Located at the northern entrance of the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park, the vibrant town of Dunsborough is home to stunning coastal scenery, wildflower displays and excellent opportunities for whale-watching in cooler months. Around 250km (or around a three-hour drive) south of Perth, Dunsborough is a fantastic location not only for a holiday, but for a permanent residence.
Today, Dunsborough’s vibrant arts and music scene, art galleries and summer markets breathe life into this otherwise quaint coastal town. Plus, just beyond Dunsborough’s outskirts lies the Margaret River wine region, where visitors can savour the fantastic chardonnays, merlots, cabernets, semillons and also fine ales that the region has to offer.
There’s no shortage of things to do and natural attractions to see – so here’s a round-up of everything you need to know about the iconic Western Australian town of Dunsborough.
History of Dunsborough
The South West region of Western Australia (which Dunsborough is located in), has an Aboriginal history that stretches back over 50,000 years. Prior to the arrival and settlement of Europeans, Dunsborough was occupied by the South West Boojarah of the Wardandi Aboriginal language group. Some of the town’s important local Aboriginal Heritage sites include the Naturaliste Road Roundabout on Caves Road, the Seymour Street Camping Grounds, and the Dunn Bay Road Ceremonial Ground.
The area was settled by Europeans in the 1830s, and the town was officially proclaimed in 1877. By 1925, the first Dunsborough general store was opened, and by the 1960s, Dunsborough Primary School was opened. Surfing and wine tourism became popular between the 1960s and 1980s, and the population of the town has grown steadily ever since.
Things to do in Dunsborough
- Swim at Meelup Beach
Meelup Beach is a staple for those visiting or living in the idyllic town of Dunsborough. Characterised by its white sand, shady grassed areas and crystal blue water, Meelup is great for a day out with the family. It has great picnic and barbeque facilities, public change rooms, toilets and showers.
There’s also a coastal walking track which winds its way around the beach’s coastline and provides great vantage points of the stunning stretch of beach.
- Walk along the Dunsborough foreshore
The Dunsborough foreshore and beach stretches from the Dunsborough town centre all the way to Quindalup. With barbecue areas, picnic tables, benches and grassy seating areas scattered along the foreshore, it’s a great place to visit with family, friends and a picnic basket.
- Visit the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
You’ll find the iconic Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse a 15-minute drive north of the Dunsborough town centre. The lighthouse is one of the region’s most popular attractions, as it rewards its visitors with breathtaking, 360-degree views of the Indian Ocean. It’s an easy climb to the top, with only 59 steps, and is planted firmly on base that is 100 metres above sea level.
One of the main activities at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse (besides looking at the views) is whale-watching. The new observation deck atop of the lighthouse offers sweeping views of the Indian Ocean and Geographe Bay, where it’s not uncommon to spot mother whales nursing their young from September to early December.
The lighthouse is also equipped with a cottage that reveals the lighthouse’s maritime history, and a café that serves light refreshments. Plus, there’s a fun nautical-themed playground to keep the kids entertained.
- See Castle Rock
Located on the east side of Cape Naturaliste, the iconic Castle Rock can be found within the sweeping Castle Rock Bay. Wildflower enthusiasts will be particular fans of Castle Rock, as on the eastern coastal track to view the rock there are plenty of blooms within the bushland.
Castle Rock is also a great place for lovers of surfing, as the rock protects the large swells that often impact the waters off the beach.
- Visit the Country Life Farm
Country Life Farm is one of Dunsborough’s best family-friendly attractions. With ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, donkeys, ponies, llama, alpacas and more, there’s a ton of animals for the kids to enjoy feeding and playing with. Plus, there’s a huge inflatable slide, bumper cars, a barbecue area and an indoor adventure playground for everyone to enjoy if the animals need a break. One of the best parts about the park is that your entry fee includes your entire day out – so make sure the kids are well-rested and ready to go to make the most of your day at the farm!
- Explore the HMAS Swan Dive Wreck
Located within the waters of the Ngari Capes Marine Park, the HMAS Swan Dive Wreck is one of Australia’s first sunken shipwrecks. The ship purpose-sunk in 1997 and has numerous holes cut into it for ease of access for divers. Notable points of interest throughout the ship include the Galley, Steering Gear, Control Room, Laundry and The Bridge.
There is also a range of marine wildlife that traverses through the ship, including Flat Head, Samson Fish, Wobbegongs and Bat Fish. There’s also a colourful array of hard and soft coral. Charters out to the wreck are run by two local companies, and the wreck is owned and managed by the Geographe Bay Artificial Reef Society. A permit is required to dive the wreck.
The ACTON Dunsborough team are centrally located at Shop 27C Dunsborough Centrepoint at 55 Dunn Bay Road, Dunsborough, and provide unparalleled results when it comes to finding or selling your perfect property in the thriving and idyllic suburb of Dunsborough. Our award-winning sales and property investment professionals are on hand to provide you with the best possible outcome, and can offer you specialist advice on any property-related matters. Give us a call on 08 9755 3399 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.