nternational travel is exciting, but for families there’s a lot to consider. The Margaret River region was practically made for family holidays, offering everything from free outdoor adventures to cave and lighthouse tours and exciting educational experiences!
Coastal walks and biking through the bush, million-year-old caves, spotting whales from the lighthouses, mazes, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, and more.
There is a plethora of activities for kids of all ages that makes the region an obvious family getaway – but to make the planning easy for you and your family, we have collated a top selection of family-friendly activities that are all available throughout the Singapore school holidays.
The focus takes the kids off their screens, and back to nature – with a few special experiences to tuck up your sleeve for surprise holiday memories. Staying one step ahead of the inevitable question ‘what are we doing today?’ will result in a memorable break enjoyed by everyone.
Totally refreshing for more than just its $0 price tag, a day spent outdoors in the Margaret River region is absolutely priceless. Back to nature days are the perfect way to get the family into action whilst connecting with the incredible natural environment this region has to offer. Share in a family experience as you hike a short section of the Cape to Cape coastal track from the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, walk the Busselton Jetty, or introduce yourself to a local eagle ray at the stunning Hamelin Bay.
Fishing is one of those quaint experiences that many parents love to share with the whole family and is a perfect activity during the Singapore school holiday period, when there is plenty to catch. The fun of baiting up, throwing a line out, waiting in anticipation and finally snagging a bite brings a certain excitement to kids of all ages.
If you’re interested in an afternoon of fishing, Busselton Jetty is where all the action takes place. Even if you just want to walk a length of the jetty, or ride the mini train to the end, you’ll see experienced fishermen and young families alike casting out and catching herring, skippy and squid. The 1.8km jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere with locals saying that morning or just before sunset are the best times to visit.
Lunch or sunset picnics by the ocean are also a wonderful way to wrap up the day with the family. If not at the Busselton foreshore, then a barbeque at Margaret River’s surfers point or the nature playground at Yallingup main break are other great options. Just bring a few jackets, pack some hot drinks, and watch the sun go down with the family.
Amaze & Engage
Isn’t a family day out more enjoyable when all your family needs are met with absolute convenience? There is nothing more satisfying than drinking a good coffee in comfortable surrounds while your kids enjoy an attraction. Some of our family fun parks start with your choice of three great mazes to find yourself and your family in. Set a family challenge to see who can make it out first!
Yallingup Maze is an incredible experience: with five towers, interlinking bridges, and 1.9m high walls, it’s the perfect way for the family to work together and solve the puzzle! You can definitely while away a solid portion of the day at the adventure park, rotating from the maze, to the nature playground, in the indoor puzzles and board games. The licensed café allows parents to sit back and relax with coffee and cake, or a craft beer or glass of wine!
For a learning experience that’s entirely unique to the region, the whole family can head out with Cape Cultural Tours who offer opportunities to explore the Cape Naturaliste and Meelup areas in the company of a Wadandi Cultural Custodian. The Wadandi people have walked this country for tens of thousands of years, and now pass on their stories and knowledge of this beautiful region to visitors from all over the world. You can learn how to light fires, taste native foods, go fishing and eat your catch right on the beach and enjoy the sound of didgeridoo, all while learning about the native flora and fauna endemic to this incredible landscape.
How about a bit of four-wheel forest fun for the whole family? Kids as young as four can join in on an electric quad-bike tour of the Boranup Forest with EcoAdventures Margaret River. The Boranup Forest itself is breathtaking – thousands of karri trees on gently undulating terrain. Using fun iPads you’ll learn about the history of the region, the extinct Tasmanian Tiger that once roamed the forest and be regaled with tales of shipwreck on the rugged coast.
Little kids and toddlers will also love Wonky Windmill Farm & Eco Park. Kids can meet and feed ponies, cows, goats, alpacas, llamas, emus, ostrich, pigs, and kangaroos, among others! All the while, our dear adults can enjoy a tea or light lunch on the verandah. It is pure country living – right down to the picking of seasonal fruit from the trees onsite. You can make a day of it by bringing along a picnic and spreading out on the lawn, or using the barbeques provided to make some burgers for the kids.
Getting up close and personal with the animals isn’t just for the land lubbers. During winter, visitors to the region can catch some salty sea spray and witness the incredible whale migration in Leeuwin-Naturaliste waters. Each year, thousands of humpback whales and Southern Right’s make their annual migration along the West Australian coast. Heading out with Naturaliste Charters is an awesome way for the whole family to get eyeball-close to these incredible mammals. Boats can’t approach whales closer than 50 metres, but they’re curious creatures, and often come up to inspect the boat, swimming and nosing around.
If you’re wishing you were still reading the ‘free’ section, we’ve got you. Whales can also be spotted from along the Cape to Cape track, or from either of the two lighthouses in the region for a small entry fee. March to the top of Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, near Dunsborough – with a brand-new observation deck and 180-degree view of Geographe Bay – or Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse at the southern-most tip of Australia in Augusta – the tallest lighthouse in mainland Australia – for incredible views. The lighthouses are a wonderful way to spend a day with the family, igniting a sense of adrenaline and wonder in learning about tales of rescue and tragedy throughout the region’s maritime history.
