Busselton, Western Australia
Image courtesy of Tim Campbell Photo

11 Things We’re Doing in the Winter School Holidays

June 20, 2023

The July school holidays are almost here, and it’s a great time to rug up and explore the natural wonders and experience the best attractions. With help from our kids, we’ve rounded up a list of the best winter activities in Busselton, Margaret River, Augusta and Dunsborough the whole family can enjoy.

Natural Wonders

1. Explore a Cave

From Ngilgi Cave to Jewel Cave, winter is the perfect time to experience the underground world of Margaret River. Below the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, there are over one hundred limestone caves boasting unique crystal formations and fossils of now-extinct animals.

Underground you’re protected from rain, wind and hail. During winter, the caves remain relatively dry (except for a few drips!) the temperature stays constant, and there are fewer visitors. Ngilgi Cave in Yallingup is our go-to as it is the closest, but this year check out Lake Cave’s one-in-a-lifetime high water levels! Look out for Mammoth Cave’s Megafauna Nightstalks during school holidays ~ an exciting twilight adventure great for families of kids age 7+.

Image courtesy @hollywinklesmith
Image courtesy @hollywinklesmith

2. Ride your Bike

​Winter is a beautiful time of year to cycle the bike trail that skirts the Geographe Bay foreshore right in front of Mandalay Resort.

Stretch your legs and head into Busselton town centre. Whilst you’re in town, swing by The Goose Beach Bar & Kitchen and enjoy celebratory hot chocolates by the fire – it’s a favourite amongst the kids!

Another great option is riding in the opposite direction towards Monaghan’s Corner in Abbey. We love Claudio’s Bakehouse for focaccia-style sandwiches and glorious, sweet pastries – they’re open for breakfast and lunch five days a week.

3. Try Forest Bathing and Wildflower Walks

Winter is arguably one of the best times of year to tackle one of the many beautiful walks across the region. The air is cool, the birds are singing, and you’ll see the first glimpses of blooming wildflowers.

The world-famous Cape to Cape Track is definitely the most popular walk in the region. The 135km track follows the spectacular coastline from Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse in the north, all the way down to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Sections of the track have been made more accessible for wheelchairs and strollers including Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to Sugarloaf Rock car park.

If you’d rather experience towering karri trees, head inland and check out the Boranup Forest Loop, a peaceful 5km loop through the Karri and Marri Forests of the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park.

We also love the short coastal strolls in the Meelup Regional Park. Depending how much your kids can handle, try walking from Meelup Beach to Gannet Rock and back, or south to Castle Rock or Curtis Bay if they’re up for a longer stroll. Look out for tiny orchids, emu wrens and blue wrens on the track and the first of the whales in the bay.

4. Go Whale Watching

Getting up close and personal with our flippered friends from the sea is a truly magical experience. Each year from May to December, you can catch a glimpse of Humpback, Southern Right, Minke and Blue Whales as they migrate north to warmer waters.

During winter, Augusta is THE place to spot these beauties. Make a day of it by jumping on one of the many charter boats and climbing up Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Finish it off with takeaway fish & chips down at Ellis St Jetty. Then next holidays, in spring, you’ll find the whales in Geographe Bay.

Image courtesy Elements Photography

5. Witness a Waterfall

Yalgardup Falls, also known as Kevill Road Waterfall, is just 5 minutes from Margaret River town and is the perfect peaceful spot to see the river surging over rocks.

The small but beautiful waterfall is surrounded by gorgeous native flora like jarrah, marri and karri and is a nature lover’s dream come true. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos, as this is their habitat.

Indoor Adventures

6. Be Amazed at Wow Illusions

Great for kids big and small, Wow Illusions will keep you entertained for hours which is always a win. Experience gravity defying rooms, illusionary artworks, mirror mazes and more at this unique attraction in the heart of Metricup.

After discovering the illusions, don’t forget to try their homemade ice-creams or blend your own muesli to take home.

Image courtesy Wow Illusions

7. Go Trampolining at Gravity Etc

Got a couple youngsters with too much energy? Take them to Gravity Etc in Bunbury and let them jump and bounce to their hearts content. Our kids regularly request a Gravity visit!

Conveniently located just a minute from the highway, it’s a good way to break up the journey home.

8. Origins Market

Located in the heart of Busselton, this vibrant market showcases the very best of Western Australia’s creatives, growers and artisan makers. Relax over a coffee, taste some local wines, pick up some local hand-made goodies or tuck into an array of ridiculously tasty street food.

Origins Markets has a free shuttle bus service from Mandalay Resort on Friday and Saturday evenings making it the perfect family dinner excursion. From 6pm-9pm, you’ll find rows of vendors slinging delicious eats from all over the globe alongside live music. It’s the perfect spot for a casual bite with the family. Plus, it’s indoors, and there’s a small playground – ideal for those wet wintery nights!

Image courtesy Origins Market

9. Movies

There’s nothing cosier than a trip to the cinema – and whether you’re in the mood for a big blockbuster hit, or something a little more fabulous and foreign, there’s a flick for everyone to enjoy at Orana.

Margaret River HEART also has great films and some interesting plays and exhibitions - be sure to check out their program too.

Wine & Dine

10. Pies & Ale

Is there anything more delicious than a meat pie? Pair it with mash, gravy and a pint and you’ve got yourself a match made in heaven. Nestled amongst the karri trees on Boranup Forest, you’ll find Pies & Ale, a hidden gem filled with handmade British-style pies you’ll dream about for weeks.

Combine with a trip to Boranup Forest or Hamelin Bay for a family adventure the kids will adore.

11. Bakery Dates

Whether you’re after a sandwich in sourdough or a sugar crusted cronut, the region’s most loved bakeshops have it going on.

The iconic Margaret River Bakery has been waking up the main street with the smell of fresh bread and coffee since the ‘60s. Grab lunch, a loaf and coffee to-go. Once you’ve secured the goods, stroll down to nearby Barrett St Weir to enjoy them picnic style.

Image courtesy of Tim Campbell Photo

Last-Minute School Holiday Availability 

Accommodation, ensuites and powered sites available during the July School Holidays - click here to book your winter getaway today