It is such a wonderful feeling when you are packing up your van and heading to a new place to go explore and camp. It is that taste of freedom we love, the freedom that our van allows us to experience. We love it, and really love having our house with us where ever we go.
Western Australia’s south-west is somewhere we had not been yet so we were keen as mustard to get going. Everyone had been raving about the bottom of Western Australia so we couldn’t wait to check check out those beautiful coastal towns.
Our first stop from Perth was a short drive to Bunbury. This was nice and close, about a 2 hour drive and roughly 200kms South. We stayed in Australind at Belvidere Campsite, a paid bushcamp right on Lake Leschenault. This was a beauty of a campground and we had a large open camp spot, which came with a private fire-pit and supplied wood to have a fire at night. What really made this a highlight for us was as the sunset the kangaroos bounced around the campground. The kids were free to ride their bikes around and watch as the kangaroos stood among them. After dinner we all sat around the campfire and enjoyed toasting marshmellows. We highly recommend this place for a night two.
Bunbury is a built up city and has all that you need to top up on supplies, get the car serviced etc. It is also well known for the Dolphin Discovery Centre located on Bunbury’s Koombana Bay. A place where you can see the dolphins up close as they swim along the shore. This is run by volunteers and is all in a controlled environment. We went down to have a look and stood in the water less than a metre away from the dolphins that were swimming past. This is a free experience, a donation is welcomed up at the Discovery Centre. Other things to see and do in Bunbury are
- Donneybrook Apple Farm
- Gnomesville Dardanup
- Taffy Confection Makers
- Bunbury Wildlife Park
- Australind Skatepark
The lovely Bussleton did not disappoint. When we arrived it was a hot 37 degree day and the Ironman was on. This Ironman is a very well known sporting event and had participants from all over the world, let’s just say the town was VERY busy.
After the Ironman the town quietened down to it’s usual . Bussleton has a warm and friendly feeling about it. Down near the foreshore it has plenty of cafe’s to grab a coffee or you can go
Bussleton is also filled with so many accommodation options, some more luxurious than others. For a family friendly caravan park with all the trimmings head to the Mandalay Caravan Park and for a self sufficient park your van up on some grass you can head to the Bussleton Farm in Vasse.
We found so much to do in Bussleton and found it very kid-friendly. Which is always a bonus as we have 3 children under 8 years old. The Bussleton foreshore was always a winner for us. This is where for a small fee you take the train to the end of the jetty or take the scenic walk to the end. We chose to walk and our youngest didn’t make it so we had to carry him back. Golly gosh our legs were on fire!! Let’s just say we all enjoyed a cold drink at the pub afterwards.
On those hot days the Bussleton foreshore has a playground which also has a water feature, where the kids can play and cool off. It was brilliant as we sat over at the restaurant and had a drink and some nibbles while the kids played. On another night we grabbed some fish and chipsSome cool things to check out while in Bussleton are
- Anniebrook Farm
- Geographe Bay
- Yallingup Maze
- Candy Cow
- Discover Deadly
DUNSBOROUGH and YALLINGUP
Dunsborough is a very short drive from Bussleton, we parked our van up at Bussleton and took day trips to Dunsborough and Yallingup from here. Depending on where you are going it is only a 15-30km drive from Bussleton. All along the Geographe Bay is a beautiful coastal scenic drive and has plenty of nice beaches and lookouts to stop and admire the views.
Our favourite beach was Meelup Beach, the beach had everything we look for in a beach. It is sheltered from the wind, you can hire out SUP (stand up paddle boards), BBQ’s with a grassy area, toilets, showers and it even had a coffee van! Anywhere with a coffee van is our kind of place. But yes this beach was beautiful, crystal clear waters, no seaweed and small waves for the children. This is our oldest giving body boarding a go .
Yallingup is famous for it’s breath taking caves, stunning sunsets, it’s blue beaches and world class wineries. It is no wonder it attracts many tourists wanting to stay and explore. We highly recommend calling in, even if it is just for the day.
Our most recommended place to go visit is the Injidup Natural Spa or the local name is Wyadup Rocks. After visiting you will leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Although this is not an easy access location, unfortunately it is not pram or wheelchair friendly. It has about 200 metres of rocky pathway that leads down to the rockpool or ‘natural spa’. Our children did climb over fine, with only a little assistance. The short walk is all well worth it once you get down. It is just picturesque and exactly like the photo’s. On a hot day the rocks get very hot so lay your towel down and sit on them after going for a swim. Sit back and watch the water gush through the tiny holes in the rocks and come gushing through into the rockpool.
Other attractions to see and do in both Dunsborough and Yallingup are
- Bunker Bay (another nice beach to visit with kids)
- Centennial Park Playground
- Xscape at the cape funpark
- Country life farm
- Yallingup Maze
- Ngilgi Caves
We had every intention of only spending a few weeks in and around these towns but five weeks later we were still here exploring. We did eventually move on and our next stop was Margaret River. Check out our next blog post on the wonderful world of Margaret River.
Yours truly Kylie and Dan x