Dunsborough is a popular holiday spot for West Australians due to its quiet sandy coves, surrounding national parks, great shopping precinct and proximity to the Margaret River region’s wineries and attractions. Beautiful homeware and fashion stores sit beside cafés, bakeries and restaurants in the townsite, while nearby beaches on the way to Cape Naturaliste are arguably some of the best in the south west.
Dunsborough lies on a culturally significant area of the South West to the traditional Aboriginal custodians, and is considered one of the oldest continually occupied habitats in the world, with a history dating back approximately 40,000 years. You’ll notice many place names around Dunsborough which end with the sound ‘up’. This means ‘place of’ in the local Wadandi dialect. You can join a local aboriginal guide from Yallingup or Cape Naturaliste to discover more of the aboriginal history and significance of this region.
Take a drive to the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and Maritime Museum just 13kms out of town. Here, visitors can take a tour of the lighthouse and take advantage of the stunning views of the coast. There are several walking trails including the start of the Cape to Cape Walk which follows the coast to Cape Leeuwin near Augusta. These walk trails provide excellent viewing of the wildflowers in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, home to several rare species including the Naturaliste Nancy, Dunsborough Spider Orchid, Cape Spider Orchid and Meelup Mallee.
Cape Naturaliste is the perfect vantage point for spotting whales on their annual migration. Between September and December, southern right, humpback and blue whales are all commonly seen off the coast. Experience the magic of watching them bask and play in Geographe Bay from Cape Naturaliste’s purpose-built whale watching platform or from a cruise.
Top things to do in Dunsborough and surrounds
- Snap a picture of sunset from Sugarloaf Rock. Located in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, it is an impressive formation that dominates the coastline and is extremely popular with photographers.
- Find your own secluded bay - You’ll catch your breath at the beautiful turquoise waters of Meelup Bay, Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay and all the small coves in between. Meelup Bay is part of the Meelup Regional Park which offers numerous walk trails for the energetic visitor who enjoys wildflowers or bird watching.
- Take a tour to get close to migrating humpback whales. Between September and December, tour boats leave almost daily in search of humpback, southern right and the rare blue whale.
- Spend some time wandering the townsite, exploring beautiful boutiques, coffee shops and surf stores.
- Dive the HMAS Swan, which was decommissioned in 1996 and laid to rest of Meelup Beach. The artificial reef is now a home and breeding ground for coral, fish and other marine life. Due to the protected nature of Geographe Bay, the site can be visited by divers almost 10 months of the year.