Imagine taking a scenic drive through rolling hills, sprawling vineyards, and untouched coastal landscapes, just 4.5 hours away from the city of Perth. Welcome to Denmark WA, a stunning location combining nature, adventure, and tranquility all in one place.
As someone who has lived in Perth for over two decades, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring much of what our beautiful state has to offer. But every time someone asks me for a travel recommendation, Denmark is always at the top of my list. The unique combination of outdoor activities, family-friendly spots, and culinary delights make it a place worth multiple visits, and I am thrilled to share my insider’s guide to this incredible region.
Why Denmark is Worth the Drive from Perth
When it comes to weekend getaways or extended holidays, Western Australia has many options. From the coral-fringed coasts of Ningaloo to the rugged landscapes of the Kimberley, the choices are abundant. Yet, Denmark holds a distinctive charm that sets it apart from the rest, making the 4.5-hour drive from Perth well worth the effort. Here’s why.
A Breath of Fresh Air
One of the first things you’ll notice upon arriving in Denmark is the air—crisp, clean, and laden with the scent of the ocean and eucalyptus. The area’s diverse ecosystems, ranging from verdant forests to untamed coastlines, make it an ideal destination for those wanting to escape the city.
Diversity in Attractions
Denmark isn’t a one-trick pony; it offers a variety of experiences that can cater to almost any interest. Whether you’re a fan of water sports, hiking, wine tasting, or simply basking in nature, Denmark has something for you.
For foodies, Denmark is a treasure trove of culinary experiences. The region is renowned for its wineries, producing some of Australia’s best cool-climate wines. Coupled with an emerging food scene that focuses on local produce, dining in Denmark is an experience in itself.
Having explored many corners of Western Australia, I can honestly say that Denmark holds a special place in my heart. Perhaps it’s the way the morning mist floats over the Wilson Inlet, or the feeling of solitude as you wander through ancient forests. Each visit uncovers a new layer, a new secret, making every trip unique and memorable.
It’s not just the adults who will be captivated. Denmark is teeming with family-friendly activities, from shallow, calm beaches perfect for the little ones to animal farms.
Less Crowded, More Intimate
While popular destinations like Margaret River and Broome often see a significant influx of tourists, Denmark has managed to keep its quaint charm. Even during peak seasons, you’ll find that the beaches, trails, and attractions are less crowded, allowing for a more intimate experience.
How to Get to Denmark
Traveling to Denmark from Perth is straightforward.
By Car: The Preferred Method
The journey by car is the most flexible and convenient way to get to Denmark. There are primarily two routes you can take:
Albany Highway (Route 30)
- This is the most straightforward route, taking you through Albany Highway, and finally onto South Coast Highway leading to Denmark.
- Estimated time: Approximately 4.5 to 5 hours
- Stops along the way: You can make short stops at Williams, Kojonup, or Mount Barker for fuel and food.
Via South Western Highway (State Route 20)
- This is a more scenic route that goes through towns like Bunbury, Busselton, and Pemberton.
- Estimated time: Approximately 5 to 6 hours
- Scenic stops: Donnybrook, famous for its apple orchards; Walpole’s Valley of the Giants; and the picturesque Pemberton.
There are car hire booths at Perth Airport, but it’s best to pre-book your car rental.
To compare Australian car hire prices, Discover Cars is an award-winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly rated.
DriveNow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia. It includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, & Jucy as well as smaller ones.
Compare Rental Cars Here.
Public Transport: Limited but Available
While it’s not as convenient as driving, public transport options do exist.
- TransWA operates a bus service from East Perth Terminal to Denmark.
- This option could be less hassle but limits your ability to explore the region independently.
Things to Note for the Drive
- Road conditions are generally good but can vary with weather.
- Fuel stations are sparse in some areas, so make sure to fill up when you can.
- If you’re traveling with kids, pack enough snacks, water, and entertainment to keep them occupied for the journey.
Best Time to Visit Denmark
To help you plan your visit better, let’s delve into what each season has offers and why certain times of the year might be more suited to your travel interests.
Summer: December to February
- Warm temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C.
- Perfect for beach activities and water sports.
- Visit the famous Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks for swimming and snorkelling.
- Kayaking in the Wilson Inlet.
- Being peak season, expect a fair amount of visitors, especially during school holidays.
Autumn: March to May
- Cooler temperatures ranging from 12°C to 25°C.
- Less rainfall compared to winter.
- Ideal for hiking and exploring the national parks.
- A great time for wine tasting as vineyards prepare for harvest.
Winter: June to August
- Cooler and wetter with temperatures ranging from 8°C to 16°C.
- Occasional frost and misty mornings.
- Perfect for cozying up in a cabin or exploring the indoor attractions.
- A good time for whale watching along the coast.
Spring: September to November
- Mild temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C.
- Wildflowers begin to bloom.
- Ideal for hiking to see the blooming wildflowers.
- Great for photography and bird-watching.
As someone who has visited Denmark during all four seasons, I find that each offers its unique charm. However, if you’re looking for a balanced experience that avoids the peak-season crowds but still offers great weather, consider visiting in the autumn months. The temperatures are still warm enough for outdoor activities, and the changing colours of the foliage offer a beautiful backdrop.
