When a proposal of wining and dining is met by whining and declining from your resident adolescent, consider this an opportunity for a different kind of Margaret River region escape.
A geography that makes for exceptional wine makes also for exceptional adventure. This is your chance to jump on the adrenaline train. Free your inner teen and reconnect with the one that barely speaks to you. Nothing opens connection like a shared experience, and no shared experience is as breathtaking as those that you can hook into between these two Capes, where forest, bush, ocean and rivers meet.
Exploring the underground at Ngilgi Cave.
Forest Adventures South West
Thrill seeking is built into the teen DNA, and there is plenty of that on offer via the high ropes courses at Forest Adventures South West in the otherwise tranquil Ludlow Tuart Forest just 10 minutes north of Busselton. These beautiful tall trees have been transformed into scalable mountains in order that harnessed thrill seekers can access some 500 metres of flying fox and zip line fun waaaay above ground. Instructors ensure it’s safe as houses, but that won’t lessen the frisson.
The inner claustrophobe might rebel just a little during the descent down into the depths of Ngilgi Cave, but the rewards are ample. Adolescent engagement is predicated on new experience, and the strange shapes, thin air and active stillness of the Ngilgi Cave offers rare access to an unusual subterranean world. With age-old significance to the region’s Aboriginal peoples and first seen by Europeans in 1899, the cave has become renowned for its stalagmite, helictite and shawl formations. Self-guided tours mean your teen can direct their own exploration, and photos are allowed to ensure capture of the all-important social media moment.
Kayaking on Augusta’s Blackwood River with Surf ‘N Dirt Adventure Tours.
All About Margaret River
Combination adventures are one of the Margaret River region’s great strengths – tours that allow a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Wine. Riding. Four-wheel driving. All About Margaret River is one such operator, with knowledge of the region that will help families eager to keep teens entertained without losing out on their own interests. Transfers can be arranged from Perth and accommodation options are presented. Walks, winery tours and personalised tours are also on the agenda. Touch base and see what can be done.
Surf N’ Dirt Tours
Did someone say dirt? Wheels and surfboards are as primal to holidaying teens as wine glasses and cheese boards are to relaxation-seeking parents. With Surf N’ Dirt Tours, both aspects are covered. The kayaking tour hits the Blackwood River in Augusta, the surf tour takes in the possibility of 4WD-access-only beaches, and the adventure tour begins with mountain biking in the iconic Boranup Forest. Choose your adrenaline fix knowing that the day segues into great food and wine, a chocolate factory visit, and boutique winery tastings. You don’t have to be an expert risk-taker. You just have to be keen.
Zip-lining through the treetops with Next Level Monkey Business.
Next Level Monkey Business
Travelling in mixed family groups where teens are rubbing shoulders with younger siblings can make joint entertainment tricky. Next Level Monkey Business is a great antidote, with its system of zip lines, ropes and climbing courses designed to span ages from primary schooler all the way to adventurous adult. Younger kids might require adult supervision, but a compulsory safety course means older children and teens can handle themselves. There’s a café for refuels and, next door, Clancy’s Fish Pub is on standby for bigger appetites.
Leeuwin Marine Charters
There’s off road, and then there’s off road – a literal escape from land in the direction of ocean-bound freedom. A day on the boat with Leeuwin Marine Charters is a chance to combine a bit of on-deck relaxation with opportunities to experience Hamelin Bay and Hamelin Island away from shore. Swim the reef or snorkel the wreck of the Katinka or Hamelin Island. It’s beach pick-up via tender. Plenty of wildlife to spot, too, from resident seals to migrating whales. One for water babies.
Preparing for a day on the trails at The Hairy Marron.
Bikes. Trails. The prospect of injury. Sounds like prime teen territory. If this is your teen ticket, then the Hairy Marron is the gateway. Paul Isles runs this bike sales and hire business from a picturesque perch on the banks of the Margaret River at the northern entrance to town. A handy spot, not just for the tree-shaded deck perfect for post-ride coffee and cake, but also for its position at the trailhead of the 10 Mile Brook dam, The Pines and Carters Road trails. Hire a bike, pump Paul for maps and info, and head out on two wheels to discover what is making the Margaret River region an increasingly important destination on the Australian mountain bike tourism map.
