Looking for a good time these April school holidays?
Well, with the rapidly growing number of attractions and activities on offer in WA’s beautiful South West, it’s the perfect destination for a memorable family getaway.
We’ve hand-picked some of our favourite things to do down south, but we guarantee that once you start exploring the region and discovering its pleasures for yourself, you’ll be wanting to spend more and more time here!
Everyone who visits this centre is captivated - and moved - by the stories it tells. That’s because it’s no ordinary museum. It honours the Anzacs and brings history to life in a very personal way through interactive multimedia displays, unique artefacts, rare pictures and compelling audio-visual commentary and is truly a must if you’re visiting the South West. The museum is housed in the heritage-listed Princess Royal Fortress on Mt Clarence overlooking the actual harbour from where the ships left for the battlefields of World War 1 - so the setting is authentic and the views are pretty speccy too. It’s also a great starting point for exploring the picturesque Albany Heritage Park which offers great walks, bike trails, wildlife-spotting opportunities and a variety of cultural and historical experiences.
In contrast to the huge sea swells which make ‘Margs’ a surfing mecca, the tranquil waters of the Margaret River are just perfect for a gentle canoeing adventure. In fact, paddling the calm waters of this serene oasis is one of the South West’s best-kept secrets and there are numerous different guided tour options suitable for all ages. Discover pristine forests, spectacular limestone cliffs, hidden beaches and unique wildlife including Osprey and kangaroos. You can also learn the stories of the area’s first inhabitants and unearth its history before enjoying the exotic tastes of traditional ‘bush tucker’.
A trip down south isn’t complete without an opportunity to get up close and personal with sting rays at Hamelin Bay. These majestic sea creatures are not afraid of people and come right up to visitors wading in the crystal clear shallows giving them a truly remarkable wildlife encounter. Their reputation and their size (their wingspan can stretch over a metre across) may be imposing, but they’re actually incredibly docile and friendly. Your chances of interacting with them in the April holidays is pretty high as they are around more frequently during the warmer months, but even if you miss them, Hamelin Bay itself is spectacularly beautiful and well worth a visit in its own right!
A lighthouse tour is a great idea for a holiday excursion, and you’re spoilt for choice when you’re visiting the South West. Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse offers breathtaking vistas of the Indian Ocean and surrounding areas and you can enjoy a delicious treat at the heritage-themed Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage Cafe with its landscaped lawns and nautical-themed playground. However, the tower is undergoing extensive restoration works at the moment, so you may want to save that for another day and venture down to the impressive Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse at the most south westerly tip of Australia where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. Join a tour, marvel at the rugged coastline and enjoy a coffee or light meal at the recently opened Cape Leeuwin Cafe for a memorable day out.
Ahoy me hearties, get yourselves down to the Busselton foreshore for a fantastic day of family fun at the brand-new nautical-themed play space. Sea Play on the Bay is predominantly a nature-based, sensory rich adventure area, inspired by the city’s rich maritime history and beautiful coastal landscape, and there’s something for everyone. From the huge ‘shipwreck’ focal piece with its amazing giant squid and colourful whale tail water spout to the special toddlers’ playspace with its sensory-rich equipment, this playground is a must for fun-lovers of all ages. And if you’re a fan of skateboarding - never mind if you’re a beginner or a seasoned expert - there’s an epic skatepark nearby which features two bowls (the 3m one being the biggest in WA!) plus interconnected street areas suitable for skaters of all abilities.
If you haven’t yet ticked the Busselton Jetty off your bucket list, now’s the time to do it. You’ll be captivated by the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere and all of its added attractions and of course, there are plenty of Instaworthy photo opps everywhere you look. There are mermaid tours, underwater helmet walks, a jetty train and an incredible underwater observatory - and even just strolling along its 1.841km length is an adventure in itself!
Even if you’re 100% happy kicking back in your Eagle Bay holiday home and don’t feel like moving very far or very fast, you need to make an exception for some flying fox action in the Tuart Forest near Ludlow. With 77 different activities across six unique courses including 11 separate ziplines, ladders, Tarzan ropes, suspended bridges, base jumping and BMX biking on a wire, there are high altitude adventures for every level of fitness and adrenalin!
For a holiday treat that is guaranteed to be a lifetime memory, head to Mandurah and book the family on a cruise to experience the spectacular bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat. With plenty of different cruise options - including a custom-built pirate ship tour - and the opportunity to spend time in some of the world’s most fertile wetlands with their abundant birdlife, a dolphin cruise in Mandurah is a great day out for the whole family.
If you think a zoo is about caged animals, head down to Peel Zoo these holidays and you’ll soon change your perceptions. It’s a boutique zoo on the lush banks of the Murray River not far from Mandurah and boasts over 100 species of birds and animals including koalas, wombats, Bengal cats, snakes and owls - but you don’t just get to look at these amazing creatures, you get to feed, touch and hold many of them. It’s all about enjoying a personal, hands-on experience with a variety of furry, slithery, scaly and feathered friends (visitors are given a bag of pellets to feed some of the animals) plus there’s a huge walk-in aviary and a fascinating breeding centre for the Tasmanian Devil.
Sound like fun? Then it’s time to make plans for your South-West getaway these April holidays and get cracking with booking your accommodation. Eagle Bay is one of the most spectacular destinations in the region so check out Private Properties’ extensive portfolio of incredible homes down south which you can call your own for the holidays.