Last Updated on October 2, 2020 by worldoftravelswithkids
If you are looking for things to do in Busselton for families, you have come to the right place! Busselton Western Australia is one of our favourite weekend getaways, as there is so much to see and do! To start with as a seaside resort town, the vibe in Busselton is great. It is also an awesome base to explore both the local area, and further afield to Dunsborough, Yallingup and Margaret River.
Top Things To Do In Busselton With Kids
We don’t want to rave, but there are a LOT of things to do in Busselton with Kids. These kids activities Busselton range from the world famous Busselton Jetty, to the adventurous Forest Adventures tree climbing facility in the Tuart Forest, right through to the simple joys in life like relaxing on the beach. For our kids, the new Busselton Playground is very special and ranks up there as one of the best playgrounds in Western Australia.
We feel like we are really well qualified to write this post, we’ve holidayed in Busselton every year since … well… since we had just one child. Then two kids and then three kids… Let’s say that we feel like we have a good grip on what to do in Busselton with Kids.
I also want to add that one of the reasons why Busselton is such family friendly destination is the large amount of good quality family accommodation available. This means that it’s much easier to find places to stay than a couple of other areas in the Margaret River Wine region. Let’s say that Busselton is especially practical when it comes to Busselton Accommodation options.
Here is our roundup of kid friendly things to do Busselton – tried and tested by us.
The Busselton Jetty
Top of the Busselton attractions is the Busselton Jetty which not only makes Busselton famous, but it also is a Western Australian icon!
Some places list the Busselton Jetty as the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, but in other places it’s described as the longest wooden pier in the world at about 1.8 km (1841 meters) in length!!! In short, it’s very loooooooooooong!
The original Busselton jetty was built in 1865, and was 161 metres long. As Geographe Bay is quite shallow sand drift made it necessary to extend the jetty further… and further out into the Bay. Over 90 years many extensions were made to the Busselton Jetty taking it to its remarkable 1.8 kilometre length.
In brief, you can take a train ride along the jetty and explore the underwater observatory at the end of the. There is plenty of parking, restaurants and restrooms located at the park adjacent to the jetty meaning that you can plan to spend at least half day on the Busselton Foreshore and around the jetty.
The Busselton Jetty Train
The iconic Busselton Jetty is a “must-see” stop whether you are staying overnight in Busselton or traveling further afield! Given the jetty is 1.8 km (1.11 Miles) long we would recommend jumping aboard the Busselton Jetty train which takes you out to the end of the jetty. The train takes 45 minutes for the return trip and leaves every hour on the hour. We’ve done it a few times now and it always seems pretty full so get there early. It is on top of things to do in Busselton for Families.
Also, if you are short of time the Busselton Jetty Train is a quick and non-strenuous way of appreciating just how long the jetty really is!!!
If you have older kids you might decide to stretch the legs and hike out to the end. This is something we’ve yet to do as there are no guard rails and I find it frankly terrifying with little ones! You can watch the locals doing some fishing, or if your kids are so inclined they might like to jump off and swim (only recommended for very competent swimmers).
We’ve also listed a stop at the Busselton Jetty as one of our top things to do on a Busselton to Margaret River Road trip which you can read here.
Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory
This fascinating underwater observatory is a wonderful addition to the train trip to the end of the jetty. The pylons of the Busselton Jetty have created an amazing environment for Australia’s greatest artificial reef to grow. The underside of the jetty is covered in a stunning array of sponges, tropical and sub-tropical corals, and there are hundreds of marine species to see.
The Underwater Observatory is a huge room located 8 meters below the surface and is suitable for all ages.
This is still on our list of “Things to do in Busselton” as it is weather dependent. From May through to September there is poor visibility from the Underwater Observatory due to weather conditions. They do offer a virtual reality tour, but we have instead decided to do this during the summer months when visibility should be better. If you are looking for information on tours, be sure to check out the Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory Tour.
