Things to do in Dwellingup, WA

🌲 12 Things to do in Dwellingup, Western Australia

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Dwellingup is a real diamond and only 90 minutes (108 km) south of Perth, WA. This pet-friendly and child-friendly little town is full of wonder and awe. As you drive in, you’re surrounded by farming lands where you have the opportunity to attend local grower’s farm gates and purchase produce.

In Dwellingup you’ll find an Art Gallery and other unique little cafes to enjoy and unwind from your travels. 

Within driving distance is Lane Poole Reserve, which should be on your things to do in Dwellingup itinerary. Train buffs should add the Hotham Railway Experience to their list, then take a stroll through the Forest Discovery Centre.

The forestry and tall trees are beautiful, which gives the region’s entrance a natural forest feel that we so often see in the movies. The Tree Adventures is a ‘must’ for the kids and well worth the price. You can always hitch a ride with the Dwellingup Adventures team if you like a little bit of an adrenalin rush.

Dwellingup makes a great base to enjoy the surrounding areas including day trips to Mandurah, Pinjarra (be sure to stop at the lolly shop, you won’t regret it) and Collie, home to the Black Diamond Lake.

Once all is done, grab a cold brew at the local pub, which is also pet-friendly. Spend a night or a week – our suggestion is the full week!

(Guest contributor, Samantha Jane, shares some of her experiences and favourite things to do in Dwellingup throughout this article).

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Things to do in Dwellingup

Have a play around with the map below to see where everything can be found in Dwellingup, which will help you plan your own trip.

Trip map created with Wanderlog, a trip planner app


Lane Poole Reserve

Bob's Crossing, Lane Poole Reserve, Dwellingup WA
Bobs Crossing, Lane Poole Reserve

Just 7.5 km south of Dwellingup is the beautiful Lane Poole Reserve, a 50,000 hectare space popular for camping and nature activities.

There are oodles of swimming spots spotted throughout Lane Poole Reserve. Island Pool has steps for easy access, plus Bobs Crossing and Scarp Pool are also popular spots.

With natural water ways being the centre of attention in the reserve, canoeing and kayaking are a good way to explore the area.

Lane Poole Reserve KAYAK LAUNCH POINTS:

  • Island Pool
  • Yarragil
  • Stringers
  • Baden Powell

Or, if fishing is more your thing, why not throw a line into the Murray? Some common species include rainbow trout, redfin perch, cobbler and marron.

Lane Poole Reserve has a range of different trails worth exploring. Along with the walking trails are trails for mountain biking, horse riding and four-wheel-driving.

One of the best walks is The King Jarrah Trail, which takes you along the old transportation route of the thriving timber industry. The jewel of the walk is the 300 – 600-year-old Jarrah tree.

Lane Poole Reserve WALKING TRAILS:

  • Island Pool Walk Trail
  • The King Jarrah Trail
  • The Bibbulmun Track
  • The Chuditch Trail
  • Lane Poole Falls Trail

See the ‘Walking Trails’ section a little further down for full details on each walking trail.

LANE POOL RESERVE ENTRY FEES
Per Day• $15 – per vehicle (or $8 concession)
• $8 – per motorcycle
• FREE – if you walk/ cycle into the park
Annual$25 – Annual Local Parks Pass (unlimited entry)
$120 – Annual WA Parks Pass (unlimited entry)
Holiday$60 – Holiday Pass (28 days – unlimited entry to all WA parks)
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Hotham Valley Tourist Railway

Hotham Valley Railway, Dwellingup WA
Source: Hotham Valley Railway

Climb aboard a heritage train and take a ride through the forest. The Hotham Valley Tourist Railway is one of the most popular things to do in Dwellingup and the Murray.

The Dwellingup to Holyoake railway service opened in 1910 for a large timbermill at Holyoake. A fire in 1961 destroyed most of Dwellingup and the railway station. The other towns of Holyoake and Nanga Brook also went up in flames.

These days, due to fire local fire management, the Steam Ranger only operates in the winter months (May to October).

See the Hotham Valley Railway website for information and bookings.

