Playground at Busselton Foreshore. Credit Russell Ord

Parents of young children are all too familiar with the feeling of getting to their holiday destination and needing to quickly find their bearings.

Specifically speaking – locating a good coffee shop and a playground. First world problems perhaps, but the struggle is real for sleep deprived parents with little ones who are up with the sun, chasing their caffeine fix and a place to let the kids run wild. Sounds simple? Well, the coffee shop/playground combo is actually a bit of a rare diamond. The café needs to have good coffee, access for prams, a play area onsite or nearby, babyccinos are a bonus, and a view wouldn’t be bad either! These are not dime-a-dozen cafés and finding the perfect spot can require some serious searching.

Luckily, the Margaret River Region’s café scene has evolved considerably in the last few years, and with kids in mind, there are several great options for mums and dads. We’ve put together a list of our finest cafés with a playground.

1

White Elephant Café

Gnarabup

While not strictly speaking a playground, positioned right on the beach in Gnarabup this little gem has top quality coffee and a great breakfast menu while allowing the kids to get sandy digging holes and building sandcastles, or splashing around in the water and rock pools. Remember to bring your swimming gear and towels if the weather is warm! The family-friendly café also welcomes dogs on leads.

White Elephant
White Elephant Café, Gnarabup Beach. Photo: Rachel Claire.
2

The Equinox or Shelter Brewing Co

Busselton Foreshore

A couple of great options for visitors in the Busselton area. For those with little kids, grab a coffee from The Equinox, then head west to the massive playground on the Busselton foreshore. This spot has loads of equipment after a big renovation a few years ago. Adjacent to the playground is a BBQ area, with picnic tables too if you want to set up for lunch.

For those with bigger kids, get your caffeine fix and a bagel from the morning menu at Shelter Brewing Co then head to the nearby skate park. A beautifully designed park sitting right on the foreshore, the Busselton skate park offers progression from the beginner through to the advanced rider (and includes the deepest bowl in WA at 3m in depth!)

All new and shiny after a stunning rebuild, The Goose Beach Bar + Kitchen delivers on both the coffee and food front. Right next to the Busselton Jetty and all of the foreshore fun, its menu features plenty of kid-friendly food. Banana pancakes, anyone?

Busselton foreshore playground
Hours of fun at the Busselton Foreshore Playground. Photo: Ryan Murphy.
3

Lagoon Yallingup

Yallingup

Grab a takeaway coffee as you drive to Yalls main break from the Yallingup General Store & Café (locally known as Andy’s), then continue on the road. Just past the carpark at the beach entrance, is Yallingup’s world-class nature playground. Keeping with the surf-theme, the rustic playground made from repurposed timber features, a surf shack cubby and a misty wave for the kids to get barrelled. All this right in front of Yallingup main break, which is perfect for a walk or a dip, depending on the weather.

Alternatively, Lagoon Yallingup has a handy kiosk nearby where you can grab tasty food on the go – they even have online ordering available via their website to make it as easy as possible when you’re wrangling a few nippers and want to skip the queue. Think epic toasties and fresh pastries (accompanied by Margaret River Roasting Co coffee), or if you are feeling like some seafood to go with the coastal scene, they also have fish & chips available.

4

Eagle Bay Olives

Dunsborough

If you’ve spent the morning at family friendly Meelup Beach, it’s time to fill hungry bellies and seize the opportunity to grab an afternoon cuppa.

Only a few minutes from Meelup, you’ll find plenty of space for kids to roam around at Eagle Bay Olives. And the people behind the coffee machines at EBO take the beans as seriously as their olives – which says a lot. Order your carefully crafted cappuccinos and other homemade goodies from the café, borrow a picnic blanket, and spread out under the thousands of olive trees in the grove. Or just laze on the lawn right next to the cute playground. Doggos are welcome to hang too.

5

The Hairy Marron

Margaret River

Located near the entrance to town, by the river, is the perfectly positioned Hairy Marron café. Grab yourself a coffee and babyccinos for the kids, then wander across the footbridge to Rotary Park. Across the bridge, toddlers and older children will enjoy playing on the fully equipped playground in the beautiful bush setting (perfect for when the weather is hot, as it is well-shaded). The Hairy Marron doubles as a bike rental if you want to don a helmet and follow the heritage trails to explore the bush.

Hairy Marron
The Hairy Marron is next door to Rotary Park, on the left as you drive into town. Photo: Ovis Creative.
6

Ninjas in mOcean

Margaret River

The kids are bouncing of the walls? Rain or shine, Ninjas in mOcean Play Centre is the perfect place to burn off energy. Hours of endless fun are waiting for your little ninjas on the wave slide, tube slide, ball pit, trampoline, stepping stones, spin plate and crawl tunnel. Parents can either play, take a moment to relax or catch up with friends over a coffee while the kids explore.

7

Origins Market

Busselton

Origins Market is the perfect all-weather spot for a relaxing coffee while the kids play. There’s lots of space for prams, free colouring in, a nature based indoors playground and plenty of choice for food and drink.

Pop in for the morning, for lunch or for an after-school snack and play.

Origins Market Playground
The indoor playground at Origins Market is great for all-weather fun. Photo: Kate Willott.

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