Ever since my own childhood, Margaret River has been one of my favourite little corners of the world. It’s no surprise I’ve returned several times with my own family to explore, relax and enjoy the best of this idyllic little corner of Western Australia.
A combination of the region’s Meditteranean climate, soil and geography make it a stunning and world-renowned wine-growing region. However, recent years have been marked by the growth of the craft brewing industry and the emergence of many breweries offering a welcome change of scenery for those on the wine tasting trail.
The unique thing about these craft breweries, they encourage not only the casual taster but those looking for a complete family day out. Equipped with playgrounds to sporting equipment, live bands and entertainment, and of course beer and wine tasting along with lunch and nibbles, there’s no wonder Margaret River is the perfect family escape destination.
There are now over a dozen breweries that adorn the region. Here we take you through all of our family-friendly (and many dog-friendly!) favourites, heading from Margaret River township to Cape Naturalist and Busselton to the north.
(NB since initially preparing this review in 2020, COVID-19 measures are in place and most breweries presently require table pre-booking for meals to maintain numbers. Some breweries have ceased operating 7 days a week. Walk-ins may be possible for tasting only, we recommend calling venues in advance).
9 Family-friendly Margaret River Breweries
Margaret River Brewhouse
Sitting just a hop skip and a jump away from the centre of Margaret River township, this is a real all-rounder for visitors and locals alike – and can be a great way to start your regional craft brewery tour. Incredibly kid-friendly with a sizeable kids playground and outdoor toys, there are some indoor seating options too, but you are mostly spread out over the vast beer gardens. Water bowls are on hand for your furry friends and a great line up of live entertainment on weekends.
You’ll definitely want to book ahead to guarantee a spot for weekends and holidays, though they try to accommodate as many as possible with picnic rugs you can borrow for the lawns when there are no tables left. Meals are generous and tasty and the brews are top-notch too with a great standard range as well as plenty of seasonal options so there’s always something new to try.
Open 7 days for lunch & dinner 11am to 7pm (weekends 9pm). 35 Bussell Highway, Margaret River (just before the bridge into town from Perth direction) margaretriverbrewhouse.com.au
Colonial Brewing Co
Situated only 10 minutes from Margaret River township, Colonial Brewing is one of the west coast’s earlier breweries totally worthy of a lunch or afternoon stop with the family. It is small and understated in a small shed-like building but comes with a vast outdoor beer garden set up overlooking the paddocks and a beautiful dam, you truly feel like you’re in the middle of the Aussie countryside here!
In our visits, we’ve found not as crowded as others so no issue pulling up a pew, stop for a tasting paddle or stick around for lunch – pizzas are their speciality. The playground here is huge and they offer little extra outdoor games, even football posts and a driving range if you want to hit some balls with your brew!
Open Thu 12pm to 5:30pm, Fri 12pm to 9pm, Sat & Sun 11am to 5:30pm. 29 Osmington Rd, Bramley. colonialbrewingco.com.au
Cowaramup Brewing Company
Settled a little bit off the main Bussell Highway and slightly lesser-known, but one of our laid back favourites with the kiddos. There’s a decent-sized kids playground and a beautiful grassy hill for playing on.
The beer range here is a little more limited than others but nonetheless a stunning countryside spot to enjoy a tasting paddle. The menu is basic but offers some lighter bites through to fish and chips and scrumptious homemade pizzas, along with a kids menu. They also offer twice-weekly behind-the-scenes tours for your beer aficionados.
Open 7 days 11am to 5pm (Saturday until 6pm; Kitchen 12pm to 3pm). 229 North Treeton Road, Cowaramup. cowramupbrewing.com.au
Tucked away in the Wilyabrup area, Bootleg is one of the oldies and goldies of the Margaret River Region (in fact the very first to open “an oasis of beer in a desert of wine”!) with a kid and pet-friendly setting. It is a little more rustic these days than some of its modern counterparts and does encounter a fair bit of the small tour bus trade for lunch – a sign of its enduring popularity. It can be worth nabbing a table ahead of time or come mid-afternoon once the lunch crowd has moved on if you’re just after a tasting.
Another one with generous playground and outdoor activities like giant Jenga on offer to keep the troops entertained while you tuck into their generous meals in picturesque gardens.
Open Wed to Sun 11am to 5pm. 37 Wildberry Rd, Wilyabrup. bootlegbrewery.com.au
Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co
Excelling in both their beers and their family-friendly offering, Cheeky Monkeys pulls out all the stops, but being on one of the main wine routes along Caves Road it can also draw quite the crowd. Indoor options are available in front of a hearty fire in winter or for most of the year, you will find the idyllic beer garden overlooking an ornamental lake just the spot.
There is quite a sizeable playground on offer, a safely fenced (and shaded in winter) option for the little ones and more challenging climbing options for your older kids, with parent supervision, of course.
You can join in with not only tap beer tastings but cider and paired with Burton Creek wine tasting here. There’s an extensive gift shop with lots of local artisan crafts. Even if it’s only for a taster, it’s one of those on the “must stop” list for your family trip to Margaret River.
