Thursday, March 2, 2023
A Weekend in Dunsborough
The, in our humble opinion, best beaches in Western Australia. Native bushland and national park ribboned with bike tracks and walking trails. Ancient caves and an old lighthouse. Mouth-watering eats and a trendy shopping scene. Welcome to Dunsborough – the ultimate destination for seekers of laidback coastal living.
A three-day Dunsborough itinerary
Planning a weekend in Dunsborough and Yallingup? Try out this three-day itinerary that’ll take you to all of the best places on Dunsborough’s highlights reel.
Before you leave
It takes approximately 3 hours to get from Perth to Dunsborough, so to make the most out of your weekend, we recommend making your way down the afternoon/night before, and heading home on night three or day four.
Looking for the perfect Dunsborough weekender? From the epitome of luxury to total beachfront living, our range of Dunsborough holiday homes has something for everyone.
Day one: beach to bar
Mornings in Dunsborough are quiet, calm and full of charm. Start the day slowly, with breakfast at one of the town’s many cafes, before making your way to the beach. Head down Cape Naturaliste Road then turn right at Meelup Beach Road to find a mix of rock-lined, white-sand bays; nature’s very own saltwater swimming pools that you could stare at for days.
Meelup Beach is ideal for families, thanks to its shady, grassed areas that overlook Geographe Bay, a number of barbecues and toilet/changeroom facilities. Castle Rock Bay is a great alternative to Meelup, offering a protected blue pool walled by Castle Rock, gas barbecues, picnic tables and wheelchair access. Paddle out a bit further and you’ll also be able to catch a wave or two. A little down the way you’ll find Point Picquet, a great spot to SUP, cast a line or to whale watch (in-season); and the picture-perfect shores of Eagle Bay.
While summer’s the prime time to visit these bays, don’t let that dissuade you from a winter escape. When the temperature dips, take the opportunity to explore the coast on foot. There are heaps of walking trails that’ll keep big and little feet busy all day. To get you started, try the Meelup Reserve Trail, which stretches 7km along the coast, from Eagle Bay to Old Dunsborough.
Alternatively, why not go on an ocean cruise or a whale watching tour? Cruise the coast in search of humpback, southern right and the illusive blue whale, or indulge in a gourmet seafood feast with South West Cruises.
No need to travel far for a feed. There are a number of eateries that are incredibly close by and offer delicious meals to suit your entourage’s every want and need. Visit Eagle Bay Brewing Co for beautiful rural-meets-ocean views, up-classed pub food and their own beer on tap. Grab a coffee and a picnic platter at Eagle Bay Olives and devour under one of the farm’s leafy olive trees. Pick Wise Wine if you want something a little bit fancier, and for a beachy, highly Instagrammable experience complete with fluffy chickens and a highland cow, swing past Meelup Farmhouse.
Cape Naturaliste Road also leads to Bunker Bay – another breathtaking stretch of coast that boasts dazzling white sand and beautiful, calm waters. Post-dip, head to Bunkers Beach House for a degustation lunch with a turquoise blue view.
Walk off your beach feast along one of the many walking trails in the area – we suggest driving to the very end of Cape Naturaliste Road and exploring the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse before meandering down the Access for More Trail, which provides wheelchair-friendly access from the lighthouse to iconic landmark Sugarloaf Rock – one of our favourite places to watch the sunset.
Thirsty? A visit to Lady Lola for an ice-cold cocktail is a must. With an ever-evolving wine list, tasty bistro shared plates and a luxe vibe, you’ll love meeting friends here post-beach jaunt. Peckish? Yarri’s 4-course menu is tantalising on the tastebuds, while the seafood dishes at Blue Manna are among some of the finest we’ve ever tasted. The best bit? Both are right next door to Lady Lola.
Day two: Yallingup love affair
Today’s itinerary introduces you to Yallingup’s coast – a hotspot for surf, beach, nature and food lovers alike.
Start this adventure-packed day right with a scrumptious breakfast in Dunsborough. There are plenty of options to choose from, but you’ll find the Private Properties’ team grabbing a takeaway snack and coffee at Merchant and Maker, hanging out with friends at Artezen or dusting off sandy toes before finding a seat outside of La Lah Café. Already on the way to Yallingup? We can’t go past Yallingup Gugelhupf without stopping for a fresh pastry, or Lagoon Yallingup’s kiosk for a morning coffee.
In summer (or with a wettie), catch some waves at Yallingup’s main break, go for a swim at Smiths Beach or drift snorkel between naturally formed canals at Canal Rocks. Prefer to stay dry? Discover the start of Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge’s cave system at Ngilgi Cave, check out some local art at Yallingup Galleries or get pampered at BODHI Yallingup, Om Day Spa or Empire Spa Retreat.
After an idyllic morning exploring the Yallingup coast, you’ll be craving a feast of equal satisfaction. Find it at Barnyard 1978 – a restaurant that serves up (arguably) the best pasta in town. If you’re into your seafood have lunch at Lagoon Yallingup, and for an artsy affair go to Studio Bistro. If sweet teeth need treating, order scones the size of your fist at Cape Lavender Tea House, where you can also sip on Devonshire tea and try lavender ice cream.
Cure any food coma with a walk along the Cape to Cape Track – an epic, 123km-long coastal walking trail that meanders along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, between the Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin lighthouses. Pick a section of the track and discover Yallingup’s varying coastline – from rugged coastal cliffs and native plants/wildflowers, to pristine, white sandy beaches and private, rocky pools.
Stay and watch the glorious sunset melt into the ocean at Yallingup Beach or Injidup Bay, then end the day with some live music and beers at Caves House, or have a homely, Mediterranean-style feed at Casina, not far down the road. Back in Dunsborough, check out The Pour House with friends, have a Mexican fiesta at Pedro’s or live the pirate life at the nautical-themed Har Bar.
Day three: Bushy bliss
One of the things we absolutely adore about Dunsborough is its proximity to both the sea and the bush. On day three of your Weekend in Dunsborough itinerary, explore Dunsborough and Yallingup’s bush beats, before making your way back home.
Kick things off with a hearty breakfast at Goanna Bush Café. Surrounded by native forest, this breakfast institution has long been a favourite for locals and tourists alike. For the fluffiest scrambled eggs you ever did eat, order the Spanish breakfast, or opt for the vibrant pancake stack if you’re hankering for something sweet. Coffee lover? Head to Commonage Coffee Co. for a warm bevvie, then stock up on sweet treats at the adjoining Yallingup Chocolate.
While you’re in this neck of the woods, why not visit some of Yallingup’s bespoke cellar doors? Marq Wines is a gorgeous boutique winery located across the road from Commonage Coffee Co., Blind Corner features organic and natural wines produced onsite and Abbey Vale Wines is a great stop for some fine wine and a cheese board.
For lunch, we love the laidback atmosphere and chilled vibes on offer at Wild Hop Brewing Company – a family-friendly brewery featuring small batch brews and lip-smacking dishes like deep-fried pickles and rotisserie chooks. Aravina Estate presents a beautiful setting for a lavish lunch, which you can enjoy from their a la carte restaurant, or relaxed casual eats at their pizza bar.
You can’t visit Dunsborough without a trip to Simmo’s and a couple of scoops of the ice-creamery’s delicious ice cream, so head there next, then on to Dunsborough’s town centre for a spot of retail therapy.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on all things Private Properties.