Beside the calm, clear waters of Geographe Bay, the pretty town of Dunsborough is a favourite ‘down south’ family holiday destination and home to 4005 (approx.) lucky residents. A short walk or scenic drive brings you to secluded coves and stunning coastal trails, with local award-winning wineries and breweries offering the perfect excuse for a lazy lunch.
An easy three-hour drive south from Perth brings you to the heart of Dunsborough and a short hop from some of Western Australia’s best swimming beaches, including pretty little Meelup, the sweeping sands of Eagle Bay and the sheltered turquoise waters of Bunker Bay.
Just a short distance off Dunsborough’s coast, keen divers can take a snoop around one of the largest accessible dive wrecks in the southern hemisphere. At 113 metres long and home to an abundance of marine life, the former HMAS Swan ranks high on the diver wish list Australia-wide.
From nearby Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, you can follow the trail of one of the most diverse walking treks on Earth, the Cape to Cape. If you’d prefer just to take a few vertical steps instead, climb the lighthouse for 360 degree views of Geographe Bay – a top spot for watching whales cruise by on their annual migration and learning a little about the region’s rich maritime history.
The choice of luxury accommodation is just as tempting, both in Dunsborough and nearby Yallingup, but there are also plenty of middle-range-to-budget options, from hotels and bed & breakfasts to caravan parks.
Quindalup is a small town in the South West region of Western Australia. It is situated along Caves Road between Busselton and Dunsborough on Geographe Bay.
The area was the site of one of the earliest timber industries in the state. Several timber mills were constructed in the area and the products were exported utilising a jetty that had been constructed on the coast in the 1860s. The first recorded use of the name was on a timber mill owned by Yelverton and McGibbon. Land was reserved by the government in the 1870s and in 1899 local fishermen petitioned for a town to be declared along the beach front. Lots were surveyed the same year and the town was gazetted in 1899.
The name in Aboriginal in origin and means place of the Quenda.
The town was situated close to a shallow inlet, where the jetty was built, which was used to load timber sent up by a tramway, to boats that would ferry the timber to boats anchored a few kilometres offshore.
The only parts of the original settlement that are left are a slab cottage group, known as Harwoods Cottage, which was constructed circa 1860 and associated with the original timber mill. The cottage group is composed of a cottage, gaol, post office, telephone exchange and Customs House. The buildings were mostly derelict until restorations planned in 1998, commenced in 2000 and the operation was opened for business in 2000 with accommodation opened in 2004.
Eagle Bay is the luxury escape of choice for Western Australia’s rich and famous. Here, in scenic seclusion, you can indulge in world-class wining, dining, surfing and diving, not to mention sensational bush walking.
A little over three hours’ drive south of Perth, Eagle Bay sits on the tip of Cape Naturaliste in Geographe Bay, with the delights of Dunsborough, Yallingup and Busselton on its doorstep.
Entering a world of opulent beachfront holiday homes belonging to Western Australia’s most affluent, you’re just a short hop from the world-famous Margaret River Wine Region – the only wine region in Australia where you can enjoy stunning beaches, tall-timber forests, ancient caves, premium wines and world-class surfing within a single day.
Make the rolling vineyards your first stop. There are more than 100 top-notch wineries, fine dining restaurants and a boutique brewery, giving you a tantalising taste of the region’s freshest flavours.
If it’s surf you seek, head to one of the internationally renowned big-wave beaches and breaks in nearby Yallingup and put your surfing and body boarding skills to the ultimate test.
Beyond the beaches, a network of walking trails afford awesome views of Geographe Bay, and from nearby Cape Naturaliste, you can follow the trail of one of the most diverse treks on Earth, the Cape to Cape. Walking or cycling the 135 kilometre track will lead you to beautiful beaches and headlands, tall Karri tree forests, ancient caves and carpets of spring wildflowers.
If you’re staying for a decadent holiday, hire an exclusive beachfront house or, for country comfort, unwind in bed & breakfast or chalet accommodation.
To the Indigenous Noongar people, Yallingup means ‘place of love’. One visit will show you why. With its top-rated surf, stunning beaches, world-class wines, ancient caves and breathtaking ocean sunsets, Yallingup captures the hearts of nature lovers, thrill seekers and wine connoisseurs alike.
Yallingup lies to the north of the Margaret River wine region, within three and a half hours’ drive south of Perth, or a short ten minute drive from neighbouring Dunsborough.
Famous the world over for its consistent, spectacular surf breaks, Yallingup is home to the renowned and well-ridden Three Bears, Yallingup, Smith’s Beach and Injidup breaks. That said, you’ll also find sheltered spots ideal for swimming and fishing.
If you’d prefer to sample the region one step at a time, hit the Cape to Cape Track. One of the most diverse walking treks on Earth, the 135 kilometre trail leads you from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, passing long sandy beaches, dramatic granite headlands, tall Karri tree forests, caves, blankets of spring wildflowers and, of course, nightly ocean sunsets.
Beyond the beaches and headlands, Yallingup’s award winning wineries and boutique cellar doors dot the picturesque hillsides, with some even overlooking the ocean. Here, character and world class quality can be found in fruit intense Chardonnays, rich Semillons, robust Cabernets, soft Merlots and many other varieties and blends.
For the foodies, a memorable meal is not hard to come by. Highly skilled chefs have been attracted to the region by the finest quality fresh produce. The result is a wide variety of extraordinary dining experiences, from beach side cafes and fine dining restaurants to gourmet vineyard lunches.
Choosing your bed for the night will bring more tempting options, with hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, guesthouses, luxury retreats, private beach houses, self-contained units and caravan parks. Advanced bookings are highly recommended, particularly during school holidays and long weekends.
In Busselton’s calm turquoise bay you can take a 1.8-kilometre stroll or train ride over the Indian Ocean on the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere. And below the waves, Australia’s best artificial reef can be viewed by stepping into the Underwater Observatory or getting suited up for a diving tour.
Twice voted Western Australia’s Top Tourism Town, and just a short hop from the Margaret River wine region, Busselton gives you plenty of reasons to take the 2-hour-and-40-minute drive or 50-minute flight south from Perth.
Its iconic, heritage-listed jetty was originally built in 1865, and a ticket to ride with the Busselton Jetty Experience takes you all the way to the end to get a glimpse of the colourful fish and tropical corals that have made it their home, thanks to the warm waters of the Leeuwin current.
Along the north-facing shoreline, the tranquil waters, white sands, lush lawns and shady pine trees of the main swimming beach offer the perfect setting for a family day beside the sea. Here, and along a 30-kilometre coastline of immaculate beaches, you can try your hand at fishing, water skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing, kayaking or sailing in the calm waters of Geographe Bay.
A short walk from the main beach brings you to Busselton’s main street, where you can browse boutique fashion, designer home wares, surf gear and antiques. Take a detour down Fig Tree Lane and you’ll find yourself in a quaint little retail enclave of fashion, beauty and refreshments.
For a spot of culture, step inside the Busselton Museum, Old Courthouse or the beautiful St Mary’s Church and be transported back to the 1800s, when Busselton was established as one of Western Australia’s first settlements. Housed in the old prison and courtroom, the modern ArtGeo Gallery and Courthouse Arts Complex now celebrates freedom of expression, displaying the works of South West and Western Australian artists.
All tastes and budgets are satisfied with a huge array of tours, restaurants and accommodation. And for the best views in the bay, be sure to check out Busselton’s string of beachfront resorts.
Information from westernaustralia.com.au & wikipedia.org