Experience true coastal village charm in the twin towns of Dongara-Port Denison.
Located 360 kilometres north of Perth along the Indian Ocean Drive or Brand Highway, the towns of Dongara-Port Denison are home to beautiful beaches, nature trails and heritage buildings. The Irwin River creates a scenic landmark as it meanders between the two towns.
Don't miss a film under the stars at the Dongara Denison Drive In, the last of very few operating in Western Australia (opened in the 1960s). This drive-in screens new release movies every second Saturday night from October until May, and regularly during school holidays. Tune your car radio to the movie - gather on camp chairs or snuggle up in the car to watch the big screen stars, under the stars! The on-site kiosk offers meals and snacks.
The Illegal Tender Rum Co is a multi-international-award-winning craft distillery in Dongara, creating world-class rum and gin under their sister brand Stableviews Gin. They've won over 10 international awards, including three World Rum Titles, so it's safe to say the team here know what they're doing! Join a behind-the-scenes guided distillery tour, complete with tastings, to gain a little insight into their story and internationally renowned spirits.
The Thungara Trails are six walking trails around Dongara and Port Denison, each focusing on a different theme. Ranging from 2.6 kilometres to 9 kilometres in length, the trails showcase some of the towns' most scenic locations and rich history. Stroll along the banks of the Irwin River, enjoy scenic views along the coastline spotting native flora and fauna, check out Port Denison's Marina and its Western Rock Lobster fishing fleet, or visit the Fishermen's Memorial Lookout as the trails guide you around the area.
Located along Ocean Drive (opposite the Lookout) stand 15 silhouettes of ANZAC soldiers made of sheet metal, which commemorate the ANZACs and their role in World War I. The Shire of Irwin and the Dongara Retired Serviceman’s League commissioned this beautiful visual memorial to serve as a tribute to the ANZACs and to act as a reminder of their contribution to the country. The best time of day to view these sculptures is at sunset.
The 4 kilometre Dongara Heritage Walk highlights 28 heritage buildings, including the Royal Flour Mill built in 1894, Priory Lodge, the Old Police Station built in 1870, and Russ Cottage. For more details and maps, visit the Dongara Port Denison Visitor Centre.
Families with young children will love Harbour Beach with its gentle waves, picnic and barbecue facilities. The pure white sand of South Beach is a popular swimming and fishing spot with four wheel drive cars allowed on the shoreline. Kitesurfers in the know migrate to South Beach for the sweet summer breeze between November and January. Shore winds and rolling waves make this area perfect for downwinders. Granny's Beach or the aptly named Surf Beach is where you can catch a wave, go jet skiing or windsurfing. Reef formations north and south of the harbour are known for their excellent diving and snorkelling conditions.
Dongara and Port Denison are known for their fresh lobster industry, and the pristine waters are also home to a range of other marine delicacies. You can drop a line from most beaches for tailor, silver bream, whiting and mulloway.
Located among limestone cliffs and overlooking stunning turquoise, Cliff Head is a free nature-based campsite located 38 kms south of Dongara. There are three camping sections – Cliff Head North, Cliff Head South, and Cliff Head Central, being the largest of the three sites. Locations include eco-toilets, undercover area with sink, benches and tables and a communal fireplace. Campers can stay for three nights within a 28-day period at no charge. The campground and sites can be accessed by two-wheel drives and are suitable for large caravans.