Only one and a half hours from Perth, Dwellingup is a popular destination for weekends and day trips. Surrounded by forest and with the Murray River close by, the town offers a number of attractions including delightful orchards, an old fashioned pub (with an interesting history), an award winning cidery, adventure activities, equipment hire and a recently completed skate park and pump track. It's also home to the Hotham Valley Railway, a steam train which provides a novel way to be dropped off for an 8km walk back to town on the Bibbulmun Track.
Dwellingup is situated in a timber and fruit-growing district east of Pinjarra. It has a population of around 400, and the name is derived from the Nyoongar word for "place of nearby water" relating to the proximity of the Murray River. In the early twentieth century the major industries of this district were farming, timber milling and railway sleeper cutting. The Track is aligned in many places along the old railway formations.
Dwellingup has become a year-round destination for many visitors. The Dwellingup History and Visitor Information Centre is located in a building on Marrinup Street, and is the ideal place to sit down, take a load off, access the free wi-fi, recharge your devices, have a hot shower or check out the local history. The history display in the centre houses a unique collection of historical items, including a display on the Prisoner of War Camp in Marrinup, the 1961 Dwellingup bush fire and the rise and fall of the mill towns of the area. It also boasts a fully restored (and very impressive) 1938 Mack Fire Tender.
The world-class Forest Discovery Centre is located approximately 1km North of the Visitor Centre and offers a unique look at the areas forest heritage including an 11 metre forest canopy viewing platform and series of walkways. It also houses the School of Wood.
The Hotham Valley Railway has steam, forest and restaurant trains that puff through the bush almost all year round (diesal may replace steam on days when fire risk is high, best to check online or call to make sure the trains are running). The Hotham Valley Tourist Railway's Forest Train travels between Dwellingup and Etmilyn (8km) on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and on selected days during the school holidays. The Restaurant train departs each Saturday evening, plus selected Friday evenings and bookings are essential for this service, please see thier website for booking information. The train departs from Dwellingup Station at 10.30am and 2pm. Please not that Dwellingup Station ticket sales are cash only. Get a one-way ticket and walk back on the Bibbulmun Track.
Up & down the Track
Kalamunda is 96km north of Dwellingup - a drive of one hour and 20 minutes. The walk between the two towns is 180km, which takes approximately thirteen days, twelve nights. North Bannister is a four day (67km) walk north of Dwellingup. Whilst it is not a town, there is a roadhouse (known as Threeways) which can hold food parcels by prior arrangement. This is the only place to resupply between the towns and has limited choices.
Collie is 89km south of Dwellingup - a drive of one hour and 20 minutes. Walking between Collie and Dwellingup (122.1km) takes approximately seven days, six nights.