Looking for the perfect outdoor getaway rich with natural beauty, hiking trails, and scenic roads? The small, charming and award-winning town of Dwellingup offers all this and more.
Located just 97km south of Perth, Dwellingup is bursting with breathtaking sights and activities to immerse yourself in, and makes for a perfect day trip destination. Known as the place ‘where the trails meet’ there is an abundance of hiking tracks, river trails, and idyllic scenery to enjoy.
But don’t be fooled by Dwellingup’s small-town charm, this place is big on adventure!
SEE & DO
Lane Poole Reserve
The tranquil waters and thriving forestry of Lane Poole Reserve make it one of Dwellingup’s most popular attractions. With more than 50,000 hectares of stunning landscape to explore, you’ll never run out of things to do. You’ll find spectacular landscapes and enchanting pools around every corner. Lane Poole Reserve is the ideal spot to choose your own adventure. Pick from the many hiking tracks, bike trails, and river activities on offer. If you want to spend a night under the stars, there are eight great campsites to choose from too.
Hotham Valley Railway
Fancy the idea of travelling back in time? Take a ride on the historic Hotham Valley Tourist Railway in the heart of Dwellingup. The railway was opened back in 1913 and has since been restored to allow visitors to enjoy a scenic journey over the valley. There are three train experiences to select from – the Steam Ranger, Forest Train, and Restaurant Train. Each will take you on a different journey through the forest where’ll you experience breathtaking scenery. The trains operate seasonally throughout the year, so be sure to check the train schedules.
Marrinup Falls offers beautiful scenery and an abundance of wildlife. There’s one catch though – you’ll have to ditch the car to enjoy its beauty. There is a relatively easy walking trail that will lead you through the native bushland and right to the stunning waterfall. The hike is a 1.4km loop and should only take 45 minutes.
The trek will be worth it when you encounter the picturesque Marrinup Falls. Enjoy the serenity of the waterfall and stay for a picnic before making the walk back. The best time to see the falls flowing is from June to early September.
If a peaceful day in nature isn’t your idea of fun, get strapped in for a thrill-seeking climb at Treetops Adventure. Breathe in the fresh air of pine and jarrah as your swing and leap across the treetops of the Nanga Bush campground. This activity is perfect for the thrill seekers in the group. With eight tree rope courses, 23 ziplines, and over 80 aerial challenges, this is sure to get your blood pumping.
Dwellingup’s Treetops Adventure is located inside Lane Pool Reserve, so it’s the perfect activity to add to your trip. Choose from a range of obstacles and packages to suit your adventure style. After a few hours of swinging amongst the trees, enjoy a coffee and a bite to eat at the on-site cafe.
Fast Water Rafting
Here’s another one for the adrenaline junkies! Experience the thrills of the Murray River on a self-guided fast water rafting tour. The team at Dwellingup Adventures will get you fitted with all the equipment you need and transport you to your starting point. From there you can spend hours zipping through the rapids and paddling through fast-moving channels of the Murray River all the way to Bobs Crossing. This tour is only available from May to October when the water levels are high. They also do canoe tours, rent bikes and camping equipment and loads more.
North Dandalup Dam
North Dandalup Dam is the perfect picnic location, with plenty of grassed areas by the water to set up for lunch. Swimming is prohibited due to health risks, but it doesn’t seem to slow many people down. If you do want to get wet, maybe keep your head above water! Please note that swimming in the dam is illegal but that people can go downstream of the dam wall.
EAT & DRINK
Wine Tree Cidery
The stunning Wine Tree Cidery is the perfect pit stop in Dwellingup for a treat to eyes and taste buds. This boutique winery offers small-batch wines and ciders available exclusively at their cellar door. All the beverages are made from local fruits direct from the orchards in a process that takes 12 months. The venue offers a cosy indoor dining area with a fireplace as well as a large veranda overlooking the orchards. Drink to your heart’s delight while taking in the breath taking views before grabbing a few bottles of your favourite selection from the cellar door to take home with you.
Blue Wren Cafe
Right on the corner of Dwellingup’s main street, you’ll find the cute and quirky Blue Wren Cafe. A favourite amongst locals and tourists, this should definitely be on your list of stops. The locally owned cafe offers showstopping homemade pastries, cakes, and plenty of delicious meals. Enjoy breakfast or lunch or simply stop in for a coffee at this town icon. If you’ve got time, be sure to enjoy the outdoor garden where you can spot the teapot tree and other quirky finds.
The Dwelly Pub
After a big day of site seeing, you’ll want to quench your thirst at Dwelingup’s one and only pub. The Dwelly Pub has been around since 1911 and is a cultural icon in the town. It’s in a community-owned building and funds from its lease go towards supporting local community projects, and offers all the best traditional pub meals for lunch and dinner, best enjoyed by the fire or in the lively beer garden.
A visit to a small town isn’t complete without a trip to the local farmers market, and the Caraholly Orchard Markets are one of the best in the southwest. You can frolic through the lush orchards and pick your own seasonal fruits to take home. Once you tire of fruit picking, head to the markets where you’ll find a range of seasonal produce, artisan stalls, live music, food trucks, and more. The markets run most Sundays from 9am to 2pm. In the winter months, the markets move inside the orchard’s packing shed where the fun continues.
Header Image Credit: Shire of Murray/Chad Gerber