Must-Visit Spots in Denmark
From the idyllic Greens Pool, perfect for a family day at the beach, to the awe-inspiring Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk that takes you among towering ancient trees, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget to explore the local wineries for a taste of world-class cool-climate wines.
For a more detailed guide on the myriad of activities and places to explore, check out our comprehensive post on Things to Do in Denmark.
Recommendations for Local Wineries and Restaurants
For wine enthusiasts, a visit to Singlefile Wines (my personal favourite) or Howard Park Wines is a must. These wineries not only offer exquisite cool-climate wines but also breathtaking views of the vineyards, making the experience doubly rewarding.
As for dining, consider stopping by Pepper & Salt Restaurant, where Chef Silas Masih showcases a fusion of local ingredients and exotic flavors.
Another option I like is Boston Brewing Co., which offers a casual dining experience perfectly complemented by their in-house craft beers.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family-friendly resort, or a camping spot close to nature, Denmark has a wide range of accommodation options to suit every need and budget.
For those seeking a luxurious experience, chalets like Aiyana Retreat offer top-notch amenities amid beautiful surroundings. If you prefer something more rustic, several campgrounds and cabins offer a nature experience.
To help you choose the best lodging for your needs, check our in-depth guide on The Best Accommodations in Denmark, Western Australia.
During my visits I’ve come across a few insider tips that can make your trip to Denmark even more rewarding.
Timing is Everything
While the major attractions can get crowded, especially during peak seasons, you can beat the crowds by visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The added advantage is the magical lighting for your photographs.
Go Off the Beaten Path
While Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks are beautiful, they are well-known spots. Try Madfish Bay or Waterfall Beach for a more secluded experience.
Talk to the Locals
Whether you’re in a café, winery, or local shop, strike up a conversation with the locals. They often know the area’s hidden gems and can provide you with unique recommendations that you won’t find in travel guides (even mine!).
Keep an eye out for seasonal activities or local events that might be happening during your visit. From farmers markets showcasing local produce to festivals and art exhibits, these events provide a different perspective of the local culture. The Visitor Centre is the best place to ask.
Plan Ahead for Dining
Some of the best restaurants and wineries require reservations, especially during peak season. Book ahead to secure a spot at renowned places like Pepper & Salt Restaurant or Boston Brewing.
Local Artisan Shops
Denmark is home to numerous artisan shops that offer unique, locally made products, from handcrafted jewelry to organic skincare products. These make for great souvenirs or birthday presents.
While Denmark’s weather is generally mild, it can be quite changeable. A light waterproof jacket and layers are your best friends for tackling the varying conditions.
A Brief History & Settlement of Denmark WA
I want to respectfully acknowledge the Noongar People, the Traditional Owners, and First People of these lands. I would like to pay my respect to the Elders past, present, and future, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture, and hopes of the Noongar People.
The Noongar People called the river and the inlet Kwoorabup, which means “place of the black wallaby” (kwoor).
The Millar Brothers bought 20,000 acres of timber-covered land in 1895 and built a timber mill. By 1900, there were three mills, with 800 workers and their families residing in Denmark.
In 1904 Millars’ Denmark operation was closed down due to the depletion of timber. Most people left the area, and it wasn’t until 1920 that the town was revived with the introduction of the Group Settlement Scheme.
Small parcels of land were cleared for farms, mainly cattle, dairy, and orchards.
The tourism industry started when American soldiers stationed in Albany during WWII took trips to Denmark. After the war, Denmark became a popular place to holiday for Western Australians.
The primary industries in the Denmark region today are tourism, farming, fishing, and the arts. It’s become a popular home for alternative lifestyles, spiritualists, naturalists, artists, people who like peaceful country life, and retirees. This gives the town a “hippy” vibe.
I hope you found this guide on Denmark useful. If you’ve got any questions or want further information, please join my Facebook Group where I hang out ready to help you (along with a great community of other WA locals and travellers).
- Things to do in Denmark
- Is it better to stay in Denmark or Albany?
- Denmark accommodation
- Australia’s South West Guide
- Perth to Albany road trip
- Western Australia Planner
- Western Australia Travel Guide
Denmark Western Australia FAQ
What is the population of Denmark?
According to the 2016 Census, the Denmark WA population was 2,558. This increases with tourists with the town at full capacity during school holidays and summer.
Why is Denmark WA called Denmark?
Denmark River was named after Alexander Denmark, a naval surgeon, in 1829.
How far is Denmark from Albany?
Denmark is 54.5 km from Albany and would take about 40 minutes in a car.
Is there a supermarket in Denmark?
Yes, there are two IGAs in the town centre, one a Supa IGA. Both supermarkets are open 7 days a week.
Save Money Planning Your Trip
Click on the links, which will take you directly to the website.
We mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties.
For pet sitting in Western Australia and worldwide, we are members of Trusted Housesitters. Free accommodation for pet and house sitting.
Car Rental 🚘
To compare rental car company prices, we use Discover Cars, an award-winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly rated.
Campervan/RV Rental 🚐
DriveNow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia as it includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, and Jucy as well as smaller ones.
Travel Insurance 🌏