A Guide To Day Tripping In Dwellingup

Surrounded by lush bushland and unique wildlife, Dwellingup is the perfect place to relax and immerse yourself in nature, while disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located just over an hour’s drive south of Perth, Dwellingup is where trails meet and rivers run. Meaning “place of nearby water”, the destination was also crowned Australia’s Top Tiny Tourism Town at the 2023 Top Tourism Town Awards. Here, you can launch your kayaks, lace up your hiking boots or pump up your bike tyres, and embark on a magnificent adventure throughout the Murray River region. Expect delightful swimming holes and world-class mountain bike trails, not to mention plenty of inspiring cultural, environmental, and heritage experiences. 

Dwellingup Day Trip Itinerary

This day trip itinerary connects you with the best things to do in the quaint and charming town of Dwellingup. The region is a nature lover’s dream known for its towering forests, a vibrant hiking scene, and mountain bike trails galore. 

7:30 am: Breakfast on the road

Breakfast at Café Chérie
Credit: Café Chérie

Jump in the car en route to Dwellingup and grab a caffeinated brew and morning feed at Pinjarra Bakery. Or for something a little more sophisticated, indulge your senses at Pinjarra’s newest French joint, Café Chérie. The verdant plant-filled space is complete with modern decor and a crackling fireplace, plus a menu of impeccably crafted French sweets, flaky croissants, and breakfast options. There’s also a playground for the kids!

9:30 am: Swing into the Visitor Centre and pick up hire gear

Dwellingup Adventures
Credit: Supplied

Stop by the Dwellingup Trails and Visitor Centre for touch-screen digital displays with local information and history. Gain some local intel with up-to-date maps, road, and trail conditions. Then swing into the Dwellingup Adventures office, located right next door, to pick up hire equipment for your afternoon escapades. Here, you can grab anything from mountain bikes and kayaks, to stand-up paddle-boards and camping equipment.

10:30 am: Forest Discovery Centre

Forest Discovery Centre
Credit: Chad Gerber

Visit the unique leaf-shaped building, set on 17 hectares of jarrah forest, known as the Forest Discovery Centre. Perched just a short walk from the Dwellingup town centre, you’ll find a gallery and shop showcasing wood arts, craft, and furniture. While you’re at it, explore the interactive displays and learn about wildflowers, animals, and forest resources. Then, check out the tree-top viewing platform and revel in the beauty of the bush at canopy height.

12:30 pm: Lunch at Garden Eats Café

Garden Eats Café
Credit: Garden Eats Café

If you’re feeling the familiar pangs of hunger setting in, grab your Dwellingup day trip lunch at Garden Eats Café back in town. The story goes that Garden Eats opened in 2020 as a food truck inside a renovated horse float. Since then, the humble abode has transformed into a fully fledged café plating up an array of delicious delights from a purely vegetarian, seasonally-focused menu. 

Lost Eden Gallery
Credit: Lost Eden Gallery

Once you’re fed and satisfied, check out the Lost Eden Gallery which champions a rolling program of local and regional solo and group exhibitions annually. You can expect anything from sculpture and installation pieces to performance and projection art. Originally built in the mid 1940s, as a home and shop, the historic relic has been beautifully renovated to incorporate a light and contemporary style with a country feel.

2:30 pm: Lane Poole Reserve

Kayaking in Dwellingup
Credit: Supplied

Make your way to Lane Poole Reserve, home to incredible canoeing, bushwalking, and mountain biking, along with around 500 species of native flora. Sprawling over nearly 55,000 hectares in the picturesque Murray River Valley, you’ll find lush valley slopes, rock-rimmed river pools, and the glorious forest canopies of blackbutt, jarrah, and marri trees. If you’re eager to tackle the river system, canoes can be launched from the campsite areas at Island Pool, Yarragil, Stringers, and the recreational area at Dwaarlindjirraap. You could challenge yourself to a mountain bike track on your hired equipment. Or if that’s not your thing, walk one of the trails. We recommend the Class 3, seven-kilometre, semi-loop Chuditch Hike Trail. The walk ​starts from Nanga Mill Campground and ends at Chuditch Campground (or you can do the reverse).

6:00 pm: Dinner at Dwellingup Community Hotel

Dwellingup Community Hotel
Credit: Dwellingup Community Hotel

Head back into town and enjoy a country feast at the Dwellingup Community Hotel — the state’s only remaining community-owned hotel. The establishment has been open since the early 1900s and miraculously, was one of the few buildings that survived the massive bushfires of 1961. Whether you’re down for a pizza and a pint or steak, one thing is certain, you won’t go home hungry.

Stay the night: Camping at Lane Poole Reserve

Camping in Dwellingup
Credit: Chad Gerber

If you don’t want the day trip to end and you’re keen for a night in nature, hire camping gear from Dwellingup Adventures and book a campsite at Lane Poole Reserve. Or you could even hire a four-wheel drive from 4xploring Rentals which comes with camping equipment and rooftop tents. Alternatively, Dwellingup is home to a range of cottages, cabins, and other accommodation types worth checking out.

For more Perth Day Trip itineraries to help you discover the best of Perth, visit our Destination Perth Day Trips hub.

Latest Day Trips

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest Day Trip Itinerary and the best of Perth in your inbox every week.