One of our favorite holiday destinations, Margaret River is a three-hour drive south of Perth and is just perfect for a family vacation! Most people associate the Margaret River region of Western Australia with wine. After all, more than 20% of Australia’s premium wine comes out of the 200+ wineries in the region. But there is far more to the Margaret River than just wine. There are fun things and activities to keep the whole family entertained! We have everything sorted for you, just keep reading!
Western Australia’s capital Perth (20 mins from the airport), is well-serviced by approximately 19 international airlines, with direct flights from the Middle East and South Africa, New Zealand and Asia. Daily direct flights from many Asian gateway cities make Perth an ideal destination to combine with an Asian holiday. Your Margaret River Region is an easy three-hour drive south of Perth. Rent a car at the airport and drive to Margaret River, catch the bus or hire chauffeur driven charters. Take your pick! Confused? Get in touch with your local Visitor Centre, www.margaretriver.com/visitor-centres/
You can’t go to Margaret River and ignore 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 kid’s menus in the restaurants, to toy boxes in the tasting rooms, to large grassy lawns with garden games, and even playgrounds, the Margaret River wine region is paradise for wine lovers with children! Indulge while the kids are having fun? Where? Here is a selection of our favorite kid friendly wineries.
Laurance Winery: Although this beautiful winery with its rose garden and rippling lake is currently owned by a French lady, this is all about to change. Lawrence winery is being purchased by Australians. You are encouraged to try all of their delicious wines at the bar before heading to your table to order the food, and with a playground, children’s menu and children’s activity packs, the kids will love it here as much as you do. www.laurancewines.com
Will’s Domain: Sweeping views across the valley and some of the region’s best cuisine. A playground adjacent to the restaurant terrace and lunchbox-style meals for the kids will ensure they leave you to enjoy the views in peace. www.willsdomain.com.au
Xanadu: 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 mod-Aus cuisine, and has a children’s menu. www.xanaduwines.com
Berry Farm: The Berry Farm is one of those places that if you did not know it was there you might never find it. It’s a hidden gem. Professionally run with outstanding food and wine. The kids love playing on the large play park that is in easy view from the cafe. https://theberryfarm.com.au
Aravina Estate: A classy, but laid back winery, with great food and wine, plenty of things to do and see and best of all its family friendly! http://aravinaestate.com
Margaret River, does have some of the most fabulous beaches you will find anywhere in the world. Here are some of our favorite ones.
Smiths Beach: An all-time favorite beach, Smiths beach is simply beautiful. A long, spacious beach of blindingly white sand, big waves and crystal-clear blue water make it one of the most popular beaches in the Margaret River Region. A fantastic spot for all sorts of big-wave beach activities, including swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, long walks and sunbaking.
Bunker Bay: A long and lonely beach of pearly white sand near the top of Cape Naturaliste in Geographe Bay. Bunker Bay is situated 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 swimming with the kids.
Eagle Bay: Eagle Bay is another stunning beach offering a great expanse of white sand and turquoise waters. This is a great option for a beach-house holiday, as there are several holiday houses overlooking the beach here. The best way to reach Eagle Bay, is to follow the coastal road from Meelup to enjoy stunning views out to sea and to pass by several secluded coves.
Yallingup Beach: Situated on the west coast makes the beautiful beach of Yallingup the perfect place to watch the sun go down. The sunsets in this part of the world are stunning so, grab yourself a bottle of your favourite Margaret River wine and some nibbles and sit yourselves down on the grassy cliff to watch. Alternatively, take some burgers and sausages and get in line to use of the gas BBQ available to anyone who wants. The kids can enjoy the wonderful playground while you fit in a romantic evening with your other half.
Dunsborough Beach: White sand and bright blue sea are themes with this region’s beaches and Dunsborough Beach is no exception. The bonus here is the fab little playground on the sand that kids will want to spend hours in. That and the little pier that runs out into the sea from which boat owners can launch their boats much to the entertainment of the children.
Whale Watching: The Margaret River region gives you the ideal vantage point to see these massive creatures frolic and interact in the water. The whale watching season starts in around June when the first of the whales reach Flinders Bay, Augusta, 40 minutes’ drive south of Margaret River. This is an ideal spot to watch the whales up close, and it is one of the only places where Southern Right and Humpback whales interact. By July/ August the whales are well and truly visible and the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is one of the most popular places to see them. There are some great Margaret River Whale watching tours that offer close-up experiences of the whales, and this is an experience not to miss. (Checkout http://legendcharters.net.au or http://whales-australia.com.au)
Margaret River Silk Road: Margaret River Silk Road is an operating silk farm growing mulberry trees and silkworms to produce Australian silk cocoons. Learn how silk is made or browse gorgeous products including silk scarves & purses; mulberry jams, chutneys & teas; silk soaps; candles and more.
