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 nestled between Dunsborough and Busselton, 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.
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.
It’s not a trip to Dunsborough without a visit to Simmos Ice Creamery
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.
Head out on an awesome maze adventure! Yallingup Maze is crafted in wood, and the owners change it regularly lest local kids get to know the way out by heart. They also have great coffee and homemade food, and a nature style playground. The gift shop has a wide range of wooden puzzles and board games hand-selected by the owners.
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.
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.
Yallingup Surf School
Teach your groms to surf and build up their confidence with group lessons or private coaching at Yallingup Surf School. Owner Crystal Wallace and her team have been coaching little groms for over 12 years and has incredible knowledge of the local surf breaks and conditions. All equipment is provided and a great way to experience the regions pristine coastlines, have some fun and get your kids standing on a surfboard!
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
54 Sheens Rd, Naturaliste WA 6281
Swings & RoundaboutsMonday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Cellar Sales,Child Friendly,Dine In,Dog Friendly,Fireplace,Outdoor Playground,Seated Tastings,Takeaway
2807 Caves Rd, Yallingup WA 6282
Next Level Monkey BusinessMonday - Sunday: 9:00 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Adrenalin Activities,Child Friendly,Dine In,High Ropes & Rock Climbing & Zip Lining,Sunny Day
1710 Caves Rd, Dunsborough WA 6281
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: Picnic Spot,Rainy Day,Scenic Spot,Sunny Day,Wildflower Spotting
Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, 1267 Cape Naturaliste Rd, Naturaliste WA 6281
Meelup BeachGreat For: BBQ,Child Friendly,Free,Picnic Spot,Scenic Spot,Stand Up Paddling & Canoeing,Sunny Day,Swimming,Walking & Hiking
Meelup Beach, Western Australia
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 Rd, Western Australia 6281
Caves House Hotel - Restaurant, Bar & EventsMonday - Sunday: 7:00 AM until 10:30 PMGreat For: Dine In,Fireplace,Rainy Day,Sunny Day
18 Yallingup Beach Rd, Yallingup WA 6282
Goanna Gallery Bush CafeMonday: 8:30 AM until 4:00 PM
Tuesday - Wednesday: Closed
Thursday - Sunday: 8:30 AM until 4:00 PMGreat For: Dine In,Takeaway,Wildflower Spotting
278 Hayes Rd, Quindalup WA 6281
Peko PekoMonday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 8:00 PMGreat For: Dine In,Takeaway
59 Dunn Bay Rd, Dunsborough WA 6281
Sugarloaf RockOpen 24 HoursGreat For: Birdwatching,Child Friendly,Free,Scenic Spot,Walking & Hiking
Sugarloaf Rd, Naturaliste WA 6281
Koomal DreamingMonday to Sunday 9-5pmGreat For: Child Friendly,Sunny Day,Walking & Hiking
Yallingup Caves Rd, Yallingup WA 6282
Country Life FarmMonday - Sunday: 9:30 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Child Friendly,Indoor Play Area,Rainy Day,Sunny Day
1694 Caves Rd, Dunsborough WA 6281
Dunsborough Rail Carriages & Farm CottagesGreat For: Child Friendly,Dog Friendly
123 Commonage Rd, Quindalup WA 6281
Kerriley Park Forest & FarmstayGreat For: Child Friendly
288 Yelverton N Rd, Busselton WA 6280
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: Child Friendly,Disabled Access,Sunny Day
368 Caves Rd, Siesta Park WA 6280
Clancys Fish Pub DunsboroughMonday - Tuesday: 12:00 until 5:00 PM
Thursday - Sunday: 12:00 until 8:30 PMGreat For: Child Friendly,Dine In,Dog Friendly,Fireplace,Outdoor Playground,Takeaway
1710 Caves Rd, Dunsborough WA 6281
Wills DomainMonday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Child Friendly,Dine In,Disabled Access,Outdoor Playground
17 Brash Rd, Yallingup WA 6282
Aravina EstateMonday to Thursday - Closed Fri, Sat & Sun - 10am - 5pmGreat For: Child Friendly,Disabled Access,Outdoor Playground,Seated Tastings
61 Thornton Rd, Yallingup WA 6282
Naturaliste Charters - Whale Watching & Eco ToursOpen 24 HoursGreat For: Child Friendly,Fishing & Boating,Nature & Wildlife Spotting,Whale Watching
25 Dunn Bay Rd, Dunsborough WA 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: Rainy Day,Sunny Day
76 Yallingup Caves Rd, Yallingup WA 6282
South West Boats & BikesMonday - Sunday: 9:30 AM until 3:30 PMGreat For: Fishing & Boating,Mountain Biking & Road Cycling,Stand Up Paddling & Canoeing,Sunny Day
Geographe Bay Rd, Dunsborough WA 6281
Simmo's Ice CreameryMonday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Child Friendly,Dine In,Outdoor Playground,Picnic Spot,Sunny Day,Takeaway
161 Commonage Rd, Quindalup WA 6281
Happs WinesMonday - Sunday: 10:00 AM until 5:00 PMGreat For: Child Friendly,Dog Friendly,Grazing Platters & Hampers,Indoor Play Area,Outdoor Playground,Seated Tastings,Takeaway
575 Commonage Rd, Quindalup WA 6281
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
2/222 Naturaliste Terrace, Dunsborough WA 6281
Yallingup MazeOpen Everyday 9:30am - 4:30pmGreat For: Child Friendly,Outdoor Playground,Takeaway
3059 Caves Rd, Yallingup WA 6282
Yallingup Surf SchoolMonday to Sunday 7am to 7pmGreat For: Adrenalin Activities,Child Friendly,Stand Up Paddling & Canoeing,Sunny Day,Surfing,Workshops & Classes
Yallingup Beach Rd, Yallingup WA 6282