Whether you’re looking for something to do in the upcoming school holidays, or are planning a weekend away, here’s a list of the best things to do as a family in the Wheatbelt!
This list was put together after we planned a visit to the Kulin water slide although unfortunately it was closed for renovations at that time. We still wanted to do something as a family, but a quick google didn’t come up with anything exciting to do as a family so we ended up heading to the South West. If a list like this had existed back then we would have definitely found something to do in the Wheatbelt!
Please remember to check whether the activity is open/operating on the day of your visit to avoid being disappointed.
Have fun at the Kulin Water Slide
When open, the Kulin Water Slide is one of the best things to do as a family in the Wheatbelt. At 182 metres long and 18 metres high, the waterslide is the biggest in regional Western Australia. You are bound to have hours of fun racing up the stairs to the top before zooming back down again and landing with a splash!
Besides the water slide, the newly re-developed swimming pool offers a high quality aquatic experience. Facilities include a 25 metre lap pool, learn to swim pool, beach entry, tiny tots pool, BBQ’s and half court basketball.
Whilst you’re in the area, you can also check out the horses on the Tin Horse Highway.
The aquatic centre is open from Wednesday to Sunday, and the water slide is open on the weekends and public holidays, and possibly on Thursday and Fridays too, dependant on numbers. Unlimited daily slide entry will cost you $8 per person.
Be quick though since the last day of operation for this season is Sunday 6th April!
Take a night time tour at Barna Mia
Barna Mia is a wildlife sanctuary with a difference, nestled in the Dryandra Woodland near Narrogin. Five marsupials are breeding in a fenced enclosure that excludes feral predators and by taking a guided tour, you can see these threatened native animals such as dalgyte, woylie, wurrup, quenda and boodie.
A tour of Barna Mia is an unforgettable experience, and a perfect family outing. Take note though that the tour does require participants to be quiet and patient, so is suited better to older children.
Tours take place after sunset on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (except public holidays) and by prior arrangement for groups.
It’s only $14 per adult, $12 for concession, $7.50 per child or $37.50 for a family (2 adults + 2 children) and worth every cent!
Go Hot Air Ballooning
What better way to see the beautiful Wheatbelt than from the sky? A hot air balloon ride is the perfect activity for families. Drifting over the Avon valley for up to an hour allows you plenty of time to take in the panoramic views of this rural landscape with its rolling hills, lush green fields and meandering streams. Flying low over rivers and streams, you can catch a reflection of the colourful balloon shimmering on the water, or pick leaves from the tops of nearby trees!
Flights over the Avon Valley run from April to late November every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at dawn. It’s recommended that children are at least eight years old so that they can see over the edge of the basket and make the most of the amazing experience.
It’s a little bit pricy at $300 per person during the week, and $350 on the weekend, but is bound to be a once in a lifetime opportunity that your family will never forget.
Visit the Hood-Penn Museum
The Hood-Penn Museum in Westonia is a perfect choice when looking for a family activity. Not only does the museum have a vast display of historical items, but plenty of interactive exhibits that are sure to keep the kids entertained.
There’s a vibrating mine tunnel that aims to replicate life in an early Westonian gold mine (which happened to be broken on the day we visited, so it might be wise to call ahead just in case). Upon entry, you can experience a three minute sequence of sound effects and physical vibrations that simulate blasts going off in the vicinity of the mine. Visitors can also have a go at using a typewriter, or writing in ink. If you want to know your weight in gold, that’s also a possibility. And last but not least, there’s a variety of scenes showcasing early life in the shire including a pub scene, a shop/hardware store scene, a petrol station/garage scene, a kitchen scene, a bedroom scene and a blacksmith/farm workshop scene. You can step inside and instantly be transported back in time.
Only $3 per adult and $1 per child, the museum is open Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 4.30 pm (except on Public Holidays) via the Shire Office. The museum is also open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 12pm (via appointment only in summer school holidays). Plus, when you’re in the area be sure to head up and have a look at the Edna May Gold Mine from the viewing platform.
See the Pinnacles
The Pinnacles desert, located in the Shire of Dandaragan, is something that ought to be on your family bucket list. The Pinnacles are spectacular limestone rock structures that have formed over thousands of years and appear to rise from the desert sand, resulting from a combination of water, quartz, limestone and sand. There are currently over 150,000 pinnacles, each up to 5m tall.
You can walk or drive the 4km loop trail with vantage points and parking spots along the way, making sure to take some happy snaps along the way. Afterwards, visit the Pinnacles Desert Discovery visitor and interpretive centre to learn about the history, flora and fauna of the unique park and purchase souvenirs in the retail gift shop.
The park is 10km south of Cervantes, and it will cost you a $10 entry fee per car. There’s lots more to do whilst you’re in the area, but be sure to stop at the beach in Jurien Bay or Cervantes for a cool dip in the crystal blue water. There’s also plenty of opportunity for fishing, swimming, scuba diving, paddle boarding, kayaking and more fun water activities.
Find out more about the Meckering Earthquake
The 1968 earthquake near Meckering caused a lot of damage, not only in the Shire of Cunderdin, but across the entire state. Learn about the historic event in a fun way by discovering the different places of interest near Meckering and Cunderdin.
You can visit the Meckering Earthquake Preserved Faultine, 12km south of Meckering so see in person how much the earth moved from the earthquake. Then head to “Salisbury Homestead”, an old stone homestead built in 1904 that was ruined in the quake. The Meckering Earthquake Gazebo & Memorial Rose Garden has a bit of old, twisted railway damaged in the earthquake as well as photos and info. Finally, the Cunderdin museum, located in the former No 3 Steam Pumping Station, has more information, including a shaking house that you can enter to see what it would feel like to experience an earthquake yourself.
Whilst you’re in the area, don’t forget to stop and see the Ettamogah Pub, the Giant Camera and the Cunderdin Lookout!
The museum is $5 per adult, $2 for children or $12 a family, whilst everything else is free!
Surf Wave Rock
Wave Rock is a granite cliff 15 metres high and 110 metres long, located in the Shire of Kondinin. Its rounded-like shape, making it look like a wave, has been caused by weathering and water erosion. You can climb to the top and look at the incredible view, but don”t forget to try and surf the rock! Points to whoever can stay on the longest.
Whilst you’re in the area, visit Lake Magic for some stunning photo opportunities, explore nearby caves, visit the number of museums around and check out the wildflowers if you visit in spring. There’s also the Wave Rock Wildlife Park if you’d like to see some native Australian wildlife up close and cuddly.
It’s only $10 per vehicle to enter the reserve, and you’re free to spend your day how you wish! Extra costs may be incurred for the wildlife park and museums.
What are your plans for the holidays?
Do you have any suggestions to add to our list?