Australia is a favorite holiday destination for many, with Perth at the top of the list. To further explore the land Down Under, head south 3-hours to visit Margaret River, a region of Western Australia famous for its wines and scenery. After all, more than 20% of Australia’s premium wine comes out of the 200+ wineries in this region.
But besides drinking, there are tons of family-friend activities and things to do to keep the whole family. From beach dates to an underwater observatory, you’ll get closer to nature like never before at Margaret River, affectionately known as “Margies” or “Margs”.
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Once you’ve landed at Perth airport, the Margaret River area is just a 3-hour drive south, which you can easily do by renting a car from the airport. The drive will take you through the Kwinana/Forrest Highway, or you can take the inland route on South Western Highway. You’ll even pass along scenic beaches at Dunsborough and Yallingup! Alternatively, book a taxi or uber from the airport, which will also take 3 hours and go along the same route as driving.
If you’re not one to spend 3 hours on the road, opt for a domestic flight instead. From Perth airport, you can take one of 4 scheduled flights a week to the Busselton/Margaret River airport, and then take a 45 minute drive to Margaret River. However, considering the time you’d have to spend waiting and checking in, it isn’t the most efficient way to reach your destination.
Your last option is public transport which will take you roughly 5 hours. Board a coach from the East Perth Terminal that goes direct to Margaret River, or the Australind train from Perth Station and alight at Bunbury after 2.5 hours. Thereafter, a bus or coach at Bunbury will bring you to Margaret River.
For more information on how to visit Margaret River, visit www.margaretriver.com/visitor-centres/.
No visit to Margaret River is complete without checking out the wineries. Luckily, having kids in tow doesn’t mean you should skip the joys of wine tasting and vineyard tours, as so many of the Margaret River wineries have child-friendly facilities. From kids' menus and playgrounds to toy boxes and large grassy lawns with garden games, there’s always something so your kiddo never gets bored. Read on to find out where you can indulge while the kids have their share of fun!
Will’s Domain Winery: For sweeping views across the valley and some of the region’s best cuisine, head to Will’s Domain Winery. A playground adjacent to the restaurant terrace and lunchbox-style meals for the kids will ensure the adults also get some quiet time to enjoy the views in peace.
17 Brash Rd, Yallingup WA 6282, Australia, +61 8 9755 2327, www.willsdomain.com.au
Xanadu Wines: One of Australia’s respected wine makers, Xanadu is another considerate family-friendly Margaret River winery with an on-site playground. They also have a large flat lawn within view of the restaurant, which serves fabulous modern Aussie cuisine, inclusive of a children’s menu.
316 Boodjidup Rd, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia, +61 8 9758 9500, www.xanaduwines.com
The Berry Farm: The Berry Farm is a hidden gem that is popular among the locals, for its outstanding food and wine options. Your little ones will love playing in the large play park that is in easy view from the cafe so you can keep an eye on them while you relax.
43 Bessell Rd, Rosa Glen WA 6285, Australia, +61 8 9757 5054, theberryfarm.com.au
Aravina Estate: A classy and laid-back winery with great food and wine, Aravina Estate has more than just gastronomical experiences. Open daily, both young and old can have a day of rest in their sprawling lawn. As a bonus, check out their sports car gallery and surf gallery!
61 Thornton Rd, Yallingup WA 6282, Australia, +61 8 9750 1111, aravinaestate.com
Swings & Roundabouts: With a huge outdoor lawn, restaurant and a timber playground fort that is shaded from the sun, Swings & Roundabouts is your go-to if you need a fuss-free place to bring the kids. Not to mention, there is outdoor seating and Mediterranean cuisine so you can have a swig of the good life at your own pace.
2807 Caves Rd, Yallingup WA 6282, Australia, +61 8 9756 6640, www.swings.com.au
Besides wineries, there are also many fabulous beaches that will truly put you right in a paradise state of mind. Check out these beaches in Margaret River if you’re looking forward to some sand between your toes.
Smiths Beach: An all-time favorite beach in Australia, Smiths Beach is simply beautiful. A long, spacious shore of blindingly white sand, big waves and crystal-clear blue water make it one of the most popular beaches in the Margaret River Region. It’s also a fantastic spot for all sorts of big-wave beach activities, such as swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, long walks and sunbaking.
Bunker Bay: If you fancy long walks on the beach, you’ll like Bunker Bay. It’s located on the Cape Naturaliste headland, facing north on Geographe Bay, making it more sheltered than the other Western facing beaches. It has a long stretch of fine white sand and a gentle shelving shoreline, perfect for taking a dip with the kids!
Eagle Bay: Eagle Bay is another stunning beach offering a vast area of white sand and turquoise waters. This is a great option for a beach-house holiday since there are several holiday houses overlooking the beach here. The best way to reach Eagle Bay would be to follow the coastal road from Meelup where you can also enjoy stunning views out to sea while passing by several secluded coves along the way.
