Dunsborough – Western Australia’s Paradise

Dunsborough – our new home for the next 6 months. It’s a hidden paradise about 3 hours south of Perth, Western Australia. It’s so nice that it consists mostly of holiday homes for the executives from Perth. Yet here we are as a couple of broke (compared to the actual residents of the town) backpackers.

We end up staying at the Dunsborough Beachouse YHA. One of only two hostels in the town. We fell completely in love with the place within a day. Here are my top 3 reasons this hostel as well as any other hostel can be considered great:

  • Other Backpackers: First and foremost, the main reason a hostel will be great is because of the people staying there. The best part of staying in a hostel is the different types of people you meet. The main reason you will end up falling in love with a certain hostel is because of how the people staying there welcome you. At some hostels you will not click with the people staying, which can cause you to dislike the hostel, but not by the hostel’s fault. The only difficult part about this is that since everyone is traveling the once amazing hostel begins to lose its touch once people start hitting the road again.
  • Staff: Having a welcoming, social, and helpful hostel staff will be that much appreciated extra touch that can convince you to stay at a hostel longer. The last thing you want is to walk into a hostel to be greeted by a staff member that acts as if you don’t matter instead of being treated like a valued customer. When the staff organizes events and spends time with the guests it gives off a family feel and makes it easier to ask questions. Lastly, the staff should have some knowledge of the area in regards to sightseeing, tours, places to eat, and if you’re lucky employment opportunities.
  • Cleanliness: I put cleanliness last because you could have the cleanest hostel in the world, but if the other backpackers and staff are rude, unwelcoming, and don’t give you a sense of family it is only a matter of time before you feel it is time to leave. Cleanliness has a bit of leniency if the other two points are present. Obviously if there are bed bugs, roaches, and other little critters all over the rooms there is a problem. I’m just saying maybe the hostel isn’t completely up to date or there’s a few areas that could use some attention, but not enough to put you off from the place. Cleanliness is important, but not as important as who you are around day in and day out.

Once we found the greatest hostel we stayed at in Australia it was time to explore the area. Let me tell you, Dunsborough has a lot to offer. Hayley and I (as well as many people in this area) love spending their time outdoors. So the first thing we looked for was any interesting points to spend our time outdoors. Naturally we love laying around on beaches.

My top 3 local beaches:

1. Point Piquet Beach

Me holding the football at Point Piquet Beach with friends.

This may be one of the smallest beaches in the area, but it was my favourite. The size of the beach only let a limited amount of people spend their time there comfortably so if you got there early enough most people would drive by and look for another spot (We weren’t so early in this picture haha). Not to mention there are so many beaches in the area you can drive about 5 minutes in each direction and be at a completely different spot. The shallow and clear waters made it fun to place water sports with no worries.

2. Meelup Beach

Meelup Beach from the top on the walking track.
Meelup Beach from the grass area near the parking lot.

Meelup beach is a nice family beach tucked into a bay. There aren’t many waves that make their way into this beach so little kids can swim without worry. There is a grass bit when you first enter the beach parking where you can sit/lay in the shade. There is more space at this beach than Point Piquet and since it has an actual parking lot it attracts more people. Like every other beach in the area the water is clear and the sand is near white.


3. Yallingup Beach

Hannah, Simon, Hayley and I enjoying the sunset at Yallingup Beach in early August 2015.

Yallingup was a very popular beach for everyone. The vast amount of space and spectacular surf attracted everyone from families to surf enthusiasts. Not to mention the incredible sunsets you could see from all around the beach was amazing. There was normally a food truck in the area as well to grab a bite to eat.

The last part I’ll touch on for the fantastic Dunsborough is the most popular spots we ate at as a hostel. Since we were a family at the hostel we loved to go out as a group (At least 6 up to 30+ people) and since we were/are all backpackers… we love deals. If the restaurant had a meal deal, chances are we loved it.

  • Occy’s: Occy’s special was on Wednesday nights. Occy’s amazing chili burger with a pint for $20. For those who think this might be a lot, keep in mind the burger alone is $22 regularly and a pint is at least $7 regularly. Almost $10 in savings? Backpacker delight. You got to choose your burger’s heat level on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being no heat at all and 10 normally only being done as a challenge rather than an actual appreciation for heat. Whichever heat you got to serve your needs, their burgers are to die for they’re so good. The beers on offer came from just about every range you could think of. Everyone could find a beer to their preference at this amazing spot.
  • Pourhouse: Pourhouse’s special was also on Wednesday nights. This cause a bit of competition between the two. The hostel normally split into two groups going to each restaurant on Wednesday’s, but normally all ended up at Pourhouse because of their deal. Pizza and a Pitcher for $25. Not only was the pizza amazing, but most backpackers are also borderline alcoholics. More booze means more reason to go. If you wanted a burger and still wanted to get drunk chances are you ended up at Pourhouse getting your drunken pizza with more beer. The vibe inside this restaurant was amazing as it was quite small and they regularly had live music. A nice little hangout spot with a majority of the people being between 18-30.
  • Clancy’s Fish Pub: Put simply, Clancy’s had good food at a fair price with normal live music. Clancy’s was the biggest restaurant space wise… and they need it. The place is normally packed with people unwinding from work with their family and friends. With a normal up beat and live music you couldn’t go wrong.

This is just a small little look into the paradise of Dunsborough. I recommend everyone find their way there if they can. You won’t want to leave. The community is close and they all look out for each other. Before long you will start being like the locals and dislike when the schoolies (vacation from high school or uni) make their way down. TRAFFIC IN DUNSBOROUGH? WHAT IS THIS. If you also arrive in their winter (December) you are basically considered part of this group as a backpacker. They don’t like you at first, but once they see your face around more often they will lighten up. Just don’t cause any problems. Work hard and respect others in this town and you won’t have any issues whatsoever.