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Meelup Regional Park Coastal Trail

Meelup Regional Park Coastal Trail

One of my favourite things to do when visiting the Margaret River region is to walk the coastal trail through Meelup Regional Park. Starting in Dunsborough, the walk takes you past beautiful parts of Geographe Bay, through bushland and alongside the coastline speckled with pristine beaches and tempting swimming spots.

While the hiking trail officially starts on the edge of Dunsborough town at Hurford Street, there is a flat and picturesque walk starting in Dunsborough’s town centre. Once on the hiking trail, you’ll pass by Curtis Bay, Castle Rock, Castle Bay, Meelup Beach (approximately 6.5km away) or if you’re keen for a longer walk, the path continues to Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay.

The Coastal Walk

Starting in Dunsborough town centre, walk towards the beach at the end of Dunn Bay Road. From here follow the path left as it winds around the usually calm and very kid and dog friendly beach.

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There is a small park at the end of Dunn Bay Road. Here you’ll find a few picnic tables, toilet and changing facilities, a drinking fountain and shower.
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This beach, found at the end of Finlayson Steet, is sometimes referred as the beach at the Old Dunsborough Boat Ramp. It’s popular since it’s enclosed with a shark barrier net and is well protected. The beach area has a playground, change rooms, BBQs and food trucks in the evenings in summer and of course a boat ramp!
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The beach along Bay View Crescent

Continue past the Old Dunsborough Boat Ramp carpark and the beach above along Bay View Crescent and you’ll find the official start of the trail on the corner of Hurford street.

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The official start of the trail is located about 2km from Dunsborough’s town centre

With much of the fairly flat path lined with gravel, there are also sections where the path turns into a series of rocks or where you need to walk on the beach (at Curtis Bay). While overall it makes for an easy walk, there are some bumpy sections that make the trail pram-unfriendly.

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Parts of the trail look like this …
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… and like this!
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The view looking eastwards towards Dunsborough and Busselton
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Curtis Bay is a secluded swimming spot that is only accessible by the walking trail
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The bay near Castle Rock
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Castle Rock and the popular, secluded swimming area. This is one of the few beaches accessible by car with a car park off of Meelup Beach Road and a short walk to the beach. The photographic rock is popular with climbers.
Walking bridge near Meelup Beach
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Meelup Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area. While there is a fairly large carpark, over holiday periods parking spots are scarce so go early.  In summer, the beach has lifeguards on duty and beach activity equipment such as stand up paddle boards and kayaks are available for rent.
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A BBQ with a view overlooking Meelup Beach

Shortly after passing by Meelup Beach you’ll reach Point Picquet (a popular fishing spot). At the carpark the path turns into beach walking (see pictures below), or alternatively you can walk along the quiet road to Eagle Bay.

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Part of the ‘path’ between Meelup Beach and Eagle Bay looking towards Point Picquet. Scrambling over the rocks make for a pretty solid workout!
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Part of the ‘path’ between Meelup Beach and Eagle Bay, looking back at Point Piquet.

A few tips when visiting the area:

  • Wildflowers are in bloom in September and October
  • You may get lucky and see whales during winter (May to September)
  • There are no water fountains along the path between the Old Dunsborough Boat Ramp and Meelup, so make sure to bring plenty of water on hot days
  • Don’t forget to bring a towel in case the beaches tempt you for a swim
  • There is limited shade along the trail, so wear sun protective clothing on hot days and don’t forget sunscreen
  • Please respect others and do not ride your bike on the trail
  • To protect wildlife, pets are also not allowed
  • Be wary that snakes may be present in the area. When taking some of the pictures above I saw a black snaking slithering between rocks on one of the beaches!

For more information on walking and hiking in the area, check out the local tourist information here or visit the Dunsborough tourist centre located on Dunn Bay Road.

Have you visited the Meelup Regional Park?  Tell me about your visit below 🙂

 

 

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