Coral Coast

Ultimate guide to things to do in Coral Coast with kids

Just a two-hour drive north of Perth, Australia’s Coral Coast stretches north all the way to Exmouth and is an ideal playground for families all year round.

From World Heritage-listed Shark Bay and Ningaloo Reef – the largest fringing reef in the world, to the otherworldly landscapes of the Pinnacles Desert and Kalbarri’s 400-million-year-old river gorges, there’s so much to see and explore, especially for wildlife fans.

Animal loving families will be in their element in this stunning stretch of Western Australia. Older kids can swim with whale sharks and scuba and snorkel over pristine reefs packed with marine life, and even spot sea turtle hatchlings during turtle nesting season. Kids of all ages will love visiting the world-famous dolphins of Monkey Mia, and the chance to get up close and personal with the friendly flippered locals. Bird lovers don’t need to miss out either, with opportunities to feed the pelicans or visit the Rainbow Jungle – The Australian Parrot Breeding Centre at Kalbarri.

The Pinnacles. Credit: TOURISM WA

If you prefer land animals, Bullara Station Stay is just one of the kid-friendly working cattle stations worth a visit. Located between Coral Bay and Exmouth, they offer a range of accommodation and an abundance of activities including native and farm animals for the kids to interact with.

And if its action and excitement you seek, you can test your skills sandboarding on some of Autsralia’s biggest dunes at Lancelin, or head to one of the dozens of gorgeous surf beaches.

Top things to do in Coral Coast

On the picturesque Coral Coast, there is plenty to see and do, in and out of the water.

  1. Wander around the Pinnacles
  2. Feed the dolphins at Monkey Mia
  3. Swim and snorkel in beautiful Coral Bay
  4. Swim with Whale Sharks
  5. Explore stunning Kalbarri National Park
  6. Take a tour to the Abrolhos Islands
  7. Go sandboarding and four-wheel driving on Western Australia’s largest sand dunes near Lancelin
  8. Discover the Shark Bay World Heritage Area
  9. Enjoy the region’s beautiful wildflowers
  10. Learn about the local Indigenous culture

Things to do in Coral Coast with...

Kayak Kalbarri Gorges

Best time to visit Coral Coast as a family

The Coral Coast enjoys a warm climate making it an ideal location to visit all year round, but its size means differing conditions from north to south. The southern section of the coast offers more Mediterranean style weather and as you move further north and cross the Tropic of Capricorn, the climate becomes more sub-tropical. 

Clear blue skies are almost guaranteed with rain rarely falling outside the months of February, March, May and June. December to February are the hottest months when temperatures can reach into the high thirties and June to August are the coolest, though temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees. Water temperatures average 26 degrees in summer and around 22 degrees in winter, so enjoying the sites below the water is an activity that can be experienced any time of the year.

If you are visiting to see the area’s famous whale sharks, time your visit between March to July.

There is so much fun to be had at Ningaloo with quad biking, snorkelling, camping, swimming, fishing and lots more. Credit: Josie Simmonds

Family-friendly places to eat in Coral Coast

Name your food preference and this region provides. Along the Coral Coast, cooks and chefs work with local and state producers to create mouth-watering treats for even the fussiest palate.

You’ll find outdoor cafes, fine diners and charming picnic spots with million-dollar views. Pop into one of the regional markets for fresh produce (or a gift to take home), Visit the Lobster Shack, just 17km from the Pinnacles National Park and managed by a third generation local fisherman, it is a must for foodie families. Take the short drive from Geraldton to discover the Chapman Valley, which is home to some fantastic wineries and olive groves. And make the pilgrimage to Carnarvon, often referred to as the food bowl of Western Australia. It is the spot to get the best produce from the land and the sea. A top tip for those of you that like chocolate: nab yourself a chocolate-coated banana from one of Carnarvon’s banana plantations.

Take in the beautiful scenery of the Shark Bay Heritage Area. Credit: Bound Round

Things to do for free in Coral Coast

  • With an array of things to do, the Coral Coast is a true gem in Australia’s crown and there’s plenty on offer that won’t break the bank.
  • Venture into the water to see and explore the amazing coloured corals and meet the marine life that call this special area home. Stop to catch a sunset over the ocean, an experience not be missed. You’ll find plenty of stunning locations from beautiful secluded bays to outlooks along the entire Coral Coast.
  • Take one of the scenic drives – the coast drive is our favourite, however look for alternative drives that deviate from this and allow some time to meander off your path to see natural attractions such as the wildflowers that bloom all year round.  Some national parks require a day pass visitor fee such as Nambung National Park, home of the Pinnacles. We advise researching before your visit as prices and conditions may change.
What’s on?

The best annual events for families in Coral Coast

January – Kalbarri Australia Day Fireworks

Along the foreshore there are market stalls, live music and plenty of activities for children.

February- Funtavia

There’s comedy, cabaret and music at this event in Geraldton.

March Nukara Music Festival

Held near Geraldton, this fab family festival attracts great acts.

March - GAMEX

One of Australia’s diverse fishing events and the longest running event of its kind in Western Australia with much more than just fishing to keep the kids entertained.

April – Wind on Water Festival

Locally known as the WoW Festival, there is a little of everything from kite making and surfing to food stalls, live entertainment and more.

April - Lobster and Land Food Festival

You’ll find a fabulous feast and activities to enjoy at this festival in the town of Dongara.

May – Shark Bay Fishing Fiesta

Enjoy fishing, market days, street parades and more.

August – Gascoyne Food festival

Carnarvon hosts this fabulous festival that is a must for foodie families.

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