Kaya, hi. I’m Wendy, a Perth local with a love of travel and exploring our state. Today I want to share my experiences of visiting Dwellingup and what I’ve enjoyed the most while there.
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.
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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.
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
Dwellingup Adventures is a family-owned company offering a range of equipment for rent, including bike hire.
For those who love mountain biking, Dwellingup has over 56km 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.
Visit the Dwellingup Trail and Visitors Centre for maps and up to date information on the trails before heading out.
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.
There’s something magical about camping and looking at the night sky. Enjoy a sitting under the stars on a balmy evening or gather around the fire pit on a cold winter’s night.
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
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.
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