If you got a particularly mermaid obsessed little one, you might be enticed to make a special trip to see them float past the observatory on Sundays in Summer! Wow, talk about kid friendly activities!!!Contact the Busselton Jetty for more information.
Busselton Jetty Underwater Walk
If you are looking to explore the depths under the Busselton Jetty you should think about the Busselton Jetty Undersea Walk!!! This Underwater walk was the first of its kind in Australia and is completely different (and much easier) than SCUBA diving!
Place a dive helmet on your head, and you can then descend down into the marine world beneath the 150 year old Busselton Jetty. I read that the dive helmet doesn’t affect your makeup or hair, and you can breathe normally throughout your tour, and also can walk upright. Best of all, you don’t need any previous diving experience or to be physically fit!!!
Which is the best Busselton Playground?
We used to love visiting the Busselton Playground on Busselton’s foreshore for years, so we were very curious to see the new “mega-playground” that opened recently. Without a doubt this playground is one of the best Things to do in Busselton for families.
Sea Play by the Bay – Busselton Foreshore Adventure Playground
Wow!!! As with all the new mega playgrounds in Perth, this Busselton Playground leaves your kids grinning. The theme is a humpback whale attacking a ship, or perhaps the whale is taking down the ship as it is trying to hunt the whale. The ship is on a fantastic lean and offers many opportunities for climbing with frames, rope ladders and nets all built-in.
In addition the playground includes a sandpit with a climbing frame and swing, and rocks to climb. We visited during winter, but we can see that this water playground would be lots of fun in summer as the humpback tail sprays water.
The playground is only 50 metres from the Busselton Jetty, the Busselton Visitor Centre and very close to the Equinox Café where you could order your coffee and still keep an eye on your older kids.
Busselton Jetty Playground
We always loved this great playground underneath the pines on the Busselton foreshore, and while it has been overshadowed by the Whale playground a hundred metres up the beach, it is still a good place for a play.
The Busselton Jetty Playground includes a small climbing tower with slide, ability wheel (with large climbing frame, basket swing and toddlers swing.
Facilities such as picnic tables, BBQ pits and drinking fountains, and public toilets are very close to the playground, meaning parents can sit at the tables while still watching the kids. I suspect with the older kids more interested in the bigger and newer Busselton Playground down the foreshore, this will become a Toddler/ Preschool playground.
Also, this location offers a great view of the Busselton Jetty, perfect for pictures.
Toddler Play Space at Busselton Jetty
As if the Busselton Foreshore didn’t have lots of great playgrounds, here is another for you to consider – the Busselton Foreshore Toddler Playground. It is located on the other side of the Goose Restaurant than the new Busselton Playground.
It is not a big playground, but there is plenty to keep toddlers busy and active including swinging nets, lots, boulders, tunnels, roundabouts and wooden walkways.
The main attraction of the Playground is a replica of the famous Busselton Jetty Train, and the kids can pretend to be train drivers!
Port Geographe Marina Playground
If you haven’t had enough playgrounds, try the Port Geographe Marina Playground, Busselton.
This new playground is on our list of things to do in Busselton for our next trip. Located 8 km from the Busselton Jetty it is rumoured to be fantastic for toddlers while also catering to older kids. Photos show a brand-new lagoon for swimming that would be perfect for toddlers. Definitely on our ‘what to do in Busselton’ list for our next trip down there!
One of the best things to do in Busselton is also free – a walk along the lovely Busselton Foreshore. We love to soak in the feeling of a seaside town! There is a wide path that is great for bikes, scooters, prams, or a stroll.
One of our favourite things to do in Busselton (either in winter or summer) is to take a picnic down to one of the plentiful BBQ shelters and watch the sunset go down. We love that one of the Best Busselton Activities is completely free!!! Also FYI, There is also an electric car charging station here (near the older Busselton Playground), for those planning to make the move to electric!
