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23 ways to spend the school holidays in the South West

23 ways to spend the school holidays in the South West

June 4, 2024
Your guide to school holiday activities the kids will love, right here in the South West.

School holidays – you love em’, then you hate em’. Ditch the hate and opt for some quality family time with the kids, here in Australia’s South West.

The South West is a paradise for children’s imagination, curiosity and love of exploring to be run wild. It’s the perfect place for family friendly holidays and with so much to see and do, you’ll never want the break to end. Here are some ideas to get you started:

#1

Play with cute farm animals

3 women and a baby feed a kangaroo at the Bunbury Wildlife Park
Bunbury Wildlife Park

Stay at a farmstay or visit a working farm, where you can feed the friendly farm animals, learn how to milk a cow and collect freshly laid eggs.

#2

Meet a friend at Gnomesville in the Ferguson Valley

A village of gnomes around a staircase in the middle of Gnomesvilla
Gnomesville, Dardanup

Though gnome-one knows how this mysterious growing collection of gnomes began, this must-see in Dardanup is home to over 3000 gnomes from around the world! Take your own gnome to add to the Gnomesville collection to leave you or your kids mark.

#3

Swing like a monkey

Visit Donnybrook Apple Fun Park – the biggest free fun park in the Southern Hemisphere. Middleton Beach, Albany has picnic and barbecue facilities as well as great playground. Also look out for the kid friendly wineries and breweries that have playgrounds while the parents do a wine tasting or enjoy a pint. 

#4

Pick fruit straight from the orchard

A woman picking oranges in the middle of an orchard
Fruit picking in Harvey

In Harvey, you can pick oranges, try the delicious orange juice or climb up the ‘Big Orange’ to look over the vibrant orchards with a dollar coin donation. Donnybrook produces delicious apples and stone fruit which can be picked from the orchards and Manjimup has all manner of fruit you can pick, including ruby red cherries.

#5

Try your skills at the Collie Skate Park

Pack your scooter, skateboard or bike; there’s something to challenge all ages and abilities. The adjacent Soldiers Park at Collie has a great playground, fitness equipment and barbecue facilities for some entertainment all grouped together.

#6

Discover amazing caves

People walking in a cave
Jewel Cave, Augusta

Take a tour and discover an underground labyrinth of unique limestone and crystal formations, small lakes and fossilised remains of ancient creatures. We suggest Ngilgi, Mammoth, Lake, Jewel and Calgardup caves.

#7

Sweet Treats

A kid’s holiday is not complete without chocolate, fudge, toffee and ice-cream tastings. The region is famous for its range of tasty local produce, which is not just for grownups! 

#8

Get lost in a maze

A hedge maze
Amaze’n, Margaret River

Spend hours with your friends and family in one of the fun mazes – it may take you a while to find your way out! Find mazes in Yallingup and Margaret River.

#9

Take a train ride along the famous 1.8 kilometre Busselton Jetty

Inside an underwater observatory
Underwater Observatory, Busselton Jetty

Busselton Jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere and home to one of six Underwater Observatories in the world to watch the thriving, vibrant aquatic life living amongst the jetty. See coral cling to the timbers, and locals fishing up a storm along the entire jetty.

#10

Go fishing

Cast out a line at one of the many fishing spots. Try your luck at Busselton Jetty, Augusta, Walpole Inlet and Middleton Beach in Albany. Or get a guaranteed catch at one of the many fishing farms found within the region. 

#11

Be wild at a wildlife park

With over 60 varieties of Australian native birds and marsupials, the Bunbury Wildlife Park will get you that cuddly animal encounter you want, and can see and learn all about animals like dingoes, farm animals, reptiles, exotic birds and more. Discovery Bay in Albany is also home to several native Australian species, and also tells the fascinating history of WA’s whaling at the Historic Whaling Station, with stunning skeletons and a whaling ship to visualise your learning.

#12

A bridge amongst a tree canopy
Valley of The Giants, Walpole

Climb into the treetops at Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk near Walpole, the world’s longest tree top walk!

