Arriving in Margaret River was exciting for the Watts family, as it was the very last stop on our epic migration from east coast to west. It was bittersweet in a way too, as it meant our adventure was drawing to a close. We were meeting some friends, and had a whole week to enjoy the region.
The Margaret River region is huge! It takes more than an hour to drive from Busselton at the very northern tip to Augusta at it’s southernmost tip…too vast to cover it all in one week!
Here’s my roundup of stuff to do with kids!
Gnarabup beach, Prevelly.
We spent new years day here after having breakky at the White Elephant Cafe (Yes! They were open on new years day!) This super kid friendly cafe is at the southern end of the beach, and is at the top of the staircase to get down to the sand, could not be easier. The area beneath the cafe is sheltered from strong wind and waves, and features rockpools and rocky outcrops to explore. There’s a pontoon a few metres out for bigger kids to jump off, and a boat ramp in the middle of the beach, should you have a boat.
Gracetown beach, Gracetown.
Gracetown is roughly the mid way point of the Margaret River capes region, north of the Margaret River township, west of Cowaramup and south of Yallingup. The main beach as you enter the township is located on Cowaramup Bay, a brilliant sheltered natural harbour, with a pontoon and a domed island for confident swimmers to swim out to. Easy access straight onto the beach from carpark for parents/pack horses carrying beach gear.
I was a bit nervous on the drive down from Prevelly (where we were staying) to Hamelin Bay…would there be stingrays? I had talked it up so much, I was going to be in trouble if they were no shows! It’s a 30 minute drive south, towards Augusta on Caves Road. The drive itself is quite beautiful, and at one point passes through a Karri forest that left us speechless, it was surreal, like being on Endor (for those not familiar with Star Wars, Endor is where Ewoks live!). We needn’t have worried, the rays were there; three HUGE smooth rays and a couple of eagle rays too. They are playful and curious and will swim over your feet looking for treats. They are up for pats too, and feel like giant slimy sponges. Of course, they are wild animals so exercise caution. Once you’re done with the rays, there are more rockpools to play in, and Mez and I even had a snorkel (damn it! we’d brought our snorkelling stuff from Sydney, we HAD to use them, if only once!). The car park here fills up very quickly, my advice would be to go as early as you can.
Swimming in Margaret River.
We were fortunate to have a track running from the back of the house we were staying at in Prevelly right down to the actual river that Margaret River is named for…swimming in a river is not like swimming in the ocean! A bit tricky to get in and out of, but refreshing nonetheless. Try it!
Horseriding at Jesters Flat.
Kinga wanted to go horse riding for her birthday, and so we booked the kids in for a ride at Jesters, a 25 minute drive inland from Margaret River town. Once on the ponies, the kids were welcome to stay on for as long as they liked, but there are only so many times you can go round a corral, and their enthusiasm peaked at 30 mins. Boots and helmets are provided. They also offer bush trail rides and sunset rides at Busselton, but nobody wanted to come with me. Sadface.
White Elephant Cafe
Gnarabup Road, Gnarabup
08 9757 1990
Jesters Flat Horseriding
1549 Rosa Brook Rd, Margaret River
08 9757 4562