There’s so much family-friendly fun on offer in Bunbury.
Despite being the state’s second-largest city, it’s only in recent times that the spotlight has been turned on to Bunbury.
And rightly so.
There’s so much family-friendly fun on offer in the city that it’s hard to know where to start. From dolphins to Dreamtime stories, trampolines to ten-foot murals, Bunbury’s got something to keep every member of the family happy.
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect destination for your next family getaway, let this bumper list of (mostly free) family things to do in Bunbury entice you to make the 2-hour drive down to south.
Dolphin Discovery Centre
Treat the kids to a day they’ll never forget at the state-of-the-art Dolphin Discovery Centre. As the name implies, this is the one spot in Bunbury that you can learn all there is to know about dolphins, as well as interact with them in their natural habitat. ‘Meet and greet’ the dolphins for free at the dolphin interaction zone on Koombana Bay beach (a volunteer from the centre will take you out when the dolphins come by), or book in to jump aboard a boat and spend the morning swimming with the inquisitive creatures out in the bay.
Post dolphin interaction, grab some coffees and milkshakes from the cafe and head inside to the interpretive centre to see the aquariums full of local sea life. You can spot rays, turtles, fish, and more starfish than the little ones can count on two hands.
Fun fact: the coral in the tanks is grown onto the custom-built artificial reefs just outside of the dolphin interaction zone, before being relocated into the tanks. It really doesn’t get more local than that.
Koombana Bay Foreshore
With any luck, all the excitement of the dolphins has worn the kids out for the day.
If they’re still brimming with energy, let them run amok next door on one of Bunbury’s finest playgrounds. It sits on the redeveloped Koombana Bay foreshore and boasts all the usual suspects – swings, a climbing net, and a suspension bridge – as well as inbuilt trampolines and the famous flying fox. Sit back with one eye on the kids and the other on the ocean in front of you, or commandeer one of the picnic tables for a barbecued feast. While you’re at the playground, don’t forget to check out ‘Wardandi Boodja’ just beside the playground, the beautiful Noongar elder sculpture by local artists Nicole and Alex Mickle.
Bunbury Regional Art Gallery (BRAG)
But wait, there’s more (art)! Make Beastman’s mural on the rear side of BRAG your last stop on the ReDiscover Bunbury art trail to keep the art gazing going. Before heading inside the gallery to see the sculptures and canvasses, grab that Insta-worthy photo with the kids in front of the fairy-floss pink building. Once a convent, the historic federation gothic building is an artwork in itself. Inside, you’ll find six exhibition galleries showcasing the works of local and international artists.
ReDiscover Street Art Trail
There’s no better way to see Bunbury than on the ReDiscover street art trail. The art trail came to life in 2016 when Six Two Three Zero (an independent, Bunbury-based initiative) commissioned Stormie Mills, Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Anya Brock, Jodee Knowles, Tim Howe, and Andrew Frazer to paint murals in public spaces across the city. Fast forward to 2020, and there are now a grand total of 31 large-scale artworks by artists from all over the world to discover around Bunbury. The free art trail leads you behind the cinema, down Victoria St, past the Graham Bricknell Sound Shell, and more. Download the detailed trail map, slap on some sunscreen, and get walking.
Tip: Download the ‘Outside the Box’ trail map to double up on fun. It details the location of all the power box art around town too.
Foster the little groms’ boarding talent with a morning spent at the Back Beach. The small, rideable shore break is perfect for beginners on the surfboard or bodyboard, otherwise, there’s plenty of fun to be had riding the whitewash into shore. If the kids aren’t quite up for jumping on the board themselves, take a walk up to ‘backwash’ at the basalt rocks to see more experienced bodyboarders being tossed into the air by the ebbing tide.
Tip: Check what the wind is doing before deciding on a beach day. The conditions are best when the wind is coming from the east.
Bunbury Wildlife Park
Dolphins aren’t the only animals the family can meet in Bunbury. At the Bunbury Wildlife Park, the kids are welcome to hand feed the friendly mob of kangaroos that live on the large paddock and mingle with the bird population in the free-flight aviary. Like the roos, the birds will also eat feed from your hands, but there’s strictly no touching or feeding the park’s resident peacocks, quokkas, wombats, and dingos. Take a picnic with you to enjoy under the shady trees at the park, or move your blanket across to the nearby playground to give the kids somewhere to run around.
The Big Swamp
Venture across the road from the Bunbury Wildlife Park to take a stroll (or a ride) through the paperbarks at the Big Swamp. There’s a boardwalk that meanders through a thick section of trees before taking you straight through the middle of the wetlands. Keep an eye out for ducks, herons, and swamphens, as well as the long neck tortoises that use the swampland as a breeding ground.
No family trip to Bunbury is complete without dropping in to see Bunbury’s own Willy Wonka, Sam Morris, at his pink and purple lolly store, Taffy’s.
Sam and his family have been making chewy American salt water taffy, decadent fudge, peanut brittle, honeycomb, and more, by Koombana North for almost 20 years. Indulge yourself in an adult-style fudgel treat or two (a cross between fudge and mousse), while the kids tuck into some hand-wrapped taffies and giant freckles. If you time your visit to the store for some time between 10.00am and 2.00pm on a Sunday, you’ll catch the candy-making in action – the kids will love it.
P.S. The store has recently moved from its old home by Aristos. It’s not gone far though and now sits just around the bay on Holman St.
Ngalang Wongi Aboriginal Cultural Tours
Grab the family and follow Noongar artist, performer, and ambassador, Troy Bennell, around Wardandi Boodja as he shares with you the ancient Dreamtime stories and his memories of growing up in the region. The Ngalang Wongi tours are a fun and educational introduction to the Noongar culture. Along the way, stop to learn the ways the local Aboriginal people made twine from bulrushes, created their own antiseptic from tree sap, and made traditional ochre paint. There are two Ngalang Wongi tours to choose from: the estuary walkabout tour through the mangroves at Koombana Bay, or the dreaming town tour through town and Black Point.
This is a sponsored post for City of Bunbury in partnership with Australia’s South West – endorsed by So Perth. We value your feedback so please contact us with any thoughts in regards to our sponsored post.