Everything you need to know about Dunsborough and the surrounds.
Our favourite slice of paradise, the South West is all the more enticing now that we haven’t got many other places to go.
Despite us calling it a “small town” there’s heaps to do in Dunsborough and the surrounds, and it’s unlikely we’ll ever get bored of it.
What to see and do
Hit the beach
The Dunsborough and Yallingup beaches are some of the most beautiful in the country, if not the world (no bias here).
Check out Yallingup Beach or Meelup (our favourites). They’re both amazing swimming holes.
If you’re into surfing, Yallingup Beach is a great place to start, with heaps of different parts of the coast almost reserved for surfers with colloquial names like Rabbits or Three Bears.
For snorkelers, there are some cool spots to see including The Aquarium – near Smith’s Beach – that offers a hidden oasis of thriving sea life.
If you don’t feel like getting in the water, seeing it from above is a great option. There are multiple near Dunsborough and Yallingup, and many offer tours within!
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is closest to Dunsborough and you can make it to the top with just 59 steps
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is a bit of a drive away, closer to Augusta, but since it’s Australia’s tallest mainland lighthouse it is worth a visit.
The walks around both of these attractions are also incredible and offer sweeping views across the ocean.
If you haven’t gotten your fill of coastal walks, there’s plenty besides those offered around lighthouses.
There’s more than one famous track, including the Cape to Cape, which goes from one lighthouse to another.
The Bibbulmun Track also passes through this region, if a gruelling multi-day track tickles your fancy.
If not there are a couple of easier ones, including the Meelup Reserve Trail, which is a 7km track facing Geographe Bay and a walk along Castle Rock.
Speaking of sweeping views, if you go for a walk around either one of those lighthouses between May and December you are likely to see the great migration of humpback whales.
Even without binoculars, you can easily see them flapping their tales and jumping out of the water.
You can see the whales from spots across the coastline, or get up close and personal with one of many whale watching tours.
As with all fishing, if you have the means to get on a boat out to some deep water then get gone.
One of the best places to head is Four Mile reef, about 6km off Dunsborough. There, you’re likely to catch Pink Snapper, Samson Fish and even Bluefin Tuna.
But there are plenty of beach fishing spots, including right on Geographe Bay, which has plenty of King George Whiting, Pike and other varieties.
For Herring, Eagle Bay is the go, while Bunker Bay is known for Salmon in the Autumn.
If the ocean isn’t totally your thing you can always head inland and underground.
That’s right, we’re talking about caves.
The South West has an incredible network of caves to explore, with some – like Ngilgi – right outside of the Dunsborough town centre.
Others, like Mammoth and Jewel cave are a bit of a drive down south, but well worth the time in the car.
All of the caves are amazing for different reasons, whether it’s their size (yes we’re talking about Mammoth cave) or their crystalline features (Jewel cave).
If you have the day free you can just about do those major ones in a “cave-crawl” if you will. Note: no actual crawling is required.
Relax a while
While there are heaps of reasons to get your shoes scuffed and hands dirty in Dunsborough, there’s also time to unwind in one of the many day spas.
One of the best is Empire Day Spa where, as the name suggests, you can stay the whole day and even overnight in utmost luxury.
Is it little wonder that there’s so many amazing artists and galleries in a region so steeped in natural beauty?
There’s photographic artwork that can be found at the Christian Fletcher Gallery – right in town. Bay Gallery has more traditional paintings, while the Red Cloud Art Space is more alternative.
For a mix of mediums, Yallingup Galleries is the way to go, with heaps of art works large and small that you may even find yourself buying to bring a little of the South West home.
Where to eat and drink
It barely needs to be said that you’re going to want to spend a fair bit of time at some wineries.
There are literally hundreds to explore in the region that are nearby in Dunsborough. Whether it’s Happs Wines – which offers picnic baskets to enjoy on the grass as well – or Windance or Swings are also nearby. However, the local favourite would have to be Wise Wine – with wines as beautiful as its views.
Similarly, there are breweries with equally as delicious beers to choose from, the key among them being Eagle Bay brewery – also a highly recommend So Perth must-visit. A little further from town you can make your way to Wild Hop Brewing serving up tasty beers and eats while the kids run wild on the playground.
While all of the wineries and breweries have incredible food on offer, there are also incredible cafes and restaurants to explore as well.
And for a coffee, Hot Chocolatté has every option you can think of, from dark chocolate mochas to caramel lattes and beyond.
Dinner is a different story entirely. There is incredible food right in town, including Blue Manna Bistro – an amazing seafood restaurant that will give you the very taste of the ocean (right down the road).
A local favourite is of course Occy’s, which has a much stronger pub vibe but is still more upmarket than the good old tav.
Perhaps the crown of the Dunsborough jewel when it comes to eats and drinks though is Meelup Farmhouse as you fall in love with their fresh take on traditional dining in a relaxed offering amongst a charming hobby farm.
Where to stay
While they don’t have a spa attached, Whalers Cove Villas looks right out onto Geographe Bay, which after all is the best spa in the region.
The Smiths Beach Villas offer their own beachfront views across one of the favourite local beaches in the area.
For something a little alternative, Barn Hives eco-cabins offer a retreat away from the hustle and bustle.
Feature Image: @annabelclaire
See more: Western Australia travel