Dunsborough is located approximately 3 hours drive south of Perth, and has been a favourite holiday destination for a long time. It is the sort of place where you can truly relax, or go hard with lots of different adventures.
Not only does it thrive on tourism, but the locals are fairly friendly, relaxed and welcoming.
Due to its close proximity to other towns (Busselton, Margaret River, Augusta etc) there’s so much to see and do in the area.
Location and Route
Dunsborough can be found on the map about 250km south west of Perth, and can be driven in under 3 and a half hours. This is helped by the new highway which links Bunbury to the end of the current freeway. The new highway makes the drive much more relaxed and peaceful, because it’s smooth and has less disruptions.
No longer do you have to put up with the huge number of traffic lights going through Mandurah, or the ever changing speed limits. It’s just one smooth, relaxed drive! Be aware of the speed limits, as it does change from 100 to 110 in some spots, and there are usually a lot of speed camera’s on the highway! They also now have a speed camera that measures your average speed, so watch out!
If you want a more scenic route, you can choose to drive down the South West Highway, which will take a little longer.
Dunsborough is located close to Busselton, Yallingup, Gracetown, Bunker Bay, Smiths Beach and Margaret River, which are all places that I would highly recommend. There is definitely something special about the South West of Australia, and you need to travel there to check it out.
If you ever run out of things to do in Dunsborough (which you won’t!) you can drive to some of these other places, which have amazing surfing spots, huge caves to explore, chocolate and fudge factories, cheese and other food factories and a whole range of other entertainment for everyone!
Dunsborough itself has grown hugely over the last few years, and as a result finding accommodation is really easy. The houses tend to be spread along the beach as you enter into Dunsborough and then surrounding the main centre and then they head out towards Cape Naturalist. If you are into Camping, there are a number of caravan parks that you can stay at, including the Dunsborough lakes caravan park resort. There are a few resorts that can be found spread throughout the centre, and in Bunker Bay.
There are also farm cottages, apartments, chalets and more! Something that I love the most about this great place is the huge number of holiday houses that you can stay at.
You can get a great house for $250 a night that sleeps 13 people. A lot of the houses are expensive, but they sleep a large number of people. The best thing to do then is to invite a lot of people! When you have a number of people staying in a house, it works out to be in between $20 and $35 a night per head, which is quite good.
Shops and Restaurants
Dunsborough is built almost entirely around tourism, which explains why there are so many shops. There are a number of grocery stores for you to purchase food at, an amazing bakery, fishing and snorkeling shops, clothe shops and almost anything else that you would want.
There are only a few petrol stations, and fuel tends to be a little more expensive, but not hugely different. Be careful what you purchase at the stores though, because some can be very expensive and rely on tourists who buy spontaneously! There are also some top notch restaurants, but if you just want a tasty snack, make sure to visit the bakery!
Things to see
The great thing about Dunsborough is that regardless of the wind, you can still have a great time. There are a number of beaches and bays which are awesome. If you want to fish or snorkel on the west side of the cape, be sure to get up early or to have the right wind direction. One of my favorite places to visit is Bunker Bay, which is located on the point of Cape Naturalist.
Even if the wind is howling from the west, you are protected and able to enjoy yourself. Whether you want to fish off the rocks, sunbathe on the beach or dine in at the restaurant on the beach, there is something for everyone. If you enjoy walking, Elephant rock offers a great walk and some good fishing and snorkeling too!
Some other great places include Canal Rocks in Yallingup, the caves in Margaret River, the famous Chocolate, Cheese, Fudge and other factories. These places are well signed, and you can get information in Dunsborough from the locals or the information center!
Things to do
Dunsborough is brilliant for those who love boating, fishing, snorkeling, walking on the beaches, relaxing and sightseeing. There are truly some amazing places to visit, and heaps of good fish are caught regularly.
If you haven’t done much snorkeling, head down to Bunker Bay or Eagle Bay and swim around for a bit. If you are more advanced or enjoy spear fishing, then if you head off Sugarloaf rock you can get some great fish. I have to say the Caves in Margaret River are an amazing experience, as well as the adventure course that you can do. If you want to try some Freshwater Fishing, check out Honeymoon Pool or Dwellingup.
The weather in Dunsborough is great for most of the year, but it largely depends on what you want to do. The water can be very cold during winter and even spring, but if you have a good wetsuit it won’t matter. Flies can be a major problem in summer, so be sure to find out what they are doing before you book. Some years are far worse than others, and staying in a home makes it much more comfortable in summer.
Overall I would rate Dunsborough as one of my favorite places to go, simply because it’s relaxed, moderately expensive, there is great boating, fishing and snorkeling spots and it is close to Perth. In many ways, it is similar to Rottnest Island snorkeling and fishing. I couldn’t recommend it more!