The South West Edge is one of the most varied and beautiful road trips in Australia and that means there’s something for everyone – including the little ones! Here are some of our favourite things to do along The Edge with children.
West Australia’s island paradise, Rottnest Island is a haven for the whole family. With 63 secluded beaches and 20 bays to explore, you can always find a quiet spot to enjoy with the kids. Swim, snorkel, build sandcastles and then hop on your bikes to find the happiest animal on earth, the Quokka! The island is free from private cars, so you can relax knowing your family is safe walking and cycling around the island. What’s more, if you sign up to the Rottnest Express Quokka Club, kids under 12 travel for free to Rotto! Until 30 September this year, the island is also in celebration mode to mark the arrival of the baby Quokkas! The month-long Quokka Birthday celebrations include special accommodation and travel deals, parties, games wildlife walks and more!
Fremantle is known for its laid-back vibe, wide open spaces and a huge array of activities for the whole family. Kids of all ages will love the Esplanade Park with its playground, huge grassy areas and the skate park. Treat them to a ride on the giant Fremantle Ferris Wheel or grab fish and chips for lunch followed by gelato at the Fishing Boat Harbour. During the Spring school holidays there’s heaps going on for kids including “Might of the Superheroes” where your children’s favourite characters like Spiderman, Batman, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Ironman and more will be visiting Fishing Boat Harbour! Giant Transformers characters will also be towering over the harbour for a perfect photo opportunity.
Gnomesville, Ferguson Valley
What could be more fun than discovering an entire community of gnomes deep in the forest? Gnomesville in the beautiful Ferguson Valley is the magical home of over 3000 Gnomes who have migrated from all over Australia and overseas! Your kids will love this quirky and magical experience as they wander through villages and glades full of playful, naughty and sentimental Gnomes climbing logs, hanging out in trees, playing cricket, even flying planes!
Dolphin Discovery Centre, Bunbury
When it comes to wildlife interactions, everyone from age 1 to 100 will love meeting the wild dolphins at the Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre. The Dolphin Discovery Centre has recently undergone a $12 million upgrade, including a brand new interpretative centre showcasing a huge array of fish and coral aquariums, plus a 360-degree Digital Dolphinarium. You can view the wild dolphins from the bay or join an immersive experience like feeding the dolphins or hopping in the water at Koombana Bay to swim with these incredible creatures.
Busselton is a gorgeous place to explore with little ones. The calm, protected waters of the bay are perfect for younger children to paddle and splash around and the newly refurbished foreshore is packed with a skate park, playground and heaps of picnic spots. Busselton is probably best known for its 1.8-kilometre-long, wooden-piled jetty which has survived a cyclone, storm and fire to retain its status as the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere. Children will love a ride on the Busselton Jetty train, which takes you out to the Underwater Observatory at the end. This is the perfect place for those who don’t want to don their mask and flippers to see the colourful corals and abundant fish life that thrives under the sea.
Dunsborough is a popular holiday spot for families thanks to its quiet sandy coves, surrounding national parks, great shopping precinct and plethora of wineries and breweries. If you want to get active with the kids, try Next Level Monkey Business, a rope activity course in the trees for children aged 4 and up. Tackle the various obstacle courses, whiz along the ziplines and test your bravery with the giant mega zip! Afterwards, head up to Clancy’s Fish Pub for lunch. The kid’s menu is always a hit with hungry tummies, and they have lots of open space for them to run around whilst you enjoy a locally brewed craft beer. There are lots of child friendly breweries in this part of the South West, so you can enjoy sampling some locally made craft beer or world-class wine whilst the kids are entertained.