Dunsborough is situated right next to a long peninsula that is home to Meelup Regional Park as well as Cape Naturaliste. The best things to do in Dunsborough include beach hopping, surfing and exploring this amazing coastline here! Make sure not to miss Dunsborough on your Perth to Esperance road trip. Western Australia really is so beautiful. Some people say you can do this road trip in 7 days. However, this would involve a LOT of driving each day. 2 weeks was the perfect amount of time for us to see everything while also taking a lot of photos and making our YOUTUBE VIDEO! You will be definitely over excited to see the kangaroos at Esperance after watching it, but honestly everything along the way from Perth is amazing too.
While in Perth, also don’t miss a day trip to Rottnest Island to see the famous quokkas! Also after Dunsborough, head down to Denmark for more amazing beaches!! Then there are some amazing things to do in Albany, from beaches (Little Beach is my fave) to platforms overhanging the sea at Torndirrup National Park!
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Explore all the amazing beaches here!
There are so many beaches to see, perfect white sand and bright blue water. If you are a surfer, a family or looking for a quiet spot, there is a beach for everyone! I’ll be telling you the best sunset spot in Dunsborough as well as where to hire a stand up paddle board and a kayak for those of you who get bored sunbathing all day. I know I certainly can’t sit still for long, but luckily there are also some lovely coastal walks to do here too.
Meelup beach is lovely and a great spot for a family day out too or for those who enjoy water sports. Here you can rent a stand up paddle board or a kayak to take out onto the sea. If you are looking for peace and quiet then this maybe isn’t the best beach as it is busier than the others nearby. Meelup beach is situated in Meelup Regional park so there is plenty of greenery and it is a really beautiful area. Also very important – there are public toilets! We also sat here to have a little picnic as there were some nice benches in the shade.
Little Meelup Beach
This is very small beach right next door to Meelup beach. I told you there are a lot of beaches to choose from here! It is also called Castle Rock beach. If you take the small path from the car park through the trees and follow the coastal trail, you will reach Castle Rock. This is a big rock a little bit out to sea. It is a great photo spot, and if you climb up it , it is also a good viewpoint. If you continue to follow the path you will reach Half Moon Bay. There are so many beaches you won’t know where to start! I remember Half Moon Bay looking much nicer in the photos, so maybe it depends which season you come here in! Maybe in summer it is much prettier.
6 minutes up the road from Meelup beach you will arrive at Eagle Bay! It is super easy to beach hop here as they are all on a long peninsula basically so it’s fast to get across from one side to the coast on the other side. You can also do a nice walk along here to reach Gannet Rock or Point Picquet which is a nice viewpoint. We went to Eagle Bay just before sunset and it was really lovely. The beach here is really long so it is easy to find a nice secluded spot to watch the sunset.
Bunker Bay is again just a 7 minutes drive from Eagle Bay! This is also a very long beach. With a drone the waves make a really fun shape in the sand. This was one of my favourite beaches here to drone. I don’t know why it is so different to the others nearby but it is stunning. The sand is much whiter than the other beaches and the water is so blue! Watch out for the dogs though. I don’t know if they are allowed off the leash here or not so make sure to check. However, I had a problem when I wanted to land my drone as one dog didn’t approve at all and kept trying to jump and bite the drone!
I have to add in Hamelin Bay, it was one of the most memorable parts of this trip. It is an hour from Dunsborough and technically closer to Margaret River but I’m adding it here so you don’t miss it for sure! We arrived just before sunset and set up our bed at Hamelin Bay Campsite and went straight to the beach. There were maybe 2 other people there and within seconds we had spotted our first sting ray. They swim right up where to water is really shallow so it is really easy to spot them. Of course if you have a drone it’s even easier to search the water and see these amazing creatures. I was amazed at how big they were! Early morning and late afternoon are probably the best times to come here. Definitely during Australian summer as we were freezing here!
The temperature changed a lot during our 2 week road trip but Hamelin Bay was definitely one of the windiest places we visited. Also bear in mind that there is no signal or internet WHATSOVER! This is a top tip for those of you who also work online like me, I had some trouble here! Once you drive out of the campsite maybe within 20 minutes you will have signal so make sure to get all your work done before you arrive. I have to say it was actually nice to switch off and have no phone for 2 days! Unless you are planning on sunbathing for a few days here, I would say 1 night is enough time to see the sting rays and explore the coast here.
After this drive on to Denmark to see Elephant Rocks!
Best things to do in Dunsborough – Sunset edition!
