Known for its calm and clean water and white sandy beaches, Dunsborough is your ticket away from the hustle of everyday life. Dunsborough is a small coastal town located on the stunning banks of Geographe Bay. This town is a popular destination for Western Australians due to its tranquil and magnificent ocean. What’s the difference between Dunsborough from your other destination in Western Australia?
Dunsborough is a favourite “down south” family destination because it’s only an easy three-hour drive from Perth. Other than that, you will find yourself tempted by the choice of luxury accommodation, but there are also plenty of options, from hotels and bed and breakfast to caravan parks. Aside from its calm and clean waters, the town’s vibrant arts scene, with live music, widely- renowned are galleries and bustling summer markets can be observed. Also, the town is an excellent base for visiting Margaret River.
Here is an overview of beach campgrounds in Dunsborough Beach:
- Dunsborough Lakes Holiday Resort and Park
- Southern Stars Holiday Park
- Caves Caravan Park
- Camp Grace
- Yallingup Holiday Park
- Mt. Duckworth Campsite
- Scripture Union Geographe Bay
- Adventist Campground
Start scrolling down if you are already looking forward to going to Dunsborough!
How Do I Get to Dunsborough Beach?
Driving straight to Dunsborough from Perth is about 3 hours of driving and a distance of approximately 270 km. You also have the option to break up the travel into two where you can do an overnight stay at Bunbury or Busselton while you’re on the way. But if you opt to drive non-stop from Perth, follow this route:
- Take State Route 2 and S Western Hwy/ State Route 20 to Mornington Rd in Wokalup;
- Continue on Mornington Rd to Worsley;
- Follow Coalfields Hwy/ State Route 107, S Western Hwy/ State Route 20 and State Route 10 to Caves Rd in Abbey;
- Follow Caves Rd to your destination in Dunsborough.
What Should I Know About Dunsborough Beach?
Dunsborough is situated on the South- West of Western Australia, 254 km south of Perth on the shores of Geographe Bay. The town is recognised as one of the oldest continually inhabited areas. Like any other towns, Dunsborough has its share of early history before European settlement.
Tracing its Aboriginal history back to 50,000 years, Dunsborough is originally called Quedijinup, which translates to “Place of Women.” The people who occupied the town are called Wardandi (sea people), and the spoken language is Burron Wongi.
The Aboriginal importance in Dunsborough can be observed as multiple heritage sites in and the nearby town is seen. Caves Road, for example, is a place where many artefacts including flints, crystal quartz, and blades have been discovered and have been dated between 8,000 and 12,000 years old. This site is on the Permanent Register of Aboriginal sites.
Upon European settlement, the settler moved north from Augusta and with the presence of American whaling ships in Geographe Bay in 1801. Captain Nicholas Baudin named Cape Naturaliste and Geographe Bay. He called it after his vessels, namely Geographe and Naturaliste. The name Dunsborough, on the other hand, was named after Dunn Bay, which was named after Captain Richard Dalling Dunn. Dunsborough was then officially proclaimed in 1879.
It was in 1903 when the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse was built and opened because of the increasing ship traffic. The first general store was opened in 1925 and not until 1930, the town’s first bakery was established. The Seymour Family, in the 1920s, built Seymour Cottages, which were among the first holiday houses in the area and they relocated to Millbrook Farm.
In the 1960s, surfing became popular, and the families have many fond memories in Greenacres Caravan Park. Wine tourism emerged by mid- 1980s and is a burgeoning industry today.
Development of tourism flourished furthermore in the 1990s, including the intentionally sunk dive wreck of the former HMAS Swan in 1997. During the early 2000s, a massive redevelopment of the land that faced Dunn Bay commenced resulting in beautiful beachfront tourist resorts and beach houses.
How Are the Campgrounds at Dunsborough Beach?
Dunsborough offers different accommodation according to your preferences. They fancy hotels which serve bed and breakfast. There also motels which will accommodate you if you are only there for a stopover. However, if you are an outdoors person, you can always stay in parks that have big campgrounds. These parks and campgrounds include:
Dunsborough Lakes Holiday Resort and Caravan Park
Dunsborough Lakes Holiday Resort and Caravan Park are located at 29 Commonage Rd, Dunsborough WA 6281 Australia. Its location is optimal since the beach is within 5-minute walk only and a 2-minute drive to Dunsborough. The place has powered and unpowered caravan camping sites. Facilities include park kiosk, swimming pool, tennis court, mini-golf, wood BBQs, shaded pergola areas and kids’ playground.
Southern Stars Holiday Park
The address of the park is 645 Vasse- Yallingup Siding Rd, Anniebrook WA 6820. It is just a short drive from the beach located to the south-west of Dunsborough townsite and the west of Busselton. They have a range of different camping sites available. They include powered sites, unpowered sites and sites for the big rigs. The park is friendly, and they even have fully fenced sites so your dog can enjoy some time off their leash. They have a camp kitchen, ablutions, playground, and bike pump track.
