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48 hours in the . . .BUNGEOfor Active FamiliesFROM SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS TO DEFYING GRAVITY, DISCOVER ENDLESS ACTIVITIES IN THE BUNGEO TO KEEP THE WHOLE FAMILY ENTERTAINED.By BROOKE EVANS.Sometimes it can be hard to plan the perfect holiday that serves the whole family's needs; but in the BunGeo region there's so much diversity that the real challenge will be narrowing down what to do.
When it comes to outdoor experiences, being home to more than 40 parks and playgrounds families are spoilt for choice in Bunbury (natural attractions aside) and it’s only set to get better with developments such as the Youth Precinct and Water Splash Park due for completion this year.
The Koombana Bay Foreshore precinct is one of the most popular areas for families to spend a day and also the location of the Dolphin Discovery Centre – amust for all families visiting Bunbury.
Once you escape the city the opportunities for exploring your natural surroundings grows tenfold. With endless trails through ancient forest, breathtaking beaches, fun water-based activities, plus family-friendly breweries to take a breath at over lunch.
There's so much to explore so to take the pressure off, check out some of our suggestions for a great couple of actionpacked days for families with some energy to burn.
DAY 1Settle in Discovery Parks in Bunbury is a fantastic spot to base yourselves for a weekend packed with activity. With a range of accommodation options available from a comfortable cabin sleeping up to six people, to a family room for four, to camping under the stars at a powered or non-powered site, there’s something for any style of adventure.
With a swimming pool, games room, tennis and basketball court and a range of hire equipment to offer, Discovery Parks is bursting with activity itself. That's before you even step out to explore the city, let alone the region.
Just a five minute stroll from the town centre, the park is conveniently located close to many natural wonders and experiences.
Soon enough, the exciting new splash park will be a stone's throw away at the Bunbury Foreshore, due for completition mid-2022.
Grab breakfast in style For a little slice of France, visit La Pause Miam, your local French inspired café, and tuck into some tasty crêpes for breakfast or brunch and enjoy a freshly brewed coffee to get you going for the day. The best part is you can keep the kids entertained with a dedicated corner to children’s entertainment. If it all looks way too tempting, be sure to buy some of their delicious cakes and pastries to takeaway for morning tea.
Dive into Dolphin Discovery
The Dolphin Discovery Centre couldn't be recommended enough if you're seeking something to inspire all ages. It is the whole family's chance to get a glimpse of the magic of marine life.
The fish-themed coral aquariums are bound to bring a smile to your faces and the impressive 360-degree Digital Dolphinarium at the Interpretive Centre will blow your mind. Learn about the history of Koombana Bay and its environment with interactive marine displays, activities, feeding programs and tours, all designed to create memorable experiences.
The Interactive Zone is perhaps one of the most rewarding experiences, a chance to get up close and personal. Its also the only beach in the area where you'll experience dolphins cruising along and coming to meet you.
If you’re after something even more immersive, then jump on board the centre’s 90min Dolphin Eco Cruise and witness the dolphins in all their glory out in nature. Expert guides accompany you on this award-winning experience guaranteed to thrill your junior marine biologist. There's also the Dolphin Swim Tour which is a chance to truly get to know what it's like in the wild.
If all that discovery is getting your tummies rumbling, tuck into fresh burgers, fish and chips, curries, soups or salads from the diverse, seasonal menu at the Discovery Centre. With a cozy setting in winter and an open setting in summer to let the breeze in, the café enjoys epic beachside views alongside Koombana Bay.
FAMILIES ARE SPOILT FOR CHOICE IN BUNBURY AND IT'S ONLY SET TO GET BETTER Explore the Bunbury Mural Trail self-guided tour After your animal-fix, inspire creativity and explore the wonderful art on display through the streets of Bunbury.
The vibrant colours and fun murals are a sight to see. Make a game of it with the kids as you discover a new suprise around each corner, with the world-class murals woven through wide streets and narrow laneways.
The self-guided mural tour is a brilliant way to rediscover Bunbury’s city centre, whether you stumble upon a few amid a casual stroll, or plan a bike tour to fit in more.
