Margaret River packs a hefty holiday punch for a small town. Nestled in the bushland of WA’s coast, it’s a three-hour drive south of Perth. The region is Western Australia’s holiday capital and you’ll find incredible fresh produce, some of Australia’s best wine, a bounty of natural attractions and surfing that attracts champions from all over the world.
The region incorporates Busselton, Dunsborough, Margaret River and Augusta and each is packed with a huge variety of kid friendly things to do and great family accommodation. From family friendly wineries with well-placed playgrounds to pristine beaches, epic snorkeling and diving, fun parks, mazes, horse riding and more, families will be spoiled for choice.
Internationally renowned as one of the best big-wave surfing locations in the world, take a drive along the coast to watch the surfers catching waves and wiping out on the treacherous breaks, and if your kids are a little older and have the skills, they too can enjoy a part of the watery action.
There is a limestone cave network beneath the surface of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge and incredible national parks including The Boranup Karri Forest and Bramley National Park which are ideal for hiking and exploring with the kids.
Busselton is one of the jewels in Margaret River’s tourism crown. The seaside town is a popular spot for families with plenty of resorts and accommodation for every budget. Here you’ll find easy access to the vineyards and other attractions, plus ample playgrounds, calm sheltered white sandy beaches and, of course, the famous Busselton Jetty.
Just a short drive from Perth, Margaret River has plenty to offer families. Here are ten must dos for your family’s holiday hit list.
When tiny travellers aren’t busy paddling in the water or building sand castles on one of Margaret River’s many beautiful beaches, there’s plenty to keep them entertained. The wooden playground at Yallingup Foreshore is a must visit as is Rotary Park, located alongside the river in Margaret River township, where there are two playground areas and extensive picnic facilities.
For hands on animal fun, Sunflowers Animal Farm offers a hands-on slice of Aussie farm life where kids can pat, feed and play with pigs, dogs, rabbits, lambs, kangaroos, ponies, alpacas and more. There are also pony and tractor rides and a playground for when they want a break from all the feathered and furry action. Or for a peak at some of the Margaret River’s marine wildlife without getting wet, catch the train along Busselton jetty to the Underwater Observatory for views of the water world below.
Though it is touted as an all-year round holiday destination, the best time to visit this stunning West Australian region is from April to September, or the dry season as the locals refer to it. During this time temperatures are comfortable and access to all attractions is almost guaranteed. Add to that clear skies and the result is great days out from sunrise to sunset.
Autumn offers mild daytime temperatures, sunny days and vineyards filled with ripening grapes. Early April is popular with surf enthusiasts, as it hosts an international surf tournament that features surfers from around the world, but this draws a lot of visitors so book well in advance.
Spring is idyllic and nature lovers will love the months of September to October for its mild weather and blossoms. In summer, many Perth locals retreat to the region for the beach, surf, sun and sand as the temperatures peak.
Boasting the sea to one side and rich farmlands on the other, the Margaret River region offers the best fresh produce when it comes to cuisine. Add to that seasonal delights such as berries and free chocolate sampling to form part of a free tasting trail, and no one should go away hungry.
The local produce from the area is world-class and exported to all corners of the globe. A top tip is to allow some extra room in your luggage for a bottle of jam, olive oil or another regional speciality to take home or give as a gift. The Berry Farm, in a stunning location, has 40 tasting opportunities while at the Fudge Factory you can taste and watch the mouth-watering sweet being made. And you can’t go past Simmo’s Ice Creamery, made using the best ingredients and local dairy products.
January- Oz Rock Busselton
Australian music and talent come together in this picturesque seaside town
January - Western Australian Circus Festival
A 3-day event held in Karridale, a short drive south of Margaret River, that showcases international and Australian circus performers.
January - Leeuwin Estate Family Concert
The Leeuwin Estate stages its annual family concert with popular artists and entertainment for the kids.
March – Emergence Creative Festival
Join the best of music, film, digital and the visual arts in this celebration of creativity.
March - Act Belong Commit Augusta River Festival
The Augusta River Festival is a two-day event that provides water and land based activities and entertainment for the whole family.
April – Margaret River Region Open Studios
Visit artists and check out exhibitions from the region’s vibrant artistic community
June – Truffle Kerfuffle
A week-long festival of truffles and entertainment
October - November – Margaret River Gourmet Escape
A feast for all foodie families in one of Australia’s finest greatest growing food bowls.
December – Southbound
This annual music festival in Busselton is always a hit with families.
Never been to Western Australia? You’re not alone, but this guide to WA for first time family visitors will show you some of the amazing
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