Things to do
TWIN TOWNS DONGARA - PORT DENISON
The two towns have many attractions for visitors, young and old. With sandy beaches for swimming and lazing, close reefs for snorkelling and exploring and ideal fishing spots that provide many hours of enjoyment for everyone.
Dongara is famous for many things, two of which are the historic stone and brick Royal Steam Roller Flour Mill and the good old Moreton Bay Fig tree after which the main street is named. Dongara’s main street is lined by these dramatic trees which were planted in 1906 and are now classified by the National Trust.
Just three kilometres away overlooking the Marina is the twin town of Port Denison. Originally built on a strong rural economy, Dongara and Port Denison now have a thriving Rock Lobster fishing and processing industry. Both towns are often referred to as the 'Rock Lobster Capital', for the many magnificent crustaceans caught in season.
Eleven walks are on offer varying in distance from 1.6kms to 9kms, depending on how fit you feel. Free maps are available at the Visitors Centre.
From July through to October the region comes alive with the display of Western Australian wildflowers, although some species are present all year round. The Everlastings are the first to appear and can be found within an hours drive from Dongara Denison. Make sure that the only souveniers that you leave with are pictures as the picking of wildflowers is prohibited.
Explore South Beach.This wide, white sand beach stretches to the horizon or, if you don’t fancy walking, cruise along beautiful South Beach in your car - no need for a 4WD. But, if you do have a 4WD, there are plenty of tracks to go exploring. South Beach is also home to our local Surf Club with regular patrols conducted on weekends.
The Fisherman’s Lookout-Obelisk at Port Denison offers panoramic views of the harbour and surrounds. A plaque depicting local shipwrecks is on display at the Obelisk. A boardwalk now surrounds the Obelisk to allow easy viewing.
For a truly leisurely walk, the Irwin River Nature Trail is just perfect. Spot all the interesting river wildlife, including black swans and pelicans, just to name a few. Access off Church Street, where the Lookout affords beautiful views of the rivermouth and ocean.
Visit Russ Cottage, built in the late 1860’s. The Cottage was restored by the Irwin District Historical Society and is typical of a yeoman’s cottage of the time. For more information, contact the Irwin Historical Society on PH 9927 1323. For more history, do the Heritage Trail. This 1.6km walk features 28 heritage-listed buildings. Booklets, which give the history of each of the buildings, are available at the Tourist Centre for $2.00. See the Royal Steam Flour Mill, built in about 1894 from the plans of Mr Henry Simon of Manchester, England.
Pleasure boats up to 20ft can be launched from the boat ramp in the harbour area, with safety. All boating enthusiasts who are not familiar with the reef formations both within the harbour and beyond it are encouraged to speak with the Sea Rescue Group. Base is located opposite the boat ramp. Phone No: (08) 9927 1770
At certain times of the year when there are large seaweed banks it is best to fish off these into water clear of the weed. During the warmer months Cobbler are quite common close to shore.
A great variety of fish can be caught, these include: Tailor, Mulloway – Silver Kingfish (best times to fish dawn and dusk), Whiting, Herring, Skipjack, Trevally, Samson-Fish, Dhufish (May-August), sometime caught off-shore. Also a variety of Sharks – mostly Whaler Family, Hammerhead and harmless Shovel –Nose variety, Wobbegongs are quite common in reef areas.
Fishing, Scuba Diving & Snorkelling
Line fishing is permitted from all the breakwaters and the jetty, scuba and snorkel diving is permitted close to the breakwater but not out into the marina itself (this is for safety reasons). The many reef formations both north and south of the marina are also excellent diving spots.
PLACES TO EAT!
Dat and Thu's Kitchen: Vietnamese & Western RESTAURANT BYO no corkage!
Dat & Thu’s is a family-run Vietnamese restaurant that has been operating in Dongara for only a short time. Dat andThu are dedicated to serving authentic Vietnamese food that is prepared to order using the freshest ingredients. They are happy to cater for families with small children, so bring the whole family! Dat and Thu also provide an extensive take-away menu. Mention this add and receive a 10% discount - 99 27 1303 - shop 3/43 Moreton Terrace Dongara
The Little starfish : South beach kiosk.White tops road Port Denison. Open Wednesday to Sunday & Public Holidays - all Year. 8am - 3pm for breakfast and lunch.
The Season Tree : Restaurant/cafe
In the historic town of Dongara, the lovely Coffee Tree is known for its traditional homemade English breakfasts, lunches and coffee. Locals and tourists alike can be found relaxing underneath the shade of a Morton Bay fig tree here. Contact information 8 Moreton Tce; (08) 9927 1400; open daily for breakfast and lunch
Dongara Hotel:The Beer Garden is a pleasant outdoor heritage sandstone courtyard with dining furniture, trees and gardens. It's a great place to enjoy a meal or liquid refreshments and is very "child friendly" as well.
Sea-Spray Cafe: For an ocean view, kick back in the relaxed BYO atmosphere of the Sea Spray Café located right on the oceanfront at the Sea Spray Caravan Park. Enjoy great coffee and tasty gourmet food and sweets to tempt all.
BEAUTY THERAPY AND MASSAGE
Spoil your self and indulge - The Manse Retreat Moreton Terrace Dongara Open : Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm Thursday 9 am - 8 pm - Saturdays 9 am - 1pm Phone Jane : 9927 1661 - Mobile 0428 231 272
Dongara Sport & Tackle at 25 Moreton Tce can help you out with your dive, fishing and tackle needs. They also hireout golf clubs (right and left-hand clubs and buggy available), tennis racquets and push bikes. Drop in and see the friendly staff for all your sporting and fishing needs. - PH 9927 1196. A/H MOB 0448 806 790.
No matter what your sporting interest you’ll find it in Dongara Denison. At the Recreation Centre there are facilities for Tennis, Badminton, Squash, Basketball, Football etc. The Centre is located just off Point Leander Drive between Dongara and Port Denison.
Dongara Golf Club boasts an 18 Hole Scenic Course and the Port Denison Bowling Club features top class greens and has a licensed clubhouse. All Welcome.
Skate Park: For the young at heart, there’s a skateboarding park at Surf Beach! Hard-to-beat skateboarding with the Indian Ocean as your backdrop.
Kick back at our Drive-In Cinema!
During the summer months,the Drive-In shows up-to-date movies fortnightly on Saturday evenings. Enjoy watching your favourite stars under the stars!
Treats to satisfy at the kiosk. •$10.00 per adult •$5.00 per child (5 & under free) •No Walk-ins •Gates open for Meals at 6.30pm, Movie starts at 7.45pm •Food and Drinks Available
WINERY :Travel to Irwin Winery along Midlands Road and enjoy the unique flavours of red and white wine to tempt the palate. Visits arranged by appointment. PH 9927 5076.
OLIVE ORCHARDS : Visit the only Olive Oil Processing Facility in the Midwest - “Silverdale Olive Orchard & Processing Facility” - to sample olives and olive oils. Situated at 130 Melaleuca Road,Dongara. Open Friday,Saturdays & Sunday 10 am - 4pm . Phone Wendy & Murray Small 9927 2674
Dongara Markets: held first Saturday of every month 9 am - 1 pm Town Park for more info call 9927 5095 - 0400 718 617