With two young kids in tow, we are always on the lookout for the best camping near Perth, and I reckon we might have found it; Willowbrook Farm! If you are after something unique, family friendly and cheap, this is a great place to visit.
Where is Willowbrook Farm?
You’ll find the fantastic place one hour north of Perth, heading up Indian Ocean drive and turning off near Gingin. It’s only 18 minutes away from Guilderton (or Moore River) which is a lovely place to have a swim, wet the line or enjoy a day relaxing on the beach. If you are looking for Moore River Camping and it’s booked out, this is a pretty good alternative!
Why is it so good?
I’ve heard people rave about this place for some time, so had high expectations, but left feeling like it had met, and exceeded everything I’d read. In combination this place is the ultimate camping destination for families, and this becomes pretty obvious when the farm is booked out on a normal weekend in November.
Farm animals and feeding
The highlight for the kids at Willowbrook is the animal feeding, which happens every night at around 5PM. The owners bring a wheelbarrow of feed down to a little viewing area and the kids can take little bags of feed and straw to feed a huge array of sheep, cows, alpacas, goats and hens.
They also have a separate chook enclosure where you can toss food scraps in, which the kids love to do.
Behind their quad bike is a small box trailer that has been fitted to take hordes of little kids. On the weekend we visited, they did a couple of runs the first night and about 6 the following.
There’s nothing better than seeing a heap of young kids having their first rides behind a motorbike as they slowly drive around the paddock and animals. The smiles and laughs were endless, and kids remember and talk about these memories for a long time.
If you have a responsible dog, they are welcome at Willowbrook. Keep them on a lead, walk them around carefully and clean up after them and they are very welcome.
We’d heard of the free scones, and I was a bit dubious to begin with, but was left absolutely astounded. Every Sunday morning, the owners spend a number of hours baking some of the biggest, and best scones you’ll have anywhere along with fresh, home made jam and big bowls of cream. When its all served, everyone tucks into the feed and sits on the grass or tabled area enjoying the food.
Bring a picnic rug, a hot drink (or there’s a little coffee stand there) and have a blast with everyone else. I was seriously impressed by what the owners do here, and its completely free.
Fantastic picnic area
On the side of the animal paddock is a massive, grass slope with a BBQ area, undercover spot and plenty of room to spread out. A lot of people take their food over and spread out as the sun goes down, enjoying the great outdoors.
Camping here is cheap, considering what they have available and what you actually get. Powered sites are $35 a night, and Unpowered are $25 a night. Any people over 5 per night is an extra $8, and if you stay 7 nights you get one night free.
We paid more to enter one little animal farm for the kids down in Margaret River earlier in the year than we did for the whole weekend including camping at here, and I reckon just the animal experience was better at Willowbrook Farm anyway.
The two guys (Lil and Bill) that run Willowbrook are incredible human beings. They work hard, enjoy a chat and go out of their way to make your stay exceptional.
What amenities are there?
Willowbrook has BBQ facilities, a fantastic camp kitchen, a coin operated laundry and the usual toilets and showers (which include disabled access ones). The toilets and showers are nothing amazing, but they are clean, have hot water and are more than enough to wash the days dirt and grime away!
Bore water and road noise
It’s worth mentioning that Willowbrook operates from a bore, and the water that comes out is not what you maybe be used to. It is drinkable apparently, although I never tasted it. I’m told they recommend you don’t hook your vans up to it either.
Also, the park is located right on a road that has some traffic overnight, and during the day. Expect to hear some road noise especially if you are close to the entrance.
Best Camp Sites
There’s lots of sites at Willowbrook, but if you can get one overlooking the main paddock its the best in terms of access to amenities, lack of people and views. The only downside is if its very windy you cop it first!
Just 10 minutes down the road lies Gingin Observatory. Set up as a not for profit education centre, it caters for all ages and runs a series of day and night activities. Night visits must be pre-booked, and run on Friday and Saturday evenings from 7:30PM to 9:30PM. I’ve not been here, but I’m told its pretty impressive.
Yanchep National Park
24 minutes south lies the beautiful Yanchep National Park, with more things to do than you can poke a stick at. There’s a great lake to walk around, the adventure tree’s course, koalas to see, tonnes of walk trails and of course the fantastic Henry White Oval.
West Coast Honey
Just a couple of minutes down the road is West Coast Honey, which is a great place to stop for a bit of a break. They have a live indoor/outdoor bee hive to watch, free entry, free tasting and a small cafe with great locally made produce.
Of course, you can buy honey from here, in more flavours than you’d know what to do with!
Heading 41 minutes back down to Joondalup is Outback Splash, Perth’s newest outdoor water park. Open every day of the school holidays and Wednesday to Sunday during the school term its got plenty of pools, water slides, kids playgrounds and entertainment for all. When the weather is less favourable, there’s the Mazes to enjoy, Mini Golf and a range of native animals to see.
An hour and a half north west lies the Pinnacles, a world renown attraction just out of Cervantes. These rock formations are unique, incredible and worth a visit.
Willowbrook in a nutshell
Despite being called a caravan park, this place is has a lot of differences, and is truly the ultimate campground near Perth for kids. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great weekend, or longer away.
Have you stayed there? What did you think of it?