Open 7 days 11am to 5pm. 4259 Caves Rd, Wilyabrup. cheekymonkey.com.au
Black Brewing Co (Part of Caves Road Collective)
If you’ve only got time for one brewery stop in Margaret River and want to please the masses, this is your spot. Around for many years but the brewery buildings itself is fairly newly built with a stunning panoramic setting. Black Brewing Co have teamed up to form Caves Road Collective – so all in one spot you have a craft brewery, wine tastings from Ground to Cloud wines and Dune Distilling Co (yummy WA gins!).
The indoor dining area is huge – though it’s still recommended to book ahead on busy weekends – spilling out onto the most utterly breathtaking lake views. There’s a big outdoor playground, attached to the large beer garden, and you can even cross over onto a small island for further exploration. Furry friends are welcomed on a leash. Live entertainment at weekends keeps the grove going and plentiful tap beer options from their core range along with seasonal favourites & cider.
Open 7 days 11am to 5pm, meals served 12pm to 4pm (Winter Wed to Sun only). 3517 Caves Road, Metricup. blackbrewingco.com.au
Known for not only their wicked range of brews in a giant converted woolshed but also their giant hillside water slide. This is a rustic no-thrills set up made for those who want a relaxed countryside setting to sample their brews – expect ramshackle furniture and welcoming touches, meals and snacks oozing with homemade goodness.
Like many, a great sprawling set-up with inside and outside seating options. Their large kids’ playground is slightly set away from the main shed so a little harder to supervise. Dogs on leash are welcome and in the winter there are a few arcade-style games inside to keep kids entertained. Note the kitchen is open with limited lunch hours so do plan around this, dinners are only served on a Friday evening – with beef sourced straight from their own farm!
Open 7 days 11am to 5pm (Kitchen closes 3pm). Fridays open to 9pm (dinner 5 to 8pm) and Saturdays to 6pm. 177 Gale Rd, Metricup. beerfarm.com.au
Eagle Bay Brewing Co.
Enjoy a beautiful sun-soaked afternoon, near the very tip of Cape Naturaliste. Run by the d’Espesissis family, this former cattle farm cum brewery is one of our favourites for a long family table meal – it would be our top choice if you want the meal and drinks to be the star of the show while still catering well to the little guests.
Plentiful indoor seating makes it great year-round, but the french doors also open onto a beautiful grassy slope for the kids to play on. Some ball sports are available and a small sandpit area. Advance booking for meals highly recommended especially at weekends. Non-beer drinkers are also very well catered for with the selection of wines and ciders on offer, and a beautiful little shop area too.
Open 7 days 11am to 5pm. Eagle Bay Rd, Eagle Bay. eaglebaybrewing.com.au
New Busselton Brewery – Shelter Brewing
This one is a brand new entrant on our list. We’ve not been able to get home to WA since it opened its doors in 2020 but we’re hearing great things! Bound to be a family hit with its prominent location on the Busselton foreshore, immediately adjacent to the famous Busselton Jetty.
Open 7 days 10am to 10pm (coffee and bagels from 7am). 11 Foreshore Parade, Busselton shelterbrewing.com.au
Other breweries in Margaret River Region
We’ve still got a few left to try so cannot vouch for their family-friendliness just yet including Wild Hop Brewing Company (Yallingup), Rocky Ridge Brewing Company (tasting rooms in Busselton), Occy’s Brewery (Dunsborough), Bush Shack Brewery (Ferguson & Busselton) and Monkey Bar Vasse (Cheeky HQ) (based at the Cheeky Monkey production facility in Vasse).
These are all at the northern end of the region, making them perfect stops for those staying around Busselton and Dunsborough, so don’t dismiss them off your list!
How to get around Margaret River Region
Although many of the stops around Margaret River are quite close together (in Australian terms!), they are certainly not within walking distance from one another. You will need to arrange a designated driver or get yourself on a local beer & wine tour. Some tours specialise in breweries and on private charter will happily organize for you a family-specific itinerary.
Where to stay in Margaret River as a family
There are a plethora of accommodation options to choose from in the Margaret River region. Anywhere walking distance to town tends to be a little pricier, but there is really a huge range of options across the region from gorgeous B&B’s to holiday houses at the beach, camping & RV parks to seaside resorts along Geographe Bay.
You’ll need to shop around for what will fit your family size and budget best and book early if you plan to head to Margaret River at any of the local school holiday times. Some suggestions we would make if you want close to town include:
- Prideaus of Margaret River – 2 bedroom condos in the heart of Margaret River
- Margaret River Resort – Can sleep up to 6
- Peppermint Brook Cottages – a full house close to town sleeping 4 to 6
This post was originally published on Mama Loves a Drink
More from Western Australia
Planning a trip around WA with your kids? My childhood home and where we still visit the grandparents every year, here’s what you’ll find in store for families in WA:
- A complete 9 day itinerary around WA’s Southwest – perfect for school holiday breaks
- Best day trips and weekenders from Perth
- Explore Walpole & The Southern Forests
- Family-Friendly things to do in Albany & Great Southern