The South Coast of Western Australia has to be one of the most rugged, wild and isolated places on earth… visitors to Western Australia seem to overlook it alongside its far more sophisticated and glamorous cousin Margaret River. While the Margaret River Wine Region becomes more populous, and even trendier (if that is possible) the South Coast offers that taste of wilderness, and life in connection with nature that originally made Margaret River famous.
We totally recommend the extra drive (of about 2 hours further south) to discover one of Western Australia’s best kept secrets. These are the 11 not to miss things on the South Coast of Western Australia, with Kids
Walpole, South Coast of Western Australia
The Walpole Wilderness
This Wilderness area is a group of 7 national parks that celebrate land that is untouched by humans! Even for Australians, who are used to large spaces, this place is a gem… with untouched beaches, forest and more. For just a taste, we recommend the Mt Frankland Wilderness view. For more walks and beaches that celebrate wilderness… our full review: Things to do in Walpole with Kids
The Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk
The jewel in the crown of the Walpole area – and certainly the place with the most bang for its buck is the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk. Walk 40 metres above the forest floor on a canopy walkway through 400 year old red tingle trees that can measure up to 20 metres around at their base. This is a place of gigantic proportions and should not be missed! Three great blogs to get the most out of your visit:
Nature’s Natural Palette
Wildflowers are in season from August through October… just the other day we drove a 100km stretch towards Walpole and were rewarded by a reds, yellows, purples and whites for most of the trip. Take the opportunity to enjoy the quieter August- September period and be rewarded colourfully!
Experience a Farm Stay
There are a number of farm stay experiences in the Walpole and Denmark areas. Seriously, what could be better than staying in a villa or cottage and experiencing the fresh air and farm life. Each rural farm stay offers a different range of farm style activities, including pony rides and animal feeding. You should contact each one directly for availability, and details before booking.
Recommended Farmstays around Walpole include:
Tree Elle Resort – lovely gardens and plenty of animals to pet (Half way to Denmark)
Walpole Wilderness Resort – Kangaroos graze on the lawns
Billa Billa Farm Cottages – a rustic farmstay experience
Click here for a full list of hotels and different types of accommodation around Walpole
Recommended Farmstays around Denmark include
Misty Valley Farm Cottages
Click here for a full list of hotels and different types of accommodation around Denmark
Avoca Farm Chalet (Youngs Siding, halfway to Albany) .
Places to Eat around Walpole, Western Australia
The hamlet of Nornalup (blink or you will miss it) offers two delicious places to eat:
Tingles Bakehouse, just between Nornalup Village and the Valley of the Giants Road.
Denmark, South Coast of Western Australia
So called the “next Margaret River”, a couple of days in this delightful, slightly hippy town is highly recommended. Located roughly in the middle of the other destinations in this guide – Albany and Walpole, you could base yourself here for an awesome place to explore the little known South Coast region. For full information, take a look at the complete guide to Denmark, Western Australia with Kids.
William Bay National Park
With waters so turquoise, you would think you are in the tropics, this National Park offers stunning scenery… and sheltered swimming for all the family. We love exploring the granite outcrop “Elephant Rocks” named for their likeness to a herd of elephants, or going for a swim at Madfish Bay.
Denmark Animal Farm
Formerly known as the Denmark Alpaca Farm, this little farm offers a lot of animals to pet in a small area. Our kids love the kangaroos and alpacas while the parents can’t help but be charmed… as a bonus, the Denmark Animal Farm is located on the extremely scenic Scotsdale Road which is dotted with a number of world class wineries.
The Denmark Animal Farm is so awesome it was included in The Ultimate Guide to Australian Animal Encounters
Denmark town & River area
With so much to do in the surrounds, it is worth mentioning that the town of Denmark warrants some time, especially if travelling with littlies. Buskers often play in the streets, and the kids will love the playgrounds, especially the Kwoorabup Community Adventure Park. Not your conventional playground, this fun and funky nature park challenges your kids to play differently and use their imaginations… After you wander back into town, older kids might enjoy a paddle on the Denmark river while smaller kids will be happy with the typical playground located across the road from the Pub.
Places to Eat around Denmark Western Australia
Boston Brewery, with a relaxed atmosphere, live music and a playground amongst the vines wins our recommendation for family friendly eateries in the Denmark area.
However, there are some other good options like Mrs.Jones Café or try an award winning pie from the delicious Denmark Bakery.
Albany, South Coast of Western Australia
The biggest city in the area, Albany has lots to do and see for families though in our experience you have to dig a little deeper.
Middleton Beach & Emu Point
Our kids love to play at both of these popular beaches. With well-equipped playgrounds, stunning beaches and tasty café’s nearby there is plenty to do for at least half a day. Check out our complete wrap up of Albany Playgrounds
The Gap and Natural Bridge
These are stunning rock formations on the extremely wild and rugged coastline near Albany. Brand new, state of the art facilities mean that you can get close to these fascinating attractions, without being at risk. (When you see the location of these places you will see what we mean). We still held Master 3’s hand tightly, but overall it was safe for smaller children.
The Albany Windfarm.
We believe that harnessing the power of the wind and sun is vital for the future survival of our planet. A visit to the Albany Windfarm gives you the chance to get up close and personal to huge wind turbines while also understanding more about how the electricity is made.
Formerly known as Whaleworld, this complex includes the former Whaling Station, a Wildlife Park and a Wildflower Garden. With a kids playground and restaurant, as well as impressive 3d movies that are shown in the converted whale oil tanks there is plenty for your kids. Ours particularly enjoyed exploring the old Whaler the Cheynes IV. Depending on the age of your kids, you might want to avoid some of the more grisly explanations of what whaling was all about – our 5 year old was visibly perturbed. However for older kids, a visit to the old Whaling Station is a valuable educational experience.
National Anzac Centre
We haven’t been to this recently built facility that was voted as Australia’s No.1 Museum, and normally don’t include places on our list that we can’t recommend personally. Friends who have visited with younger children have found their interest was limited, so we have decided to make a visit when our kids will better understand the information provided at this important facility. At a guess suitable for ages 8 up… but that is a guess!
Places to eat around Albany
Dylans – try their ice cream sundaes
Places to Stay around Albany
Dolphin Lodge – self contained apartments, very helpful
For a full list of accommodation around Albany Western Australia, click here
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