HOTHAM VALLEY TRAIN EXPERIENCES
Steam Ranger• Ride a heritage steam train through the forest and steep mountain range
• Dwellingup to Isandra Siding (14 km)
• Licensed cafe onboard

PRICE:
– Adult $40
– Child (2 – 15 yrs) $20
– Infant (up to 2 yrs) $4

2 hours return | May – October
Forest Train• V Class Diesel Locomotive built in the 1940’s
• Dwellingup to Etmilyn (8 km)
• 25 minute walking trail through the Jarrah Forest

PRICE:
– Adult $28
– Child (2 – 15 yrs) $14
– Infant (up to 2 yrs) $4

2 hours return | Year round
Restaurant Train• 1919 Vintage Dining Car and 1884 Club Car
• 5 course meal served from onboard wood stove
• Train meanders through the forest with soft lighting

PRICE:
– Adult $115
– Child (up to 15 yrs) $77

3 hours return | Every Saturday night
AddressDwellingup Train Station
Marrinup Street, Dwellingup WA 6213
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Forest Discovery Centre

Forest Discovery Centre, Dwellingup WA
Source: Forest Discovery Centre

The leaf-shaped Forest Discovery Centre building is just 1km from the Dwellingup township. You can take a nice stroll along the Emu Walk Trail from town, otherwise it’s only a very short drive.

What you’ll find at the Forest Discovery Centre:

  • Retail gallery (wood craft, fine furniture, crafts & gifts)
  • Interpretive Centre
  • Walking trails
  • Bush Foods cafe
  • Guided tours with billy tea and damper
  • Tree-top viewing platform
  • Hand-made timber cutter’s hut
  • Creative workshops throughout the year
FOREST DISCOVERY CENTRE
Entry CostDonation
Address1 Acacia Road, Dwellingup WA 6213
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Walking Trails

Surrounding Dwellingup are quite a few walking tracks & off road biking tracks, mostly based within Lane Poole Reserve. You’ll find walks to keep you busy exploring for the day, plus shorter walks more suitable for the family.

The last two walks listed here are based from the town of Marrinup, which is just 8 minutes (8.5 km) north of Dwellingup.

DWELLINGUP WALKING TRAILS
Island Pool Walk Trail
[Class 3]
• Starts at Island Pool top carpark
• Scenic jarrah forest & grass trees

1 hour loop | 2 km
The King Jarrah Trail
[Class 4]
• Forest circuit from Nanga Mill
• 300-600-year-old tree ‘King Jarrah’

Half day | 18 km
The Bibbulmun Track• Winds through Lane Poole Reserve
• Variety of day walk options
• Purchase track maps from Dwellingup Information Centre
The Chuditch Trail
[Class 3]
• Walking & cycling trail connecting Nanga Mill & Chuditch
• Forest views & grass trees
• Starts and finishes by the Murray River

1 – 3 hours | 7 km
Lane Poole Falls Trail
[Class 3]
• Links the Boorara Tree recreation site with Lane Poole Falls
• Mixed karri and marri forest
• Riverine vegetation

1 – 3 hours | 5 km
Marrinup Falls Walk
[Class 3]
• Circuit trail meandering through the bush
• Wildflowers in spring
• Waterfalls (best after winter rains, June – September)

45 mins | 1.4 km
POW Camp Trail• Walk through what was a POW camp that operated from 1943 – 1946
• It housed 3,500 Italian and 300 German prisoners
• Low risk prisoners, who were put to work cutting wood or as farm hands
• Signposts with history of the old POW camp

2 hours | 4.5 km

See Lane Poole Reserve entry fees towards the top of the article.

Lane Poole Reserve, Dwellingup WA
Source: Visit Dwellingup

Cycling Trails

Nestled in the Lane Poole Nature Reserve is a newly opened 35 kilometre network of Mary Valley Bike Trails as of October 2020.

Included are cross-country trails as well as all-mountain descents into the valley. You’ll find trails suited to all experience levels, right from beginner to intermediate and advanced.

EASY TRAILS (Green):

  • Snotty Gobble – 900m
  • Quollity Street – 1.4 km
  • Rock On – 2.1 km
  • Year 1 – 2.3 km
  • Yarri Up – 2.3 km

MODERATE TRAILS (Blue):

  • Captain Hook – 1.1 km
  • Tombstone – 1.3 km
  • Quokkamoly – 1.3 km
  • Boom Boom – 1.4 km
  • Busted Nuts – 1.6 km
  • Inzamia – 2.3 km
  • Fault Line – 2.4 km
  • Granite Grind – 3 km

DIFFICULT TRAILS (Black):

  • Bam Bam – 1.3 km
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Skate Park & Pump Track

Skate Park & Pump Track, Dwellingup WA
Source: Shire of Murray

If you’re after some things to do in Dwellingup that’ll burn some energy then head down to the Skate Park and Pump Track, which opened in 2019 as part of the National Trails project. Some of the features include an asphalt circuit, pump track, carving rails, ramps, half and quarter pipes, banks, ledges and curbs.

