Dunsborough is one of the ultimate holiday destinations for families in Your Margaret River Region. It is naturally beautiful, pristine and laid back with so much to see and do!
You could spend your days sightseeing and visiting one of the many local attractions or you could just relax on a white sandy beach and splash in the turquoise waters of one of Dunsborough’s many spectacular beaches then visit a family friendly restaurant for a leisurely lunch.
Where to stay: Regency Beach Club
The Regency Beach Club is premier beach front accommodation, walking distance from the Dunsborough CBD. They specialise in luxury two and three story houses, ranging from one to five bedrooms.
The house we stayed in at the Regency Beach Club was beyond our wildest dreams.
It was approximately 500sqm in size and two stories high with ocean views from our bedroom balcony and outdoor entertaining area.
On the first story there was a theatre room, deluxe kitchen, bathroom, outdoor shower, outdoor entertaining with BBQ facilities and a massive living area including a dining table, huge couch, a flat screen TV, a gas fire place and separate heating/ air-conditioning.
The second story had two bathrooms, four bedrooms and enough beds to sleep ten people including a queen bed in one room and a king bed in the main bedroom. The main bedroom was enormous and featured a beautiful walk in robe, air-conditioning, TV, a balcony with views of the crystal clear waters of Geographe Bay and a luxury bathroom including a huge spa bath.
Outside of the house the Regency Beach Club also had fantastic facilities featuring a luxurious heated swimming pool, tennis courts and a new gym.
1. Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is one of my three year old’s favourite attractions of all time; he still raves about it and asks to go back! Due to the lighthouse being built on top of a hill it is naturally elevated and there only 59 steps to the top. My toddler was able to climb up to the top and back unaided (with me standing right next to him for safety) and he wanted to do it again!
The lighthouse has one of the best views in Dunsborough and is rich in local history. In the 1800’s many ships crashed against the rocks as they were making their way to the West Australian coast so the government decided to build a lighthouse.
The lighthouse was built out of limestone bricks that were cut out of Bunker Bay and carted up the hill by wagon. Three cottages were also built for the lighthouse keepers and their families which still remain today.
Three people were required to run the lighthouse every night because to keep the light aflame the keepers had to carry buckets full of kerosene all the way to the top of the lighthouse. After about four hours the keepers were prone to passing out due to fumes from the kerosene so for the safety of ships out at sea and the keepers own health, they would do a change over.
The mirrors which reflect the light were custom made by a company in England. The factory that made these mirrors later burned to the ground and no more were made. The original mirrors are still in operation at the lighthouse today and now considered to be almost priceless.
The lighthouse was completed in 1903 and is a testament to the people that built it and maintain it today because it is still in immaculate original working condition, with the exception of the kerosene lamp. That was removed for a modern, safer option but is still on display in one of the original keepers cottages.
The view from the top of the lighthouse is spectacular and well worth the trip. You can see the Indian Ocean meet Leeuwin National Park, Sugar Loaf Rock and from September to December you might even see a few migrating whales.
Near the entrance of this historic estate a kiosk has been set up in one of the original keeper’s cottages where you can purchase light refreshments with tables, chairs, games and a bouncy castle for the kids outside.
2. Clancy’s Fish Pub
Nestled in tranquil bushland, only minutes from the Dunsborough CBD, is the iconic Clancy’s Fish Pub. Clancy’s is popular hangout for locals, visitors, families and even dogs.
Despite the relaxed vibe there is always something happening at Clancy’s from live music and markets to art exhibitions and unique events like the Sou’West Vintage Fest.
There is a big grassed area downstairs with plenty of room to kick a footy or throw a frisbee and upstairs there is a cupboard full of toys for the kids to play with.
The kid’s meals come with a drink and an icy-pole which is well appreciated especially on a hot day! Clancy’s also have high chairs and baby change facilities.
While Clancy’s are known for their fresh seafood and local wines, beer and cider they also cook up fantastic land food too, with vegetarian and gluten free options available.
3. Country Life Farm
Right next door to Clancy’s you will find Country Life Farm. A lot of families like to visit the farm in the morning and then head next door for lunch. There is so much to do at Country Life Farm you will definitely work up an appetite!
On arrival each person is handed a bucket of sliced carrots and you are free to walk around the farm hand feeding animals at your leisure. There is a house for the smaller animals where you pat and feed rabbits, Guinea pigs, chickens and birds.
Next to that there are some friendly local kangaroos with a ducks and geese waddling around freely. At the front of the farm you will be very popular alpaca, llama, ponies, cows, goats, sheep and donkeys.
Once all of the carrots have been gobbled up you can jump on the giant bouncy castle, glide down the huge inflatable slide, row a boat on the pond, drive a dodgem car, ride on the merry-go-round or play with the indoor toys in the café area.
There a BBQ facilities available, many lovely spots for a picnic and an abundance of outdoor toys. Inside there is a huge indoor playground for kids and adults of all ages with a special section for little ones, tables and chairs, a TV and complimentary tea and coffee making facilities.