Whatever your mode of transport, enjoy the trail at your own pace and don’t forget to stop for coffee, food and/or shopping at any number of amazing independent cafés and stores on your way.
Victoria Street, Marlston Hill Waterfront, and East Bunbury near the Parade Hotel are all fantastic food precincts worth exploring.
Sit back for sunset with fish and chips It’s been a long day, so the perfect way to relax and soak in some serenity is to pick up some fish and chips and set up a picnic on the beach to watch the sun set.
With several fish and chip shops around, you’ll have some great options to suit your crew. The Fishermans Basket or meal deal from AJ’s on Symmons Street, for example, will serve as a great spread for a hungry family, with kids packs available too.
Not sure which beach to choose to enjoy your fish and chip feast? Back Beach is walking distance from AJ’s (and a short drive from Fishers on Beach Rd and Aristos Waterfront) so it's the perfect spot to set up a picnic rug to eat your fish and chips while they are still nice and hot. Koombana Bay is another popular sunset spot, and only a short drive from all three fish and chip shop suggestions.
If you prefer dining in, Aristos Waterfront’s stunning location lives up to its name, looking out over Koombana Bay. There is so much fresh, local seafood to select from here, from classic fish and chips to oysters and seafood platters.
DAY 2Indulge at The Happy Wife Located on the beautiful Leschenault Inlet, where dolphins visit almost daily, the Happy Wife is a stunning spot to start the day.
Treat yourselves to the tropical pancake - abuttermilk pancake with roasted pineapple, mango coulis, toasted coconut, strawberries and local Bean & Cone passionfruit and coconut ice cream. Everything is home baked, on the premises, right down to its croissants. Delicious!
Wonder at wildlife Continue yesterday’s animal adventure with the Bunbury Wildlife Park. Being home to a variety of native animals including dingoes, kangaroos, emus, reptiles, quokkas and even Sherman the wombat, this is another iconic family destination.
A fun and interactive highlight is the chance to feed the kangaroos! The park also has daily animal encounters and ample space for a family picnic under the shady trees to laze about all afternoon.
After you have seen all the animals, check out the Big Swamp Playground where the kids can roam free.
Have lunch at a local brewery Make your way out (approximately a 30 minute drive) to the stunning Ferguson Valley where you’ll find the family-friendly Bush Shack Brewery, a fun place for all.
The grown-ups can enjoy the naturally brewed ales and there are a range of meals to fill everyone’s bellies. Try the crunchy Korean chicken wings as a starter and a juicy pulled pork burger for something more substantial. Please the kids too with a range of 'kids bites' like the gnocchi or chicken nuggets.
There’s a playground and lawn games to keep the little ones entertained and if you are travelling with your dog, they are welcome at Bush Shack Brewery too!
Go on a trip to Gnomesville Deep in the Ferguson Valley, hidden among stunning natural bushland is a truly captivating treasure trove to behold.
Thousands of gnomes can be found at the iconic and curious Gnomesville – it is something the kids will love. Walk the stunning natural bush trails and boardwalks and spend time getting to know some of the local characters.
Defy gravity If the kids still have energy to burn, be sure to take them to Gravity E.T.C. Get your kids moving, bouncing, tumbling, balancing, flipping and flying their way around 1,800sqm of high energy activity zones.
Located in Dalyellup this purpose-built centre is complete with a whopping collection of trampolines, seven activity zones, café, parent’s retreat and soft play area for children under three years. The venue is a locally-owned, disability and special needs friendly centre, providing fun, health and mindfulness for youth, families and community groups.
Bite into a satisfying burger Finish off a jam packed day with a juicy burger at the gourmet burger bar Paddy’s Patties in Bunbury. Owned by Japanese chef Norio Idei, Paddy’s Patties serves up some exciting options, with plenty of Japanese influence. Made using fresh local produce primarily sourced from the Bunbury Farmers Markets, try the Sukiyaki burger with a Black Angus patty, thinly sliced beef, fried egg, pickle, shithimi and yuzu mayo. Or there’s a crispy chicken katsu burger the kids will love.
Head back to your accommodation and rest up after a busy couple of days!