The kids can also enjoy and a mega playground only a short stroll from the caravan park. Everything within Dwellingup is within walking distance, including the pub (bonus points for that one!). 

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Treetops Adventure

Tree Top Advenutre

For a bit more of an adventure experience, check out the Treetops Adventure, located within Lane Poole Reserve. Western Australia’s first zipline and treetop adventure will have you doing a variety of aerial challenges between 2 – 25 metres high.

The treetop courses are built around the Pine and Jarrah trees in the Nanga Mill campground.

Some of the Trees Adventure activities:

  • Flying foxes
  • Suspended bridges
  • Obstacle courses
  • Climbing nets
  • Hanging tunnels

Sessions go for 2.5 hours and all gear and training is included. There are a range of different courses to suit from age 4 upwards.

Don’t stress if you don’t want to find yourself hanging from a tree with the kids – you can supervise from the ground for free.

Trees Adventure is definitely a ‘must’ for your things to do in Dwellingup itinerary.

Trees Adventure PricingKids (4 – 7 yrs) – $28.00
Youth (8 – 17 yrs) – $41.00
Concession (ID required) – $46.00
Adult (18 >) – $51.00
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Dwellingup Adventures

Canoeing
Source: Visit Dwellingup

If your adrenalin is still pumping after the Trees Adventure, head over to Dwellingup Adventures and book some more fun into your ‘things to do in Dwellingup’ list.

Dwellingup Adventures facilitate do-it-yourself activities for biking, water sports and camping, as well as organised tours.

You can go White Water Rafting or even take a peaceful paddle in a canoe or kayak down the Murray River. Maybe land is more your thing and you’d rather explore on a mountain bike or just hire some gear and do your own thing.

Fast Water Rafting | $90 pp

  • Self-guided
  • INCLUDES: raft, paddles, pfds, helmets, maps, transfers
  • BYO: food, water, change of clothes
  • Full day (10.30 am – 3.00 pm)
  • Suitable for ages 6+

Paddle & Picnic | From $99

  • Self-guided
  • INCLUDES: transfers, canoe, paddles, pfds & picnic lunch
  • Transport for you & canoe provided
  • Full day (10.30 am – 3.00 pm)
  • Enjoy picnicking, paddling & swimming downstream
  • Suitable for ages 4+

Pack & Paddle | From $99

  • Self-guided overnight tour
  • INCLUDED: Transfers, canoe, paddles, pfds & map
  • Walk 13kms to Swamp Oak Hut along Bibbulmun Track (approx. 5 hours)
  • Take a pack with food, water, sleeping & cooking gear (3-sided shelter hut with bunks, or BYO tent)
  • Drop toilet onsite
  • Next morning walk 1.5km (40 mins) to Island Pool
  • Your camping pack will be swapped with canoe and safety gear
  • Canoe downstream 6km (including a severe drop, grade 4 rapid in high water)
  • Transport from Baden Powell

Self-guided mountain bike tours are also available. Otherwise, you’re welcome to hire the various gear and explore Lane Poole Reserve yourself.

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Grab Your ‘Farm Fresh’ Food

Fresh Produce Basket of Food

Vergone’s Fruit Stall

Head to Vergone’s Fruit Stall to have a look around the farm shop and cafe. You can either dine in or takeaway with a range of offerings including coffee, homemade cakes and pies, plus seasonal fruit and veggies.

Why not add breakfast or lunch at Vergone’s to your list of thing to do in Dwellingup? Indulge in a hearty big breakfast, pork and gravy roll, steak burger or selection of filled baguettes.

Have a look at Vergones Fruit Stall to browse more of their delicious options. And yep, they even cater for the gluten-free and vegan folk!

You must also fill your bags with local raw honey, preserves, homemade pasta sauce and fresh produce while you’re there.

  • Seasonal fruit picking
  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Dine in or Takeaway
  • Fresh fruit & vegetables
  • Coffee & pastries
  • Honey & preserves
  • Variety of events throughout the year
Vergone’s Opening HoursSummer: 7 days per week | 8pm – 5pm
Rest of the year: Thursday – Sunday | 8pm – 5pm

Caraholly Orchard

Open most Sundays from 9am – 12pm with food trucks, live music and the ability to pick fresh produce to take home with you. In winter, the fun doesn’t stop, it just moves to the packing shed and continues on!