Yallingup Beach: Situated on the west coast makes the beautiful beach of Yallingup is the perfect place to watch the sun go down. The sunsets here are simply stunning – grab yourself a bottle of wine, and some snacks and you’ve got yourself a scene straight out of a postcard. Alternatively, take some burgers and sausages and get in line to use the gas BBQ grills available to anyone who wants to whip some bites up. Kids can also enjoy the playground available, while you fit in a romantic evening with your partner.
Dunsborough Beach: For even more white sand and deep blue sea views, head to Dunsborough Beach. What will definitely delight the little ones here is the little sand playground that they can spend hours at. Plus, there’s a pier that runs out into the sea with boatmen launching their boats, so you’ll always have something to catch during your visit.
With nature everywhere you look, you best believe that there are also plenty of family-friendly activities to excite all ages. From whale watching to a chocolate factory, you’ll never have a dull moment during your visit to Margaret River. Round up the family, and get ready for a brand new adventure!
Whale Watching: The Margaret River region gives you an ideal vantage point to see magnificent whales in all their glory. The whale watching season starts around June when the first of the whales reach Flinders Bay, a 40-minute drive south of Margaret River, so make sure to time your visit right if you want to catch the creatures in the wild. You can also sign up for guided tours from companies like Legend Charters or Whales Australia so you get a more personalized experience.
Whales Australia, www.whales-australia.com.au
A Maze’n Margaret River Maze: Amaze'n Margaret River is just like its name suggests – amazing. Get comfortably lost while trying to find your way out of the maze hedges, play life-sized human chess, or simply wind down at the cafe with a cuppa or a light lunch, the choice is yours.
9978 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia, +61 8 9758 7439, www.amazenmargaretriver.com.au
Jewel Cave Augusta: Jewel Cave is the biggest show cave in Western Australia, with 3 massive chambers. It is also home to one of the longest straw stalactites found in any tourist cave in the world! You and the family can embark on this exciting trail, before wrapping up your visit with a bite from the Jewel Cave Cafe which is within forest-like decoration.
Jewel Caves Rd, Deepdene WA 6290, Australia, +61 8 9757 7411, www.margaretriver.com/things-to-do/attractions/caves/jewel-cave-augusta
Sunflowers Animal Farm: Sunflowers Animal Farm offers a slice of authentic Aussie farm life with a dash of unconventional animals in the mix. Here, you and the kids can expect to interact with the likes of pigs, rabbits, lambs, kangaroos, alpacas, and much more, many of which are still babies. The farm is currently on hiatus due to the pandemic, but stay tuned to their website for their reopening date coming very soon.
5561 Caves Rd, Burnside WA 6285, Australia, +61 8 9757 3343, sunflowersfarm.com
Busselton Jetty: Jump on a train and watch the coastline get further and further away as you head down the longest pier in the Southern hemisphere at Busselton Jetty. When you get to the end, disembark and join the undersea aquarium tour, where you will make your way down 60 steps to the seafood, with windows at different levels giving you an up close and personal look at beautiful fishes and corals.
15 Foreshore Parade, Busselton WA 6280, Australia, +61 8 9754 0900, www.busseltonjetty.com.au
Mirravale Riding School: Other than fishes and farm animals, you can also get better acquainted with horses! Located in Perth Hills, Mirravale Riding School is an ideal place to start your horseback riding journey. On top of professional lessons, they also offer hour-long or hour-and-a-half-long hacks as well as twilight trails in the evening. The ponies are well-behaved school masters who are eager to please and easy to handle, so you don’t have to worry about accidents. Hour-long hacks start from AUS$55.
1737 Toodyay Rd, Gidgegannup WA 6083, Australia, +61 417 174 800, www.mirravaleridingschool.com.au
The Margaret River Chocolate Company: If you’re a fan of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you’ll definitely want to visit The Margaret River Chocolate Company. Watch chocolate being made in the kitchen before choosing some chocolate to take home. The selection is overwhelming – truffles, rocky road, chocolate bars, and even chocolate golf balls! Make sure you grab a handful of the chocolate buttons on your way in too – available in dark, milk and white chocolate. This is also a perfect chance to grab some souvenirs!
415 Harman's Mill Rd, Metricup WA 6280, www.chocolatefactory.com.au
Melting Pot Glass Studio: For a unique workshop experience, visit Melting Pot Glass Studio, where you and the kids can learn about expert hot glass artist Gerry Reilly. There are many activities you can try, such as making your very own wine glass or a glassmaking class that can run anywhere between an hour to 3 hours. Little ones can also pick up the blowpipe to blow their own bauble.
Zani Pl, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia, +61 420 940 123, meltingpotglass.com
Coasteering With Margaret River Adventure: Suitable for ages 7 and up, Coasteering is a high-adrenaline activity suitable for the whole family. Don a wetsuit, lifejacket, and helmet, and follow the guide who will take you around different terrain and meet various Australian wildlife. The session lasts 2 hours and starts at AUD$100 per person.