Geographe Bay – beaches, swimming & fishing
The Busselton Jetty reaches out into the Geographe Bay. It is a large curving section of coastline that stretches from Cape Naturaliste in the South, past Busselton, and ends up near Bunbury. Protected by Cape Naturaliste from the worst of the ocean’s weather the bay is popular for boating, and is also a great place for families to enjoy the beach.
You can access the beach all along the coast, either in Busselton itself, from Dunsborough, or in Bunbury. We like the area called Broadwater, which can be accessed via one of the resorts or the walking trail that winds along the coast.
Popular activities in Geographe Bay include beach walking, swimming in the ocean, and fishing.
Things to do near Busselton
Forest Adventures Busselton
Forest Adventures Busselton offers a high ropes course in Forest, with plenty of adrenaline for everyone in the family. This should be on your list of Busselton Things to do, especially if you like being challenged.
We were super keen to do this ropes course after the kids had nailed a Forest ropes course for younger children at Dwellingup the year before. They had BEGGED me to do this course as soon as the little guy was old enough.
This ropes course has a minimum age of 7, and 110cm. You need to have enclosed shoes!
You don’t have to have prior experience; there is an informative and helpful introduction section, followed by a trial run on low course. I didn’t see anyone have any troubles on this course, once they worked out the safety system.
These courses at Forest Adventure are not consecutive, as in, you don’t have to complete Level one before doing Level two… and somehow Master 7 somehow he headed straight to the Level 2 course which I can tell you was way too high for my liking!!!
One thing to know about these ropes courses is once you are up there; it’s pretty hard to head back. This made the Forest Adventures really challenging because of the height (up to 5metres), and also some of the sections very tricky too. I did hear at one point some tears and a wail from my 7 year old: “I wanna goooo home!” but the patient Forest Adventures folk on the ground talked him through it. Once he sailed in on the final zip line it was all smiles and “Mum I want to come back here tomorrow.” In all seriousness, Master 7 is a great climber and very confident, but he might have benefited from a bit more maturity… as a lot of the difficulty is overcoming your fear. On the other hand Miss 10 totally took it in her stride, and we had a few ‘Girl Power’ moments from this Mumma whose heart was racing a lot of the time!
There were more staff than what we had personally experienced in Dwellingup, and they were very attentive, which was very helpful as we got stuck on a number of obstacles/ challenges.
Whale Watching Busselton
Western Australia is blessed to have the Humpback and Southern Right whales migrate up along their coast during winter and spring. Popular ports for Western Australian Whale watching are at Augusta and Dunsborough, but you can also go Whale watching Busselton. Naturaliste Charters operate an “extraordinary Busselton Whale Watching Experience” from the Busselton Jetty itself, starting from $50 per person.
Check the season, but in general it is possible to go Whale watching from Busselton from September through November.
Ludlow Tuart Forest
The first time we visited the Ludlow Tuart Forest we quite literally stumbled upon it, as it’s an easy alternative route to or from Busselton. Since then, we have taken the route a few times as it’s nice to get off the Highway and see the truly magnificent trees. The road also goes past the Busselton Marina which is interesting and you could always pop into the Port Geographe Marina Playground,
Stop and have a picnic in the Tuart Forest, some of the trees are huge and estimated to be over 300 years old. Also, this is sadly the last remaining natural tall Tuart forest in the world, as the rest of the Tuart forests were logged at one time (or lost to mining). There are a number of walk trails in the Ludlow Forest, and if nothing else you can see and hear the birds and enjoy this natural environment. Harder to see is the knowledge that this is one of the “rarest ecosystems on earth.” (I am not sure if this is true but I read it… and it sounds quite intriguing.
The Ludlow Tuart Forest can be combined with a visit to the Forest Adventures
Enjoy lunch at the picnic facilities set against a picturesque backdrop of the magnificent giant Tuarts. You will be fascinated by one of the rarest ecosystems left on earth that has so far survived the test of time, and the threats of mining.
Wonnerup House is a great place for a stop if you are visiting the Tuart Forest or are just interested in getting an idea of the life of the early settlers to the Busselton area.
