Dwellingup: Where Trails Meet
Dwellingup: Where Trails Meet
This is one of our favourite weekends away in WA. Where in WA’s southwest can you find whitewater rapids that make the Avon Descent look tame? Where in WA do you find a town where a 1000 km mountain biking trail and a 1000 km long hiking trail pass by. And where can you find beautiful riverside camping sites nestled in bushland and springtime wildflowers.
The answer to this adrenaline junkies dream, the adventure hub of Dwellingup, just 90 km south of Perth. The town of around 400 people is a fabulous place for a weekend of adventure or a weekend of getting back to nature.
For the less adventurous, Dwellingup is nestled in the Jarrah forest so a great tree change break. There is nothing like a weekend in nature to reset and refresh. There are trails for everyone from a wander in the forest, gentle bike ride, peaceful canoe on the flat Murray River pools to the expedition style Bibbulmun and Munda Biddi, 4WD trails, and horse trails.
Drive an hour south on South West Highway. Turn left at Del Park Road and climb into the lush Jarrah forest. Arrive at your accommodation or campsite and settle in. The many options are listed below.
Since you have been working all day, the Dwellingup Pub is a great place to grab a meal. It’s a classic Aussie pub.
Today is choose your own adventure day. After coffee and or breakfast at the Blue Wren Café decide whether gentle walking, hiking, mountain biking or canoeing is your jam. The Marrinup POW Camp is one of our favourites.
Grab picnic supplies from the Dwellingup General Store and find a spot in the wild for a picnic. There are some beautiful spots on the Murray River in Lane Poole Reserve.
For a different dinner experience, give the Hotham Valley Etmilyn Diner a try. It is a five-course meal in the Restaurant Train complete with 1919 Vintage Dining Car and 1884 Club Car. The train floods the forest with soft lights so you can see how special it is at night. If you go to Dwellingup in July or December, there are Christmas dinner trains on Friday night.
OR the 24 Carat Restaurant for weekend dinner dining.
After you check out, it’s time for a drive around Lane Poole Reserve. With the Murray River running straight through the middle, there are lots of natural pool to have a swim.
Where to stay…
Our choices have been:
Unlike other caravan parks, Dwellingup Chalets and Caravan Park feels like you are in the forest itself. Well, actually you are. There is great camping, hiking rooms and cabins/ chalets and fire pits in season. Plus the camping are is dog friendly.
The other dog friendly place we found is Dwellingup Forest Lodge. Set on a beautiful man-made lake, these cabins are perfect for a very quiet weekend away.
Lane Poole Reserve is unlike any other park run by the Department of Parks and Wildlife. It is not a National Park but a reserve, so dogs are allowed on leads. There are a range of campsites with or without facilities. Book online and it does get busy on long weekends and school holidays.
Where to eat…
The Blue Wren Café is on the main intersection in “town” across from the General Store. It is the place where the hikers stop in to refuel. Great coffee.
The Dwelly Pub is a classic Australian pub. I’m sure there is a Parma on the menu.