From beaching to bike riding, mini golf to mazes, and all the adventures in between, including hiking on the Cape to Cape Track. We’ve rounded up the top family friendly activities in and around the Margaret River Region this summer. By Lizzy Pepper.

Spring School Holidays - Horse Riding at Jesters Flat

 

 

 

 

1

HORSE RIDING

 

Saddle up for a horsemanship lesson or a peaceful trail ride through the bush.Both The Horse Resort and Jesters Flat are known and loved for their superb horses and scenic trail rides through gorgeous Margaret River country.

 

 

 

 

 

2

CAVES

 

There are about 100 caves below Caves Road, four of which are open for us to explore. Read Which Cave is Best For Me to help choose.My tip: Ngilgi and Mammoth Cave are great for kids under 5, and Lake and Jewel Cave guided experiences are fab for kids with greater attention spans.

 

 

 

 

 

3

HIT THE BEACH

 

 

4

WALK A TRAIL

 

 

5

MOUNTAIN BIKING

 

Bring your bikes, as we’re totally spoilt for options. My girls love the green beginners’ trails of Wooditjup National Park and Dunsborough Country Club.The Wadandi Trail is a nice flat ride, perfect for an adventure minus the downhill thrills.

 

 

 

 

 

6

FOREST BATHING

 

Find a peaceful patch and share a moment of appreciation for the forest, wildflowers, birds, fungi and insects with your children. Close your eyes and listen, and then name all of the sounds of the forest.Listen to the breeze whistling through the Boranup Forest canopy, look for red winged fairy wrens in Wooditjup National Park and be dazzled by ocean glimpses in the Meelup Regional Park.

 

 

 

 

 

7

BIKE RIDING

 

There’s a fabulous coastal bike path connecting Dunsborough with Busselton, perfect for youngsters on balance bikes, or families riding into town or looking for a secluded beach.Set Strava and see how far you can go!

 

 

 

 

 

8

BOOGIE BOARDING

 

 

9

CAKES & BAKERY TREATS

 

Now we’re talking. We have a soft spot for Nutella donuts at Dunsborough Bakeryand petit gâteaux at Maison Lassiaille. Homemade cakes at the new Two Seas Collective café in Augusta also went down a treat with my daughters.

 

10

FISH & CHIPS

 

 

Busselton Foreshore Playground. Credit Ryan Murphy

 

 

 

 

11

PLAYGROUNDS

 

We’ve spent many a sunny afternoon at Sea Play By the Bay, Djiljit Mia Dunsborough and Yallingup Adventure Playground, plus loads more included in this Best Playgrounds blog.Special shoutout to the parents with runaway kids – you’ll enjoy Aravina Estate and Cheeky Monkey Brewery’s fully fenced playgrounds.

 

 

 

 

 

12

JETTY JUMPING

 

Cool down while leaping off the jetty – there’s no better way to spend a scorching January afternoon.The U-shape jetty 50m west of Busselton Jetty, in front of Equinox Café, is our go-to, but the pontoon at Gnarabup next to The White Elephant Cafe is a favourite amongst Margies locals.

 

 

 

 

 

13

STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING & KAYAKING

 

 

14

LEARN TO SURF

 

 

15

ZIP LINING

 

 

16

WHALE WATCHING

 

Marvel at the world’s largest mammals from land or sea, as the Margaret River Region has the world’s longest whale watching season.A whale watching charter boat with marine scientists will get you up close, while land-based spots along the coast are just as delightful. Point Picquet is a good bet, as is both Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin (depending on the time of year).

 

 

 

 

 

17

ICE CREAMERIES

 

You’re not just ‘having an ice cream’, you’re sampling quality artisan produce made fresh with local milk.Visit Millers Ice Creamery in Cowaramup or Simmos in Dunsborough, and the hardest part is choosing from the myriad of flavours!

 

 

 

 

 

18

ICONIC ROCKS

 

We love a big rock adventure, and there’s plenty of mind-boggling 600-million-year-old granite to admire (weave that into a story for your dinosaur-loving kids!)Visit Sugarloaf Rock, Canal Rocks or Big Rock near Dunsborough for amazing views and great climbing, too. Note: stay on the path for safety, and be especially careful or avoid the area during big swell.

 

 

 

 

 

19

MARKETS

 

Stock up for a meal or grab food on the go at the region’s lovely markets. My girls make a beeline for the warm cinnamon buns at Margaret River Farmers Marketand Sour Boys (who make lollies in front of your eyes) and Dusty Buns (incredible filled donuts) at Origins Markets in Busselton.

 

20

EAGLES HERITAGE

 

Meet Ivy the Barn Owl or Booey the Boobook at Eagles Heritage, where the Birds of Prey Encounter is equal parts entertainment and education.Behind the scenes is a rehabilitation hospital for up to 90 injured birds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21

PRAM WALK

 

 

22

SWEET SHOPS

 

We can’t go past Hot Chocolatte Dunsborough, Candy Cow in Cowaramup or the Margaret River Sweet Shop without the kids negotiating/demanding a visit.Try the peanut butter chocolate frogs at Hot Chocolatte; they’re scrumptious!

 

 

 

 

 

23

FISHING & CRABBING

 

Busselton Jetty is a fantastic spot to throw in a line, and crabbing along the foreshore after dark is fun too. We took the girls crabbing at Quindalup in spring and didn’t catch any crabs, but were awed by phosphorescence in the sand!Here’s 6 family friendly fishing spots.

 

 

 

 

 

24

BREAKKIE

 

 

25

CLIMB A LIGHTHOUSE

 

Two working lighthouses bookend the Cape to Cape Track; Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse in the north, and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in the south.The first is an easy 59-step climb, great for youngsters who will also appreciate the small playground. Cape Leeuwin is much taller, with a fantastic interp centre that includes portraits representing people who once lived and worked at the lighthouse, which spring to life and tell stories of what their life was like in the early days.

