Top Trail: Meelup Reserve Trail, Dunsborough
This coastal walk weaves along the tranquil waters of Geographe Bay from Dunsborough to Meelup. Highlights include whale watching lookouts, various ecosystems, small bay communities and some of the best beaches in Western Australia.
About the Trail
Specific trail features the vast array of sea life including seals and dolphins, wildlife including kangaroos, snakes, birds (including New Holland Honey Eaters and Commorants), the beautiful coastal flora (including peppermint forest), the beautiful views and good swimming at the unpatrolled beaches (Bunker Bay, Eagle Bay and Meelup).
Heading off from the beach in Old Dunsborough, the well maintained trail winds its way past beach shacks before reaching the coastal scrub en-route to Meelup beach. Meelup is an iconic Australian beach with white sand and crystal clear waters. Protected from prevailing south west winds and swells it provides a safe swimming haven for the whole family. Stop here during peak season for an ice cream, picnic and a swim.
Meelup to Eagle Bay is a little more rugged ascending the hill to higher views of the beautiful water. After a downhill wander, stunning Eagle Bay (and its café) looms in the distance. The trail continues down to the beach.
The trail commences two kilometres from the centre of Dunsborough. Dunsborough is located approximately 255 kilometres, or a 2.5-3 hour drive from Perth. You can catch a public transport bus from Perth to Dunsborough (which will take approximately 4.5 hours), visit www.transwa.wa.gov.au for timetables and fares.
Other sealed trail access points exist at Meelup, Point Picquet and Eagle Bay providing an opportunity to shorten the length of the walk.
Need to Know
Eagle Bay is the luxury escape of choice for Western Australia's rich and famous. Here, in scenic seclusion, you can indulge in world-class wining, dining, surfing and diving, not to mention sensational bushwalking. A little over three hours' drive south of Perth, Eagle Bay sits on the tip of Cape Naturaliste in Geographe Bay, with the delights of Dunsborough, Yallingup and Busselton on its doorstep. Entering a world of opulent beachfront holiday homes belonging to Western Australia's most affluent, you're just a short hop from the world-famous Margaret River Wine Region - the only wine region in Australia where you can enjoy stunning beaches, tall-timber forests, ancient caves, premium wines and world-class surfing within a single day. Make the rolling vineyards your first stop. There are more than 100 top-notch wineries, fine dining restaurants and a boutique brewery, giving you a tantalising taste of the region's freshest flavours. World-class diving adventures also await in Eagle Bay, where the HMAS Swan dive wreck and artificial reef brings you face to fin with an abundance of amazing marine life. The clear, sheltered shallows of the bay are also ideal for a spot of snorkelling or a relaxing swim. If it's surf you seek, head to one of the internationally renowned big-wave beaches and breaks in nearby Yallingup and put your surfing and body boarding skills to the ultimate test. Beyond the beaches, a network of walking trails afford awesome views of Geographe Bay, and from nearby Cape Naturalist, you can follow the trail of one of the most diverse treks on Earth, the Cape to Cape. Walking or cycling the 135 kilometre track will lead you to beautiful beaches and headlands, tall karri tree forests, ancient caves and carpets of spring wildflowers. Take a few vertical steps to climb Cape Naturalist Lighthouse and take in 360 degree views of Geographe Bay - watch whales cruise by on their annual migration and learn about the region's rich maritime history. If you're staying for a decadent holiday, hire an exclusive beachfront house or, for country comfort, unwind in bed and breakfast or chalet accommodation.