Aerial view of a stunning sunset over the coastal line in Dunsborough, WA, showcasing the vast ocean and white sandy beaches, highlighted as one of the best things to do in Dunsborough, WA

Updated: June 7, 2024

I Wish Someone Told Me About The Best Things to Do in Dunsborough

Postcard-perfect beaches, wines among the best in the world, spectacular hikes surrounded by towering karri trees, and a rich culture that dates back 145 years are just some of the reasons why the best things to do in Dunsborough are so hard to choose!

Dunsborough is more than just a postcard-esque coastal town. It holds a special place in the heart of Western Australia’s renowned Margaret River region. Standing proudly on the shores of Geographe Bay, it paints a vivid picture of jaw-dropping sunsets, pristine stretches of white sugar sand beaches, and clear, shallow waters. Yet, the town’s essence goes beyond its natural beauty, reflecting a relaxed WA artisanal culture that beckons visitors year after year.

Once perceived merely as a brief stop-off for surfers en route to Margaret River, Dunsborough has seamlessly evolved into one of the state’s most coveted holiday destinations. 

For those planning a visit, Dunsborough vacation rentals serve as the ideal gateway to this coastal paradise. And if you find yourself wondering what to indulge in while here, attractions in Dunsborough are bound to leave you in awe. 

We’ve created a curated guide of things to do in Dunsborough. From popular activities to hidden gems, we promise an escapade filled with memories you’ll cherish forever.

Experience Dunsborough’s Natural Beauty

The picturesque coastal town of Dunsborough is a haven for nature enthusiasts. With so many outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more, visitors can experience Dunsborough’s natural beauty up close and personal.

Hike the Cape Naturaliste to Sugarloaf Rock Trail

Panoramic view of the rugged coastline along the Sugarloaf Rock Trail in Dunsborough, WA, featuring a clear blue sky, azure waters, and dramatic rock formations

Hiking in Dunsborough is a great way to see its natural wonders while taking in all the incredible views this beautiful area has to offer. Western Australia is renowned for its natural beauty, and the Cape Naturaliste to Sugarloaf Rock trail is a perfect example of this.

Trail Details: The 7.4-kilometre out-and-back, nicely paved trail takes less than 2 hours to complete and features a 1-kilometre timber boardwalk that winds through stunning coastal scenery.

What to Expect: Along the way, visitors can enjoy sweeping ocean views, spot native wildlife, and breathe in the fresh ocean air. This trail is suitable for all fitness levels and can be visited year-round.

Tour Ngilgi Cave

Illuminated view inside Ngilgi Cave in Dunsborough, WA, highlighting the intricate limestone formations and stalactites

Historical Significance: Ngilgi Cave is one of Dunsborough’s most iconic attractions. Located just a 10-minute drive from the town centre, this ancient limestone cave was discovered in 1899 and is a testament to nature’s artistry.

Aboriginal Connection: Beyond exploring its chambers, the adventurous can even partake in semi-adventurous cave tours, navigating deeper, narrower cave sections for an enhanced experience.Guided Tours: Visitors to Ngilgi Cave can embark on guided tours, during which they’ll be captivated by its geological beauty and learn about its rich Aboriginal significance, particularly its connection to the Dreamtime legend of a battle between a good spirit (Ngilgi) and an evil spirit (Wolgine).

Mountain Biking at the Meelup Bike Trails

Active mountain biker navigating the lush green Meelup trails in Dunsborough, WA

Trail Features: For adrenaline seekers and nature enthusiasts alike, the Meelup biking trails in the stunning Meelup Regional Park near Dunsborough offer a thrilling fusion of challenge and scenic beauty.

Scenic Views: Winding through the native bushland and occasionally offering glimpses of the pristine coastline, these trails are suitable for mountain bikers of varying skill levels.Accessibility: As riders navigate the diverse terrain, from smooth paths to rugged sections, they’re also treated to the region’s rich biodiversity, making it a sensory delight. The trails are easily accessible, well-maintained, and clearly signposted, making the Meelup biking trails a must-visit for those looking to experience Dunsborough’s natural landscapes from the saddle of their mountain bikes.