Caves Caravan Park
Caves Caravan Park is found 8 km away from Dunsborough at 23 Yallingup Beach, Road Yallingup. Also, it is nestled between world-class surfing beaches and a national park. The park also offers grass and bush tent sites, caravan sites, and glamping. You can enjoy their modern facilities like a camp kitchen, stone fireplace, games room, communal fridge, microwaves, toasters, and kettles, fish cleaning stand, and newly built bathrooms.
It is located at 220 Caves Road, Siesta Park WA 6280, halfway between Busselton and Dunsborough, and it is very close to the beachfront in Geographe Bay. Also, it is ideal for people who need respite. The campsite is surrounded by 3 hectares of shady peppermint trees and the lawn areas fronting directly onto the beach. The site includes powered sites, on-site caravans, tent sites and several bunk rooms. This campsite can arrange your outdoor activities such as caving, abseiling, rock climbing and many more.
Yallingup Beach Holiday Park
Yallingup Beach Holiday Park’s address is 1 Valley Rd, Yallingup WA 6282. The campgrounds in this place are grassy, and they also have en suite and standard cabins. It is an ideal place to relax or experience the many attractions like the beach, swimming, surfing, walk trails, lighthouses, wineries, and whale watching. Their facilities include a BBQ area that overlooks the bay, small camper’s kitchen, kiosk, internet access, and tour booking facilities.
Mt. Duckworth Campsite
Mt. Duckworth is located at Naturaliste WA 6281, next to Mount Duckworth. This campsite is a perfect place for you if you are planning for a hike or bushwalk. However, caravans are not allowed here. Nearby Mt. Duckworth is Kabbjigup Beach, Smiths Beach, and Yallingup Beach.
Scripture Union Camp Geographe
Camp Geographe is an affordable campsite located between Busselton and Dunsborough. Its address is 162 Caves Rd, Siesta Park, WA 6280. Also, this campsite is often used for youth groups, churches, and private family. Caravans are not allowed, but the campground is right on the beach.
The campground’s address is 228 Caves Rd, Siesta Park, Western Australia. The campground is complete with facilities. There are powered and unpowered campsites for caravans, trailers, and tents. Pets are not allowed here as well as fires, but there are BBQ spots available for you to use. A shared laundry area is also available.
You can know more about the campgrounds in Dunsborough Beach here.
Where Can I Take Bushwalk in Dunsborough Beach?
Dunsborough may be a small coastal town, but it is also blessed with natural beauty. The best way to discover this natural beauty is through a hike or bushwalks. Here’s the list of trails you should tackle:
Dunsborough to Meelup Beach
The distance is about 3.7 km and has a grade 2 level of difficulty. During the walk, you will experience the cool shade of peppermint and WA Christmas tree groves, as well more exposed low- lying health vegetation. This walk should at least take 2- 3 hours.
Cape Naturaliste Track
The difficulty level of this walk is grade 2, and it is 4 km loop track. It starts at the Cape Naturaliste car park. This trail is an easy 4 km loop and will take you almost to the top of the cape. The walk is ideal for families as the terrain is stable and smooth.
Baudin Memorial to Riedle Park
Anyone can tackle this trail. It is only 0.35 km and has a grade 1 level of difficulty, which means ideal for people with disabilities or using a wheelchair. Along the trail is a limestone tread and shaded by peppermint trees. The walk may take at least 20 minutes.
Meelup Brook Trail
Meelup Brook Trail is a 1.2 km walk with a grade 1- 2 difficulty level. The trail winds along and crosses Meelup Brook. Meelup Beach is the first section of the trail and is a smooth track. It terminates at a timber decking to overlook the Meelup Brook and continues along a pea gravel firebreak following the Meelup Brook stream.
Canal Rocks to Wyadup Bay
The walk starts at the Canal Rocks upper car park. It takes around 1-2 hours to complete the trail, and it has a total distance of 4 km and is a grade 2 walk. The track starts easy but can be rough and steep. The overlook is mesmerising as the collection of rocks sit in the crashing waves.
Car Rally Trail
The trail has a total distance of 1.5 km. However, you have the option to make the 3.4 km loop. The level of difficulty is grade 2- 3. This trail behind Meelup Beach starts at a gravel car park on the Eagle Bay- Meelup Road. Along the trail, a limestone tread can be seen and is on a moderate slope section with some uneven ground. Views of the turquoise water of Geographe Bay through the vegetation of the Jarrah/ Marri woodland. You may want to walk this loop trail in reverse.
