Most people associate the Margaret River region of Western Australia with wine. After all, over 20% of Australia’s premium wine comes out of the 200+ wineries here. But there is far more to the Margaret River than just wine. We have already covered all the fun things to do in Margaret River with kids in our article Margaret River with Kids, but today we are going to concentrate on the beaches. Because the Margaret River region really does have some of the most fabulous beaches you will find anywhere in the world. Really.
Here we round up what we think are the best beaches in the Margaret River.
Smiths Beach is one of our all-time favourite beaches anywhere in the world, and is definitely one of the best beaches in Margaret River. The wild ruggedness of the dunes that line the sand give a natural beauty to the beach, which is so long and wide that you can’t imagine it ever feeling that crowded, no matter how many people were to turn up. Last time we were there, we even spotted a pod of dolphins off the shore – amazing! The beach is popular with surfers, and older kids will enjoy boogie boarding here, but the Southern end of the beach is calmer and is also shallow enough to take your smaller kids in for a paddle or swim too.
The luxurious Smiths Beach Resort is just across the road, if you want to stay close to the beach, which also has a deli for stocking up on picnic supplies. The beach has a small car park (we have never had a problem parking), which has an outdoor shower for cleaning off the sand before you jump back in your car.
Another ruggedly beautiful beach in Margaret River is Bunker 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.
The Pullman Bunker Bay Resort, which offers bungalow-style accommodation prefect for families, is located a short walk from the beach. Bunkers Beach Café is also set just back from the beach and is a great spot for breakfast or lunch pre- or post-beach, and there is a large car park here.
Just be sure to avoid Bunker Bay in November/December time, as the flies here are terrible. Usually by mid-January things are back to normal again, but they will certainly drive you crazy if you come during fly season!
Eagle Bay is another one of the best beaches in Margaret River, 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.
The nearby Eagle Bay Brewery is a good choice for a relaxed post-beach lunch, offering wood-fired pizzas and gastro-pub classics, homebrew craft beer and a children’s playground. Wine lovers should check out Wise Wine on the main road down to Eagle Bay which has a fabulous restaurant with outdoor verandah looking out over the bay.
Yallingup Beach is not the most picturesque beach in Margaret River – although don’t get me wrong; it is still beautiful. But it is a great option for families. It is close to Dunsborough and Yallingup, so one of the easiest beaches to get to. It is popular with surfers, but has a large shallow area perfect for the little ones, it has a large carpark, a shop selling ice cream and best of all – a great kids playground and grassy area right next to the beach.
Close to Margaret River town, Gnarabup Beach is a popular beach with families, as the reef here keeps the water calm. But the highlight for many here is the White Elephant Café, a casual beach café serving fresh juices, good coffee and great breakfasts (lunches too), with fabulous views over the beach.
Gnarabup Beach is a good option to call into if you are visiting the show caves in the area – Lake Cave and Mammoth Cave are just a short drive away. It is also close by to three of Margaret River’s most famous wineries – Leeuwin Estate, Voyager Estate and Cape Mentelle.
Further South, almost at Augusta, you will find Hamelin Bay, another of the best beaches in Margaret River. It is a bit of a trek if you are staying in the Dunsborough or Yallingup areas, but could easily be tagged on to a visit to the show caves – particularly if you are visiting Jewel Cave or Moondyne Cave.
It might take a while to get here, but it will be worth it. Not only is it a stunningly beautiful beach with soft white sand and crystal clear water – but Hamelin Bay offers something very special that you will rarely find at any other beach in the world – stingrays! Big, beautiful sting rays that come right into the beach and swim around your feet! The kids will LOVE it!
For more child-friendly activity ideas in the Margaret River, see our guide to Margaret River with Kids. Also check out our pick of the Best Accommodation in Margaret River and the best child-friendly wineries in the Margaret River.
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