Watch the sunset at Sugarloaf Rock
Right on the other side of the peninsula you will find Sugarloaf Rock! For the drone lovers, the road that leads here is PERFECT for a sunset photo or video. You can also head right to the tip of the peninsula to see the lighthouse here but there is so much to do you may not have enough time like we did! Sugarloaf Rock is definitely worth it for sunset. Also I think you are technically not allowed to fly a drone in the national parks here but we didn’t see any signs saying not to. Do so at your own risk.
Best things to do in Dunsborough – For the rock lovers!
Indijup Natural Spa
Just south of Dunsborough and all the beaches listed above (apart from Hamelin Bay) you will find Indijup Natural Spa. This is where there is a large rock, where the waves come crashing over the top and create either a waterfall or a huge shower of water! It is really is a small rockpool though, so go early if you can as we were surrounded by people. On the other side to the natural spa is a lovely beach that seemed very popular for surfers. Also try and not go at high tide as then there is a lot of water and it is really cold to get in the water if it’s deeper! Also, this area is known for sharks so be careful surfing here.
Around 15 minutes away from Indijup Spa is Canal Rocks. Another great rock formation, but this time you can jet ski through it with the waves! I’m not entirely sure whether it is actually allowed but we saw a guy doing it. There is a walkway that takes you across the rocks up until the viewpoint for the canal rocks where they guy was on the jet ski. After this point you will have to climb overt the rocks to take a closer look but it is definitely worth it and an easy way to get some peace if there are lots of people on the walkway.
We didn’t actually make it here but if you like exploring caves then be sure to add this to your itinerary. Not far from Canal Rocks, you can do a semi guided tour here to see these amazing rocks.
When is the best time to visit Dunsborough?
Australian summer time! We went in February and it was already quite windy and chilly. Also, all the beaches look so much nicer in the sun and the water is a lot more blue when the sun is out. I would say you could spend a few nights here, especially in summer it is a great place to chill on the many beaches and relax for a few days during your road trip.
Where to stay in Dunsborough?
We were told that there is always space in Australian campsites! Unfortunately, there was a festival in nearby Yallingup at the time and everywhere was full! Yallingup caravan park did look lovely, but full. We stayed at Dunsborough Lakes caravan park. It was very basic, and NO SHADE at all! So be warned you will be up at the crack of dawn if you stay here. It is also very windy and we were freezing here at night in February in comparison to north of Perth at this time. Even when we went further south to Hamelin Bay it was much warmer and also more shaded from the wind.
Luckily at the campsite we were able to hire a duvet or a ‘doona’ as the Australians say. It is also really hard to find a shop that sells them at this point so make sure you are all stocked up in Perth with bedding before you leave, We managed to buy one at target for a decent price and it saved us!!
Top Tips for a road trip in Western Australia!
Do big shops when you arrive at bigger cities
Western Australia is quite unique in that it is all nature! There won’t be many shops around and in small towns the shops will also shut early. Maybe in summer it is also different but in February we had to rely on big shops such as SUPA IGA. Get some supplies for dinner that don’t need to be fresh or refrigerated as emergency supplies in case you can’t get to a shop on a certain day. We found a great tinned bolognese and had it with pasta a few nights!
If you can, get an electric freezer box as we kept adding ice to ours as it all slowly melted and it was a daily mission to find ice!
Macaroni cheese became one of our staples, but of course the cheese and ham had to not drown in freezing water first!
Prepare for all weather!
There was a heat wave just before we arrived in Australia and it was meant to be over 30 degrees Celsius each day. When we arrived in Dunsborough I have never been so cold! Coming from Bali it was also a shock but be prepared and get everything you may need.
Don’t drive at night!
You will probably be told this by your camper van rental company anyway. However, the amount of kangaroos hopping all over the place make it very dangerous at night and there are also no street lights.
I always overpack and even the few clothes I brought to Australia, all I wore was a bikini and a pair of shorts! Then a jumper when it got cold and leggings. Also Boyan’s jumper over the top when we were freezing and trying to cook in the wind!
Which camper van company to choose?
We chose Wicked Campers because of the amazing designs! Unfortunately we got given a normal silver camper.. just our luck! However, it is basic and cheap so for those wanted to keep costs down this is perfect. We did have a bit of van envy when we saw people in Travellers Autobarn, these had proper mattresses that also turned into small sofas with a table so you don’t have to sit in bed when it rains. Probably a bit more expensive but I would say worth it for the mattress alone!
SO make sure not to miss Dunsborough on your Western Australia road trip!! If all these pictures of beaches and the amazing sunset at Sugarloaf Rock don’t already have you convinced then just go, you won’t regret it! Off season could also be much emptier, so it doesn’t have to be summer time either. Make sure you head to see the sting rays too, and enjoy van life if you to choose to hire a camera for your trip like we did!
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