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Try the Local Eateries

Woodfired Pizza

In the small but quirky township of Dwellingup, there is a wonderful IGA that has all your supply needs covered including a bottle shop & bakery.

The servo does wonderful burgers and is legendary for their fish & chip night on Fridays. The Blue Wren Cafe is a must stop for freshly brewed coffees and home-style cooking with an edge.

Have fun exploring the food options in Dwellingup.

🐦 Blue Wren Cafe

Situated on the corner of the main street, Blue Wren will stand out with its Teapot Tree in the gardens. Coffee, cakes & pastries, big breakfasts, Friday night fish ‘n’ chips and more. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dine in or takeaway.

🌿 Touch of Aroma

A charming little teashop offering Devonshire tea, barista coffee, cakes, toasties and homemade preserves. Browse the locally crafted items as well as giftware and vintage items for sale.

🍕 Longriders Woodfired Pizza Cafe

An eclectic pizzeria where you can chill out by the fire in winter or enjoy the sunshine on the balcony when the sun in shining. Enjoy a cocktail and a game of pool while your pizza cooks. Soft drink and wine are also on offer, as well as Canadian, Australian and American beers. Designated motorcycle parking out the front for the bikers!

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Enjoy a Drink

Pouring a beer

What’s a country weekend escape without a cold brew, a glass of local wine or any other relaxing beverage of your choice. There are two great places in town that you can add to your things to do in Dwellingup list.

🍸 Wine Tree Cidery

Boutique wines and ciders produced in small batches, all available exclusively from the cellar door. All drops made from locally-sourced fruits, including sparkling ciders, port, wine, spritzers and non-alcoholic ginger beer. Enjoy the verandah and grassed area in the warmer months, or the indoor fireplace in winter.

🍺 Dwellingup Hotel

The ‘Dwelly Pub’ opened in 1911 and is among the few buildings to have survived the 1961 fires. Feel free to wander the restored rooms, order some lunch or dinner and have a bevvy by the fire. Out the back is a nice, sunny beer garden for stretching your legs.

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Dwellingup Camping

Dwellingup Chalets & Caravan Park, Dwellingup WA
Photo: Samantha Jane ‘It’s a Kerr Thing’

Dwellingup Chalets & Caravan Park

If you want to stay within walking distance to the Dwellingup town centre, the Dwellingup Chalets & Caravan Park is the way to go.

This wonderful caravan park offers large camping and caravan sites, with cosy fire pits for all sites. It’s relaxing, pet-friendly and has plenty to offer for the kids.

During the day, the park is a sight to be seen as it’s set amongst the Dwellingup State Forest. After sundown you can enjoy the night light effects.

Dwellingup Chalets & Caravan Park, Dwellingup WA
Photo: Samantha Jane

Although the amenities were in the process of being renovated, they were still immaculately clean with hot showers and disability access. The multiple cooking areas were well-equiped and shiny with massive free gas cookers.

The managers were more then accommodating, welcoming and lovely to pull up with for a beer. We found the atmosphere to be really light and easy-going from the moment we pulled up the driveway. 

Dwellingup Caravan Park Facilities:

⛺️ Sites available for tents, campers, caravans, motorhomes & buses
🏠 Cabins & chalets available
🚽 Toilets
🚿 Showers
💧 Drinking water
⚡️ Power
🗑 Rubbish bins
♨️ BBQs
👕 Laundry
🍽 Camp kitchen
💨 Gas bottle refills
🐶 Pet friendly


Lane Poole Reserve Camping

Take advantage of any of the nine camping sites within Lane Poole Reserve (7.5 km from Dwellingup). All of the campsites are either on or within walking distance of the Mary River.

Camping at Lane Poole is a popular weekend escape from Perth, so long weekends and holiday periods can get very busy.

Bear in mind that camping at Lane Poole Reserve (Baden Powell, Charlie’s Flat, Chuditch, Stingers, Tonys Bend or Yarragil) needs to be booked in advance by at least 24 hours.

Nanga Mill and Nanga Townsite run on a ‘first in, first served’ basis.

