Kid surfing at Smiths Beach. Credit Rachel Claire

Dunsborough is a favourite holiday destination for more reasons than you can count.

For those of you that have been returning for the annual family trip since you were knee high to a grasshopper: yes, it has changed. But only ever so slightly. There are now a few more dining options, plenty of kid friendly spaces and some super trendy boutiques.

At the heart of it though, Dunsborough is still a chilled out beach town, and with the surf breaks and escape of Yallingup and Cape Naturaliste just down the road, it’s the spot for an ultimate family beach getaway.

No matter what season you are visiting, the below tips will keep grown-ups and kids busy, well fed and with a comfy bed once the day’s adventures come to an end.

Kids jumping into the pool at Pullman Bunker Bay
Enjoy a family-friendly pool menu and complimentary pool toys at Pullman. Photo: Pullman Bunker Bay Resort

Where To Stay

Kerriley Park Farmstay

You can’t go wrong with a farm stay for the kids. It’s win-win: right out the door waits hours of free and furry entertainment, and it’s also a peaceful countryside abode to chill out while the kids are kept busy. Kerriley Park Farmstay is nestled amongst the bushland just outside of the Dunsborough town centre and the little ones will be thrilled with animals to feed, plus a playground and pool. It’s pretty much heaven no matter which of the four chalets you choose.

Siesta Park Holiday Resort

You’ll be scoring brownie points big time when you tell the kids that their home away from home comes complete with its own flying fox. Siesta Park Holiday Resort is right on the beach in Dunsborough, with plenty of shady lawns for the kids to play on if they don’t fancy the white sandy shore just a few steps away. You’ve got so much here you almost don’t need to leave. There’s an adventure playground, private fishing jetty, basketball and tennis courts and a playing area for younger children, along with plenty of BBQs scattered around the grounds. Pack the bikes, as the bike path runs along the beachfront right into town.

Pullman Bunker Bay Resort

Settle into a comfortable 2 or 3-bedroom villa at Pullman Bunker Bay Resort, by the shimmering waters of Geographe Bay. Spend the day building sandcastles just a short stroll from your accommodation or relax poolside – there’s a family-friendly pool menu and pool toys are provided. Located near Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, Eagle Bay Brewery and Dunsborough town, it’s a great base to explore renowned beaches, breweries, wineries and other attractions. Look out for Kids Club activities during school holidays too.

Meelup Farmhouse
Meelup Farmhouse, a place to gather with family and friends

Where To Eat

Meelup Farmhouse

A hobby farm-cum-restaurant, Meelup Farmhouse is one of the region’s most Instagrammable dining spots. Kids can explore the sprawling open grounds, meet resident Highland Cow, Lizzie, or the free-range chooks . This place is for summertime grazing under gums and house-made picnics on the lawn, or cosy rugged-up lunches in winter, all within a short distance of the iconic blue water of Meelup Beach.

Caves House Hotel

Pop down to the elegant Caves House in Yallingup for a coffee and slice of cake (or go the whole hog with high tea), while the kids enjoy exploring the undulating gardens. Filled with plenty of nooks and crannies, they will be occupied if you decide to spend a little longer here and your coffee date turns into wine o’clock. Rainy day? No worries, there’s a kids play box, colouring-in packs and fireplaces to curl up by on the couch.

Goanna Bush Café

Whether you need coffee or something a little more substantial, Goanna Bush Café is an awesome kid-friendly coffee spot. Let the littles ones run amuck in the bush playground while you caffeinate, and if they need to fill back up after all that energy is used, then a plate of Indo Rice goes down a treat.

Clancy’s Fish Pub

Clancy’s Fish Pub has been a favourite for years with both kids and adults. The fresh pub grub style menu includes classics such as fish and chips and their epic chicken parmi. There is plenty of fresh seafood on offer alongside a drinks menu filled with local wines and craft beers and ciders. Kids will be happy with oodles of green lawn to kick the footy on, or they can take their pick from the box of games inside for rainy days. There is often live music here too, so you might even get them up for a boogie!

Swings and Roundabouts Cellar Door
Family-friendly winery, Swings & Roundabouts, in Yallingup.

Things To Do

Family-Friendly Wineries

Dunsborough has several great wineries nearby that cater to families. Top of the list is Happs Wines. Situated on an expansive hillside with uninterrupted views of the bush, Happs offers something for the whole family in a picturesque and casual environment. The tasting area overlooks a grassed amphitheatre where children enjoy playing.  Guests can grab a hamper and unwind while enjoying a picnic, explore the bush or wander through the gallery.

