Uncovering Dwellingup Guide – A Perfect Getaway for Nature Lovers in 2023
Dwellingup, Western Australia, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and fascinating history. Situated just over an hour’s drive from the city, Dwellingup is the perfect weekend Perth getaway.
From stunning national parks to thrilling outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking, there’s no shortage of things to do in Dwellingup. You can explore the majestic forests of Lane Poole Reserve, take a scenic train ride through the picturesque countryside, or relax and soak up the laid-back atmosphere of this quaint town.
As a proud WA local, I want to share my love of Dwellingup with you.
Treetop Adventures Dwellingup
Rating: 4.8/5⭐️ with over 780 google reviews
This zip lining, high ropes course is a fun adventure for everyone. With over 80 challenges and 20 flying foxes, enjoy the challenge (all the safety equipment is provided and expert guides are at hand).
Attractions & Things to do in Dwellingup
Dwellingup has a range of outdoor activities, including bushwalking, mountain biking, canoeing, and zip lining, to keep you occupied.
Dwellingup Adventures is a family-owned company offering a range of equipment for rent, including bike hire.
Treetop Adventures Dwellingup is a fun outdoor experience offering the chance to explore the forest canopy from a bird’s-eye view. The adventure park, in Lane Poole Reserve, features a series of suspended obstacles and ziplines to navigate through the forest canopy. The park is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, with several courses available, ranging from easy to challenging.
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Dwellingup has several walking trails, including the Bibbulmun Track, a world-renowned long-distance trail that attracts hikers from around the globe. The track stretches over 1,000 km from Kalamunda to Albany, passing through several towns and natural attractions.
The Dwellingup Trails and Visitor Centre is the perfect starting point for exploring the region’s beautiful forest and river landscapes. The Centre offers information and resources to help you plan your adventures, including maps, guides, and trail advice. It’s also an excellent place to replenish trail supplies, have a hot shower, recharge, and connect to the free Wi-Fi.
Best Time of Year: Spring or Autumn
For those who love mountain biking, Dwellingup has a range of trails to suit all skill levels. The Marrinup Cycle Trail winds through the forest and offers a mix of technical sections and flowing descents. The Murray Valley Mountain Bike Trail in Lane Poole Reserve is another all-level trail offering a fun ride, beautiful scenery and diverse flora and fauna.
The well-known Munda Biddi (meaning path through the forest) trail is over 1,000km long and goes through the South West region from Mundaring to Albany. The part of the trail from Dandalup to Dwellingup is about 42 km long and has wonderful forest views.
Best Time of Year: Spring or Autumn
Dwellingup Skate Park & Pump Track
The skate park and pump track are across the road from the Dwellingup Trails & Visitor Centre. The park features a range of ramps, rails, and other obstacles providing a challenging and exciting experience for riders of all levels.
Canoeing / Kayaking
The Murray River is excellent for canoeing and kayaking whether it’s a leisurely paddle or a more challenging adventure. Some companies in the area offer guided canoeing tours or kayak rentals for those who prefer to explore the river at their own pace.
The Murray River, which runs through the heart of Dwellingup, is one of the region’s most beautiful natural features. The river provides the opportunity to fish and kayak in its clear waters and the peaceful surroundings are perfect for a relaxing day out.
Lane Poole Reserve
Lane Poole Reserve attracts visitors with its vast forested area that spans nearly 55,000 hectares and contains a diverse range of flora and fauna. The jarrah and marri forests of Lane Poole Reserve allow visitors to enjoy nature walks, hiking trails, and mountain biking. The reserve also has several campgrounds and picnic areas, making it ideal for a family day out or a weekend camping trip.
This reserve has over 500 species of native Western Australian wildflowers, including the blue squill, donkey orchid, golden Dryandra, sea-urchin Hakea, yellow and pink Verticordias, red bottlebrush, and citrus-scented Darwinia. These usually start to bloom from August onwards, but September and October are the optimum times.
