Sandy coves, ancient woodlands, and verdant vineyards draw nature lovers to this coastal town.
The gateway to the Margaret River region and Western Australia’s southwest coast, Dunsborough has it all. Surf breaks, coastal hikes, and ocean views await on the shore, while vineyards offer wine tasting and farm-to-table food along the banks of the Margaret River. Further inland, vast state forests stretch to the south, criss-crossed with hiking and mountain biking trails. Campers can enjoy similar variety, whether you fancy glamping in a luxury tent or tiny house, checking into a rustic chalet with bed and breakfast, or immersing yourself in nature at a remote bush camping site.
The Margaret River wine region stretches south from Dunsborough and through Yallingup and Margaret River to Augusta. Campground options range from simple unpowered sites to fully equipped holiday parks with swimming pools, all within an hour’s drive from Dunsborough. You can even enjoy a local farmstay, pitch your tent overlooking the vineyards, or park your motorhome among olive groves.
Just north of town, the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is the starting point of the 123-kilometre Cape to Cape Walk, which hugs the coastline all the way to Cape Leeuwin on the southern tip. You don’t have to hike to take in the highlights, which include swimming and surfing at the beaches, watching the sunset over Sugarloaf Rock, and Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, a popular spot to see Western Australia’s famous wildflowers.
Vast swathes of forests and woodlands blanket Australia’s southwest corner, where there are about 20 national parks and state forests to explore, many within a 2-hour drive from Dunsborough. Hikers can venture into the wilderness in the Greenbushes, Nannup, and Blackwood forests, where simple bush camping sites and bunkhouses welcome backpackers. Further south, Pemberton harbours popular sites such as the Yeagarup Sand Dunes and Beedelup Falls.
From September through May, the warm weather is tempered by coastal winds and ideal for hiking, camping, and outdoor activities near Dunsborough. The best scenery sprouts up in spring, when wildflowers blaze a colorful trail along the coast and whales can be seen out on the water. Winter weather is generally quite mild, although campers should be prepared for regular rain showers and for some campsite and caravan park closures.
- Dunsborough has a number of grocery stores and camping gear shops, where you can stock up on supplies before heading out. - Having your own car is a big plus around Dunsborough, especially if you’re planning to explore the vineyards or visit the national parks. - Fire bans are common in Western Australia during summer and dry periods, so be sure to only use designated fire pits and check local recommendations before lighting your campfire. - A National Parks pass is required to visit, hike, or camp within Western Australia’s national parks