Perth for kids: Fun at the Castledare Miniature Railway

Give me a four-year-old boy and I will say he is a train lover and I will always be right. Right?

So when my husband heard about the Castledare Miniature Railway from a colleague, I did agree that it sounded like a winner – but for once left it up to my husband to organise. (Normally, being the travel blogger in the household, I’m the one who makes our plans – whether we’re travelling 10km or 10,000km!). The flaw in this plan was that there’s a good reason I’m the organiser of outings and since Castledare is only open two days a month (the first and third Sundays – slightly different locations on each of those), it has taken us some months of talking about it to actually get there.

How to have fun at the Castledare Miniature Railway

The railway is located in Wilson which is just south of the centre of Perth – actually, in a part of town we rarely visit since we live north of the river and here in Perth we have that crazy big divide between north and south – people rarely cross over!! But we were glad we did.

Castledare Miniature Railway Perth Volunteer Drivers

Volunteer drivers man the Castledare Miniature Railway in Perth

It is run by volunteers (who obviously have a great time, like the guy above), and there are a few restrictions beyond just the limited opening times – for example the steam trains can’t run on fire ban days as the risk of starting a fire is too high. Oh, and there are big signs everywhere saying you need to wear closed footwear for safety reasons.

We arrived about 11.30am (they open at 11 at the Niana station which is the one that runs on the first of the month) and didn’t have to wait long to get a go on one of the steam trains. They only charge kids $3 a ride and adults $6 (cheaper if you buy a multi-ride pass) and I have to say, the ride goes for ages – I thought it was really good value, especially if you compare it to something like the rides at the Perth Royal Show. There are a few steam trains and some diesel trains (my son persuaded me to let him ride again to try one of them out) and the tracks run through some bush areas, along a bit of the river and past a shady, grassy picnic area. There’s also a little cafe if you didn’t pack a picnic.

Castledare Miniature Railway Perth for Kids

My four-year-old son enjoying the Castledare Miniature Railway in Perth

It’s a really lovely area – we saw a birthday party happening there, which seemed like a particularly smart idea. I guess for toddlers and kids up to six or seven, or older if they’re real train fanatics, then it’s a great outing in Perth.

Even though it’s “just” a miniature train, it did give me a big serve of train wanderlust (it certainly didn’t help that we picked up a friend the day before who had travelled across Australia to reach Perth on the Indian Pacific train). I don’t have any big train trips planned in my near travelling future but I’m trying to figure out a way to include one now. Or perhaps we’ll just have to go back to Castledare next month?

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  1. My four year old would love this place, he would be beside himself!

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