There are a number of buildings at Wonnerup House and farm, including a blacksmith’s shed stables, the original house dating from 1859 and a later house which are great to visit and get a sense of the life led by the early settlers.
As with many historical places, you learn about the struggles and tragedies of the first Europeans here.
Wonnerup House is run by the National Trust volunteers and not always open.
Around Busselton – things to do
Often listed as “Busselton Things to do”, the following items I have seen listed on other websites as being kid’s activities Busselton. Technically that is not correct, as Simmos Ice Cream and Mini Golf is located in Dunsborough, 30 minutes drive from central Busselton. However, we’re including it here in case you want to try out some delicious Icecream and love a round of mini golf like my kids do.
Additionally, the Farm life suggestions seem to hit lists of things to do with kids in Busselton but are again, not actually in Busselton. Like Simmos, the Country Life Farm is in Dunsborough and the Wonky Windmill farm is further south again, in Yelverton, which is toward Margaret River.
We have a bumper roundup of things to do in Dunsborough
Simmos Ice Cream and Mini Golf
Simmos Ice cream is creamy AND delicious! Yum! Kids will be overwhelmed when picking from the 60 plus flavours. Then, when you are done, you might like to have a go at mini-golf. We just sat back and digested the ice cream while the kids burned theirs off in the playground and grassed area. Simmos is incredibly kid-friendly. The Mini golf area is to one side and is an additional cost to the ice creams.
Country Life Farm
The Country Life Farm is located just outside of Dunsborough and provides plenty of opportunities to pet the farm animals like guinea pigs, donkeys, alpacas, bunnies, horses, and more.
However, if animals aren’t your kid’s thing, then they won’t leave here disappointed because there are also lots of rides, (dodgem cars), and bouncy castles. All the rides and a bucket of animal food are included in the entry fee. Check here for more information.
Wonky Windmill Farm
Another option of visiting a farm in the Busselton/ Margaret River area is the Wonky Windmill Farm. This farm/ petting farm is located in Yelverton, further south towards Margaret River. During our visit to the Wonky Windmill the presentation paled in comparison to other places we have visited, but certainly, see if you can find some recent reviews to see what you think. They have alpacas, llamas, as well as a great area where the kids can sit and hold rabbits and guinea pigs.
Naturaliste Reptile Park – Discover Deadly
The Naturaliste Reptile Park is located south of Busselton in Carbunup River
Ok, I will admit it; this Mumma is not into Reptiles. So I haven’t been to the Naturaliste Reptile Park, even though I probably should have, in order to get over my fears!
Eg, their website says: “Our goal is to encourage a positive attitude towards snakes and other misunderstood animals that can be perceived as dangerous…. Our fiercely fun experiences and encounters help to replace fear with knowledge”
See… I think this Mumma should visit. Though very small in comparison to some of the other attractions in Busselton or Margaret River, the Naturaliste Reptile Park is home to a large number of reptiles especially snakes; amongst them are Tiger snakes, Dugites, Adders and several Pythons.
If you are game, you can even hold a Python, which is apparently recommended! In addition to reptiles (mostly snakes) the Naturaliste Reptile Park is also home to small crocodiles, oblong turtles or long neck tortoises, frilled neck lizards and frogs.
The Discover Deadly Park is located off Bussell Highway, about 30 minutes’ drive from Busselton. (Incidentally, Maiolo wines which are one of the closer Busselton Wineries are also located in Carbunup River)
Wineries near Busselton
With prime grape growing areas further south, near to Willyabrup, Yallingup and Margaret River, there aren’t any wineries near Busselton. (Please, correct me if I am wrong! I just haven’t been to any during our many trips to the area.)
Several of the closer wineries/ cellar doors are Flametree Wines in Dunsborough, Mailolo Wines which have a very elegant/ imposing cellar door and the long term favourite, Aravina Estate.
Beautiful grounds, there are lovely white buildings that overlook a large lake and views out across sprawling vines. The extensive gardens really are a delight and if you are travelling with kids, they will love to stretch their legs and also visit the Playground.
