Holiday with Kids
Journey to the edge
Heads to Western Australia to explore Australia’s South West on a multi-generational family campervan adventure.
Ten days and 1,500 kilometres spent in a campervan with my in-laws. What could possibly go wrong? I’d rather talk about all the things that went right. Think majestic orcas, breathtaking coastline, the squeakiest white sand, crystalline water, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and tighter family bonds as we tour this beautiful edge of Australia.
A whale of a time
We enjoy our first West Coast sunset over the ocean at Cottesloe, before crossing the threshold of our home for the next 10 days – a six-berth Britz campervan we’ve hired from Driveaway. Tackling the longest drive of the adventure first, we set off with the olds and the young strapped safely into the back with a pack of cards. Whizzing past fields of wheat, sheep and the odd emu, we emerge 500 kilometres south at Bremer Bay, the only place you’ll see orca in Australia.
Morning dawns beautiful and blue, and we drive our home on wheels to the port to meet our Whale Watch Western Australia hosts and head out to spot orca, who migrate here between January and early April each year. It’s only the second day of the season, yet hours pass like minutes as the magnificent beasts breach and surge as they hunt giant squid, a cheeky dolphin racing us back to port to add even more magic to the day.
Beaches and bonding
We hit the road to Albany, taking a detour into Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve to soak up the beauty of Little Beach – sand squeaky white and water crystal-clear with a safe patch for water play. After being surrounded by ocean on our whale tour, it’s great to finally take a dip in it.
The quaint riverside village of Denmark is next. The region rocks more than its fair share of chocolate shops and wineries, together with honey and cheese, something which pleases young and old. A coffee and a browse through Tea House Books leaves every member of our roadcrew happy.
It’s only around 18 kilometres to Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool, an adventure paradise with rocks rising from peppermint-tinged waters. My daughter Luka and her grandparents grab their snorkels and head off to explore what lies beneath, leaving me to kick back on the pristine white sand. I must say, one of the great things about multi-gen travel is that many hands make light work of entertaining the kids.
A three-hour drive from Walpole has us arriving in Augusta, and another spontaneous side trip to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean. We pass through Karridale, stopping to pick up plump local olives from Karridale Farm.
Our next destination is Hamelin Bay, another stunning stretch of white sand where we start the morning. Hamelin’s own ‘Pied Pipers’, huge wild manta rays that patrol the shore near the boat ramp, have us trailing