Margaret River with kids
We’d heard a lot about an area called Margaret river and were intrigued to find out more. It’s an area around 3 ½ hours south of Perth near the coast. We were very keen to explore Margaret River with kids.
Most of the initial information came from the guys who raved about the epic mountain bike rides down there. But, the more we investigated, the more we loved what we saw.
There are lots of small towns, wineries, coves and stingrays that come into the shore. I was sold!!! So we organised a 2 day 1 night trip to Busselton in order to explore the area.
Where we stayed
This is not a cheap area! I spent a little time trying to find a budget room for the night. In the end we booked a place called Busselton motel. It ticked all the boxes – there were a few eateries and a jetty nearby.
The cost was A$88 for the night and it was a lovely room with a bathroom, fridge, crockery & coffee making facilities.
Places to go in Margaret River
We decided to leave Perth early in order to get as much out of our 2 days as possible. We planned to visit a few areas along the coast and our first stop was Hamelin bay.
This is a beautiful stretch of coastline & was the areas known for Stingrays to come into the shore. We’d read that the best time to arrive was before 10am.
It was fairly quiet when we arrived, but there were lots of fisherman on the shoreline. It turns out we are in Australian salmon season and they were hauling in a big batch.
We were eager to see stingrays so we wandered along the beach towards the jetty, which is where they are usually sighted. However, as we were walking along I saw one in the surf. It was huge. But unfortunately the waves were making the water murky and it was difficult to see.
When we reached the jetty there were a few people but no stingrays. There is no guarantee that they will arrive. We wandered further along the beach in the hope that we might see a dark shadow in the water, bit the most we saw was a few dolphins. Now usually, if be jumping up and down but we’d seen loads recently!! Ha ha.
We wandered back to the jetty and an Asian lady arrived with a fish bag full of squid. She was dancing them in the water and trying to encourage the stingray to come into shore. As I mentioned the waves were a little strong and when the stingrays did finally arrive they startled this lady and she fell over.
Oh my goodness!! Now, the first rule we read was not to stumble and stand on or fall on them as they have venom in their tail and will attack! She was very lucky. We went in a little cautiously after that! And they can’t do close. Keith managed to touch one. Ethan was close and Jasper ran away at every wave!
We spent ages at Hamelin bay & by now it was nearly lunchtime. We stopped to eat a picnic before heading onto the tourist route ‘caves road’. As if the road to Margaret River through the national forests and wineries wasn’t enough!
It was a lovely, but sometimes narrow road, with access to caves and beaches all along the route. We had a quick photo stop when we drove through Boranup forest. It was very pretty and almost magical.
We didn’t really have a plan on where to stop next so we looked at the map and decided to take a look at Yallingup. We pulled into a car park just shy of the town and see a fabulous rolling surf and rugged coastline ahead. Perfect place for a stop. We parked up and going a lovely little cafe to get a much needed coffee boost.
We then wandered down to the beach and let the boys have a play in waves. The waves were a little wild but there were pockets of calmer waters where you could we wade in.
We had hoped to pop into Dunsborough but time we pressing on and we need to get checked into our accommodation and search out dinner for the boys.
If you find yourself in the area, it was recommended for us to stop at a popular place called, Clancy’s fish bar.
This is one of the larger towns in the area and a hub for surfer dudes!
We soon arrived in Busselton and after dropping our bags we headed straight out to the esplanade as recommended by the hotel manager. Wow! I certainly wasn’t expecting to find a gorgeous promenade area, with a massive play area, eateries and of course the famous jetty.
We arrived in time for sunset. Keith disappeared off to take photos, the kids went to the park and I watched the people milling around. It was a lovely family friendly area. We stayed until the sun set and then wandered for some food. It was a great day out!
We decided to take the advice of the hotel manager and went to the Esplanade hotel. It was very busy and served a good selection of pub meals. All washed down with a cheeky wine.
Next morning we packed up and headed back to the jetty with the aim to walk the 1.8miles to the end. There’s a train you can catch and an underwater observatory of you feel like it. But we stuck with the walk instead. It cost A$4 for adults and free for kids.
We had a lovely stroll, watching fisherman, kayakers, kids jumping off the pier & snorkellers. It was quite the hub of activity.
When returned the boys begged us to let them play on the shipwreck park again. So we decided to stop for a takeaway lunch too.
After spending so long at Busselton, we only had a few hours left so we decided to head back to cave road and see a point we missed yesterday, canal rocks. The pictures intrigued me. There were plenty of rocks and the boys went off exploring as soon as we arrived.
I was mesmerized by the waves crashing against the rocks and the surge it was creating. We clambered around the rocks watching the waves as taking pictures. Then we crossed the bridge where the canal is created. The water rises and falls here, making a fast current.
There was a man with 2 young boys jumping into the water and using it like a water ride. They seemed to have to get their timing right. It looked like a ‘don’t tell your mum’ activity!
After a short stop it was time to head back to Perth.
We definitely squeezed in as much as we could. However, we only scratched the surface and there is so much more to see and do in the area.