Situated on the stunning Coral Coast, in WA, the twin towns of Dongara and Port Denison are divided by the Irwin River, which creates a scenic landmark as it meanders between the two towns. The Dongara – Port Denison region offers some lovely day trips and we highly recommended exploring the coast and inland on your journey here.
If driving up from Perth there are two options. One is the Brand Highway which is very colourful during the Wild Flower season, make sure to call into the Western Flora Caravan Park 60kms south of Dongara. You will discover thousands of species of wild flowers over the Northern Heathlands plus honey eaters, frogs, water birds, kangaroos’ and insects.
The second option is to travel along the Indian Ocean Drive. Call into Nambung National Park to see the Pinnacles, take a western rock lobster tour in Cervantes, skydive in Jurien Bay see photo Gabriella.jpg or take a Sea Lion Tour in Greenhead.
You will pass through the Lesueur National Park which in spring time is filled with more than 900 wildflower species on its 26,987 hectares. There are walking trails and is great for bird watching with 122 species of native birds recorded. Also nearby if you have a 4WD be sure to call in and see Stockyard Gully Caves which is about 300 metres long, no animals can enter. If you would like to visit this area and do not have a 4WD you can take a tour from Dongara.
If you are travelling from the north or would like some day trips from Dongara – Port Denison the regional city of Geraldton is only a 45 minute drive. Here you can visit the National Memorial to the HMAS Sydney II see photo Raelene Mariani or the WA Museum Geraldton.
Only a 20 minute drive south of Dongara – Port Denison is the historical village of Greenough. Here you can see the leaning trees, Wildlife Park or tour through the old village buildings.
Also a short journey south east is Ellendale Pool, a stunning water hole naturally formed along the Greenough River.
East of Dongara is the town of Mingenew only a 30 minute drive, here you will find Depot Hill and Coalseam Conservation Park see photo. This is the site of the first mined coal deposit in Western Australia, and exposed bands of coal seams can still be seen, along with the siltstones, claystones and sandstones that stripe the cliff faces and reveal 250 million years of geological history.
If you have brought your boat or yacht with you then there are opportunities for you to discover some idyllic locations such as the Jurien Bay Marine Park.
The Houtman Abrolhos Islands is approximately 80km west of the coastline, the 122 islands are clusters of three main groups – Wallabi, Easter and Pelsaert and spread from north to south across 100 kilometres of ocean. The Islands are among Australia’s most important sites for breeding seabirds and also marks the northern-most habitat of the Australian Sea Lion. Snorkelling and diving is a must. Scenic flights and Ecotours depart from Geraldton.
There have been several ship wrecks off of the islands, due to the vessels hitting the coral. These include the Batavia in 1629 and the Zeewijk in 1727, eighteen other historic wrecks have been discovered in Abrolhos waters and many remain undiscovered. The murderous story of the Batavia can be seen at the WA Museum in Geraldton.
For more information on the Coral Coast region, please head to the Australia's Coral Coast website.