48 Hours in Bunbury with Kids!
Find our coastal city of creativity and relaxed energy. Bunbury is bursting with activities that the whole family will genuinely love!
Wander out yonder this weekend with our kid-friendly 48 Hour itinerary.
Day One – Perth to Bunbury
Escape Perth at 3pm and be in Bunbury for sunset – it’s the perfect kid-friendly down south drive. Drive south on Forrest Highway. Allow 1 hour, 45 minutes to 2 hours. Alternatively, take the Australind Train.
There are a plethora of family options including apartments at Bunbury Hotel Koombana Bay on the historic Bunbury Waterfront with an indoor heated pool and tennis courts. Discovery Parks Bunbury Foreshore’s deluxe waterfront 3-bedroom villas are located on the water’s edge of the Leschenault Inlet, and next door is the Quest Bunbury Apartment Hotel – you’ll love the outdoor swimming pool, free Wifi and pantry service. For a large hotel, try inter-connecting rooms at Best Western Plus Hotel Lord Forest or a family room at the Quality Hotel Lighthouse. For views of the Indian Ocean and Bunbury’s Back Beach, head to Bunbury Seaview Apartments. Soak up the character at the historic Blue Bird Cottage (c1900); it has the cutest kids room with antique wrought iron beds and a bathtub. Or the exceptional service at Wendy’s Weekender.
Tonight head to a Bunbury local institution, The Rose Hotel. Serving customers since 1865, the State Heritage-listed hotel remains one of WA’s unique venues. Let the kids enjoy the play area while you enjoy a glass of wine. Love steak? Head to the Lone Star Rib House; their Teeny Totters menu will keep the little ones happy. Afterwards, pay a visit to The Bean & Cone and dig into homemade gelato, sorbets, and frozen yoghurts or be extra indulgent and enjoy their milkshakes, sundaes or waffle plates.
Kick Start the Day
Begin your kid-friendly weekend in Bunbury with a heart-starter of seriously good coffee coupled with some seriously delicious nourishment at the Townhouse for Bunbury’s best pancakes. If the sun is shining, head to their banging backyard featuring wall murals by local artists. Dine street-side and watch the world go by at Benesse Bunbury.
Remember that charming bistro you visited last time you were in Paris pre-kids? Venture down Central Arcade to La Pause Miam, a Parisian café with Scandi style. Locals vote their coffee as the best in the city and you’ll love their kid’s play area! Or, if you are on a health kick visit Plant Organic Cafe & Market for a green smoothie with home-made almond milk and a famous choc spirulina superfood ball.
If it’s a Saturday, head to The Bunbury Markets in Queens Gardens. (ED Note: there’s an awesome playground next door too!)
Depending on the weather, teach the kids to surf with Bunbury Surf School; our small waves provide the perfect learning environment. In the warmer months, there is SUP on offer too.
Australia’s Premier Dolphin Experience
It’s time to get up and close to nature at Australia’s premier wild dolphin experience; the new $12 million Dolphin Discovery Centre. The Interpretive Centre is a must-do for kids with themed fish and coral aquariums and an amazing 360-degree Digital Dolphinarium, as well as an interpretation of the Koombana Bay environment and its history. A must-do, bucket list activity is the 12 noon Dolphin Discovery Centre’s Dolphin Eco Cruise tour in Koombana Bay. Dolphins can be seen frolicking, playing, sleeping and feeding. The informative commentary from the skipper of the boat will also keep you updated throughout the cruise.
Meet Wardandi Boodja, a five and a half metre corten steel bust that pays deep respect to the Noongar people located on the Koombana Bay foreshore.
Next door to the Centre is the new Koombana Foreshore Playground. Kids will love the water play activities, climbing towers and a zipline. Grab a coffee at the Hello Summer Beach Kiosk while you wait (you kids will also enjoy their famous Shaved Ice concoctions). Continue along the Koombana Foreshore and over the Koombana FootBridge which is designed to resemble a ship’s hulls. Look down as your feet follow the names of the numerous shipwrecks that came to grief in Koombana Bay.
Water View Lunch
Start your lunch journey at the Marlston Waterfront Precinct: Aristos is the place to go for seafood, the Bayview Bar is home to WA’s best steak sandwich, Mash Brewery is perfect if mum and dad are craving a brew, and Dome is a coffee institution and nearby Corners on the Bay is a local favourite.