4. Dunsborough Tavern
If you are looking for somewhere central to have lunch or dinner that also caters for children you can’t go past the Dunsborough Tavern. It’s right at the start of the CBD surrounded by beautiful boutiques and speciality stores, across the road from a family friendly caravan park.
The Dunsborough Tavern has a big indoor playground and ride on toys for the kids with tables and chairs nearby so you can sit and enjoy your meal while watching your kids play. They also have a children’s menu, high chairs, and baby change facilities and on Monday night’s kids eat free!
5. Eagle Bay Brewing Co.
The Eagle Bay Brewing Co. is one of the most popular and iconic restaurants in Your Margaret River Region. It’s a mere three minute drive from the spectacular Eagle Bay and six minutes from Meelup Regional Park which can be seen in the distance from the breweries outside seating area.
The brewery is quintessential Dunsborough; superb, clean and naturally beautiful with a relaxed holiday-like vibe. Indoors the décor is warm, earthy and modern with sweeping views of the terrace. Outdoors there are rolling hills that kids like to tumble down, a garden, a children’s play area and lots of tables, chairs and other comfy seating to relax on and enjoy a meal.
The food is simple, fresh gourmet made with locally sourced ingredients including organic herbs and vegetables picked from the kitchen’s onsite garden.
The beer is made with fresh Dunsborough rainwater, hops, malted barley and yeast filtered and served at two degrees straight from their tanks in the brewery to your glass – you can’t get much fresher than that! Therefore no preservatives or nasty stuff needs to be added to their beers.
The Eagle Bay Brewing Co. also make their own delicious wine! It’s crafted in small batches, so they only sell it at their own restaurant and cellar door.
The restaurant is very family friendly; they have great kids meals made fresh with real ingredients, colouring packs, high chairs, baby change facilities and toys.
When I said that the brewery was popular I really meant it; be sure to book a table well ahead if you can to avoid disappointment.
6. Goanna Gallery Café
Set in stunning native bushland, only minutes from the Dunsborough CBD, the Goanna Gallery Café is a must visit destination for discerning foodies looking for simple but high quality, tasty fare.
Monthly art exhibitions are showcased on the cafes walls and sculptures are waiting to be discovered on the estates walk trails. Goanna Gallery Café is dog and child friendly with a nature playground, chalkboard, activity packs, high chairs, baby change facilities and toys.
While the location is gorgeous and the vibe is relaxed the real star of the show is the menu; real food, made with highest quality local ingredients, by Michelin Star winning experienced chefs.
At the end of the day the proof really is in the pudding, you have to try the food at Goanna Gallery Café to experience just how good it is. The hardest part for me was selecting just one dish to try, it all looked so good! I guess I will just have to come back and visit again.
7. Meelup Beach
The Meelup Regional Park is one of the most treasured jewels in Your Margaret River Regions crown. The unique north-east facing coastline is sheltered from south westerly winds which enables beautiful native bushland and grass to grow right down to the water’s edge.
At Meelup Beach you can sit on grass or at picnic tables, shaded by great trees, and still be quite close to white sands and turquoise water. Meelup has great facilities; public showers and toilets, BBQ’s and stunning walk trails. During the busy summer months the beach is patrolled by Surf Life Savers and there are food and coffee vans set up in the car park.
The crystal clear calm waters of Meelup Beach are a popular place to go swimming and Stand Up Paddle Boarding.
8. Simmo’s Ice Creamery
No visit to Dunsborough is complete without a trip to the famous Simmo’s Ice Creamery. Loved by children and adults alike, Simmo’s is a great place to indulge in some delicious award winning ice cream.
Simmo’s came from humble beginnings, opening in Dunsborough in 1993, churning out an ancient Irish recipe using a small ice cream machine. They now have over sixty different flavours that can be found in outlets all over Western Australia, too many awards to mention and were recently voted one of the best fifteen ice creameries in the world by USA today.
Ice cream in hand you can sit at one of the many shady grassed picnic benches or visit Edward the ice cream eating Emu. There is a big playground and an undercover area with ride on toys for the kids and mini golf for the kids at heart.
Simmo’s has BBQ and picnic facilities and is a popular place to host birthday parties and other events. They can even make you a beautiful ice cream cake for your special day.
At the back of Simmo’s there is a big grassed area where all sorts of attractions are set up during school holidays or busy weekends; everything from helicopter and camel rides to obstacle courses and food stalls.
9. Xscape at the Cape Fun Park
Xscape at the Cape Fun Park is one of my kids’ favourite places to visit, they just love it!
My eldest son’s favourite attraction is the Get Wet H20 Waterplay featuring The Cliff – the tallest water slide in the South West.
Once he gets on there the only way I can entice him to leave is with the promise of lunch from the café or a delicious fresh Millers Ice cream from the ice cream bar.
My toddler is a big fan of the train rides and the fenced tot’s play area near the café.
There is so much to do at Xscape at the Cape for kids of all ages including mini golf, a maze, trampolines, climbing towers, a bouncy castle and an undercover adventure playground.
Even though Xscape at the Cape is a relatively new fun park when the built it they kept some of the established trees so it’s well shaded with lots of green grass, picnic benches and tables. They also have family friendly facilities with a kids menu, high chairs, a baby change table and a family room.