Playgrounds & Playspaces on the Menu
Don’t throw coffee with kids in the too hard basket. The Margaret River region café scene has evolved considerably over the last few years, so there are several great options for sitting back and having a coffee or a cheeky vino while the kids run off some steam.
A must-visit for parents, the family friendly Café Boranup is set in the majestic surrounds of the Boranup Karri Forest, surrounded by eucalyptus scents and fairy wrens that’ll please both parents and kids. The place has a fantastic menu of wholesome, chef-cooked food made on site, smoothies and fresh juices as well as great coffee, with a wonderful relaxed atmosphere to top it all off. Kids will enjoy the life-sized chess and snakes and ladders, and parents can get their creative fix by wandering through the gallery next door for locally made arts and crafts.
Bunkers Beach House also welcomes the family with well thought out surrounds so parents and kids alike have a great time. It’s right on the beach so when kids have eaten their meal, they can play on the sand, collect shells, and build a sandcastle all within view.
A couple of great options for families in the Busselton area are The Equinox or The Goose. For those with little kids, grab a coffee from The Equinox, then head west to the massive playground on the Busselton Foreshore. Adjacent to the playground is a barbeque with picnic tables too if you want to set up for family lunch. For those with bigger kids, get your caffeine fix, or grab a wine or beer at The Goose, then head to the nearby skate park. A beautifully designed park sitting right on the foreshore, the Busselton Skate Park offers progression from beginner through to the advanced rider (and features the deepest bowl in WA at three metres in depth!)
There are also some serious playground set-ups at some of the wineries and breweries in the region, which is basically a parent’s dream. The Brewhouse on Margaret River’s main street, Colonial Brewing, and Eagle Bay Brewery in Dunsborough are just a few local breweries that offer large lawns and play areas for kids of all ages. Wineries that go above and beyond to be family friendly include Aravina Estate and Swings & Roundabouts in Yallingup, Killerby Wines and Cheeky Monkey Brewery in Wilyabrup and Watershed Premium Wines in Margaret River. If you’re after more options, we’ve already got you covered with this list of family friendly wineries, but to be honest, it’s almost impossible to find a venue in the region that isn’t accommodating for families – so you can explore outside of this too!
Happening Horse Trails
The rural landscapes and beautiful farmlands of the region invite experienced horse riders or holiday horse lovers for an unforgettable day on horse-back. With more than a few horse riding locations and schools there is plenty of opportunity to surprise the family with some authentic family fun. Experience the personality and skill of these well-loved animals in a variety of scenic settings. No need to leave the littler ones at home either, with playgrounds for non-riding folk and even pony rides for toddlers!
Rainy Day Options
While the weather here is stunning almost all year round, we won’t deny it: you could get a few rainy days during your mid-year trip to the Margaret River region. But the region doesn’t stop when the skies open – there’s plenty to do on rainy days to keep the kids busy and out of the house. A recent and welcome family fun addition to the Margaret River main strip is Game On and On, a game arcade where traditional gaming meets new technology including everything from old arcade machines to hi-tech simulation platforms. While the kids will be feeling the fun factor, we’re sure parents will find a blast from the past and a way to blow off some steam here, too.
Another activity that was basically made for cold, rainy days is indoor trampolining! If you’ve never experienced one of these places, you must head to Gravity Etc near Busselton with the whole family in tow. With wall-to-wall trampolines and seven different activity zones, the kids (or you!) can bounce and fly, and even fall into soft pits! It’s fully supervised, so parents can relax in the adjoining café with a barista-made coffee and full views of the arena. For kids, it’s the perfect way to blow off some energy and for adults, it’s a great way to loosen up the joints and muscles and find your inner child, if only for a while!
Otherwise, you might like to retreat from the rain underground. The region is set on a cave-carved limestone ridge, and it plays host to four incredible show caves, each with their own unique reasons to visit. Start up at Ngilgi Cave, which gets its name from an Aboriginal dreamtime story about a battle between a good spirit (Ngilgi) and a bad spirit (Wolgine), which you learn more about upon visiting. Next, head to Mammoth Cave, which is one of the only caves in the South West region that contains fossils. You and your family can learn about long-extinct giant animals known as megafauna, and see the preserved jaw bone of a giant marsupial that lived 50,000 years ago. Finish up your visit with a walk through the marri forest, where birds will be whistling and stunning flora pokes out from the bushes. Lake Cave is your next stop, which features a freshwater lake and a ‘suspended table’ of crystal, making for an incredible sight, and then Jewel Cave down by Augusta, which is the breathtaking home to the longest straw stalactites found in Australia. You can grab family passes for the caves that include two adults and two children, as well as multi-cave passes that allow you to explore all the caves the region offers at the times most convenient for you!