Explore the Beaches in Dunsborough

Scenic view from the wooden stairway leading to the pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters of one of Dunsborough beaches, perfect for a relaxing day under the bright blue sky

Meelup Beach

Dunsborough’s coastline is a patchwork of pristine beaches, each offering a unique slice of Western Australia’s coastal charm. Meelup Beach, with its tranquil turquoise waters and powdery white sands, is a favourite for families and picnickers, providing the ideal setting for a relaxing day out.

Eagle Bay

Nearby, Eagle Bay beckons with its vast stretch of sand and serene ambience, making it perfect for sunbathing and gentle swims for a relaxation retreat.

Exploring the beaches in Dunsborough

Bunker Bay

On the other hand, Bunker Bay captures the heart with its dramatic limestone cliffs and clear waters, which make it ideal for snorkelling. Whether you’re looking to bask in the sun, take a peaceful stroll, or dive into water activities, Dunsborough’s beaches provide the perfect seaside escape.

Take a Sunset Stroll and Stargaze

Spectacular panoramic view of the Milky Way galaxy arching over a serene coastal scene in Dunsborough, WA, with a radiant moonrise illuminating the horizon, ideal for stargazing in Dunsborough
Photo Credit: ‘Milky Way at Sugarloaf Rock – Dunsborough, Western Australia by Trevor Dobson via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

With its idyllic coastal position, Dunsborough is blessed with some of the most awe-inspiring sunset vistas in Western Australia. Meelup Beach stands out as a favourite, where the sun’s descent paints a golden hue on its tranquil waters, making it a photographer’s dream.

Romantic Experience

Over at Castle Rock, the elevated viewpoint offers a panoramic canvas of the sun setting against the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean. Similarly, Point Piquet provides an unobstructed view of the horizon, with the occasional silhouette of a returning fishing boat adding to its charm.

Stargazing Locations

Each spot in Dunsborough, bathed in the warm glow of twilight, promises a sunset experience that lingers long after the sun has dipped below the horizon. Additionally, because of Dunsborough’s rural location, it has little to no light pollution, making it perfect for a romantic night of stargazing.

Dunsborough Local Attractions

Immerse yourself in Western Australia’s culture and book some of Dunsborough’s most popular tours. Choose from over 200 wineries to tour and experience the region’s wildlife up close on one of Dunsborough’s many tours from their nocturnal animal tour, whale watching, and local zoos! Here are some of our top picks:

It’s always Wine O’Clock in Dunsborough

Outdoor dining setup at a winery in Dunsborough, showing wine glasses on a table with a scenic vineyard backdrop, perfect for wine lovers seeking the finest wine experiences in Dunsborough

Top Wineries: Located in the heart of the renowned Margaret River wine region, Dunsborough is a haven for any wine connoisseur. The area boasts over 200 world-class wineries set against a backdrop of rolling landscapes, producing some of Australia’s most esteemed wines, particularly the premium Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons, and Semillons.

Wine Tasting: The picturesque settings captivate visitors—vast vine rows lead to elegant cellar doors, often paired with gourmet restaurants, making for a delightful wine and dine experience.Scenic Vineyard Views: Whether you’re indulging in guided tastings at acclaimed venues like Flametree Wines, Vasse Felix, Leeuwin Estate, and Moss Wood, dining al fresco with loved ones, or capturing perfect moments among the vines, Dunsborough offers a seamless blend of sensory pleasures, deeply rooted winemaking traditions, and heartfelt hospitality.

Join a Nocturnal Wildlife Tour in Dunsborough

Dunsborough’s natural beauty doesn’t end when the sun goes down; it merely transforms, revealing a vibrant, nocturnal world waiting to be explored. Nocturnal wildlife tours, guided by knowledgeable naturalists, introduce visitors to this hidden world, showcasing everything from the intricate dance of marsupials to the subtle movements of indigenous night birds.