Serpentine National Park
The natural beauty of Dwellingup doesn’t end with the Murray River and Lane Poole Reserve, as there are several other locations to explore. Take a scenic drive through the surrounding countryside, which has beautiful views of rolling hills.
Serpentine National Park is a favourite of mine with hiking trails, waterfalls, and picnic spots and is home to the iconic Serpentine Falls, a must-visit attraction in the region.
Best Time of Year: Late Winter & Spring
Marrinup Falls, nestled in the forested area of Dwellingup, is a picturesque waterfall. The 1.6 km walk trail goes through the forest to reach the falls, which are surrounded by lush greenery and rocky outcrops. The waterfall is small but stunning, with water cascading down the rocks into a crystal-clear pool below.
To reach Marrinup Falls, park at the Marrinup car park and follow the trail through the forest. The trail is well signposted and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. The trail can be slippery in wet weather, and you should take care when walking near the waterfall.
Best Time of Year: Late Winter & Spring
Dwellingup is a bird watcher’s paradise, with several bird species living there. Lane Poole Reserve is a particularly good spot for bird watching, with over 120 species recorded in the area. The forested parts of the reserve are home to several species of parrots, cockatoos, and honeyeaters.
Hotham Valley Tourist Railway
For a leisurely adventure, you can ride on the Hotham Valley Railway, a historic steam train that offers scenic rides through the countryside. The railway has several tour options, including dinner trains and special events throughout the year. The steam engine only runs at certain times of the year – find out more in this Hotham Valley Railway guide.
Cultural & Historical Experiences
Dwellingup is a region rich in Indigenous culture and history, and we should respect and honour the traditions and stories of the local Aboriginal Noongar Wilman people.
Noongar people have lived in the area for over 60,000 years and have a deep connection to the land and natural environment. Cultural tours by Kaarak Dreaming offer a chance to learn about this connection and to gain insight into the culture and history of the Noongar people.
Marrinup Prisoner of War Camp Walk Trail
4.5 km Grade 2 Hike
The Marrinup POW Camp Trail, near Dwellingup, is a historic site that provides visitors with a glimpse into the region’s past. During World War II, the camp was used to house prisoners of war, primarily from Italy and Germany. These prisoners were only held here for a short period (unless they had medical or disciplinary reasons to stay longer) before their onward journey to provide labour for farms or wood cutting.
Today, just the foundations remain, but it is the only example of a permanent specialised WWII camp built in Western Australia. Information panels show photos of what it was like for the prisoners of war.
Forest Discovery Centre
The Forest Heritage Centre showcases local talent in the art gallery with displays of art, woodwork, and other crafts which are available to purchase. The leaf-shaped building sits in 17 hectares of Jarrah Forest, with some lovely walk trails.
Things to do in Dwellingup in Winter
Winter in Dwellingup offers a different experience. While the region is known for its natural beauty and outdoor adventure activities in the warmer months, there are still plenty of things to do during the colder, wetter season.
Explore the Forest Heritage Centre
The Forest Heritage Centre is a fascinating place to learn about the history of the local timber industry. It’s a great attraction to visit on a cold wet day, as the indoor exhibits and gallery are protected from the elements.
Take a steam train ride
The historic Hotham Valley Railway offers scenic train rides through the countryside, offering a unique perspective on the region’s natural beauty. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the views while the steam train takes you through the picturesque landscape. This is a great activity to do in winter, as the steam train provides a relaxing and warm experience while you enjoy the views.
Visit Marrinup Falls
While Marrinup Falls is a popular attraction in the warmer months, it can also be enjoyed during winter. The falls are surrounded by lush greenery that thrives during the rainy season, creating a beautiful and serene atmosphere. Rug up and take a walk to the falls to experience the area’s natural beauty.
Take a hike
The cooler temperatures in winter make hiking more of an enjoyable activity than in the hot summer months.
