square feet to finding the concentration to complete the high ropes course 10 metres high, and waterslides if the beach isn’t enough, there is something for everyone. Other things to do here include Perth’s wackiest game of miniature golf, trampolines, a kangaroo ride, bouncy castle, chair-o-plane, novelty rides, 6D cinema and so much more.
The Great Escape, 22 Southside Dr, Hillarys WA, Australia, +61 8 9448 0800
A walk north from Hillarys Boat Harbour will lead you to the less-popular public beach at Pinnaroo Point. Very popular amongst kitesurfers due to the strong winds and conditions of the water, it is common to see a few at any given time flying over the waves. If you wish to head out on the water, be sure to check the Kite and Windsurfing Guides beforehand. Alternatively, this beach is also a lovely, clean place to swim and sunbathe along the shore, take a jet ski out onto the water, and even enjoy a picnic in the sheltered areas.