Two kangaroos at a wildlife park in Dunsborough, with one hopping across the sunlit terrain

Guided Tours

A highlight for many is the chance to spot the woylie, a petite marsupial standing merely 35 cm tall. The breeding season, spanning March to September, is an ideal time for woylie-watching. However, every tour promises encounters with other enchanting nocturnal species, such as possums, bandicoots, bats, and kangaroos.

Wildlife Parks in Dunsborough

Dunsborough is renowned for its beaches and wineries and its commitment to conserving native wildlife. To encounter some of Australia’s most iconic reptiles, visit Discover Deadly, where you can meet and hold crocodiles and lizards. 

Country Life Farm is also where visitors can get up close and personal with iconic species like kangaroos, wallabies, and many more, learning about their habitats and behaviours from knowledgeable park staff. Some parks also serve as rehabilitation centres for injured or orphaned animals, providing insights into conservation efforts. A visit to these wildlife parks promises delightful encounters and fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of Australia’s rich biodiversity.

Go Whale Watching 

Dunsborough, with its privileged vantage point on the shores of Western Australia, offers one of nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles: whale watching. Between June and December, the coastal waters become a bustling highway for migrating humpback and southern right whales as they journey north to warmer waters and return with their young. Several whale-watching tour operators in Dunsborough offer guided tours, allowing visitors the chance to witness these gentle giants up close. 

With the stunning backdrop of the Indian Ocean and expert commentary on these magnificent creatures, it’s an experience that resonates deeply with nature lovers. Occasionally, lucky watchers might even spot elusive blue whales or playful orcas, making each excursion a potential treasure trove of memories. 

For the Foodies: Explore Dunsborough’s Culinary Scene

Get ready to taste the local favourites of the Margaret River region, with Dunsborough offering such a diverse culinary landscape that enthrals its visitors. At the forefront is Palmer’s Winery Restaurant, an oasis of fine dining set against a backdrop of lush vineyards, where every dish mirrors the essence of its exquisite wines. 

For a contemporary spin on regional flavours, Yarri Restaurant and Bar and Other Side of the Moon (located in the Pullman Resort) are top contenders, the latter granting panoramic views of Bunker Bay alongside its modern Australian menu. 

Those yearning for a relaxed ambience paired with a morning caffeine fix can find solace in Wild & Woods Café and Evviva Café, celebrated for their aromatic coffee and delectable bites. 

Venturing slightly off-track, Goanna Gallery and Café merges the allure of art and dining, surrounded by serene bushland. At the same time, The Pour House is a magnet for craft beer aficionados, boasting an impeccable pairing of brews and bites. As Dunsborough’s culinary canvas keeps evolving, it consistently promises a blend of tradition, innovation, and sheer taste.

You’ll Never Be Dun Exploring Dunsborough

From its pristine beaches and scenic hiking trails to its world-class dining scene and incredible wildlife, Dunsborough will always intrigue you. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a blend of both, this Western Australian gem ensures lifelong memories that will bring you back for more. So, pack your bags, set your sights on Dunsborough, and embark on a journey like no other.

Safe travels!

Frequently Asked Questions About Dunsborough

Can you swim in Dunsborough beaches?

Yes, you can swim at Dunsborough beaches. The town is known for its pristine, white sand beaches and clear, shallow waters, making it ideal for swimming. Famous beaches like Meelup Beach and Eagle Bay are perfect spots for a refreshing swim and are safe for families and children.

Is Dunsborough a family-friendly destination?

Absolutely, Dunsborough is a family-friendly destination. It offers various activities suitable for all ages, including beautiful beaches, scenic hiking trails, wildlife parks, and interactive tours. The relaxed atmosphere and numerous family-friendly accommodations in Dunsborough make it a perfect family getaway.

How far away is Dunsborough from Perth by car?

Dunsborough is approximately 250 kilometres south of Perth. The drive typically takes about 2.5 to 3 hours by car, making it a convenient destination for a weekend getaway or a more extended holiday.

Related Topics

Bridgetown Busselton Eagle Bay events Family Holiday margaretriver Margaret River Pemberton Pet-Friendly romantic getaways southwest south west southwestregion Wilyabrup winter Yallingup beaches

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