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Dunsborough, Western Australia

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Beside the calm and clear waters of Geographe Bay, the pretty town of Dunsborough is a favourite "down south" family holiday destination. A short walk or scenic drive brings you to secluded coves and stunning coastal trails, with local award-winning wineries and breweries offering the perfect excuse for a lazy lunch. An easy 3 hour drive south from Perth brings you to the heart of Dunsborough and a short hop from some of Western Australia's best swimming beaches, including pretty little Meelup, the sweeping sands of Eagle Bay and the sheltered turquoise waters of Bunker Bay. Just a short distance off Dunsborough's coast, keen divers can take a snoop around one of the largest accessible dive wrecks in the southern hemisphere. At 113 metres long and home to an abundance of marine life, the former HMAS Swan ranks high on the diver wish list Australia-wide. From nearby Cape Naturalist Lighthouse, you can follow the trail of one of the most diverse walking treks on Earth, the Cape to Cape. If you'd prefer just to take a few vertical steps instead, climb the lighthouse for for 360 degree views of Geographe Bay - a top spot for watching whales cruise by on their annual migration and learning a little about the region's rich maritime history. Dunsborough itself was proclaimed as a town in 1877 and, until the mid-1950s, was no more than a few beach shacks. Today, it boasts a vibrant arts scene, with live music, widely-renowned art galleries and bustling summer markets. Just beyond the fringes of town, you'll come to the cellar doors of some of the Margaret River region's 100 plus wineries and the tasting rooms of award-winning boutique breweries. Here, you can savour fruit-intense chardonnays, rich semillons, robust cabernets, soft merlots and refreshing fine ales. Other decadent indulgences include locally made ice-creams, fudge and chocolate, not to mention plump juicy olives and rich fruity preserves. The choice of luxury accommodation is just as tempting, both in Dunsborough and nearby Yallingup, but there are also plenty of middle-range-to-budget options, from hotels and bed and breakfasts to caravan parks.

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