Warm up with a hot drink
After a day of exploring, warm up with a hot drink at one of the local cafes – the Blue Wren Café and Longriders Café & Restaurant are popular.
Off the Beaten Track WA offers unique hiking experiences for those looking to explore Western Australia’s beautiful and remote areas. Their hikes are designed for all levels of fitness and experience and offer a variety of trails to suit your interests and abilities.
We like Off the Beaten Track WA due to the following factors:
- TripAdvisor’s Travelers Choice in 2022
- Safe, fun, and inclusive experiences
- Diverse range of experiences
- Environmentally sustainable
- Most experiences are suitable for all fitness levels
- Beginner friendly hikes
Some tours around Dwellingup are the King Jarrah Full Day Hike, the Dwellingup Trains, Trails and Woodfired Delights and the Full-Day Hiking & Wine Tasting Tour.
Where to Eat – Dwellingup
Wine Tree Cidery
Wine Tree Cidery specialises in small-batch artisanal ciders and wines using fruit from their orchard. Visit their cellar door to enjoy a drink along with a grazing board.
Open weekends from 11 am to 6 pm and Friday for drinks only from 2 pm to 6 pm.
The historic Dwellingup Hotel & Motel, or the Dwelly Pub as it’s known, was built in 1911 and is one of the few buildings to survive the 1961 fires. Enjoy a drink in front of the fire or out in the beer garden.
The menu features a variety of delicious pub classics, like burgers, pizzas, fish & chips and curry.
South Dandalup Dam
The dam is a 10-minute drive from Dwellingup and an important part of the state’s water supply. When built in the 1970s, it provided a reliable water source for the growing Perth population. Today, the dam is surrounded by bushland and provides a beautiful picnic spot with barbecues. Look out for robins, finches, blue wrens and kangaroos.
Dwellingup offers a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. For those who enjoy camping, the area has several campgrounds and caravan parks, including Lane Poole Reserve and the Dwellingup Chalet and Caravan Park.
Several self-contained cottages and chalets are also available for rent, such as Dwellingup Mill House.
Camping is one of the most popular ways to experience the natural beauty of Dwellingup. Lane Poole Reserve is a popular bush campsite offering several pet-friendly campgrounds with a range of facilities and amenities, including toilets and barbecue facilities.
Dwellingup has a Mediterranean climate characterised by warm summers and mild winters. The average annual temperature is around 17.3°C, with January being the hottest month of the year, with an average temperature of around 29.4°C, while July is the coldest, with an average temperature of around 8.6°C. You can expect comfortable temperatures throughout the year, with plenty of sunshine and relatively low humidity.
In terms of rainfall, Dwellingup receives an average of around 884 mm per year, with the wettest months being June to August. The summer months of December to February are generally drier, with occasional thunderstorms. The region is also prone to bushfires during the hot and dry summer months, so you should be mindful of any fire warnings or restrictions in place.
Dwellingup’s climate is ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
Dwellingup is a small town in the Peel region of Western Australia, approximately 100 km south of Perth. The drive time is around 90 minutes.
- Before European settlement, the Dwellingup area was inhabited by the Noongar people.
- In the late 19th century, timber cutters moved into the area, and the timber industry boomed, with many mills and sawmills operating.
- In the 1940s, a prisoner of war camp was established in Marrinup, near Dwellingup, to house Italian and German prisoners during World War II.
- In 1961, a devastating bushfire swept through the Dwellingup area, destroying many homes, businesses, and forests.
- In recent years, Dwellingup has become a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, with a range of outdoor activities and cultural experiences on offer.
Animals Found in and around Dwellingup
Dwellingup and the surrounding region are home to diverse animal species. The forested areas of Lane Poole Reserve and the Murray River provide habitats for many native animals.
Western Grey Kangaroo
The Western Grey Kangaroo is a common sight in the bushland around Dwellingup and can often be seen grazing in the early morning or late afternoon.