If you are just looking for a quick bite to eat then you can get a pizza from their famous wood fired pizzas section, or if you prefer a more formal meal they have a lovely restaurant with views.
In addition to the Cellar door which gets pretty good reviews, our favourite part of Aravina Estate is the Surf Memorabilia and Cars Gallery.
I’ve seen slightly acerbic reviews of Aravina Estate saying, what is it, a winery, a cars museum, or a kids Playground, and I have to say that this is why we loved it. Everyone left Aravina Estate happy with the visit. The large Playground with a good variety of play equipment meant the kids had a really good time while the folks got to sit and rest for a moment (the Playground is completely fenced, which is wonderful given its proximity to the Lake.) That said, with the kids running in and out you need to keep an eye on any kids who might get near the lake.
Aravina Estate –WA Surf Gallery
Very close to the famous surfing breaks in Margaret River, Yallingup and Gracetown, this collection of surf memorabilia is clearly a labour of love – you can See surfboards from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s along with images from legend WA surfers in their days before being launched onto the world stage. This is a must visit spot for anyone who loves surfing, but everyone will appreciate the stories!
Aravina Estate – Sports Car Gallery and Vintage Cars
Again, you can tell that the Sports Car Gallery is put together by someone who is passionate about cars – you can see an interesting range of Aussie muscle cars, vintage cars and motorcycles means there is something for every car enthusiast. We were told that this is a personal collection so it gets updated and changed as cars are sold, and new ones added.
Things To Do In Busselton When It’s Raining
We love making a winter getaway down to Busselton with the family. Invariably some days it is raining or cold – but don’t worry there are plenty of things to do in Busselton in winter. These involve a bit more driving, though it is worth it!
Swimming In Your Hotel Pool
Our kids love to swim, so in the middle of the winter spending time in a heated indoor pool makes them so happy. For that reason, we’ve stayed in a couple of great Busselton resorts with heated pools.
The whole Margaret River region is rich with gorgeous caves, but the closest cave to Busselton is Ngili cave. Pronounced Nil geee its about 31 km (30 minutes drive) from Busselton and has self-guided tours departing every 30 minutes. We took my son at just over 1 and he was fine. You would want to wait for boisterous toddlers to be older though.
Candy Cow Cowramup
My kids love Cowramup the “cow town” and you can visit the cows up and down the highway even when it is raining. That is you would need to shelter in the shops and wait for the rain to pass. Alternatively, you can go spend some mouth-watering time in the Candy Cow. 37km from Busselton (29 minutes approx).
Three Oceans Winery
This is an enormous winery on the Bussell Highway about 25 minutes (32km) from Busselton. We’ve mentioned it as a great thing to do on a rainy day as there space for the kids to play. Plus, great wines and excellent food!
Cheeky Monkey Brewery
If you prefer beer to wine, why not head to the Cheeky Monkey Brewery? A little further from Busselton (about 45 minutes drive) you will be warmly greeted on arrival. There is a huge wood fire, pine-paneled walls, and plenty to keep you warm on a winter’s day.
We visited during winter and despite cool weather, the kids had a great time in the playground! Check out our full post, Cheeky Monkey Brewery Margaret River Review.
Where To Stay In Busselton In Winter
Busselton has a lot of wonderful family accommodation, and as it’s one of our fave places in the South West, we have been lucky to try out a lot personally –take a look at our reviews of the Abbey Beach Resort, the Broadwater Beach Resort as well as Busselton Caravan Parks.
How to get from Perth to Busselton
It’s very easy to travel from Perth to Busselton by car. It is an easy 2.5 hour drive on Freeways, or 222km.
Looking For More Things To Do In Western Australia
Check out our Western Australia Destination Guide here.
If you are making an itinerary, read our post Best Of Western Australia Itinerary For Families.
Below are our favorite Western Australia guidebooks. These are great for researching destinations.
Like It> Pin It> Things To Do In Busselton With Kids