Header Image: @rileywhitephoto
The jewel of southwest Western Australia’s Rainbow Coast, Denmark is fast-becoming a more laidback alternative to the hustle and bustle of Margaret River and Dunsborough. Get in early and get to know the locals before the rest of Perth catches on with our guide below:
SEE & DO
Like a mini Margs, Denmark is home to a number of beautiful wineries and cellar doors, bringing some different flavours thanks to the cooler southern climates. We’ve mentioned a couple here, and for a comprehensive list you can follow this link. At a glance, Harewood Estate, Moombaki, Rockcliffe, Rising Star, Monkey Rock and Silverstream should be top of your list!
A 15-minute drive west of Denmark’s centre will get you to Greens Pool – a beautiful, white sandy beach located in the William Bay National Park. Greens Pool is almost completely sheltered from the waves of the Great Southern Ocean by the rounded rock boulders typical to this area, making it a great swimming beach for the whole family.
Photo by @jadejemma
Elephant Rocks & Elephant Cove
A 10-minute walk west of Greens Pool is Elephant Cove – a picturesque sheltered beach, featuring a series of exposed rocks, which from several angles resembles a herd of elephants. Like Greens Pool, Elephant Cove has its own car park when you get to William Bay National Park. The more adventurous can descend the staircase between the rocks and make their way to the Cove, which although is generally a lovely place for a swim, does at times have a rip. Read our full guide here.
Photo by @_aswewander
Located amongst the rugged wilderness of West Cape Howe National Park is Shelley Beach, which is without a doubt one of the most beautiful beaches in the region. It’s the only area of this spectacular coastal landscape that can be accessed in a two wheel drive, making it a favourite stop for beach-lovers, campers, anglers and bushwalkers. The huge granite boulders that frame Shelley Beach were formed over 1,100 million years ago and provide shelter for swimming and fishing.
Want bang for your day tripping buck? Lights Beach actually has three unique beaches all in the one place, with ocean waterfalls, huge surf (not safe for swimming) and a stunning lookout offering unparalleled sunset views.
The calm waters of Peaceful Bay make it a great family beach for swimming, snorkelling, fishing and boating. And the long stretches of white sand make it the perfect beach in the region for those in the mood for a seaside stroll. On it’s doorstep, there’s the privately owned Peaceful Bay Caravan Park which provides powered and un-powered sites close to the beach and boat launching areas of Peaceful Bay.
Photo by @zandrones
A wonderful place to visit for the keen explorers, the Wilson Inlet is also known as Koorabup AKA “The Place Of The Black Swan” in Noongar language. As you can guess there’s heaps of ’em floating around, along with a variety of other waterbird species to spot. The Denmark Heritage Rail Trail also comes off the inlet, which is park of the popular Munda Biddi mountain bike trail.
Valley of the Giants Tree Tops Walk
Located a 40-minute drive west of the Denmark’s centre is The Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk. The walk gives you a bird’s eye view of some of the biggest timber giants on Earth – WA’s majestic tingle trees. Climbing 40 metres into the forest canopy and meandering through the treetops for 600 metres, the walk trail is the first of its kind, designed to maximise views and minimise impact. Read our full guide here.
Denmark Historical Museum
No visit to an old country town would be complete without a stop in their museum, and the Denmark Historical Museum is open at an odd array of times but well worth popping in to.
Denmark Dinosaur World
Equally important to visit is Denmark Dinosaur World! “Home to the only T-Rex in Australia”, it’s an awesome stop in for kids both big and small. In addition to an action-packed dinosaur shed filled with life-sized replicas, there’s also a wildlife park filled with still-living critters including birds, reptiles and kangaroos.
Butter Factory Studios & Gallery
There are some delightful art galleries to visit around the Denmark region, and Butter Factory is right up there. Home to nine different artists working in a variety of media, it’s also home to fun activities like life drawing lessons, workshops and exhibitions, with a cafe and gift shop on site.
Denmark Animal Farm & Petland Alpaca Stud
Denmark Animal Farm is a hands-on animal farm and Wildlife Park where you can pet, cuddle and feed a huge range of friendly and interesting animals including koalas, alpacas, rabbits, chickens and joeys.
Denmark Thrills Adventure Park
Perhaps you’re looking to add some thrills and spills to the Denmark visit? The Adventure Park is home to the world’s longest globeriding track, featuring you in a 3m diameter globe rolling down a purpose-built track and having a heap of fun. They’ve been hard at work shaking things up over the past couple of months, and are just about to re-open, so you could be rolling in at the ground floor.
