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.
New Leaf Connect – Link below – a Dongara-based business offering custom trips, tours, private transport and experiences all aimed at creating connections between people, places and produce, across the Midwest of Western Australia, in celebration of all things local. https://www.newleafconnect.com.au/toursandexperiences
Walk Dongara-Denison – Thungara Trails
Six walks are ranging from 2.7km up to 9kms. You can pick up your free map from the Visitors Centre or the Irwin Recreation Centre showing the location of each walk. Walk 1 starts on Point Leander Drive and has the latest in technology Calico (CALories In Calories Out) it’s a unique online, mobile & outdoors fitness system. Just 5 mins to put in your age, weight, body shape, goals etc and this Australian online invention shows how much energy your body needs to consume and burn to achieve your fitness or weight loss goals. Then just use the free GPS Burn&EarnTM smartphone app or the Calico Fitness Totems installed every 500m on our walking tracks to help visualise your activity goals. With your targets set online.
Calico turns public space into your very own private gym and allows you to track the activity on the go. Get real-time motivation from friends and take part in programs, on and off the Calico tracks.
Just click on www.calico.com.au to join up for free. Or check out the Burn&Earn app and get rewarded for achieving your daily activity goals with money-saving deals from fantastic local businesses that support the healthy lifestyle of the community.
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 souvenirs 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 river mouth and ocean.
Visit Russ Cottage, built in the late 1860s. 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. The 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 is 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), sometimes 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 are 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.
Bars & Restaurants
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 is 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.
The Starfish Cafe: Wholesome, delicious fresh meals, best coffee, homemade food and treats. Shakes, fresh fruit smoothies. Family-friendly, beachfront ocean views, ample parking,
Poppies by the Park Cafe: Small cafe just around Dongara main street, next to Memorial Park. Great coffee. Vegan options. Open from 6 am – 4 pm
Pannarai’s: Restaurant/cafe – 0491834 400
In the historic town of Dongara, located in the old TOKO’S Building on the corner Authentic Thai & Chinese Cuisine – Open for breakfast, lunch & dinner
Dongara Hotel: 99271023 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: VOTED NO 1 ON TRIP ADVISER…… 0405 400 496 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.
Southerly’s Tavern: with its family-friendly environment and beautiful outdoor deck area overlooking the Port Denison Marina. The winner of W.A’s Best Steak Sandwich 2013 & voted Coral Coast’s “Best Country pub steak sandwich 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 & 2014”. Open 7 days a week from 11.30am, lunch served 12.00pm-2pm; dinner served 6.00pm- 8.30pm.
Port Store Take Away & Deli – 52 Point Leander Drive, Port Denison Located in Port Denison opposite on the scenic marina, the Port Store Take Away & Deli offers a quality meal whether you order fish and chips, wraps, burgers or anything else on their extensive takeaway menu.
Dongara Pizza & Cafe – 99 217 1389 Dine in, Take away best in the West…
BEAUTY THERAPY AND MASSAGE
Spoil your self and indulge – Under the Bay Open: Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm Thursday 9 am – 8 pm – Saturdays 9 am – 1 pm
Dongara Sport & Tackle at 25 Moreton Tce can help you out with your dive, fishing and tackle needs. They also hire out 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 & Pump Track: For the young at heart, there’s a skateboarding park at Surf Beach! Hard-to-beat skateboarding with the Indian Ocean as your backdrop. State of the art Pump Track is a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by riders “pumping”—generating momentum by up and down body movements, instead of pedalling or pushing.
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 6.30 pm, Movie starts at 7.45 pm •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