 

 

 

 

 

26

WANDER A MAZE

 

 

27

MEET THE HAMELIN BAY STINGRAYS

 

Bright, white sand contrasts cerulean blue water at Hamelin Bay Beach, but it’s not just the breathtaking beach scene you’re here for. Stand on the shore and admire the great sting rays gliding past.Please exercise caution though; they are wild animals with poisonous barbs, so please stand at least 2 metres away as they swim past.

 

 

 

 

 

28

VISIT A BREWERY

 

Parents love a brewery, where the vibe is as chilled as the beer, and a playground is just about guaranteed. There are around 13 craft breweries to discover, here’s our list of the most kid-friendly breweries in the region.

 

29

CHOCOLATE

 

 

30

WINERIES

 

 

Woman and two kids standing on a rock by the ocean after a swim. Credit Aquabumps

 

 

 

 

31

COASTEERING

 

I haven’t yet taken my kids, but I know they’d love scrambling across great rocks and leaping into the surging water. Coasteering with Margaret River Adventure Cois as safe as it is exhilarating. Brilliant for courageous kids.

 

32

ABSEILING

 

Another thrill for the adventure seekers, there’s nothing quite like descending over the lip of a massive sea cliff hearing the ocean crashing below. Margaret River Climbing Co offers abseiling amongst some of the most dramatic scenery on the Cape to Cape Track.

 

33

PICK UP A PYTHON

 

Observe snakes, lizards and their scaly mates at Discover Deadly, the local reptile farm.Aim to visit during feeding time and see if your kids are brave enough to pick up a (non-venomous) python!

 

 

 

 

 

34

MEET WOYLIES

 

These endangered marsupials from Perth Zoo’s conservation program live in unspoiled native bushland protected by Yelverton Brook’s electric fox-proof fence.South West Eco Discoveries operates this excellent twilight tour, where native Australian animals flock by your feet.

 

 

 

 

 

35

LUNCH

 

Quirkier lunches we love include homemade pies at Anniebrook where the girls fawn over guineapigs, pizza and supa putt at Golf Gardens or an Insta-worthy meal at Meelup Farmhouse where chickens, swings and a highland cow delight all ages.

 

36

PIZZA & BURGERS

 

Sure to please the fussiest eaters, we recommend Pizzica for the authentic Italian feel, Peace Pizza Dunsborough and Al Forno Busselton for superb takeaway pizza. Hot tip for Pizzica: save room for the fried dough drizzled with Nutella – molto bene!Everyone is happy with a burger in their mits. Burger Baby on Margs main street, Burger Bones in Busselton and Bayside Burger Bar Dunsborough are a few of our faves.

 

 

 

 

 

37

SCULPTURES IN A GIANT’S GARDEN

 

South of Boranup, near Hamelin Bay, you’ll find Margaret River Sculpture Park, with 10 acres of huge sculptures carved from recycled wood, stone and steel.Like a treasure hunt featuring works by local craftsman Brendan Booth, it’s sure to spark the imagination.

 

 

 

 

 

38

ANIMAL FARMS

 

 

39

MINI GOLF

 

 

40

FIND A FOOD TRUCK

 

 

margaret river holiday cottages

 

 

 

 

41

ENJOY A FARM STAY

 

 

42

SKATE PARK

 

 

43

CAPE TO CAPE TRACK

 

While the full 124km trek isn’t a mainstream kid friendly activity, hiking a chunk is a great adventure. We walked from Contos Cliffs to Redgate Beach as a school group, a decent 6km stroll, learning Wadandi stories and maritime history along the way. See Cape to Cape Explorer Tours for private half-day or full-day hikes for families, or self-guided adventures from 3-7 days suitable for older kids with a love of the outdoors.

 

44

POSSUM NIGHTSTALK

 

The Western Ringtail Possum, or ngwayir, is a smallish, critically endangered possum found only in southwest Western Australia. Grab a torch and head to the peppermint trees on the Dunsborough or Busselton foreshore, or in the forest surrounding Margaret River, for some night-time possum spotting.

 

45

WATERFALLS

 

If you are visiting in Makuru (winter) it’s a great chance to check out a waterfall. We discovered Yalgardup (Kevill Road Falls) and it’s a beaut spot to reconnect with nature and admire the rush of water over rocky ledges.

 

46

BBQ WITH A VIEW

 

 

47

ADMIRE PUBLIC ART

 

Our local murals tell stories of wildlife, culture and history; larger than life Cowara birds are Cowaramup’s namesake (find them in Pioneer Park), pose the kids in front of giant wings and learn about Sam ‘Yebbles’ Isaacs on Prince Street Busselton.

 

48

GO CAMPING – OR GLAMPING

 

Whether you stay in a tent, caravan or onsite cabin, there’s nothing better than seeing the kids enjoy the pool, playground or other facilities – and making new friends while they’re at it.Check out the dozens of camping options from Busselton to Boranup and everywhere in between.

 

 

 

 

 

49

UNDERWATER OBSERVATORY

 

The historic Busselton Jetty stretches 1.81km out into Geographe Bay – it was extended time and again as ships got bigger and Busselton was a busy port.Now you can catch an electric train to the end and descend 9m underwater to find a thriving ecosystem of over 300 marine species.

 

 

 

 

 

50

ECO BIKE THROUGH BORANUP

 

Silently roll through the towering karris of Boranup Forest on eco-friendly electric quad bikes with EcoAdventures. Suitable for anyone aged 4+, it’s a lovely opportunity to cuddle your kids as you drive along, hearing stories of megafauna and incredible forest facts.
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