Here are our top things to do in Yallingup and Dunsborough areas, otherwise known as the Northern Margaret River region, on a weekend getaway.
We would recommend that unless you are making a once in a lifetime visit (if so, see our Best of Margaret River in 3 days itinerary) to pick one area around Margaret River and explore that over a weekend. There is literally so much to do that if you are coming from Perth on short visits, the best way to visit the Margaret River region is by breaking the areas into sections. We have loved doing this and enjoyed each one thoroughly! The main benefit of focusing just on the Yallingup & Dunsborough area is that you can limit the amount of travel you need to do, which means happy kids!
Yallingup, famous for Caves House, is really just a seaside collection of shacks – that look pretty luxurious. While it’s not a kid’s beach at all has that feeling of small country spot, the caravan park looks especially unpretentious and our kids adored the playground. Both Caravan Parks look like great places to stay, and we cover Yallingup Accommodation further on in the post.
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Things To Do In Yallingup With Kids
Epic Beach Side Spots –Yallingup WA
The beautiful granite outcrops on this part of the coast make for some stunning photography. If you head out anywhere into the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in this area you will discover the amazing power of the ocean.
These are now Insta famous but actually ancient. The Canal Rocks are an amazing formation of rocks that have be eroded by the force of the waves into… you guessed it, canals. There are lots of waves and if you are looking for the safest place to view (with kids) stick to the bridge.
Canal Rocks To Wyadup Hike
On our next trip to Yallingup with the kids we plan to do the hike south along the Cape to Cape Walking track that links Canal Rocks with Wyadup Bay. At 4km return it is a moderate walk and will enable us to visit the other famous spot along the coast, the Injidup Natural Spa.
Wyadup Rocks And Injidup Natural Spa
These are another stunning multicolored place to visit. The rocks at the “Natural Spa” have formed into a waterfall like formation, and when the ocean waves crash over these rocks, it bubbles into the pools below – the natural spa!
Another colorful craggy rock along the coast, Sugarloaf Rock is definitely worth a stop. The lookout out to the huge rock is only a short walk from the carpark, and can be easily done on your way to the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. This is a stunning place for sunset with the Sugarloaf rock and the resident birds making for an invigorating end to a perfect day exploring the Yallingup area. We even spotted whales from the Sugarloaf Rock lookout.
The crystal clear calm waters of Meelup Beach are a popular place to go swimming and Stand Up Paddle Boarding. With a northeast facing coastline, it is sheltered from the howling southwesterlies and as such it makes a good place for littlies to swim.
Ngilgi Cave, Yallingup
The Margaret River region is famous for its unique underground caves, and you must do one while you are in the area.
One of the best things to do in Yallingup is Ngilgi cave (pronounced ‘Neel-gee’) which starts with a guided tour. It was a bit difficult for the small kids to stay still while the guide was talking, and the cave means every little sound echoes However, we found it very colorful and brightly lit and once the tour ended could explore.
This is a great playground with a beachy shipwreck feel; our kids loved it. We spent a good hour there during late winter and it was quite full; rumor has it that during summer the area is jam packed. The playground will be on any kids Yallingup things to do list.
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse – Yallingup
This Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is the smaller of the two Margaret River region lighthouses, a little short and stumpy if you like! While the Leeuwin lighthouse is tall and serene, perched over the ocean, the Naturaliste lighthouse is short and squat. It’s not got the wild and woolly feel of the lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin but our kids enjoyed their sheltered playground and picnic area. It is only a short walk from the historic cottages where the lighthouse keepers and their families lived. The Cape Naturaliste Light house offers stunning views along the coast.
Eat Purple Ice Cream
The Cape Lavender Tea House is probably not a little kid’s destination– but it is an Insta-perfect spot for a tea and scones. We chose to eat our bright purple lavender ice-cream out on the lawn rather than amongst the lovely flowers and lavender china indoors. Keep in mind they ONLY offer the purple ice-cream so if your littlies are looking for something a little less radical, they might be disappointed! Very popular for those looking for Yallingup things to do.
The only Margaret River maze is located to the north. It is the very popular Amaze’n Maze; It is huge and has amazing gardens.
