Every school holidays, a great nomadic pilgrimage takes place as countless families from the big smoke descent Down South. Obviously the biggest drawcard of the South West is the magnificent coast and forest – but while you’re not at the beach, we’ve rounded up some family-friendly activities to keep the kids busy:
Probably the most iconic thing in Busselton, this 154-year-old jetty stretches out an impressive 1,941 metres has become an institution in this southwest town. You can walk the length of the jetty or catch a solar-powered train, then check out the whale murals and brush up on history in the museum. If that’s not enough, you can go to the Underwater Observatory: 8-metres below the ocean’s surface you can view all the coral, fish and invertebrates in their natural habitat. We’re very pumped for the brand new, very schmick Underwater Discovery Centre to open at the end of 2022, but in the meantime you can still visit the existing Underwater Observatory. Read our full guide here.
If your kids just need to get up close and personal with creepy crawlies, Discover Deadly is the destination for you. In spite of their name, these guys are on a mission to educate about some maligned creatures – like snakes, lizards, amphibians and arachnids. School holidays feature a jam-packed program, with themed activities and learning opportunities every day of the week.
10 Wildwood Road, Carbunup
Unleash your kids on some unsuspecting targets at Primal Archery. With a minimum age of 6, the centre has a series of 5, 10 and 15 target courses where you can test out your Hawkeye skills – as well as a mini golf course that is suitable for little-r little ones.
11 Cookworthy Road, Busselton
Next Level Monkey Business
Next Level Monkey Business is fun for the whole family, as you challenge yourself to leap, fly and adventure through their ziplining and ropes course. With something suitable for every age, they’ve even got mini zip lines for ages 7 and up, and a bouldering wall suitable for ages 4 and up. Grown-ups can get in on the fun with the mega zip course… It’s also right next door to Clancy’s Fish Pub – so you can pop there for dinner or lunch after working up an appetite!
1710 Caves Road, Dunsborough
Country Life Farm
If your kids aren’t entertained by Country Life Farm, jeez – we don’t know what to tell you. Operating since 1989, the farm portion has oodles of animals for kids to make friends with, from rabbits and guinea pigs up to kangaroos, llamas, alpacas, donkeys, ponies, cows and even Stan the Highland Steer. Your entry also gets you unlimited time in the huge indoor playground, unlimited time on the bouncy castle, and unlimited merry-go-round rides – phew! They’ve also got dodgem bumper cars, paddleboat rides, outdoor play equipment, a 12D cinema and (thankfully) free tea and coffee for parents. There’s no café on site, but you can bring a picnic and take advantage of the free barbecue facilities.
1694 Caves Road, Dunsborough
Perhaps you’re a family of adrenaline junkies? Head on an ocean adventure with Jet Adventures, where you can choose from a variety of tours on offer – from whale watching or an Indian Ocean safari, all the way to adrenaline-filled thrill rides on The Exhilarator; a custom-built and designed jet boat capable of some hair-raising manoeuvres! Rides depart most days from Dunsborough, as well as Busselton most days during summer.
Photo by @dylan.dehaas
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
Just 15 minutes from Dunsborough, the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is perched on the spectacular Geographe Bay coastline. As well as being surrounded by stunningly picturesque walking trails, you can also give the kids an inside look with a guided tour. With only 59 steps, even little ones can reach its summit!
Photo by @roxannetaylormedia
1267 Cape Naturaliste Road, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park
Movies In The Garden at Caves House
Every summer, Caves House Hotel‘s magical garden comes alive with the magic of the movies. Films range from grown-up dramas to kid-friendly adventures, and start each night at 8pm. You can set up from 6pm with your picnic rug – bring your own dinner or just try to resist the pizzas on offer.
Caves House, 18 Yallingup Beach Road, Yallingup
If you have a mini palaeontologist on your hands, why not make your trip a tour through all the spectacular caves the South West has to offer? Yallingup’s Ngilgi Cave is a breathtaking example, and isn’t too onerous to explore via the extensive network of boardwalks. And hey, if you love this one – we’ve got a few more below that we think you’ll be interested in…
Perfect for photo ops, Wow Illusions will have everyone scratching their heads! With over eight puzzling attractions, kids can explore gravity-defying rooms, galleries of illusionary artworks, mirror mazes and Alice In Wonderland-inspired experiences where you’ll shrink and grow in the blink of an eye. As well as this, they have a puzzle maze that only the craftiest, cleverest kids will be able to get through!
219 Harmans Mill Road, Metricup
Giants, Mammoth, Calgardup & Lake Caves
Within the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park are a series of mystical caves, ripe for exploring! The Giant Cave is the deepest, and not suitable for any kids under 6 – but for any brave adventurers, it’s well worth the challenge. The Mammoth Cave has been the excavation site of over 10,000 fossils including some pretty insane megafauna: it’s a real treat for any budding palaeontologists, and is one of the less daunting caves for any claustrophobes. The Lake Cave has a stunning entrance at the bottom of a sink hole, which has been overgrown with lush vegetation and majestic trees. Calgardup Cave is a 300m long cave filled with colourful crystals, stalactites and stalagmites, and another one that isn’t too difficult to traverse. Make sure to book your visit in advance!
The giant, over 25 year old hedge maze is more than enough reason to visit A Maze’n – set amongst the picturesque grounds, there are 5 hectares of stunning gardens, outdoor games, and even more mazes and puzzles. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also an 18 hole mini golf course! Stay for the whole day with a picnic at their barbecue facilities, or hit up the on-site café for snacks.
9978 Bussell Highway, Margaret River
Header image: Jet Adventures