At the Tree Top Walk you can walk through the 40-metre-high canopy of the unique tingle forest. There are also two giant climbing trees in the Southern Forests - the Gloucester and the Bicentennial Tree that stands at 75 metres high! 

#13

Hang on tight and walk along the swing bridge at Beedelup National Park

You’ll see the amazing Beedelup Falls gushing below, where water flows over steep granite rocks. You can park close by, to take the circular walk trail around Lake Beedelup.

#14

Learn about Indigenous culture

People around a fireplace laughing
Koomal Dreaming, Dunsborough

Head to Kodja Place in Kojonup and learn the history at the Story Place. Discover local Aboriginal art, guided tours, didgeridoo and dance at the Wardan Aboriginal Cultural Centre near Yallingup. Take a guided tour with Koomal Dreaming in Dunsborough and learn about the art and culture of the Noongar people.

#15

Hold onto to your hat

Climb to the top of the lighthouses at Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste. It’s a blood-pumping climb to the top, but the views are worth it especially between June and July when whales are swimming past- Blue whales. Southern Right whales, and Humpback whales are what you’ll spot, especially in the colder months.

#16

Head into the Understory

A fake quokka infront a tree
Understory Art and Nature Trail, Northcliffe

Understory Art and Nature Trail is a series of artwork located in the forest undergrowth. A children’s trail offers self-guide walk information on headset and activity sheets, so the kiddies and you can take the walk at your own pace, learning about the region’s heritage and artworks displayed amongst the trees.

#17

Kick it by the coast

Spend an afternoon swimming, snorkelling and building sandcastles at one of the many sandy, calm beaches in the region. Try Jetty Baths in  Bunbury,  Busselton  Beachfront, Meelup Beach near Dunsborough, Hamelin Bay near  Augusta, Greens Pool near  Denmark, Little Beach near  Albany  or Peaceful Bay. 

#18

Surf’s up! 

A distant wave on a beach
Margaret River

For something a little more challenging try surfing at one of the region’s many surf schools, with one-time classes available- And a have a competition at the end to who can cruise a wave the longest.

#19

Search for sea creatures in the rock pools and shallows near the shore

Scramble over the rocks on a treasure hunt. Who can be the first to spot a crab?  Watch the rock pool life swim about, with native species clinging to the variety of pools- Anemones, starfish, crustaceans- Just remember, look don’t touch!

#20

Canoe or kayak

Hire a canoe and paddle along the Blackwood River between Bridgetown and Augusta, the Collie River at Honeymoon Pool, Geographe Bay or the Kalgan River, Albany where the beautiful forests surround you, just be careful that a wild Marron doesn’t nip at your toes!

#21

Meet the friendly dolphins

People swimming infront of a tour boat
Dolphin Discovery tour, Bunbury

Visit the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury where you can learn all about dolphins in the interpretive centre, meet the dolphins when they come in close to shore and go on a dolphin cruise.  Come inside to see the aquarium, with rescued sea turtles to learn about, and stunning tanks of fish, small sharks, octopi and more!

#22

Spot an enormous whale

You can watch whales all along the coast from Bremer Bay right up to Bunbury. The best time of the year to see them is from mid-May through to early December. Get up close and personal, take a whale watching tour on a boat departing from Albany, Augusta, Dunsborough or Busselton.

#23

Visit The Gap and Natural Bridge, Albany

A viewing deck overhanging a rock
The Gap, Albany

Hold on tight at The Gap as you look over a 24-metre drop where the ocean rushes into a large cavern and a rock formation that looks like a bridge- All engineered and designed to give you a safe and secure thrill overhang to the rapid waters between the cavern.

Start planning your South West Holiday with the help of our free interactive Holiday Planner!

About the Author

Lily Yeang

Lily Yeang is a South West creative who lives by the sea in beautiful Busselton.

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Welcome to Australia’s South West!

Here you can easily enjoy natural beaches beautiful vineyards, forests, caves and more, all in a single day. More than 23,000km make up the south west corner of Western Australia, with 1000 of those kilometres consisting of awe-inspiring coastline just waiting to be explored.

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