Please Note: We have since returned to Busselton in 2016. You can read more about our small family holiday to Busselton HERE.
We may have been in Busselton for a few short days but we discovered we were spoilt for choice on things to do in Busselton with kids.
But hang on a minute I’m getting ahead of myself. Busselton – two and a half hours south of Perth, Western Australia – was to be our first ever family road trip. I have to admit I was a bit scared.
You see our son Lewis doesn’t cope well visiting one of my sisters who lives 40 minutes up the freeway. So how was he going to go with a 2 1/2 hour drive for our family holiday to Busselton?
Now the decision to visit Busselton with kids for a long weekend was spur of the moment. My youngest sister (Peta) invited us to join her family: husband (Glen), teenage daughter (Sabrina) and son (Jett) who is 10 months older than Lewis.
Lewis was beyond excited at the prospect of travelling with Jett – they are such good mates. So this helped with the road trip idea.
The rest was ensuring that Lewis understood he would be in the car for 230km, plus providing him with snacks and activities all within his grasp.
With a pleasant surprise, we survived the road trip with relative ease, that also included Lewis napping and playing eye spy.
We arrived into Busselton around 1pm and stopped at McDonalds for lunch – a reward for Lewis being good in the car. Then made our way to the foreshore and Busselton Jetty.
I was really impressed with the foreshore; there were several cafes, BBQs, a playground, the tourist bureau and entrance to the famous Busselton Jetty.
Busselton Jetty is 1.8km long – the longest timber piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.
We had originally hoped to catch the train along the jetty and visit the aquarium, however we arrived at the jetty quarter past the hour having just missed the train that leaves on the hour. So we decided to walk with a child.
It was actually a really enjoyable walk with the added bonus of only costing $2.50 each, as opposed to $29.50 including the Underwater Observatory. We read the plaques along the jetty giving us snippets of history, checked out the variety of seafood being caught by the fisherman (crabs, squid, oh and fish), and watched the train chug by.
You can see and read more about our walk along Busselton Jetty HERE.
When we got back it was time to check into our accommodation. Peta had chosen to stay at Mandalay Resort and Holiday Park and we each had our own 2 bedroom chalet.
We then grabbed a drink, the kids all collected their scooters (that we had included in the packing) and went for a walk around the caravan park.
Whilst I had grown up holidaying in caravan parks it was a bit of an education for Steve – but a welcome one; as he discovered that this offered a great choice for our family getaways.
This park was so geared towards families: with a range of playgrounds for a variety of age groups, a jumping pillow, a heated indoor pool, a water slide into the freezing outdoor pool (it was still as cold as winter in early October), and a camp kitchen where we cooked on the indoor BBQ’s and ate dinner together.
The next day after breakfast we took the kids for a walk along the beach where they collected shells and we discussed what to do in Busselton and the Margaret River Region – it would be our only full day in Busselton.
We decided to drive down towards Yallingup and spent the morning at Yallingup Maze. We had a fantastic time – read about it HERE.
We then chose to meet at Laurance Winery for lunch. We had done a little research before leaving our chalets and liked the look of the menu plus they had a good-sized playground; all important when eating out with kids.
This was such a relaxing meal. We got to sit, eat slowly, have a drink, while the boys ran off their energy in the playground and around the beautiful gardens.
I have to say the Margaret River region has certainly changed since I was last here – before kids. It now really caters for the family market. There are many wineries and breweries offering playgrounds to amuse the kids so that the parents can enjoy their produce in peace.
On the drive back to Busselton we stopped at Margaret River Chocolate Factory – for a free taste of chocolate.
Back at the caravan park and the kids were desperate for a slip down that water slide. So whilst I stayed rugged up in my jumper drinking a hot coffee, the kids played in the pool.
No matter what the weather kids love to play in swimming pools. They even went for another dip the next morning before we drove back to Perth after our first successful road trip and reflected on all the things we found to do in Busselton with kids.
We have since returned to Busselton you can read all about our small family holiday to Busselton with kids HERE.