If you are looking for a more fun park like atmosphere then consider Xcape At The Cape. It has more traditional kid’s entertainment like mini golf, a maze, and trampolines. If that’s not enough there are also climbing towers, a bouncy castle and an undercover adventure playground.
Visit A Farm
Given you are in the country, it’s a great chance for the kiddos to get to know more about farm life. Two places you can do this in the Yallingup area are:
The Shearing Shed – As you can imagine, do shearing demonstrations each day and your kids can also feed the sheep.
Country Life Farm – Where, as you can expect, they offer you the chance to learn about farm life.
Whale Watching (In Season)
This is on our bucket list, big-time. We want to head to the open ocean to watch the migrating whales. They pass by this area of the coast and you can do the trip with Naturalist Charters, located in Dunsborough.
Take A Hike
The famous Cape to Cape track winds along the coast here and you can basically walk any section if you are looking to take a short hike. One of the most Insta-popular sites around are Quinninup Falls.
Despite being Western Australian, I first saw these pretty waterfalls on Instagram! The track to the Quinninup falls is not especially difficult (allow about 45 minutes one way – or 3km) and also offers great views along the coast.
Visit Family Friendly Wineries & Breweries Around Yallingup
Swings and Roundabouts is a popular family friendly winery with a casual atmosphere, picnic tables, and a big lawn for the kids to run on. We’ve heard that their wood fired pizza is divine but haven’t stopped. Swings and Roundabouts is well located in relation to the Cape Lavender tearooms and the turn off to Canal Rocks.
Windows Estate is another place that gets good reviews for kids – they have lawns and outdoor games as well as elegant, though understated wines.
If you enjoy good pub fare then why not stop by Caves House. The kids will enjoy the grassy banks in this heritage garden.
Bunkers Beach House gets rave reviews; it’s right on the beach overlooking Bunker Bay. How suitable it is for kids, we don’t know. If you do happen to know, please drop your thoughts in the comments below.
Goanna Cafe has an outdoor play area, and that makes it a winner in our book. It comes recommended by locals as a great family friendly place to eat around Yallingup. The Goanna Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch.
And last, but not least, is the fantastically kid friendly Cheeky Monkey Brewery.
Friendly Winter Activities In Yallingup
It is no secret that the summer holidays are busy around the entire Margaret River region as Perth folk head south for a little cooler weather. We’ve often taken long weekends down to Yallingup, Dunsborough, and nearby Busselton during the winter.
Many of the accommodation places offer pay 3, stay 4 type deals. The walk trails are empty. The beaches are windswept and brooding coast makes for some stunning pictures.
Many Yallingup accommodation places have cozy warm fires. If the weather is particularly inclement, take the chance to enjoy some truly family bonding. Grab some cards or a board game and cozy up by the fire.
Winter is definitely our go-to time for a visit to the Yallingup, Dunsborough and the Busselton area. If you like to have an indoor swimming pool like we do, take a look at our list of recommended indoor pools (these are tried and tested because our kids love to swim)!
If your kids aren’t too noisy, then consider a stay in these heritage rooms. The property is set on a gorgeous 35-acres and a close drive to Canal Rocks and the Yallingup Maze. Check here for current prices to stay at the Caves House Hotel.
Wildwood Valley is for the wild ones. They are self-catering and fully furnished. They allow you the space and privacy you need for a country getaway. Check here for current prices to stay at Wildwood Valley.
This is a traditional caravan park right on Yallingup beach.
Self-contained, these are homey refurbished apartments. They include a washer and dryer which can be useful for those wet days or if you have been travelling a while. You can hear the powerful waves of Yallingup beach from the apartments, and they have great views. Check here for current prices to stay at the Canal Rocks Beachfront Apartments.
Located in lovely gardens full of birds, these self-contained apartments are great for families, and have a kitchen and washing machine. Located adjacent to Caves House and 15 minutes’ walk from the beach. Check here for currents prices to stay at Seashells Yallingup.
Famous in the Margaret River region, these apartments have living areas upstairs with views of the ocean and coast. They are fully equipped with everything you would expect from a high quality resort and are located very close to Canal Rocks. Check here for current prices to stay at Smiths Beach Resort.
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