Margaret River Australia is one of our favourite family holiday destinations. We have visited seven times over the past ten years and so it feels almost like a second home to us. Although we head here mainly for the fabulous wineries, over the years we have checked out a lot of the Margaret River attractions too.
Yes most people come to Margaret River for the wine and visiting the Margaret River wineries is one of the most popular things to do in Western Australia. Luckily there are many family friendly-wineries to choose from, whether you pop in for a quick tasting or decide to stay for a fabulous Margaret River winery lunch.
Beyond the wineries there are many other Margaret River activities to enjoy with the family – the beaches here are some of the most stunning I have visited anywhere in the world, so make sure you factor in a few mornings at the beach. On top of this there are caves to explore, animal farms to visit, mazes to escape from and lots of yummy ice cream to enjoy.
So if you are wondering what to do in Margaret River with kids, here we give you our favourite Margaret River tourist attractions to make the most of your family vacation.
Margaret River Wineries
You can’t go to Margaret River and ignore the wineries; it’s pretty much the point of the place. Luckily having kids in tow doesn’t mean you have to skip the joys of wine tasting, as so many of the Margaret River wineries have child-friendly facilities. From kids 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 oenophiles with children.
I have to confess – we once visited 19 wineries in a week, but far from complaining, our kids rushed into each one excited to find what ‘games’ they had. Some of our favourite wineries to visit with kids include Aravina, Laurance, Swings & Roundabouts and Will’s Domain. Read Child-Friendly Wine Tasting in the Margaret River for more recommendations.
Margaret River Beaches
It’s not all about wine tasting in Margaret River – the region boasts some of the world’s most stunning beaches along its wild, rugged coastline too, and spending a morning at the beach is one of the top things to do in Margaret River. Running over 120km from Cape Naturaliste in the North to Cape Leeuwin in the South, the Western border of the Margaret River region is where the raw natural beauty of the area is at its most evident.
Long stretches of pure white sand run alongside rugged rocks and dunes, while the beautifully clear water is impossible to resist. Pack your boogie boards, snorkels and buckets and spades and head west to the coast, and you are bound to find an incredible beach to spend a few hours on. Some of our favourites include Smiths Beach, Eagle Bay and Gnarabup Beach. Read more about the best beaches in Margaret River here.
Margaret River Animal Farm
If you have city-kids like me, then they will love the opportunity to visit the petting farms and see all the animals up-close. At the Wonky Windmill Farm, kids get to feed sheep, goats, ponies, pigs, ducks, emus, kangaroos and even llamas and alpacas. Also on the agenda, is bottle-feeding milk to the little lambs and calves and cuddling a rabbit or guinea pig.
Sunflower Animal Farm offers more of the same, with the option of a Margaret River farmstay where the kids can enjoy pony and tractor rides and help collect the eggs in the morning.
Margaret River Caves
If your kids fancy themselves as adventurers, then head for the caves, one of the best things to do in Margaret River region. While most people associate the Caves Road with the many wineries dotted along it, it is actually named after the complex of more than 150 underground caves that run the length of Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge. Two of the most famous show caves – Jewel Cave and Lake Cave – can be visited via guided tour, where you descend into the depths of the Earth to marvel at the beautifully lit stalactites, stalagmites and other natural calcium sculptures.
There are a lot of steps, but we managed Lake Cave with two 4-year olds with no (okay, maybe just a little) whinging. If you prefer to wander at your leisure, then visit Mammoth Cave to stroll the boardwalks of the crystal chambers guided by an MP3 audio tour.
If you have older children (aged 10 and above) the best cave in Margaret River to take the caving experience to the next level is Moondyne Cave, where you don overalls, gloves and helmets to explore the tunnels and caverns via torchlight. Cool!
Margaret River Ice Cream
What’s a family holiday without ice cream? Luckily for the kids (and maybe Mum too), Margaret River also excels in this domain. Our favourite stop-off for Margaret River ice cream is Simmo’s, just outside Dunsborough. This ice creamery dishes up 60 flavours of seriously amazing ice cream, and also has a playground, a large shady lawn, mini golf and an ice cream-eating emu named Edward to entertain the kids.
If you find yourself with sweet cravings further south, then head to Millers Ice Cream, located on the family farm just outside Cowaramup. Millers fabulous ice cream is made using milk from their own cows, and the farm café has an excellent adventure playground for the kids too.
Margaret River Maze
A Maze’n Margaret River, is one of the most fun places to visit in Margaret River for kids. This Margaret River maze features a three-metre high giant hedge maze and a 18-hole mini golf course, in addition to five hectares of landscaped gardens with a selection of games, more mazes and playgrounds.
Yallingup Maze has a large wooden maze, in addition to bouncy castle, a large playground and a café full of puzzles and games.
The Stingrays of Hamelin Bay
Hamelin Bay offers something very special that you will rarely find at any other beach in the world – stingrays! Big, beautiful stingrays that come right into the beach and swim around your feet.
Go to the boat ramp where the fishing boats come in and you will see several sting rays and eagle rays, all hoping to score some fish scraps off the fishing boats. Get the kids to shake their fingers on the surface of the water and the rays will swim up to them in search of food. One of the most unforgettable Margaret River things to do.
Getting to Margaret River
The distance from Perth to Margaret River is around 270km. It is a pretty easy drive down the highway and it takes around 3 hours. We usually break up the journey and have lunch in Bunbury on the way down.
Looking for family accommodation in Margaret River? Click here to read our post Best Family Accommodation in Margaret River.
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