Ducketts Mill Winery & Denmark Farmhouse
Ducketts Mill has an an on site cellar door, café and cheese factory….need we say more? All cheeses, fudge, ice cream and preserves at Ducketts Mill are handmade on the farm. Cheese varieties include camembert, brie, feta, creamy blue and havarti to name just a few! You also have the option to stay on their property in the farmhouse set among the vines.
Looking to stretch the legs and cop some scenery while you’re at it? Mount Lindesay offers a do-able 10km, 4-hour return trip to get the juices flowing. It’s also one of the most wildflower-rich walks you’ll find in the state’s south, with spring being the best time but something usually sprouting all year round.
Monkey Rock is a spectacular rock formation just a short drive east of Lights Beach, south-west of Denmark. It’s a steep 25-35-minute walk to the top of the rock but the views over the town and ocean make it worth your while! If bringing furry friends with you make sure to keep an eye out for snakes.
Photo by @louisa_groves
EAT & DRINK
Pepper & Salt
Located on the grounds of Forest Hill Winery, you’re in safe hands with Pepper & Salt‘s renowned chef Silas Masih and his particular blend of Australian and Fijian cuisine. Think seven spice marron, Shark Bay besan-battered whiting and pan-seared Cone Bay barramundi, all paired with Forest Hill’s selection of fine, cool climate wines.
Boston Brewing Co.
If you’ve enjoyed Boston Brewing Co.’s East Vic Park location, now it’s time to saddle up at their huge brewpub down in Denmark. The massive beer garden fills up fast on the weekend, so book ahead to sample a few of their ales and indulge in a hearty meal from the kitchen – may we recommend the Boss Lager Marinated Drunk Fried Chicken!
The Green Pantry
If you’re looking for sustainably minded meals with a health food focus, The Green Pantry has you covered with a plethora of vegan, gluten free and organic options to choose from. Just quietly if you’re real crazy about your coffee The Green Pantry will sort you out, but you didn’t hear it from us!
Singlefile Wines, a family owned winery, that aims to showcase the best of the five diverse sub-regions of the Great Southern in WA. Their estate in Denmark offers guests an engaging tasting experience at its cellar door, with a range of premium wines that are made as naturally as possible, allowing the nuances of the environment to shine through. They’re open seven days a week and all guests are welcome to wander through their beautiful grounds when visiting.
The Lake House
Just five minutes from town, The Lake House Denmark cellar door, restaurant and café is a popular destination with its natural beauty and rustic charm. Doggos welcome, views spectacular.
Another Denmark favourite, as you can imagine Raven also take their coffee very seriously, and they don’t mind a little experimenting with their various (delicious) blends. They also offer a few tasty bakery treats and a small – but tasty – breakfast menu.
If any visit to a country town requires you to visit their namesake pub, you won’t be disappointed with the Denmark Tav. Classic pub grub (they’ll sling you a parmi the size of a bodyboard), service with a smile, sport on the tele and a sunny southwest beer garden… What more could you ask for?
Another fantastic option in Denmark for the vegan/vegetarian conscious eaters out there, Shroom Cafe also rock a monthly “mini-market” on Saturdays if you’re in town and want to find some authentic artisan goods.
If you’re really looking to lock into the laidback Denmark way of life, pop into Bibbulmun for their simple menu, friendly staff and casual atmosphere. Like most places in Denmark it can get busy and may take a lil while, but it’s always worth the wait and the friendly staff will help the time fly by.
Mrs Jones Cafe
While currently closed for renovations (October 2020), if you’re headed to Denmark make sure you check ahead to see if Mrs Jones has re-opened as it’s one of the most popular cafes in town with an insane breakfast menu.
Fiending for a carb hit, then head to Massimo’s for the best pizza in town. Having worked all over the world, Massimo has decided to settle in Denmark and combine traditional Italian flavours and methods with modern techniques
The beloved Denmark Bakery has awards coming out the wazoo, and once you hook into one of their freshly baked pastry delights you’ll quickly understand why. They’re no slouch on the coffee front either, and if you get there early enough you can score a nice dine-in breakfast too.
Ark of Denmark, The Yurt
This lovely rustic double storey, octagonal building provides guests with the feeling of sleeping inside a tree.
From: $267 per night
Ark of Denmark, Due South
Walk through tall, slim wooden and glass cathedral doors into an amazing split level studio apartment.
From: $267 per night
Skyhouse Retreat is the perfect place to base yourself while exploring the Denmark region, located just few kilometres from the beaches and the town centre, while giving the feeling as if you were deep in the wilderness.
From: $205 per night
Railway Carriage Retreat
From: $109 per night