Top Trail: Marrinup Trail, Dwellingup
The Marrinup Trail meanders through some of Australia’s oldest rocks, which are more often exposed on this part of the Darling Scarp near Dwellingup, south of Perth. The mountain bike trail passes through native jarrah forest and redgum. The interesting ‘Cage in the bush’ POW camp is located a short distance from the trail.
About the Trail
Proceeding clockwise, this easy to follow loop trail starts at the old Marrinup townsite which was destroyed by bush fire in 1961. It is an eight kilometre single track suitable for both the novice and experienced rider. The trail can be shortened to about four kilometres by using the short course return route - an excellent introduction to mountain biking for children. It varies from narrow, challenging tracks with flat sections and hill climbs to true gravel roads, with the ball bearing like bauxite gravel making things pretty interesting for mountain biking.
The “Cage in the Bush” is a little known part of Western Australia’s wartime history. During World War II thousands of Italian and German POW’s spent time here cutting wood for Perth before being billeted out to WA farms. Buildings no longer exist, but there are foundations, gardens and some fencing and it’s fascinating to stroll around the camp trying to imagine what life would’ve been like for the POW’s.
Nearby Dwellingup and Lane Poole Reserve offer a variety of walking, biking and canoeing experiences including access points to the Bibbulmun and Munda Biddi Trails.
Need to Know
Dwellingup is the perfect country escape just a one and a half hour drive south from Perth. Your day trip or weekend away can be filled with a variety of great outdoor adventures from camping in the jarrah forests, to bushwalking and mountain biking, or canoeing on the Murray River. You can even start your adventure in Perth, hiking the first 96 kilometres of the world-renowned Bibbulmun Track from Kalamunda, or cycling the Munda Biddi mountain bike trail from Mundaring and taking in the city-to-country scenery at your own pace. Immerse yourself in the beautiful forested valleys and waterways of Lane Poole Reserve. Covering almost 55000 hectares, and criss-crossed with walking trails, mountain bike and four wheel drive tracks, the reserve is a popular and picturesque adventure playground. Filled with birdlife year round and wildflowers in spring, it's also a great place for taking it slow with a picnic or walking with your dog (yes, the reserve is pet-friendly). For an insightful introduction to the region's natural treasures, visit the Forest Heritage Centre. Climb the three viewing towers for views of the forest canopy, or discover the excellent artisan skills of students from the School of Fine Wood at the gallery. If you time your trip between May and October, you can also enjoy the unique and nostalgic journey through Dwellingup's timber milling history by steam train on the Hotham Valley Railway. There are plenty of places to set up camp under towering trees and a star-filled sky, but if you'd prefer some creature comforts, head for Dwellingup's hotel, chalets, backpackers or caravan park.
Dwellingup History and Visitor Information Centre
Marrinup Street, Dwellingup Western Australia 6213, Australia
Phone: (08) 9538 1108 | www.murraytourism.com.au
The historic town of Dwellingup is located within the beautiful state forest of the Darling Range and nestled between the South Dandalup and Murray Rivers. Adjacent to the Bibbulmun Track and the Munda Biddi, as well as the natural beauty of Lane Poole Reserve, Dwellingup offers wonderful opportunities to relax, unwind and explore. Dwellingup History and Visitor Information Centre is also home to a fascinating local history museum. Discover the stories of the early pioneers, the history of the early mill towns, the military connections to the former POW camp at Marrinup and the extraordinary courage of a town that survived the 1961 bush fire. A fully restored vintage Mack fire truck is also on display. The visitor centre staff will be happy to offer assistance during your visit to Dwellingup providing information on and directions for a range of things to keep you busy. This includes accommodation, trails (walking, mountain biking, four wheel driving, Munda Biddi and Bibbulmun Tracks), natural areas to explore, wineries, places to eat and drink, local attractions, maps, books, souvenirs and gifts. Dwellingup History and Visitor Information Centre is open daily from 9:00am to 3:30pm (closed Christmas Day).