With the Mazda CX-9 being Australia’s most awarded family SUV, we thought we’d put it to the test. Thanks to Parkland Mazda, Perth we took it on a family road trip down to Bussleton and the Margaret River region for the weekend. Here are the best places to visit when holidaying with kids in Margaret River.
Crooked Carrot Cafe
On the way to Bussleton we stopped off at the Crooked Carrot Cafe between Mandurah and Bunbury. It was the perfect pit stop for lunch, good coffee and the kids to burn off some energy. It has a spacious outdoor play area with numerous old tractors that the kids had great fun climbing aboard. Definitely worth a visit.
A friend with similar aged children had recommended visiting Ngilgi Cave in Yallingup, and despite wondering whether our youngest may be too young at just 20 months old, she loved it, exclaiming “wow wee” several times as we explored the cave to the depth of 35 metres. A tour guide led us to the cave, telling us how it is named after an Aboriginal legend about a battle between a good spirit ‘Ngilgi’ and evil spirit ‘Wolgine’. Once in the cave, the tour guide pointed us in the direction of the next guide located at the bottom of the cave and left us to explore on our own, which made it feel like more of an adventure! Our eldest was so excited, wanting to run off and explore; we kept having to ask him to wait for us. Once we reached the next guide she talked us through a display of the cave’s beautiful crystals and shone a light on some. Much to my son’s delight one looked green like kryptonite – Superman’s weakness! Daddy was a little tired carrying our youngest up and down the many stairs, nevertheless we all thoroughly enjoyed our little adventure.
Simmos Ice Creamery
Another place we had been recommended was Dunsborough’s famous Simmos Ice Creamery and family fun park. As soon as you arrive you’re greeted with delicious ice-cream in a variety of wonderful flavours (I particularly enjoyed the Ferrero Rocher one!). After devouring those we had great fun attempting to play a full round of mini golf, managing 10 holes before calling it a day. There was plenty more for the kids to do, with spacious grassed areas for them to play, and a large playground with a wooden ship, fort, aeroplane and car to keep them occupied. The children also enjoyed seeing Edward, the resident emu who apparently also loves ice-cream!
Busselton Jetty and underwater observatory
We couldn’t stay in Busselton without a trip to its famous jetty which extends 1.8km over Geographe Bay and is the longest timber jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. The kids were excited to travel on the jetty train across the sea, waving to people who were fishing or walking past along the way. At the end of the jetty we descended 8 metres beneath the sea in the impressive Underwater Observatory, where we got to see several different types of fish and crabs as they swam in the wild, and learned more about them courtesy of our tour guide. We also got to try out 3D virtual reality headsets which allowed us to experience the ocean through the eyes of a diver; something which my son loved…and is now on his Christmas list!
Eagle Bay Brewing Co
Bussleton down to the Margaret River region boasts many family friendly wineries and breweries. We opted to visit the Eagle Bay Brewing Co in Dunsborough due to it being not too far away from where we were staying. What a fab venue with magnificent views overlooking lush countryside to Cape Naturaliste and the Indian Ocean. The family run restaurant and microbrewery also has a small vineyard located on-site so has a delicious range of handcrafted beer and wine on offer. I particularly enjoyed a glass of their bubbles rosé whilst sitting watching the kids play in a large island themed sandpit with a boat in the middle full of toys. They also had great fun rolling down the grassed hill and playing with a football on the lawn. Whilst we didn’t eat at the brewery, the food looked delicious; particularly their woodfired pizzas, which we’ll be sure to sample on our next visit!
Dolphin Discovery Centre and Eco Cruise
To break up the journey on the way home to Perth, we decided to stop at the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury in the hope of seeing some wild dolphins. Joining a 1.5 hour Dolphin Eco Cruise, we were amazed to see several Bottlenose dolphins within minutes of being on the boat! The playful dolphins – clearly used to and comfortable with the tour boat – swam right beside us and underneath the boat on many occasions, providing plenty of photo opportunities. On the tour around Koombana Bay, our skipper told us approximately 200 dolphins live in the area. We must have seen over 20 of the super dolphins; a real treat to round up our holiday!
What our tribe loved about the Mazda CX9
It oozes the luxury of a high quality car whilst offering all the functionalities you might need (and more!) for a family car. It included:
- A massive boot with tonnes of space
- Option for a 7 seater
- Built-in sat nav
- Separate reverse cycle air conditioning in the back seat and front seat
- Sensors on the mirrors to avoid collision
- Several USB and AUX ports for the kids devices (and ours)
- Economical fuel consumption (one tank of petrol took us on our 600km road trip)
SPECIAL OFFER FOR YOUR TRIBE
Are you a Perth tribe in the market for a new car? Thanks to Parkland Mazda in Perth, if you mention this article or Entertain My Tribe to the friendly staff there, they will throw in a $500 accessory voucher, 3 years free roadside, a $250 fuel voucher and a free service with their Club Parkie scheme.
Guest Tribe ~ @pommuminperth
[This article is a sponsored post for Parkland Mazda]