July school holidays across the South-West
It’s school holiday time, and you know what that means! Fun filled days spent making memories with the family that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. That is – if you can get them to glance up from their phones for just a moment…
The lure of Instagram, Twitter and the like certainly wasn’t a challenge our parents had to cope with. But never fear, because there’s a plethora of fab activities that you can take advantage of across WA, no matter what age your little darlings might be. Take a browse through our list and get ready to make the July school holidays one to truly remember.
1. Get down and dirty with frogs in Pemberton
Frogs are fascinating creatures, and hunting for them leads to hours of fun for kids of all ages. Let’s face it, grubbing around in the undergrowth is profoundly satisfying, no matter how old you get. The region around Pemberton is home to 10 species of frogs, and surrounding areas to the north and south house another 5. Winter is a great to seek them out as increased rains kick start the breeding season.
The slippery amphibians are enchanting to search out and just as captivating to hear. For instance Bleating Frogs and Quacking Frogs both have a call well described by their names. Glauert’s Froglets sound like a ‘dried pea rattling in a can’. Other types to look out for include Lea’s Frogs, Moaning Frogs and Sand Frogs. Search around any water source – lakes, streams, rivers, dams etc. For more information check out the Australian Museum’s Frog ID site to discover all about the region’s amphibians. They also have a great app so you and the kids can record what you find.
2. Visit the legendary ‘City of the Gnomes’
No one quite knows exactly how Gnomesville in the Ferguson Valley came into being. There are over 7,000 magical creatures living here, and there’s a variety of stories as to their origin. One is that local workmen started it all when they created a gnome cricket game. Another is that a single random gnome was the first settler, and other people added more so he wouldn’t be lonely. Whatever the humble beginnings, the thousands of gnomes are certainly a sight to behold.
You can even bring your own to add to the fun – in fact, it’s actively encouraged. Be sure to bring a sign that tells where he (or she) came from, plus any other fun information he might like to share.
Gnomesville is free to visit. And with plenty of places to stop to take a rest, bring a picnic and make a day of it. There really is nowhere else quite like it on the planet…
3. Try your hand at fishing
With so many places to cast a line, a fun few hours can be spent messing about next to the water. Middleton Beach in Albay, Busselton Jetty, the longest timber jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, and Walpole Inlet are but a few choices to see if you can catch your own supper. Make it even more of an event by actually building the fishing poles yourself with the kids – a great way to encourage creativity, even if they don’t actually catch anything when you head oceanside. Although for a virtually guaranteed catch, try crabbing at Busselton Jetty. Just don’t forget to return them to the sea once you’ve had your fun.
4. Climb a lighthouse
Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin have awesome lighthouses that’ll give you a great cardio workout as you wind your way upwards. And it’s certainly worth it when you get to the top. At this time of year there’s an added bonus for your efforts because you might even see whales swimming below – a breath taking sight for both kids and adults alike.
5. Test your nerves on the highest treetop walk in the world
Situated in the Valley of the Giants between Denmark and Walpole, this tree top walk is an internationally recognised nature attraction located in a true wilderness landscape. Fight your fears as you totter an incredible 40 metres above the ground – but don’t worry, it’s suitable for everyone. You can even take pushchairs up there, and its wheelchair friendly too.
These are just a tiny selection of the activities available to enjoy across the South West this July. The ultimate way to explore this diverse region of Australia is to book a base from which you can explore.
Contributor: Private Properties (https://www.privateproperties.com.au) – the leading luxury holiday home company in the region, and this year celebrate their 25th birthday.