LANE POOLE RESERVE CAMPING
Baden Powell⛺️ 42 campsites – 36 for tents | 6 for vans/ trailers
🚽 Toilets (wheelchair access)
🚿 Showers (wheelchair access)
🔥 Fire pits at each site
🍞 Picnic tables
🍽 3 camp kitchens
♨️ Gas BBQs
🐶 Pet friendly
🚗 2WD access

❌ No drinking water, bins or Big Rig access
Charlie’s Flat⛺️ 16 campsites – 4 suitable for small van/ trailer
🚽 Drop toilets
🔥 Fire pits
🍞 Picnic tables
🐶 Pet friendly

❌ No drinking water, showers, bins or Big Rig access
Chuditch⛺️ 24 campsites – 10 suitable for small van/ trailer
🚽 Toilets
🍞 Picnic tables
🍽 Camp kitchen
♨️ Gas BBQs
🐶 Pet friendly
🚗 2WD access

❌ No drinking water, showers, bins or Big Rig access
Nanga Mill⛺️ 55 campsites – suitable for tents, caravans & trailers
🚽 Toilets
🔥 Fire pits
🍞 Picnic tables
🗑 Rubbish bins
🚗 2WD access

❌ No drinking water, showers or Big Rigs
Nanga Townsite⛺️ Small campsite – tents only
🚽 Drop toilet
🔥 Fire pits
🍞 Picnic tables
🐶 Pet friendly
🚗 2WD access

❌ No drinking water, showers, bins or caravans/ trailers
Stringers⛺️ 6 tent sites
🚽 Toilet
🔥 Fire pits
🍞 Picnic tables
🐶 Pet friendly

❌ No drinking water, showers, bins or caravans/ trailers
Tony’s Bend⛺️ 13 campsites – 10 for tents | 2 for van/ trailer
🚽 Drop toilets
🔥 Fire pits
🍞 Picnic tables
🐶 Pet friendly
🚗 2WD access

❌ No drinking water, bins or showers
Yarragil⛺️ 2 tent sites
🚽 Drop toilet
🔥 Fire pits
🍞 Picnic tables
🗑 Rubbish bin
🐶 Pet friendly

❌ No drinking water, showers or van/ trailer access
Nanga Brook⛺️ 37 campsites – 29 for caravans/ trailers | 8 for tents
🚽 Toilets
🔥 Fire pits
🍞 Picnic tables
🗑 Rubbish bins
♨️ BBQs
⬇️ Dump point
🐶 Pet friendly

❌ No drinking water, showers or Big Rigs
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12 Things to do in Dwellingup, WA
Things to do in Dwellingup, WA

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10 thoughts on “🌲 12 Things to do in Dwellingup, Western Australia”

  1. Definitely a place that my family likes to visit. Stay at the caravan park under the tall trees, walk to town, and enjoy the rest of the town has to offer. Even our dog Snoopy will have a blast in the Lane Pool reserve. I also like how you can purchase fresh produce directly to the farmers. Such a beautiful holiday destination!

    1. It’s a lovely little country escape, perfect for your dog Snoopy as well. It’s nice to have a pet-friendly reserve as most of the National Parks don’t allow dogs.

  2. I am discovering so many parts of Australia that I never new existed. I now have a reason to spend more time in the Perth area when we can finally visit. Those outdoor areas and walking paths would be a big draw for us. I am sure that this year the variety has been a great way to enjoy your time outdoors. And have a bit of fun white water rafting!

    1. Dwelingup is a great day trip or weekend trip from Perth. Especially with overseas travel being off the cards, it’s the perfect time to explore more of our own backyard.

  3. The dining experience on the Hotham Valley Railway sounds so fun. I have yet to ride in a vintage train like this and hope to do so one day. Do the people dress up too? From the photo, it looks like it 🙂

    1. I’d love to experience the night ride restaurant as well, that’d be something different. I’m not sure if they dress up all the time or if that was for an event.

  4. Amy Butterfield

    What a super fun place to discover! This is the kind of gem that is perfect for a family like ours as we love hiking, swimming, camping as well as the support local experiences like farmers market items and trying local beer and wine. There really is a little something for everyone here!

  5. Where did the name come from? It is quite unique. It is amazing that there are rainbow trout in both the US and there- How did the fish spread so far on earth. My boys live fishing so would love to do that.

    1. According to Wikipedia Dwellingup is an Aboriginal name said to mean “place of nearby water” or “on and by the whole place there is fog, dew and mist.” It is interesting to think about how far some species have spread across the planet.

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