The best of the Southern Forests and the beach near Walpole WA
On a blustery winters day in the south-west, deciding to give up on any further tourism we headed to Coalmine Beach, a small peninsula on the outskirts of Walpole.
This tiny but beautiful Western Australia township is the perfect stopping point for exploring the Southern Forests. Set on Nornalup Inlet you will find Coalmine Beach Holiday Park.
A mixture of caravan sites and on-site cabins, their latest offering is luxury glamping tents. Nervous first-time camper but want to give glamping a shot? Come and take a look inside…..
This post is part of our hotel & family accommodation reviews series and Discover Australia.
I’ll be honest, I am always nervous about trying new concepts; knowing full well what I might find a novelty or a great new experience doesn’t necessarily translate to family-friendly (especially when those decisions are made in the spur of the moment hiding from the rain in a kids cubby house!)
However, on spotting not one but two bunk beds advertised in their family glamping tents, the Globetrotters insisted this place was for us. A quick game of rock, paper, scissors later to determine sleeping arrangements (as democratic as we get in our car without fists) we were booked for a night at Coalmine Beach.
What to expect from the Glamping tents at Coalmine Beach
These luxury tents are glamping at it’s best. The tents are beautifully presented and provide ample sized living accommodation for a family. All but one comes with a beautiful attached ensuite as well as a small kitchenette within the room.
There were plentiful amenities within the room and far more beautiful touches than you’d expect from an ordinary holiday park cabin. There is just a small pod within the holiday park, they only have the 4 tents at present (and only one with the double bunks that can sleep up to 6).
Things to note before booking a glamping tent vs a traditional cabin
- They DO have in built electricity!
- They DO have a ceiling fan and light as well as several side lamps.
- YES, they are heated! The master bed has an electric blanket and a small electric heater.
- A fairly full contingency of plates, cups, cutlery can be found – so rare in any form of rental property!!!
- They have a tiny but very stylish little kitchen. Microwave, minibar fridge, kettle and coffee maker included, but note no kitchen sink or stove; you’d actual cooking and cleaning needs to be done in the nearby communal camp kitchen for the glamping tents.
- There is NO television; wifi is only intermittently available. You can get a signal near reception – but consider it an “electronics free zone”
- The walls are mostly thick canvas, therefore it DOES flap in the wing if the breeze is strong but is very secure.
- Parking is immediately next to your tent so no lugging items in and out for miles!
Within about 3.5 seconds of entering the tent and seeing the kids terrified faces as the tent rigorously flapped away in the breeze, I wanted to run back to reception and ask for 4 solid walls!
We did visit on a horribly stormy winters day. I thought I’d made a horrible mistake and wanted to exchange for the cabin option – you can’t quite get the city girl out of me!! But winds eased and the kids did sleep wonderfully snug and warm.
The beds have extra blankets and the children were travelling with dressing gowns for extra warmth (don’t be lulled into thinking WA is always hot and sunny!) There is a wood stove in the camp kitchen with couches if you like your communal evenings and a bit of warmth by the fire – I just didn’t have enough hands free to organise this by myself.
Related Reading: Our guide to Road tripping Western Australia
Other facilities at Coalmine Beach Holiday Park
On-site facilities are not huge compared to other holiday parks we have stayed in but great for a short stopover. It’s very much a nature-based destination where you are expected to switch off and enjoy your surrounds.
As well as the shared camp kitchen, there is also a recreation room and playground area for kids to enjoy. The reception has a limited number of emergency grocery items for sale and a wide selection of board games and DVD’s that can be borrowed for a gold coin donation (though note, no TV).
The only frustration I found having the kids on my own was the lack of a full kitchen in the room. In warmer weather, the kids would have happily played outside while I cooked and cleaned in the camp kitchen, but given how chilly and dark it was they wanted to be snuggled inside.
We ended up at the Walpole Pub for dinner about 5km drive away. There are limited other nighttime choices being quite a small country town and the little supermarket shuts by 5pm.
In such a situation again I would have organised something that could be microwaved given I didn’t have our full camping gear with me on this occasion.
When to visit Coalmine Beach and the Southern Forests
Like any holiday park in Australia, enjoyment and experience can vary hugely depending on season and weather.
Whilst summer with the beautiful waterfront and forests will make for ideal exploring, make no mistake the South West is BUSY in December through to the end of January. Once Western Australian schools return in February you will get to enjoy long summer days with little crowds.
Things peak again in Easter school holidays but you’ll find the whole region remains relatively quiet throughout the winter, with another peak in September for school holidays.
You can check exact school holiday dates here.
The spring can be almost as busy as the summer as you enter the wildflower season and the forests utterly jump to life with colour!
See our complete guide here to exploring Walpole and the Southern Forests
Alternative family accommodation in and near Walpole
There are quite a few other family-friendly options you could consider in the Walpole area. We also liked the look of Rest Point Holiday Village for family-friendly facilities or Che Sara Sara Chalets can cater for larger groups up to 3 bedrooms.
You can search all Walpole accommodation options here.
If you can love a place when it’s at it’s worst, just imagine when it’s at it’s best! The Coalmine Beach Holiday Park luxury glamping tents are a great family alternative to a traditional holiday park cabin and we would highly recommend you give them a try next time you’re looking at a holiday “down south”.
Fast facts & booking Coalmine Beach Holiday Park
Glamping tents & onsite cabins: Tents come in 2 birth (non-ensuite), Queen – sleeps 4 and King Sleeps 6. In addition, there are several 1 and 2-bed cabins that sleep from 2 to 6 people and a choice of ensuite and non-ensuite.
Price: Starting from $130AUD per night for a Glamping tent for 4 off-peak – up to $240 per night for a 6 person King.
Booking: Our favourite site with immediate confirmation is booking.com. They are also a Top Parks and Discover Parks member.
Location: 3 kilometres from Walpole. Approximately 1.5 hours from regional centres of Albany or Manjimup and 4.5 hours from capital city Perth.
Further Reading on Western Australia with Kids
- Great day trips and weekenders from Perth
- How to road trip south-west WA in 9 Days
- Fun for kids in Albany and the South Coast
- Grape Adventures in Great Southern – Best family-friendly wineries
- Amazing Albany’s best family beaches
- Big 4 Beachlands for exploring Busselton & the Margaret River Region
Disclosures: We were full fee paying customers of Coalmine Beach Holiday Park, this is not a sponsored post. This post does contain affiliate links which may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Our full disclosure policy can be found here.
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