Walk off lunch along the boardwalk and continue to learn about Bunbury’s fascinating maritime history. Then pay a visit to Taffy’s (Morris Lane). If you time it right, you may see the taffy making demonstration with free yummy tastings.
Take in the View
Only a 5-10 minute walk from the waterfront is the Marlston Hill Lookout. A climb to the top will reward you with fabulous 360 views over Bunbury and beyond.
Ease into the weekend with a commitment-free shopping trip around the Victoria Street precinct. Source beautiful children’s clothing, gift and toys at Kidd & Co for babies to 8-year-olds. Mums Emma and Ally have created a divine collection with a strong emphasis on organic clothing and products. From Pap & Nimmy Organic, Bebe, Coco and Ginger, to Melbourne-based brand Designer Kidz, you’ll be oohing over the super-cute product.
Expand those little minds and carve time out of your schedule for some historic education at Bunbury Museum & Heritage Centre, complete with interactive displays and touring exhibitions.
Next, grab a copy of the Bunbury’s ReDiscover Street Art Map from the Bunbury Visitor Centre and see the city from a different perspective. Bunbury is home to the largest collection of street and public art in regional Australia. Kids will love finding the whimsical characters painted by leading WA artists on 20 electrical boxes scattered through the CBD. On your journey, stop at the BRAG – housed in a very distinctive pink convent.
Pizza, Pasta, Burgers and More
If you have a hoard of hungry boys, Cafe Bean’s $12 Pizza or Pasta nights (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) are sure to fill empty stomachs. For the best burgers around, Right on Burgers next to Grand Cinemas is the place to go to. Think local beef ground daily with 24-hour ferment buns (note – vege options too) and finish with a fab soft gelato. For something special try Market Eating House – it’s the sort of place you plan your weekend around. They don’t offer a kids menu, but your kids will happily devour anything from MEH.
Bunbury is home to BREC, Australia’s premier entertainment centre with awesome shows most nights. Grand Cinemas is adjacent, with six screens on offer. Afterwards, savour coffee and cafe (or more) at Mojos Bunbury. Otherwise, across the road kids can test their gaming skills at TimeZone.
Lazy Sunday Breakfast
Located metres from as playground and Jetty Baths beach, Vat 2 is a perennial breakfast favourite with families. Book a possie on the deck so you can watch the mini thespians play while you savour a Champagne breakfast. Multi-tasking at its best!
Wear Them Out
Walk or ride (you can hire bikes from Melo Velo) around the 5km Leschenault Inlet Walk. Stop at the Mangrove Boardwalk to discover Western Australia’s southernmost mangroves. Next climb the new architecturally designed Koombana Park Lookout for 350 views on the inlet and Koombana Bay. (ED Note: check out the new Skyes Foreshore playground next to Discovery Parks.)
Continue around the Inlet, down Richmond Street and Austral Parade until you stumble across The Happy Wife where everything is homebaked on the premises, right down to the croissants. Be sure to grab a table outside to take in the Inlet views. Alternatively, walk across the road to Corners on King. It may be a little early, but you must order a crazy shake. With more than six varieties to choose from you’ll be sure to find your secret indulgence. Hop back on your bike and continue riding around the Inlet (wearing off your crazy shake) to your hotel to check out. (ED Note: if visiting later in the day try the awesome views of the historic Parade Hotel or a gourmet burger from Paddy’s Patties.)
Lunch with the Best Ocean Views
Savour lunch with uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean at the BackBeach Cafe & Restaurant. It offers the most extensive kids menu in Bunbury and a play area too! Afterwards, take a walk along the beach to the Jetty Bath ruins and Wyalup Rocky Point. The basalt rock formations at Wyalup have deposited thousands of years ago by flowing lava and now create an eye-catching feature. Not far away is the famous checkered Bunbury Lighthouse.
Kangaroo Selfie Time
Head to Bunbury Wildlife Park. A selfie with one of their friendly kangaroos is a must! You can also meet dingoes, feed the cockatoos, and check out all forms of reptiles. Next door is a massive playground – one of the most popular in Bunbury. Across the road is the Big Swamp Wetlands, a unique reserve that is home to over 70 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and fish. Take the Paperbark Boardwalk for a moody Instagram snap!
As you head home, one of your last stops should be the Bunbury Farmers Market. This place is legendary; nicknamed the IKEA of Food. The produce here – much of it sourced from surrounding farms – is mostly organic and explodes with flavour. Grab gourmet pies, homemade soups, the most amazing local and French cheeses, and so much more.
Stay safe and follow COVID regulations. Info subject to change.