Southern Forests with kids

The majestic Southern Forest region of WA’s southwest takes in the timber towns of Manjimup and Pemberton, as well as Bridgetown, Nannup, and Walpole. The ancient forests make it a beautiful area to discover with kids, with plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking for fun ideas of new places to visit or a tasty kid-friendly café, you’ll find it all here in our big family-friendly guide on the best of the Southern Forests with kids…

Things to do in the Southern Forests with Kids


Gloucester Tree, Pemberton

The Gloucester Tree is a must-do for families whilst visiting the sleepy town of Pemberton. While it’s not the tallest (that’s the Bicentennial Tree on the other side of town) older kids and parents may like to challenge themselves to scale the tree. If you’re not brave enough to climb up to the fire lookout, there are bush trails and birdlife to enjoy too. Read the Buggybuddys review here.


Understory Art and Nature Trail, Northcliffe

The Understory Art and Nature Trail is an absolute gem! Found at the Northcliffe Tourist Centre, the easy bush trail is brimming with brilliant and thought-provoking sculptures. Read the Buggybuddys review here.


Power Up Electricity Museum Manjimup

What a wonderful surprise the Power Up Electricity Museum in Manjimup is! Found next to the Timber Playground, the museum is sure to spark little one’s imagination with lots of interactive exhibits. Read the Buggybuddys review here.


Timber Playground, Manjimup

Manjimup’s Timber Park mega playground is so good, it’s a crime to drive past. You won’t miss the 17 meter lookout tower and its HUGE silver slide. The Timber Adventure Playground has loads of features for kids of all ages, including flying foxes and beautifully crafted wooden equipment. Read the Buggybuddys review here.


Valley of the Giants, Walpole

The Tree Top Walk is found in the heart of the unique Valley of the Giants, a forested area of very rare ancient red tingle trees. The whole family can experience walking through the tingle forest canopy and enjoy views from a different perspective. An entrance fee is payable for the tree top walk, but it’s free to visit the Ancient Empire boardwalk, Discovery Centre and gift shop. Read the Buggybuddys review here.

Valley of the giants


Big Brook Dam, Pemberton

Big Brook Dam is a peaceful spot that has something for the whole family to enjoy – from canoeing and kayaking, to fishing, swimming, biking and bushwalking. In warm months, this lovely alcove is a popular swimming and picnicking destination too. There’s picnic tables, BBQs and public toilets. Throw down a rug on the lawn, the spot is just magic, surrounded by the immensely tall karri trees. See more in our review. 



Pemberton Pool, Pemberton

Pemberton Pool, created by damming the Lefroy Brook, is flanked on one side by beautiful Karri forests. The Pool has been a favourite spot to keep cool in the timber town for generations. Calm, fresh water is coloured by tannins from the trees and is safe to swim in. See more in our review.

Pemberton Pool


The Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree, Pemberton

If your family has an adventurous spirit, be sure to tackle The Bicentennial Tree. The main attraction is the 65m tall karri tree, while there are a few bush trails and interpretive boards too. Read more in the review. 

Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree Pemberton

Beedelup Falls, Pemberton

One of the cheapest and easiest things to do in the Southern Forests with kids is to head out on a bushwalk. The beautiful Beedelup Falls trail is a must do in winter, when the falls are in full flow. Be sure to check out the famous “walk through tree” on your walk too.  The ground can be rough and there are a few very steep hills to navigate, so the trail is not suitable for bikes or very young children.


Greenbushes Mine Lookout

If you’re taking a road trip to the Southern Forests, stop and stretch your legs on the way at the Greenbushes Mine Lookout. It’s a great way for kids to see the scale of an open cut mine, especially if they have a parent that works FIFO. Read the Buggybuddys review here.

Southern Forests with kids


Fonty’s Pool 

Did you know that you do not have to stay at Fonty’s Pool Caravan Park to enjoy the idyllic swimming hole? For just $3pp, you can have a day visitor pass to laze around in a giant tube. Read the Buggybuddys review here.


Southern Forests Chocolate Company, Pemberton

When in the Southern Forests with kids, be sure to pop into the Southern Forests Chocolate Company Pemberton! Opening up in 2021, the former distillery is now a tasty new artisan chocolate shop. And trust me, there’s something here  for both big and little chocoholics – especially if you love hot chocolate! Find out more in the review. 

Southern Forests Chocolate Company Pemberton

Ooh La Lollipop, Bridgetown

Is it even a country town if it doesn’t have a good old fashioned lolly shop?! Bridgetown has a ripper of a candy store – Ooh La Lollipop! You can’t miss the pink exterior. It’s the perfect place to stop for some road trip treats, and to let the kids spend their pocket money on Wonka bars, American candy, old fashioned boiled sweets and more. Read more in the review. 

Ooh La Lollipop Bridgetown


Mini Golf at RAC Karri Valley Resort

Likewise, you don’t have to have accommodation booked to enjoy mini golf at the RAC Karri Valley Resort. Here families can play putt putt in a bush setting. Read the Buggybuddys review here. 


Family Friendly Restaurants in the Southern Forests

Park, Manjimup

The Manjimup Heritage Precinct is seriously impressive. There’s lots to do at this hub – and after a play at the Timber Playground, the neighboring Park Café is a kid friendly spot to refuel with a tasty bite to eat. Read the Buggybuddys review here.

Park Manjimup


Lavender and Berry Farm, Pemberton

If you have a sweet tooth, you must check out at the Lavender and Berry Farm. The beautiful café is famous for the “Pemby Pancake” and yummy lavender gelato, has farm animals to meet, as well as a small playground by the fenced lake. Read the Buggybuddys review here.


FATS, Bridgetown

If you’re passing through the lovely country town of Bridgetown, be sure to make time for a stop at FATS – that’s Food, Art, Toys and Santa by the way! The yummy café/gallery/toy and Christmas shop is a quirky spot for brunch or lunch with kids in tow. Read the Buggybuddys review here.


Wild at Heart Cafe, Pemberton

If you happen to be visiting the timber town of Pemberton, be sure to drop by Wild at Heart Café. Found opposite the town’s playground, it’s a quality spot for a family meal or takeaway coffee and snack. Read the Buggybuddys review here.

Wild at Heart Cafe


Source Kitchen, Pemberton

Love burger? Source Kitchen offers up deliciously simple family lunches. Specialising in burgers, the staff have that warm, country hospitality, and are only too happy to help. The burgers are absolutely scrumptious – the whole family will love them! Read more in our review.

Source Kitchen Pemberton


Hidden River Estate Winery and Café, Pemberton


Have we missed any of your Southern Forest favourites from the Manjimup and Pemberton areas? Be sure to let us know your tips for holidaying in the Southern Forests with Kids in the comments below!

Want to book a Farm Stay in Pemberton or accommodation in the Southern Forests? See our guide on where to stay in the Southern Forests with kids here.

Get more ideas for family friendly holidays in WA here.

About Amanda Carlin

Amanda Carlin has her own food and travel blog. Established in 2013, "The Chef, His Wife and Their Perth-fect Life" has enjoyed an exciting name change in 2021, as "The Chef's Ex-wife" embarks on new adventures with Simply PERTHfect. Amanda loves getting out and about in Perth and WA, as well as brunching, tapas or something a little fancy in equal measures. With her son "Little Chef" in tow, Amanda always has plenty of family friendly eating options to recommend too! Be sure to check out Simply PERTHfect.

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