Meelup Beach to Eagle Bay
This coastal trail has a limestone tread from Meelup Beach to Point Picquet, but gravel and outcrops can be seen too. You will need to pass through Gannet Rock, which is a popular snorkelling spot and well known for fishing and winter surfing spot. The walking trail from Point Picquet crosses Eagle Bay- Meelup and continues on the other side of the road through the forest and ends at Riedle Park. The walk is 3.3 km in total, and the difficulty level is grade 3. The trail type is walk trail only and can be tackled for about 2- 3 hours.
Cape to Cape Track
This track is for serious trekkers and has grade 4 difficulty level. It may take 5-8 days for this walk and has 135 km distance one way. The trail is along the Leeuwin- Naturaliste Ridge, between the Lighthouse of Cape Leeuwin in the far south-west of Western Australia. Spectacular coastal and forest scenery, exciting geology of cliffs, caves, headlands and rock formations and an ever-changing display of vegetation and wildflowers can be featured during the walk.
What Are the Other Things I Should Do in Dunsborough Beach?
Dunsborough is a paradise for beach lovers. The foundation of the place is built on surfing and family holidays and has grown into a holiday spot rich in adventure and fun. Dunsborough has a visitor centre where you will find everything, from supermarkets to restaurants and bars.
The town is within the proximity of Margaret Wine River Region, which is the home to many of Australia’s excellent wineries. You can tour the incredible wineries scattered throughout this region. The wine tour also incorporates some local food artisans and producers, breweries and delicious restaurants.
A visit to Dunsborough without a beach hop is a must since it’s known for its tranquil and turquoise waters. Make sure to visit Bunker Bay and the beaches around Cape Naturaliste and Meelup Beach.
Complete your visit with trying your hand at the local surf. Yallingup Surf School offers lessons for beginners, and you will be at ease with the waters. Only a handful can be seen surfing on the beaches, so you can expect to get the whole beach to yourself.
If you are an adrenaline junkie, a jet ski tour is for you. Have a filled day of adventure and fun exploring the epic coastline from the water. This jet ski tour will gain you another perspective of the beaches in Dunsborough. There are too many activities to do in Dunsborough and plenty of places to visit, and you can follow the list below:
- HMAS Swan Dive Wreck
- Whale watching in Geographe Bay
- Scenic viewing from the top of the lighthouse
- Swimming in the natural pool in Yallingup
- Enjoying your brunch in Goanna Café
- Sunset at Sugarloaf Rock
- Relaxing Injidup Natural Spa
- Experience the night vibe at brewhouses
- Rock/ cliff jumping in Bunker Bay
- Hiking in Castle Rock
- Browsing the surfy- beachy style boutique shops
- Driving along the coast from Dunsborough to Quindalup
- Eating ice cream in Simmo’s Ice Creamery
What Is the Best Time to Visit Dunsborough?
The weather in Dunsborough is an excellent mixture of hot and cold temperature year-round. The summers are short, warm, and dry while the winters are long, cold, and wet. If you want pleasant weather during your holiday, the best time to visit Dunsborough is from January until April and November and December.
What Are Other Camping Enthusiasts Saying About Dunsborough?
‘’We stayed in Dunsborough Lakes Holiday Resort and Caravan Park for a couple of nights in the open pig paddock. Their toilets and shower blocks were new and clean. My booking process was pleasant enough and was guided to our camp spot. We were given the option for various spots.’’- ash0042 (TripAdvisor)
How Far is Dunsborough from Margaret River?
The distance between Dunsborough and Margaret River is 38 km, but the road distance is 47.7 km. The drive may take 40 minutes via Bussell Hwy/ State Route 10.
How Far is Busselton from Dunsborough?
The distance between Busselton from Dunsborough is 23 km, and the road distance is 24 km. It may take a 23-minute drive from Busselton via Bussell Hwy and Caves Rd.
What Does Yallingup Means?
Yallingup is a coastal hamlet situated into the hillside and overlooking one of the region’s well-known surf beaches. Yallingup means “Place of Love” in the local dialect. The place is famous for weddings and honeymoons, hence the name ‘’Place of Love.’’
What Are the Top Attractions to Visit in Dunsborough?
These are the attractions to visit in Dunsborough:
- Meelup Beach
- Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
- Eagle Bay Brewery
- Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park
What Are the Best Day Trips in Dunsborough?
The best day trips in Dunsborough are:
- Cellar d’ Or Winery Tours- Busselton
- A day trip of the Margaret River and Geographe Bay Region from Perth
- Scenic Nature, Food, a Wine Tour of Margaret River
Why Do So Many Towns in Western Australia Have Names That End in ‘’Up?’’
The suffix “up” is commonly found in place names in the south-west of Western Australia. This word means “place of”, which originated in a dialect of Noongar, an indigenous Australian language.