Margaret River Adventure, +61 418 808 993, www.margaretriveradventure.com.au/coasteering
Go On An Electric Quad Bike Tour With Eco Adventures: Those who love nature and high-speed thrills can consider Eco Adventures’ Electric Quad Bike Tours! You’ll get to discover more of Margaret River on 4 wheels, with specially-made bikes that are kinder to the environment. During your ride, discover hidden gems of the forest and learn more about the history of the area, all while soaking in stunning views of Mother Nature.
102 Drummond Rd, Forest Grove WA 6286, Australia, +61 498 654 588, ecoadventuresmargaretriver.com
With the little ones in tow, booking a restaurant that caters to them might be tricky. But don’t fret, as we’ve got you covered. For some of the most family-friendly restaurants in Margaret River that serve up various cuisines and portions, check these out while planning your itinerary!
Meelup Farmhouse: Margaret River has full abundance of wineries, but there are some with a dining space available too. One such example is Meelup Farmhouse, which serves up delicious Western fare during lunch. Plenty of the dishes are made fresh from farm to table, and you can also check out the animal farm after you’re done eating!
Meelup Regional Park, 54 Sheens Rd, Naturaliste WA 6281, Australia www.meelupfarmhouse.com.au
Teddis Big Spoon: Situated in the shopping district of Margaret River on Bussell Highway, you can make a pit stop in between swiping your credit card for a cozy meal at Teddis Big Spoon. They serve up Korean cuisine, with fish, vegetarian, chicken and beef options. Their lunch sets and surprise ice cream will also delight the little ones!
Teddis Big Spoon, 113A Bussell Hwy, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia www.facebook.com/teddisbigspoon
La Scarpetta Trattoria: To settle some Italian food cravings, head over to La Scarpetta Trattoria. All their pastas here are made in house daily, and there are vegetarian and gluten-free options available. Those with smaller appetites or sharing with kids can order their sides like oven roasted potatoes or antipasti dishes like cheese and spinach risotto balls. Take note when planning your visit – they’re closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays!
La Scarpetta Trattoria, 73 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia, www.lascarpetta.com.au
Pizzaca: No other food encourages family bonding quite like pizza. If you’re looking for a pizza place for dinner, look no further than Pizzaca. Boasting freshly made pizzas of all varieties and charcoal grilled meat options, there’s definitely something for everyone. What’s more, the restaurant is housed in a rustic wooden setting, making you truly feel like you’re in a different world.
Pizzaca, 73 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia, www.pizzica.com.au
Settlers Tavern: Featuring both indoor and alfresco dining settings, Settlers Tavern allows you to seek respite however you like. Their bistro is open from Thursdays to Mondays, and pets are even welcome in the outdoor area. Expect the likes of American BBQ, vegetarian food and fresh seafood to satisfy your cravings.
Settlers Tavern, 114 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia, www.settlerstavern.com
Margaret River might be relatively small, but there are still plenty of places to stay in the region. Whether you just need a simple hotel room or a sprawling resort with facilities, you’ll find plenty of accommodation options at Margaret River. Pack and your bags and get ready to check in to one of these suggested options, with stunning views to boot!
The River Hotel: Half restaurant half hotel, The River Hotel is just a short drive from surfing and vineyards, making it a versatile accommodation spot for families. They also have a beer garden, swimming pool, tennis courts, and volleyball facilities and host concert nights, so you’ll still be entertained without having to leave the hotel!
40 Wallcliffe Rd, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia, +61 8 9757 0000, www.theriverhotel.com.au
Smiths Beach Resort: How does waking up to the sights of the sea and the sound of birds sound? If that is music to your ears, book a stay at Smiths Beach Resort, where the ocean is literally at your doorstep. Suitable for couples and families, this luxury villa is the perfect city escape.
Smiths Beach Resort, 67 Smiths Beach Rd, Yallingup WA 6282, Australia, +61 8 9750 1200, www.smithsbeachresort.com.au
The Roozen Residence: Stunning ocean views, massive king-size beds and day tours await you at The Roozen Residence. Parents need not worry either – the accommodation provides kids' utensils, child-friendly toys, an outdoor lawn area and high chairs available so you’ll have everything required for a fuss-free family holiday. The house is also equipped to be kid-friendly, so you can be relieved knowing they can’t break anything!
4 Chapel Pl, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia, ronroozen.com.au
Stay Margaret River: For an affordable place near nature spots, Stay Margaret River is your best bet. It’s a short drive away from plenty of wineries, caves and beaches, so your itinerary possibilities with the family are endless. Room options range from a standard Queen room to a 2-bedroom apartment with a spa, so you can choose to bunk in with the entire travel party or opt to have some privacy.
78 Wallcliffe Rd, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia, +61 8 9757 2633, staymargaretriver.com.au
The Sebel Busselton: Whether you’re planning to have a cultural trip to the art galleries and wineries around Margaret River or hit up some water sports at Geographe Bay, you’ll be able to do it all when you stay at The Sebel Busselton. After you're done exploring, end off your day by bringing the little kids to the massive resort swimming pool!
553 Bussell Hwy, Busselton WA 6280, Australia, +61 8 9754 9800, www.thesebel.com/western-australia/the-sebel-busselton