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Published: March 6th 2013
The Margaret River region is 300km south of Perth and abundant with wineries. Approximately 10 years ago we visited a lot (pre-kids) and you could enjoy wine sampling at hundreds of wineries, have dinner at some fantastic fine dining locations and relax in adult retreats. So....with 2 kids under 5 this did not seem like a good holiday for us or somewhere that we would want to take them. But my, the times they are a changing 😊
Margaret River is a tourist mecca. The amount of things down there is unbelievable. We are so happily suprised i am trying to work out how i can go down there again soonish. Along with 150 wineries all within 1 hour of each other from boutique wineries to some of the largest in Australia (and the world?), there are now also 8 boutique breweries, 2 icecreameries, 2 chocolate factories, a number of dairy and cheese factories, plus lots of kiddie things (and adults) such as Mazes, mini golf, supa golf, farms, etc etc. Plus of course some of the best surf beaches Australia has to offer.
So on Friday i took the kids on the 3 hour drive to Yallingup. I
had booked us in to 4elements farmstay and we had a 2 bedroom chalet. I had hoped they would fall asleep but they refused, being very excited about a trip to a farm 😊 And the farmstay was really nice. THe chalet was more like a transportable but it had very nice furnishings, was very clean, had a fireplace for winter and a huge amount of paddocks all around it for the kids to run about in. And it was very safe for me to just let them go and do whatever...joy 😊 A thing i thought was a little strange was we were the only people there with kids - but at a lot cheaper price than townhouses in the super-touristy dunsbourgh i can see why adults would happily stay on a quiet farm.
The kids loved feeding the goats, horse and sheep who whenever they saw us came running up baaaa-ing as loud as they could. The Midgit wasnt scared at all to go into the chicken pen and retrieve us some eggs for breakfast each morning (which was lucky as i wasnt that keen to touch a chicken myself lol!). So this was a great way
to start and each each day out in the beautiful fresh air.
What was a very pleasant suprise was... we were right in the middle of everything. I will try and link to a map (http://www.gourmetescape.com.au/images/AMRTA_2012_Black_and_White_Map.pdf) but we could walk to a brewrey and a winery from the farmstay, or everything else was really within 20 minutes. So Friday afternoon i took the kids to a minigolf course where there were kangaroos jumping about and the kids could take their time and enjoy their version of playing golf and then we stopped at the brewery to get some dinner and the kids could play on the extremely childfriendly playground. And everywhere had them! It was very odd and so not like Perth but every location that we visited had a full on proper playground plus additional stuff for children - now that does make life a lot more relaxing for us parents 😊 My hubby wouldnt be there until Saturday night so i was playing the single mum, but with the kids off happily entertained i relaxed and enjoyed a heffeweizen...mmmmm 😊
Saturday the kids were up at 6am so i tried to contain them in the chalet
but had given up by 7. Luckily there was over 100m between chalets so reason to worry trying to keep the noise down. And the weather was beautiful - around 20 degree minimums and 30 degree maximums with no wind so very relaxing and perfect. I decided i would take the kids to the beach at Yallingup but on the way there we saw some signs for 'the maze' which also mentioned coffee. So i dropped in there for a quick coffee but soon realised this was a child mecca and the kids were off shooting water pistols in the maze, playing board games on the tables, spotting lizards in the natural playground and using the free jumpy castle. Again, very relaxing for me and my coffee 😊
We then headed to Yallingup beach and by 10am the place was packed. It is a huge surf beach and there must have been over 50 surfers out catching waves on the other side of the reef, then another 100 odd people on the inside of the lagoon with little kids playing everywhere. The Little Miss was happy to build sand castles so i took the Midgit in to the water
and he was very excited to be out past the breaks for the first time where he would gently jump in the waves and i also tought him to body surf as he is now swimming like a fish. He was soooo happy and it was so exciting to see him grow up - i really should take them to the beach more - woops.
In the afternoon we headed out to an icecreamery where again the kids had fantastic time on the playgrounds and also being able to milk a cow! Then back to the chalet for a bbq and to wait for Dad to drive down after his cricket game. He did make it safely which was excellent, and the kids went crazy on Sunday morning when they woke up to find him there, and to show him all the things on the farm.
Sunday we drove in to Dunsborough which 10 years ago had a bakery, a pub and 2 cafes...but is now a thriving metropolis with a full on shopping centre and more cafes than ive seen in a long time. We took the kids to the beach again but there was too much
seaweed on this side to go swimming, so they happily climbed on the rocks and played in the sand. We also visited a different icecreamery and played minigolf, as well as the Dunsbourgh bakery which is locally famous for its amazing food. On Sunday afternoon we decided to visit a couple of wineries and breweries and had a lovely time accidently coming across some friends and their kids, so everyone was happy.
The kids werent too happy about leaving the farm - in fact they both got upset on Monday when we said it was time to head back. So we stopped in Busselton to see the 1.6km jetty and grab some breakfast. It was ridiculously windy however so we didnt bother walking along the jetty or hanging out at the beach, and headed back to perth after our meal.
All up a very fun long weekend and well worth the drive. We are both surprised how much stuff there is to do down there that i think it is so worth the 3 hour drive as it seems to cater for everyone.
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Great memories :)
I love your family travel blogs - isnt Margs special? I remember many trips down to Simmos icecreamery and the Candy Cow with my boys when they were little - thanks for the memories.
Tam & Family
If you havent been there for a while then you will be massively surprised as there was 10 times more things than 10 years ago. Although, i guess i wasnt looking for child friendly things 10 years ago :)
Home and Away
What a great weekend...
next time make it a week!
Tam & Family
Definitly a weeks worth of holiday down there! I wanted to write how much there was in case anyone else is questioning whether to go or not.