The bushland around Dwellingup is home to the Emu, Australia’s largest bird. These flightless birds are commonly spotted foraging for food in open grassy areas.
The Black Cockatoo is a distinctive, striking bird known for its loud, raucous calls.
The Kookaburra is a well-known Australian bird that can be heard “laughing” in the trees.
Western Brush Wallaby
The Western Brush Wallaby is a small marsupial usually only seen at dawn or dusk.
Several species of possums can be found in the forests around Dwellingup, including the Common Brushtail Possum and the Western Ringtail Possum.
The region also has various reptiles, including snakes, lizards, and turtles.
It’s important to remember that many of these animals are wild and should be treated with respect – observe animals from a safe distance and avoid disturbing their natural habitats.
What’s the best time of year to visit Dwellingup?
The best time to visit Dwellingup depends on your interests. Summer (December to February) is the hottest and offers the best weather for swimming and camping. Spring (September to November) is a great time to see wildflowers in bloom, while autumn (March to May) offers mild weather. Spring and autumn are ideal for hikes and mountain biking.
What are some of the most popular outdoor activities in Dwellingup?
Some of the most popular outdoor activities in Dwellingup include bushwalking, mountain biking, canoeing, bird watching, and camping.
Can I bring my dog to the Lane Poole Reserve?
Yes, dogs are allowed in the Lane Poole Reserve, but they must always be on a lead.
Is there public transportation available in Dwellingup?
There is no public transportation available in Dwellingup, so it’s recommended that visitors have their own vehicle.
How long do you need in Dwellingup?
The time you should spend in Dwellingup depends on your interests and the activities you plan to do.
If you’re interested in exploring the natural beauty of the area, such as the Murray River, Lane Poole Reserve, and the hiking and mountain biking trails, you may want to spend at least 2 to 3 days to fully enjoy these activities.
Add another day for cultural experiences, like learning about the local Noongar people’s history and traditions or visiting the Forest Heritage Centre.
What is the Bibbulmun Track, and can I hike it in Dwellingup?
The Bibbulmun Track is a long-distance hiking trail that runs through Dwellingup and stretches over 1000 km from Kalamunda to Albany. You can hike sections of the trail in and around Dwellingup, but you should be prepared with the appropriate gear and supplies.
What is Dwellingup famous for?
Dwellingup is famous for its natural beauty and outdoor adventure activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking. It is also well-known for being a stop on the Bibbulmun Track.
What do they mine in Dwellingup?
There are no active mines in Dwellingup itself. However, the wider Peel region, which Dwellingup is a part of, is known for its mining industry. The region has several mining operations that extract minerals, including alumina, bauxite, mineral sands, and silica.
The Huntly bauxite mine, operated by Alcoa and located about 40 km north of Dwellingup, is one of the largest bauxite mines in the world. Bauxite is the primary source of aluminium and is used in producing a wide range of products, from aircraft parts to kitchenware.
Save Money Planning your Trip
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We usually fly Virgin Australia domestically due to their competitive prices and fantastic customer service and fly with Qatar Airways to Europe.
We mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are usually cheaper than Airbnb.
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, Jucy as well as smaller ones.
Tours & Attractions 🎢
We book direct and use a mixture of third-party sites Viator, Get Your Guide & Klook due to their free cancellation policies, instant confirmation, price guarantees, and mobile ticketing.
Accessing Money 💵
We recently started using Wise to access funds internationally, including trips to Bali and Malaysia. They offer a debit card in 50 currencies and transfers are fast and free from hidden fees and exchange rate markups. Funds can be accessed through ATMs too. Wise has saved us a lot of money compared to our usual credit card and debit card.
Travel Insurance 🌏
Cover-More and Travel Insurance Direct are our preferred travel insurance companies for domestic and international travel.
See this Travel Insurance for Australia guide for more information.
For other ideas on where to visit in Western Australia along with the best things to do, where to stay, how to get around, and other essential information, click on the link below.