Your teen is going to be too young to appreciate the Man From Snowy River flashbacks these beautiful Australian Stock Horses will inspire, but they will appreciate the thrill of going bush on horseback. The working equestrian farm of Jesters Flat in Rosabrook, a little east of the Margaret River township, is ground zero for teenage horse fanatics. Meet the horses online, talk to the experienced Jesters team about your riding competence level (everyone is catered for, from beginners through to the experienced) and work out which trail is for you: sunset, forest rides or even a five-day, four-night iconic Margaret River region horse riding trek.
Beach riding in the Indian Ocean with Jesters Flat.
Summer at the beach equals free entertainment. The Margaret River region has kilometres of untouched and low-key coastline, but rarely is isolation on the teen agenda. The pontoon at Prevelly’s Gnarabup Beach, just west of the Margaret River township, is a meeting spot for local and visiting kids (and adults!) engaged by the old-school appeal of a community pontoon anchored within reach of the jetty. The White Elephant café is there for lunch break – no soggy beach rolls, here – and even the most recalcitrant adolescent is sure to fall victim to the appeal of the pontoon jump.
It won’t matter how many times you’ve seen them, the friendly Hamelin Bay stingrays are a thrill to get close to. Stand ankle deep in the waters to the left of the jetty and wait for the smooth glide and curious brush of wing against calf as these local residents come past to check out whose feet occupy their waters. Their skin is as springy and soft as their demeanour, and their eagerness to engage, puppy-like. The tails, though, are real, and these are wild animals, however domesticated they appear. Enjoy the experience. Don’t feed them. And let the stingrays dictate the closeness. The natural world is the Margaret River region’s most precious resource.
Ready to book? Talk to one of our local experts now.
Forest Adventures South WestMonday: 9:00am until 5:00pm
Wednesday - Sunday: 9:00am until 5:00pmGreat For: Rainy Day,Sunny Day
Ludlow Park Road, Busselton WA 6280, Australia
Ngilgi CaveSemi-guided tours of the show cave. Ngilgi Cave Centre open 9.00am - 5.00pm. Tours depart every half hour from 9.30am - 4.00pm daily. Extra tours during peak holiday times. Closed Christmas Day.Great For: Rainy Day,Sunny Day
76 Yallingup Caves Road, Yallingup, Western Australia, 6282, Australia
All About Margaret RiverMonday - Friday: 9:00am until 5:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am until 4:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am until 3:00pmGreat For: Child Friendly,Rainy Day,Sunny Day
12 Mann Street, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia
Surf N' Dirt Adventure ToursMonday - Sunday: 9:00am until 6:00pmGreat For: Sunny Day
100 Bussel Hwy, Margaret River, 6285
Leeuwin Marine ChartersMonday - Sunday: 6:00am until 8:00pmGreat For: Scenic Spot,Sunny Day
Hamelin Bay Road, Hamelin Bay WA 6290 Australia
Next Level Monkey BusinessThursday - Monday 10am - 4pmGreat For: Child Friendly,Sunny Day
1710 Caves Road, Dunsborough WA 6281, Australia
The Hairy MarronMonday - Sunday: 8:00am until 4:30pmGreat For: Disabled Access,Dog Friendly,Fireplace,Rainy Day,Scenic Spot,Sunny Day,WiFi
69 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River, WA
Jesters Flat Horse RidingMonday - Wednesday: 9:00am until 6:00pm
Friday - Sunday: 9:00am until 6:00pmGreat For: Children's Attraction,Sunny Day
1549 Rosa Brook Rd, Rosa Brook WA 6285, Australia
Hamelin Bay BeachOpen 24 HoursGreat For: Child Friendly,Free,Scenic Spot,Sunny Day