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.
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 beach front right into town.
Dunsborough Rail Carriages & Farm Cottages
Just minutes from the centre of Dunsborough, there is certainly plenty of space for the kids to let their hair down on the 100-acres of farm and bushland at Dunsborough Rail Carriages & Farm Cottages. Kids will delight in telling their friends they spent the holidays sleeping in a rail carriage, or if you prefer to treat the adults in the party to a spa, then you can choose the deluxe cottage. Collect eggs, feed the alpacas and have brekky on the veranda. You’ll never want to leave.
Meelup Farmhouse, a place to gather with family and friends
Where To Eat
A hobby farm-cum-restaurant, Meelup Farmhouse is one of the region’s newest and 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.
Finger food is always a family friendly option and Peko Peko is up there with the best in Dunsborough. Pop in for a casual lunch or grab a few takeaway sushi and rice paper rolls for the beach. Need a bite in the evening? A made-to-order noodle and rice menu is on offer from 5pm, and casual seating means no reservations required for a fresh and healthy bite after a day of exploring.
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!
Family-friendly winery, Swings & Roundabouts in Yallingup
Things To Do
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.
Also try Wills Domain, which offers a lunchbox style lunch for the kids and has a fab playground in full sight of the alfresco dining area. Swings & Roundabouts recently unleashed an incredible new kids playground and is super relaxed for wine tasting or a causal 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.
It’s not a trip to Dunsborough without a visit to Simmos Ice Creamery
Cape Cultural Tours
Everyone in the family will come away from a tour with Cape Cultural Tours 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.
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
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. The Lighthouse Keepers Cottage Café will provide the perfect refreshment for the whole family after all those stairs.
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 the famous Tunnel of Doom and a semi-guided format, so after a 15-minute intro, you’re free to explore at your own pace. The Tunnel of Doom is optional, and your kids might opt to do it dozens of times if you’re lucky. Perfect for burning off energy.
Spend the day at Meelup Beach. Image: Scott Slawinksi
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. Hire a stand up paddleboard from Meelup SUP School, South West Boats and Bikes or Yahoo Surfboards. 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.
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.
Head out on a whale watching tour from Dunsborough between September and December. Image: Elements
This article originally featured in 2016 and has been updated in 2020 to reflect new details in Dunsborough & Yallingup.
Meelup FarmhouseMonday: 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM
Tuesday - Wednesday: Closed
Thursday - Sunday: 9:00 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Child Friendly,Dine In,Dog Friendly,Open for Business
Swings & RoundaboutsMonday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Cellar Sales,Child Friendly,Dine In,Dog Friendly,Fireplace,Open for Business,Outdoor Playground,Seated Tastings,Takeaway
2807 Caves Road, Yallingup WA 6282, Australia
Next Level Monkey BusinessMonday: 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM
Tuesday - Thursday: Closed
Friday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 3:00 PMGreat For: Adrenalin Activities,Child Friendly,Dine In,High Ropes & Rock Climbing & Zip Lining,Open for Business,Sunny Day
1710 Caves Road, Dunsborough WA 6281, Australia
Cape Naturaliste LighthouseCape Naturaliste Centre open 9.00am – 5.00pm. Fully-guided lighthouse tours depart every half hour from 9.30am - 4.30pm daily. Heritage Pass only (no tower entry) 9.00am – 4.30pm. Extra tours during peak holiday times. Closed Christmas Day.Great For: Open for Business,Picnic Spot,Rainy Day,Scenic Spot,Sunny Day,Wildflower Spotting
1267 Cape Naturaliste Road, Naturaliste, WA 6282, Australia