A Maze’n Margaret River Maze: Amaze'n Margaret River is just that - AMAZING! It's a great place to spend the day with the family, or if you are looking for a family friendly place to have a coffee or a light lunch, Amaze'n is the place to go! www.amazenmargaretriver.com.au
Jewel Cave Augusta: Jewel Cave is the biggest show cave in Western Australia, with three massive chambers. It is also home to one of the longest straw stalactites found in any tourist cave in the world.
Sunflowers Animal Farm: Sunflowers Animal Farm offers a slice of authentic Aussie farm life with a dash of additional, more unconventional animals mixed in, you can expect to be able to interact with the likes of pigs, rabbits, lambs, kangaroos, alpacas and much more, many of which are young which adds an extra touch of cuteness to the proceedings.
Busselton Jetty: Jump on the little train and watch the coastline get further and further away as you head down the longest pier in the Southern hempisphere. When you get to the end, disembark and join the undersea aquarium tour. As you make your way down the sixty steps to the sea floor, various windows at different levels will display some beautiful fish and coral. www.busseltonjetty.com.au
Mirravale Riding School: Located as it is on the national park, makes Mirravale an ideal place to set up a ride. As well as lessons, they offer hour-long or hour and a half long hacks as well as twilight trails in the evening. The staff are friendly and experienced riders can trot and canter if they wish. The ponies are well-behaved school masters who are eager to pleased and easy to handle. Hour long hacks start from AUS$55. www.mirravaleridingschool.com.au
The Margaret River Chocolate Company: Watch chocolate being made in the kitchen before spending longer than you may think is necessary to choose 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 – available in dark, milk and white chocolate – that way you definitely won’t be able to leave without buying something! www.chocolatefactory.com.au
Yallingup Shearing Shed: It may not sound particularly exciting, but trust us, you don’t want t visit this region and not visit the sheep shearing show – it’s truly brilliant! There are live shows, which demonstrate the experience of shearing as well as a sheepdog herding display. The whole demonstration is interactive giving children an opportunity to be involved with the shearing process. Kids will also love bottle-feeding the adorable little lambs. www.yallingupshearingshed.com.au
If you fancy a change of scene for lunch, or a change of tipple, why not try out one of the handful of breweries scattered around the region. There are a couple we thoroughly recommend mainly down to their divine food and their child-friendly facilities that means the whole family can enjoy a relaxing and fun afternoon.
Eagle Bay Brewing Co: The food here is out of this world! The sharing plates, particularly the Ploughmans if cheese is your thing, are to die for and the duck liver pate really is the best. You don’t have to drink beer, there is wine and sparkling on offer too, but it’s worth ordering a tasting samplers to get a feel for what beer you’d like to order in a bigger size. The grounds are beautiful and kids will love rolling down the grassy hills as well as playing in the enormous sandpit that’s scattered with toys, buckets and spades. www.eaglebaybrewing.com.au
Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery: Home to one of the best playgrounds in the region, this little brewery is popular with families on a Sunday afternoon. Make sure you book though as it gets very busy at the weekend. People tend to gather at the bar and then head outside to sit down to have lunch and watch their little people playing happily in the adventure playground. www.cheekymonkeybrewery.com.au
The town of Margaret River is relatively small, but there are plenty of places to stay in the region. Whether you're looking for a resort by the sea, boutique hotels, or somewhere to park a campervan with all the amenities, you're sure to find it here.
Family-Friendly Resorts In Margaret River:
Margaret's Beach Resort, 1 Resort Place, Gnarabub Beach, Gnarabup, Western Australia 6285, Australia, +61 8 9757 1227, http://www.margaretsbeachresort.com.au/
Smiths Beach Resort, Lot 2 Smiths Beach Road, Yallingup, Western Australia 6282, Australia, +61 8 9750 1200, http://www.smithsbeachresort.com.au/
Pullman Resort Bunker Bay, 42 Bunker Bay Road, Dunsborough, Western Australia 6281, Australia, +61 8 9756 9100, http://www.pullmanhotels.com/gb/hotel-8775-pullman-bunker-bay-resort-mar...
Aqua Resort Busselton, 605 Bussell Hwy, Broadwater, Western Australia 6280, Australia, +61 8 9750 4200, http://www.theaquaresort.com.au/
Family-Friendly Hotels In Margaret River:
Grand Mercure Basildene Manor, 187 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River, Western Australia 6285, Australia, +61 8 9757 3140, http://www.grandmercure.com/GRAND-MERCURE-BASILDENE-MANOR
Adamsons Riverside, 71 Bussell Highway, Margaret River, Western Australia 6285, Australia, +61 9757 2013, http://www.margaretriverside.com.au/adamsons-riverside-accommodation/
Vintages Margaret River, 31 Le Souef Street, Margaret River, Western Australia 6285, Australia, +61 8 9758 8333, http://www.vintagesmargaretriver.com.au/
The Sebel Busselton, 553 Bussell Highway, Busselton, Western Australia 6285, Australia, +61 8 9754 9800, http://www.thesebel.com/western-australia/the-sebel-busselton/