Swings & Roundabouts has an incredible kids playground and is super relaxed for wine tasting or a casual lunch. Aravina Estate also has a great European-designed playground, situated just at arm’s length so you can keep an eye on the kids while you enjoy a decadent lunch.

Want more family-friendly wineries? Check out this self-drive tour of the region’s best.

Simmos Ice Creamery

It’s not a trip to Dunsborough without a quick detour to Simmos Ice Creamery. The biggest decision is which flavour to pick – there are 60 to choose from. Once the sugar has kicked in, kids can burn it off with plenty of grassed parkland, 18-hole mini golf and an adventure playground right outside.

Simmos Ice Creamery Dunsborough
It's not a trip to Dunsborough without a visit to Simmos Ice Creamery.

Commonage Coffee Co & Yallingup Chocolate

When you need that coffee and choc top up, Commonage Coffee Co. & Yallingup Chocolate are conveniently located on the same site! The best part is, they’re both family friendly and dog friendly venues offering lots of space to roam and locally made products. Relax with a coffee, a bite to eat and a basket full of chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth – they’re great little gifts for a loved one at home too.

Cape Cultural Tours

Everyone in the family will come away from a tour with Koomal Dreaming with a smile on their face and a brain full of facts, thanks to Wadandi Custodian, Josh Whiteland. He’ll introduce you to the world’s oldest living culture and you’ll be able to take your pick from a number of different tours. Take a guided bushwalk and learn about the medicinal qualities of the native flora, experience the magic of Ngilgi Cave, and be transfixed by a live digeridoo performance by Josh. Tours vary during the year, so check the website for current offerings.

Next Level Monkey Business

If you have a fear of heights, now is not the time to tell the kids. Next Level Monkey Business is a high ropes course filled with ziplines, climbing courses and sky-high challenges. If you’d prefer to leave the kids to it, you can set them on their way and reward yourself with a refreshing drink afterwards at Clancy’s next door.

Country Life Farm

If high ropes aren’t for you and the kids, then pop next door and you can spend the afternoon cuddling farm animals instead.  Country Life Farm is home to a menagerie of furry friends: rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, sheep, llama, alpacas, donkeys, ponies, Clydesdales and even the odd cow. There’s also a bouncy castle, merry-go-round, boat ride and giant slide once the animals have been loved enough.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
Spend a few hours exploring the region’s maritime history at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. Photo: Elements Margaret River

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

The mystery of a lighthouse doesn’t wear thin, no matter how old you get. Just a short drive from Dunsborough, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is beautifully restored and after a short climb you’ll be rewarded with one of the most striking views of the coast you can find. Spend a few hours exploring the region’s maritime history, and learning about life at the lighthouse via the restored cottages.

Ngilgi Cave

Did you know that over 100 limestone caves lie beneath the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge? That’s why it’s called Caves Road! Ngilgi Cave in Yallingup has a scenic pathway through native bushland connects a series of interactive installations along the Ancient Lands Experience, bringing you to the entrance of the stunningly decorated Ngilgi Cave which you can explore at your own pace. The cave itself has the famous Tunnel of Doom, which kids can crawl through over and over again.

Paddleboarding Meelup Beach Dunsborough
Spend the day at Meelup Beach. Image: Scott Slawinksi

Swimming Spots

There really is no better way to spend a summer’s day in Dunsborough than at the beach with the family. There are so many incredible beaches nearby to choose from. Stay away from the waves unless you have little surf champs in the making and instead hit Meelup Beach or Castle Rock for smooth as glass, sheltered coves. Dunsborough foreshore is right in the town centre and also lovely for a dip or a paddle, or hire a stand up paddleboard. You can pick up a coffee at the old boat ramp, or throw a snagger on the BBQ for lunch. Pack an esky, throw your swimmers in the bag and get out to enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures: a day at the beach.

Groms keen to shred some waves? Yallingup Surf School offer surfboard and wetsuit hire plus lessons for all ages, with the spot determined by weather conditions on the day.

Whale Spotting

Did you know that over 35,000 whales migrate right in front of Dunsborough between September and December? A day spent whale watching is one that’ll become a lifelong memory. Experience these gentle giants from the shore. The Cape to Cape track has some great spots to look out from, or you can gaze out over the Indian ocean from Sugarloaf Rock or Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. To get up close though, you’ll want to jump on a boat and get out to the deep. Naturaliste Charters have been running whale watching tours for over 20 years, so you’ll be in safe hands when you head out with them.


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