It’s a rainy March day as I write this, and although it feels like Term 1 is whizzing by, this blustery weather makes it the perfect time to jot down our bucket list April School Holiday activities in Margaret River!
Beaches – Swim, Surf, Kayak, Canoe
If it’s a beautiful sunny day you can swim, and if it’s cooler then book the grommets a surfing lesson.
Rivermouth beach – learn to surf with Josh Palmateer’s Surf Academy, hire a kayak or canoe for a paddle up the river. Josh and his team do a top job – they also look after our Surf + Wine Safari Tour guests and always get an excellent wrap.
Prevelly Beach – just a great place to chill out, swim, build a sandcastle or watch some world-class surfing. Speaking of surfing, the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro is on at Prevelly from 28 March to 8 April 2017.
Contos – some people say it should be kept secret – it’s a beautiful beach, great for swimming, surfing or fishing, yet surprisingly, many people haven’t heard of it. There’s a basic campsite set amongst the peppermint trees. Be sure to book ahead, but it’d be a pretty special place to wake up! Surfing lessons at Contos are available through Surf n Dirt – see below.
Hamelin Bay – those sting rays! It’s just down the road, and it’s no surprise that plenty of locals from Margaret River to Yallingup choose Hamelin Bay for a mini break. Camp at the Caravan Park opposite the beach, and enjoy the serenity and friendly sting rays.
Adventure – Surf n Dirt
My best mate Paul Berry runs Surf n Dirt Adventure Tours and his tours are a real blast – your kids will love it too. Choose your adventure and you’ll have a professional guide looking after you with great quality equipment: go mountain biking through the Boranup Forest, kayak down the Blackwood River at Chatmans Pool or learn to surf at Contos Beach, Margaret River. Tell Paul that Lincoln McLeod sent you!
Wineries and Breweries – with play grounds
Aravina tops the list, with a quality playground and excellent views. The playground is fully fenced in, and features swings, slides, things to climb and more. The staff will bring your takeaway coffee to you. There’s a beautiful restaurant, well suited to long lunches with wine. Brekkie or lunch with kids? I’d recommend Goanna Café which is 10 minutes from Aravina and perfectly suited to kids of all ages.
Cheeky Monkey – the ultimate brewery play ground! It’s one of those brightly coloured metal play grounds and it’s huge. Again, it’s fully fenced in so you can relax knowing the kids are safe. Cheeky’s range of craft beer keeps growing – so stay for lunch by the dam!
Brewhouse Margaret River – The 3 owners of this newish brewery all have young kids and designed it to be the kind of place they could bring their families. They have Sunday Sessions live music from 4-10pm each Sunday throughout April. And their food is some of the best in the region.
Eagle Bay Brewing Co – that view! Be sure to book, as it’s the place to be seen. Beautiful views, brews, pizzas and the play ground isn’t bad either. Relaxed, family-friendly vibe and not too far from some spectacular beaches (check our blog on things to do on the way home for a list of top beaches) and the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.
Bootleg Brewery – a pioneer in the Margaret River craft brewing scene, Bootleg has produced yummy food and brews for about 20 years now. Kids will love their playground and games.
Play, Climb Explore – Things to do
The Yallingup Maze – plenty of games, puzzles, a playground and tree logs to climb – kids love this place. There’s a bouncy castle if the weather is perfect, but the main attraction is of course the wooden maze.
Amaze’n Margaret River – they’ve done an incredible job growing a true hedge maze, beautiful gardens and crazy golf for extra laughs. You can really get lost in this maze, but somehow the kids run around so quickly that they’ll help you find your way out. There’s outdoor games and beautiful grounds, and picnics are welcome.
Jesters Flat Horse Riding – Paul and Fiona have created a wonderful place in Jesters Flat. Their horses are beautifully looked after, their instructors are experienced and excellent teachers, and the experience of riding through the bush is absolutely magical! There’s a range of tour options for riders of all ability. Some tours include afternoon tea or wine afterwards – and they’ve started offering four-day tours.
Mammoth, Lake, Jewel, Calgardup & Ngilgi Caves – If it’s raining, go caving! We recommend these caves for rainy days as you pretty much go straight underground and under cover. Many of the caves have great new LED lighting systems, boardwalks and better conservation measures in place. In-fact, did you know Neils dad Dudley McLeod was a Cave guide during the late 50’s through to 1962. I guess you could say showing people this beautiful region is in the blood.
Mammoth Cave – home of the Megafauna fossils (think ‘giant wombat’) and great school holiday workshops. Be sure to book workshop spots for your kids. It’s a self-guided tour – perfect as you can set your own pace.
Ngilgi Cave – near Yallingup – has a semi-guided tour. Your guide gives you a 15 minute intro about the Aboriginal dreamtime story and discovery of the cave in 1899. You’re then free to explore the cave at your leisure.
Calgardup Cave – managed by Department of Parks and Wildlife, this one feels a little more adventurous and authentic as you don a helmet and torch and descend into the dark. There’s steep steps at the entrance, but this is a really special cave accessible by people aged 2 to 60+.
Jewel Cave – spectacular cave and a great opportunity to learn more about the history and formations. Tours are fully guided and last 60 minutes.
Lake Cave The cave is one of my personal favourites, with entry to this cave is through a doline – a large hole in the earth’s surface. At the top of the doline there is a suspended deck with a spectacular views overlooking the cave entry. There is also an interpretative centre onsite, designed to help you learn about the formation and history of caves within the region.
Meet the friendly locals – on a Sunset Kangaroo Safari
We had to sneak it in – a plug of our Sunset Kangaroo Safari tour, which delights the young and young at heart! We pick you up late in the afternoon and bring you to our home to meet our horses and see the wild kangaroos. We live on a beautiful property off Caves Road which is part of the family farm purchased by Neil McLeod’s grandfather over one hundred years ago.
We’ll go for a ride in the Bedford truck – lovingly restored by Neil. We make authentic billy tea – tea made in a billy can, and have a slice of Coralie’s famous orange cake. Be sure to bring your camera as we’ll see plenty of wonderful kangaroos! Kids and adults all have a great time on this tour.