Every Christmas and New Years’ school holidays, the down south region in WA becomes a mecca for families looking to escape the city life. Boasting a plethora of top-notch beaches and wineries, there is enough to keep the adults entertained for weeks. However, if you are travelling as a family, you’ll need some ideas up your sleeve to keep the little ones occupied. To help you along the way, we’ve rounded up the best kid-friendly activities. Hot tip: due to the popularity of these activities, we recommend booking ahead of time, especially if you know what dates you’ll be visiting.
Starting the list off strong is Busselton Jetty – the pride of joy of all Busselton locals. This 154-year-old jetty stretches across a sizable 1,941 meters. You can choose to walk the jetty or take a solar-powered train. The best part about this jetty is at the end features the Underwater Observatory, where the kids can immerse themselves and see first-hand the coral and natural habitat 8 meters below the surface. We reckon this will become even more popular across the 2022 holiday period when the Underwater Discovery Center finishes its fresh upgrade. From here, you can always take a stroll along the boulevard and pick up ice cream.
While in Busselton, a trip to the Discover Deadly Centre to safely get up close and personal with some creepy crawlies may be a pretty eye-opening experience for the kids. The team here feature a list of snakes, pythons, geckos, turtles and more and is super experienced and passionate about educating the little ones. With guided tours, their jam-packed summer programs include learning, workshops and live demonstrations. This is a very popular addition to any trip to Busselton and will no doubt be a talking point with the kiddos for the whole week.
Next Level Monkey Business
Located on the outskirts of Dunsborough, Next Level Monkey Business, as the name suggests, offers up an outdoor adventure centre featuring ziplining, rope courses and bouldering. These guys have something for everyone, including the adults, with a larger, more exhilarating mega ropes course and zip line. If you want a break from the kids, too, you can sign them up for passes that include an instructor who will take them through safety first before leading them through each activity. Finally, if you do have big groups or larger families, you can book in as a larger group and secure discounts and your own home base for snacks and water breaks.
Also located in the family-friendly Dunsborough – Jet Adventures is for thrill seekers and may be more appropriate for families with teenagers. Here you’ll hit top speeds in Geograph Bay as you launch through twists and turns on a speedboat. Perfect for adrenaline junkies, these jetboat rides include 270-degree turns and lightning-fast doughnuts. They also offer tandem parasailing with a mate, where you’ll experience breathtaking views of the bay from above.
A short drive from the Margaret River Township is A Maze’n – the only hedge maze in the region and is situated on 5 hectares of stunning gardens. Get lost in the maze as you find clues to get you out. While on-site, we also recommend the 18-hole mini golf course for some healthy family competition. Also, if you are looking for a full day of family fun, you can use the BBQ facilities to ensure everyone is kept fueled.
Cape Naturalist Lighthouse
A quick 10-minute drive from Dunsborough is the Cape Naturalist Lighthouse – perched proudly on the Geograph Bay coastline. This location is the start of some pretty special short walks along the breathtaking coast that can easily be done with the family if the weather is great. At the lighthouse, it’s very easy to make your way to the top with only 60 steps, and it offers bang for your buck with pretty incredible views. You can also take a guided tour which operates hourly, on the hour by a local guide where groups are maxed out at 10, so it’s nice and small.
The crown and glory of the southwest – the Ngilgi Caves, are a pretty spectacular collection of caves featuring stunning stalactites and stalagmites. The extensive boardwalk will lead you through the epic chambers of this underground oasis, where you’ll learn all about how the cave was naturally formed. This one is a must-see for the little ones, and a hot tip is to bring along a jumper, as it can get a little cold the further into the cave you go. If you opt for a tour, it’s a nice short 1-hour journey from the information centre to the end and back. This is also another attraction we would recommend booking ahead of time as it gets super popular in the summer months.
The mountain biking trails around Margaret River are a very fun morning out in the sun, especially if you have teenagers who are comfortable (and confident) with a bit of downhill adventure. The scenic forests also present a pretty spectacular backdrop, and there is a large mix of tracks to suit all levels and experiences. For those looking for a lighter cruise, the flat surfaces of the Wadandi track are a good place to start. However, if you are looking for more of a challenge with jumps and logs, look no further than the High Horse track.
Movies in the Garden – Caves Road
Taking a slightly more chilled and relaxed approach, another great activity for the whole family is catching a film at the Caves Road Movies in the Garden. This stunning venue set amongst the natural foliage is a really unique experience. Bring along your own dinner and picnic rug, or you could opt for pizza from the local food trucks.
Rounding the list off strong is the team at Primal Archery. Here you can test your accuracy on various targets to hit the illusive bullseye. A perfect day for those with some healthy family competition, you can showcase your skills in a round-robin competition format.
For those that are planning your upcoming summer holidays, the above list should hopefully help if you are doing it with the whole family. We always recommend booking things early, too, as it’s such a popular time of year. If you are chasing transport down to the South West region or a larger group, we can help you organise this all. Chat with one of our sales team today.