Explore the beautiful coastline, taste premium local wines, check out the local galleries, indulge in local cuisines or walk the Cape to Cape track- there really is something for everyone in the Dunsborough & Yallingup area.
Top 10 things to do
1.Witness spectacular seascapes along the overwater boardwalk at Canal Rocks.
2. Snorkel at the secret rock pool of The Aquarium, a natural haven for colourful marine life.
3. Taste premium local wines just five minutes down the road from the beach.
4. Check out the local galleries – Yallingup is a paradise for art lovers.
5. See amazing crystal formations on an underground Adventure Tour at Ngilgi Cave.
6. Check out epic surf breaks at Smiths, Three Bears, Super Tubes, Injidup and Rabbit beaches.
7. Catch herring, whiting, tailor or seasonal salmon off the beaches at Dunsborough.
8. Dive the 113m-long wreck of the HMAS Swan, and get up close and personal with more than 100 fish species.
9. Peace out at a day spa, or catch one of the yoga classes in Dunsborough and surrounds.
10. Indulge in a long, lazy lunch at a winery restaurant on the outskirts of town.
- Start the day with a caffeine hit from the coffee van in Yallingup carpark, and some fresh wood-fired read from the German baker in the pink, blue and white shop at the top of the hill.
- Walk a section of the Cape to Cape Track, go to the lookout from the northern end of Injidup Beach, facing south to see the beautiful blue ocean against rust-red granite.
- Take the coastal drive from Meelup Beach to Eagle Bay, stopping for a swim in one of the beyond-perfect little bays. Between September and December, keep your eyes peeled on the horizon to glimpse whales. Sunset over the ocean is a must on any down-south evening. Grab a bottle and a blanket, and head to Yallingup, Smiths Beach or Sugarloaf Rock.
- Visit Quinninup falls, especially in the spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom
• Snorkel in the shallows at Meelup Beach, with its lapping, clear water.
• Watch sheep dogs round up the flocks, take part in some shearing, and bottle-feed the cute little lambs at Yallingup Shearing Shed.
• Yallingup Maze offers not just a tricky labyrinth, but also a log playground, grassy fields, a sandpit and a bouncy castle, as well as a cafe with puzzles on the tables.
• Simmo’s Ice Creamery in Dunsborough has an outdoor playground with the added bonus of the Southwest’s signature brand of delicious ice-cream. It’s won a legion of fans, and the kids will drag you back for more.
• The gently meandering Busselton to Dunsborough bike path is one of the most scenic trails in the region. Maps and bike-hire information are available from the Busselton or Dunsborough visitor centres.
Activities for all the family
In spring, a dazzling display of more than 2500 delicate wildflower species comes to life in the dense green coastal scrub and woodlands of Cape Naturaliste. Visit the lighthouse and its surrounding walk trails for the chance to see wildflowers in bloom on the headland, as well as whales frolicking in the waters below – truly a sight to behold! This is the perfect time of year for walking the Meelup Trail, or the Cape to Cape Track.
Grab a map and venture inland to discover a smattering of charming art galleries and cottage industries. You’ll find everything from clothing, crafts, jewellery and furniture, to every type of food: meats, home-grown fruits and vegetables, chocolate and ice-creams… you could spend a week and still not cover all the options.
Walk the Cape to Cape track
The Cape Naturaliste headland is also the starting point of the Cape to Cape Track. The track extends 135km south through coastal heath, karri forest and woodlands, to finish at Cape Leeuwin in Augusta. It offers the walker access to sweeping clifftop views, spectacular remote beaches, limestone caves, and historic lighthouses. Rated one of the best multi-day walks in Australia by Australian Geographic, it has many access points, so it’s possible to go for a 20-minute stroll, or do the guided walk, which takes between five and eight days. Detailed guide books, Cape to Cape Track maps, short walk maps, and field guides are available for purchase from the local visitor centres.
Cruising the bays
You can’t go wrong simply cruising down to each of the bays in this pocket of Margaret River, because they are all stunning. In summer, watersport equipment is available to hire at Dunsborough Foreshore and Meelup Beach.
When it comes to fishing, Meelup, Castle Rock and Bunker Bay are spectacular spots, with ample opportunities to cast a line, sit back, and take in the view while waiting for a bite. Fishing from the beach rather than the rocks is recommended as the safest way to catch dinner. Year-round fishing equipment hire for the whole family is available from Access Fishing in Dunsborough, and they give lessons too! If it’s game fishing you enjoy, then book a local charter and head out into the deep waters to try to snare dhufish and snapper.
Sunset & Sunrise
The sunsets are legendary down south, and it’s not unusual for the sky and rocks to turn bright orange.
At Yallingup, watch the sunset across the lagoon out to the break, while the colour of Sugarloaf Rock against the Indian Ocean will amaze. Then get up early the next morning and watch the sunrise, just a short drive away on the other side of the cape at Dunsborough.
Dunsborough boutiques & markets
For the serious shopper, it’s worth putting a day aside to meander the streets, which are lined with boutique clothing, shoe and homeware stores. You will be sure to find something unique. Bargain hunters, don’t miss the Dunsborough markets. A vibrant mix of local foods, crafts and entertainment, they are held on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from September to June, adjacent to the Dunsborough Tavern.
Learn to surf
In this region of world-class waves, you may want some local knowledge and someone to go surfing with. Yallingup Surf School’s friendly and experienced team of coaches offers a great way to get out on the ocean, and provides tips for all ages and stages: for the beginner, the instructors will get you up and standing on a surfboard. Yahoo Surfboards in Dunsborough gives out free surf advice, and hires out boards ranging from beginner foam surfboards, minimals and longboards, through to hybrids and shortboards.