Your ultimate guide to spending time (not money!) in Cockburn

Henderson Cliffs Cockburn
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After a footloose and fancy free festive season, we’re heading into autumn with a close eye on the budget. 

We know for a fact that we’re not alone in wanting to tighten the purse strings  – but you don’t need to drop a stack of cash to have a good time. Made up of 24 suburbs stretching from the stunning Coogee Beach east to Bibra Lake, the City of Cockburn has enough activities for every day of the week… Plenty of which don’t cost a cent!

Picnics and Playgrounds Galore

With a whopping 200 playgrounds across the City of Cockburn, you’ve got your pick for picnicking. Bibra Lake Regional Playground is one of Perth’s best, chock-a-block with fun for every age and fully accessible for all abilities. Zoom along the flying fox, climb through the obstacle course or the epic tree-top rope walk, jump on in-ground trampolines or explore the giant turtle’s nest in the sand. Features like talking rocks, fish-trap inspired climbing frames and play tunnels also connect kids (and grownups!) with local Noongar stories and culture.

Manning Park Cockburn

Make sure to bring the bathers as well, so kids can splash in the water play area with spraying bulrushes. Shaded picnic areas with barbecues and toilets means you can happily spend the whole day exploring all the fun the park has to offer. 

Spread out across Cockburn, Beeliar Regional Park encompasses 3400 hectares of wetlands, with an amazing 26 lakes and three reserves to explore. A refuge for countless species who use the habitat to nest, rest and feed, there are countless tranquil settings for picnics and exploring for the whole family. Part of Beeliar Regional Park, Manning Park boasts the beautiful Manning Lake, plus a designated picnic area with playgrounds, barbecues, toilets and more.

Manning Park Picnic Cockburn

Gym Fees? How About Gym For Free?!

With all these amazing parks, there’s plenty of room to stretch your legs. For hikers, walkers and runners, there are trails for every ability – like the Davilak Trail, a limestone track that boasts some sweeping views across Cockburn Sound and the old South Fremantle Power Station.

But if you’re really looking for views, the Mount Brown Walk Trail and the connecting Henderson Cliff Trail are something else. Stroll to the Mount Brown lookout for panoramic ocean views across to Garden and Carnac Islands, or take the scenic route and loop around Lake Mt Brown. Connecting to the Mount Brown Walk Trail, Henderson Cliffs are one of Cockburn’s best kept secrets, with a gorgeous coastal path and an accessible viewing platform suspended over the Tamala limestone formations.

Henderson Cliffs Cockburn

Really want to get the blood pumping? Test your cardio by attempting the 192 steps of Manning Stairs – also known as Cockburn’s Jacob’s Ladder!

Prefer two wheels over two feet? Jump onto Cockburn’s online interactive bike map to explore the City’s extensive network of cycling paths, trails and bike-friendly roads – including an outdoor public art trail (you can also use this map to find fun stuff like dog-friendly parks or even free wifi).
Want to get into the great outdoors and catch a free meal while you’re at it? Throw a line at Port Coogee, Ammunition Jetty, Catherine Point or in the breakwaters at Woodman Point (amongst many other popular fishing spots) and you’re likely to reel in dinner.

Cockburn Fishing

Get Cultured

You don’t need deep pockets to appreciate the finer things in life – especially not art, history and culture: Cockburn’s events calendar always has something happening, like this week’s Cultural Fair, taking place on April 8 with a whole afternoon of family-friendly activities and live music from a diverse range of local artists.

On April 19, you can immerse yourself in Nyungar culture with a workshop hosted by Chelsey Thomson of Yelakitj Moort Nyungar Association, where you’ll learn both the significance and techniques of spear throwing as well as all about the art of symbol painting. 

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Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card, and Cockburn’s three community libraries have jam-packed programs of activities and events – from Toddler Tales and Pram Jam for little ones, to STEAM and LEGO Clubs for kids that like to dive into hands-on learning. Seniors aren’t left out either, with plenty of activities like social Mahjong, a Poetry Lovers Club and a Knitting Circle.

Cockburn Cultural Fair

Into history? Transport yourself to a century ago at the Azelia Ley Homestead Museum in Manning Park, which is just a gold coin donation to enjoy the circa 1920s home and its curated collection of clothing, photographs, furniture and historical artefacts.

Head to the City of Cockburn website to find out more about all the free fun on offer.

This article is sponsored by City of Cockburn and endorsed by us. Please see our Editorial Policy for more info.