Thursday, August 22, 2019
Looking for fun these September school holiday ideas
Parents are on a seemingly never-ending quest to keep their kids away from the electronics and engaged in more useful and healthy activities. This is particularly evident on school holidays when there are weeks to be filled. For these school holidays, why not throw in a few educational activities and unique experiences?
This doesn’t mean studying or textbooks. It’s about getting back to basics, nurturing a child’s natural love of discovery, and building new skills and capabilities. Fortunately, you won’t have to look very far for ideas; the South West and Great Southern regions are filled with all sorts of experiences that will keep the kids interested and looking forward to each day.
This charming town embodies classic Australia. You can just imagine lazy days filled with beach visits, ice cream in hand as you ride your bike down the impossibly steep streets, under clear blue skies with warm sunshine on your face.
When the kids aren’t having good old fashioned childhood fun, take them to visit the Museum of The Great Southern. Learn about the Indigenous people who have lived in the area for thousands of years, famous sunken shipwrecks, and rich European history. Then step onto the Brig Amity and walk the gangplank to see what it was like to be on board a convict ship.
Albany used to be a whaling city so make time for the Historic Whaling Station for guided tours and an interactive museum on whaling and whales. It’s the only one of its kind in the world. For a very different kind of lesson, discover more about Albany’s crucial role in WWI at the ANZAC Centre and its fascinating maritime history.
Older children might be interested in the gallery exhibitions, art workshops and other performing art lessons at the Vancouver Arts Centre, so keep an eye out for the spring programme release.
This isn’t just wine HQ. For a cultural and historical experience, consider a visit to Ellensbrook House. Step back in time to the 1850s and into the homestead built by the pioneers of the region, the Bussell family, with the help of the local Noongar community. Ellensbrook House has been carefully restored and is a National Trust listed building. Take a wander around the home and property to get a feel of what it was like in the colonial era. Join a scavenger hunt, walk one of the trails, see the pops of colourful wildflowers, or sit down for a picnic and enjoy the serene surrounds.
There are lots of other natural wonders for families to explore around this region, including the famous cave system. Learn about stalagmites and stalactites and hear the hair-raising stories of how these caves were first surveyed without modern technology or safety equipment. Find out which cave is best suited to your family.
If your children are fans of collecting shells on the beach, they’re going to love Australia’s largest private collection of seashells and coral at Bellview Shell Collection, which houses tens of thousands of rare and beautiful specimens. It’s an unassuming property from the outside but you’ll be impressed once inside.
For an active family adventure from a different point of view, consider taking a canoe tour with Bushtucker Tours. Learn about local Aboriginal communities, native wildlife, the river ecosystem, and take advantage of unique photo opportunities.
Dunsborough and Yallingup
Delve deep and discover more about our rich Indigenous culture and history. Get real-life experience with local Noongars at Koomal Dreaming and Cape Cultural Tours, and learn from the very people who have survived and thrived on the land for more than 50,000 years.
The waters off the WA coast teem with marine life, and now is the perfect time to go whale watching. Join Naturaliste Charters to glimpse majestic humpbacks, southern right, blue, and minke whales from the comfort of a charter vessel. Or why not book a place in a night-time small group tour with South West Eco Discoveries? Try the Nocturnal Animal Tour – Meet the Woylies which runs from 6 to 8pm. You’ll be on an expedition to discover the impossibly cute native woylie, plus you’ll likely see kangaroos, bandicoots and possums.
Is Australia’s wildlife really that dangerous? Find out at Discover Deadly. Get up close and personal with all sorts of snakes, lizards, dragons, geckos, crocodiles, turtles, frogs and spiders to see for yourself. Join them for tours, talks, snake handling, feeding time, plus costume dress ups and face painting.
An educational experience can be physically and mentally challenging, too. The South West Mud Fest at Bootleg Brewery will be held on Sunday 29 September and several courses will be available, including a 1–2km kids’ course for those aged over five. For something a little tamer but still on the physical side, take a self-guided tour of the Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin lighthouses – the latter being the tallest on mainland Australia. These two are connected by the scenic 123km Cape to Cape walking trail.
Descend below the azure surface of Geographe Bay with Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory. Take the train (or walk) the length of historic Busselton Jetty to the observatory for the 1 hr 45 min tour. You’ll go eight metres down to the vibrant natural marine life that swarms below. In fact, the jetty itself has created one of the most amazing artificial reefs for wildlife.
Busselton Library always has a jam-packed schedule on for the kids: arts, crafts, drama, Lego making, and more. Look out for the updated school holiday program closer to the date.
Make these school holidays fun and educational, and a getaway the kids will never forget.
Contact our booking consultants on +61 8 9750 5444 for details and advice, or go online to secure your school holiday accommodation now.
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