Meelup BeachGreat For: BBQ,Child Friendly,Free,Picnic Spot,Scenic Spot,Stand Up Paddling & Canoeing,Sunny Day,Swimming,Walking & Hiking
Meelup Beach, Meelup Beach Road, Dunsborough WA
Meelup Beach Hire and Sup SchoolMonday: Closed
Tuesday: 5:00 until 5:01 PM
Wednesday - Sunday: ClosedGreat For: Child Friendly,Stand Up Paddling & Canoeing,Sunny Day,Temporarily Closed
Meelup Beach (Sep-April) , Dunsborough WA 6282
Castle Rock BayGreat For: BBQ,Disabled Access,Fishing & Boating,Picnic Spot,Scenic Spot,Scuba Snorkelling & Diving,Stand Up Paddling & Canoeing,Sunny Day,Swimming,Walking & Hiking,Wildflower Spotting
Castle Rock Road, Dunsborough WA
Caves House Hotel - Restaurant, Bar & EventsMonday - Sunday: 7:00 AM until 10:30 PMGreat For: Dine In,Fireplace,Open for Business,Rainy Day,Sunny Day
Goanna Gallery Bush CafeMonday: 8:30 AM until 3:00 PM
Tuesday - Wednesday: Closed
Thursday - Sunday: 8:30 AM until 3:00 PMGreat For: Dine In,Open for Business,Takeaway,Wildflower Spotting
278 Hayes Road, DUNSBOROUGH
Peko PekoMonday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 8:00 PMGreat For: Dine In,Open for Business,Takeaway
59 Dunn Bay Road, Dunsborough, Western Australia, Australia
Sugarloaf RockOpen 24 HoursGreat For: Birdwatching,Child Friendly,Free,Scenic Spot,Walking & Hiking
Sugarloaf Rock, Sugarloaf Road, Western Australia
Koomal DreamingMonday to Sunday 9-5pmGreat For: Child Friendly,Open for Business,Sunny Day,Walking & Hiking
Yallingup Caves road WA 6282 Australia
Country Life FarmMonday - Sunday: 9:30 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Child Friendly,Children's Attraction,Indoor Play Area,Open for Business,Rainy Day,Sunny Day
1694 Caves Road, Dunsborough, Western Australia
Dunsborough Rail Carriages & Farm CottagesGreat For: Child Friendly,Dog Friendly,Open for Business
123 Commonage Road, DUNSBOROUGH, Western Australia 6282, Australia
Kerriley Park Forest & FarmstayGreat For: Child Friendly,Open for Business
288 Yelverton North Road, Yelverton, WA, 6280, Australia
Siesta Park Holiday Resort7 days a week (excludes Christmas Day and Good Friday) 8.30am to 5pm (Early departures and late arrivals can be arranged)Great For: BBQ,Child Friendly,Disabled Access,Open for Business,Outdoor Playground,Picnic Spot,Scenic Spot,Sunny Day,WiFi
368 Caves Road, Siesta Park, Western Australia, 6280, Australia
Clancys Fish Pub DunsboroughMonday: 12:00 until 8:00 PM
Tuesday - Wednesday: Closed
Thursday - Sunday: 12:00 until 8:00 PMGreat For: Child Friendly,Dine In,Dog Friendly,Fireplace,Open for Business,Outdoor Playground,Takeaway
1710 Caves Road, Dunsborough, Western Australia, Australia
Wills DomainMonday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Child Friendly,Dine In,Disabled Access,Open for Business,Outdoor Playground
Abbey Farm Road and Brash Road, Yallingup, 6282
Aravina EstateMonday to Thursday - Closed Fri, Sat & Sun - 10am - 5pmGreat For: Child Friendly,Disabled Access,Open for Business,Outdoor Playground,Seated Tastings
61 Thornton Rd, Yallingup WA 6282, Australia
Naturaliste Charters - Whale Watching & Eco ToursOpen 24 HoursGreat For: Child Friendly,Fishing & Boating,Nature & Wildlife Spotting,Open for Business,Whale Watching
Pro Fishermans Boat Ramp, Geographe Bay Road, Dunsborough, 6281
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: Open for Business,Rainy Day,Sunny Day
76 Yallingup Caves Road, Yallingup, Western Australia, 6282, Australia
South West Boats & Bikes9am - 4pm - Dunsborough Foreshore - Start of September School HolidaysGreat For: Stand Up Paddling & Canoeing,Sunny Day
Simmo's Ice CreameryMonday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Child Friendly,Dine In,Open for Business,Outdoor Playground,Picnic Spot,Sunny Day,Takeaway
161 Commonage Road, Dunsborough WA 6281
Happs WinesMonday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Child Friendly,Dog Friendly,Grazing Platters & Hampers,Indoor Play Area,Open for Business,Outdoor Playground,Seated Tastings,Takeaway
575 Commonage Road, DUNSBOROUGH WA, Australia
Yahoo Surfboards and Surfboard HireMonday - Saturday: 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM until 3:00 PMGreat For: Stand Up Paddling & Canoeing,Sunny Day,Surfing
Unit 2, 222 Naturaliste Terrace, Dunsborough WA, 6281 Australia