Posted on July 14 2020
Cycling Destination Dunsborough, Western Australia.
A good amount of planning is always needed to undertake a cycle tour and as a result of travel restrictions, our plans for the near future are now to holiday at home and to "support local". The July school holidays have been busy but as they draw to a close the region will need ongoing support from visitors. Here we promote our home town of Dunsborough as cycling destination #1 and give you some tips from the locals.
To encourage you to plan, discover, explore and make awesome memories on a bike we will share our bucket list of cycling destinations over our next newsletters. We will focus on regional Australia and aim to encourage support of small, local businesses and to kick start your cycle tour planning. We are open to suggestions of destinations and links to cycle-friendly businesses to cover in future features. Go wander out yonder with your bicycle.
If you are planning for some bike touring further afield, when we are able to travel the world again, see our other blogs about places we have cycled and also our Guide to Planning a Bike Tour.
Destination #1: Wander out Yonder and Cycle Dunsborough and Region.
(If you are not in Western Australia consider visiting us when our borders open up).
Base yourselves in Dunsborough and Cycle Dunsborough, Busselton and the Margaret River Region. What better place to base yourselves for a week of adventure on and off the bike. We feel we live in such a delightful region (we call it paradise), we want to encourage people to visit this area and discover our favoured cycling routes. Spend some time and spend your travel budget in our region to support our local businesses.
Dunsborough caters for all with cycling opportunities – great access to the Meelup mountain bike trails, quiet roads for the roadies and cycle paths between Dunsborough and Busselton for families. Some rail trails further south and more mountain bike trails around Margaret River. The roadies tend to stay off Caves Road and Bussell Highway as we are spoilt with a web of sealed interconnecting country roads that are relatively quiet. Some regular early morning group rides do occur at various times. Visitors are welcome. Our Perth friends often comment how lucky we are and how we can just keep riding without stopping for traffic lights. That’s the country for you, the odd T-junction stop or more likely having to stop for a 'local' of some kind crossing the road.
We take great delight in cycling our quiet tree lined roads winding through farmlands, vineyards and natural bushland or taking in the ocean vistas along the coast (Meelup to Eagle Bay), to the Lighthouse on Cape Naturaliste, or venturing down to the surf at Yallingup, Injidup, Canal rocks and Smiths Beach (note the word 'down' - all these require an 'up' to get out of). The seasons bring different views and colours, and the presence of the 'locals' always adds to the experience. In spring a stop beside some bush will usually surprise with some wildflowers and native orchids. Endless trails offer a range of bush riding for mountain bikers within the Meelup Trails but also in Yelverton National Park and the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. For families and those wanting a 'flat' ride the bike path to Busselton along the coast is a great option.
|Beautiful rollercoaster through Millbrook and Gunyulgup Valley.|
|Shelley Beach near Cape Naturaliste|
|Coastal ride Meelup to Eagle Bay. Look for whales at Point Piquet.|
|Lots of mountain bike options. Easy bush trails or single track challenges.|
There is a huge array of accommodation choices and of course the wineries, restaurants and coffee shops along with chocolate shops, bakeries, breweries and distilleries.
Connal Kit Dunsborough Cycling Jersey is a great take home reminder of your riding adventure in our region. Check it out in our online shop.
We acknowledge the Wadandi (Saltwater and Forest) people as the traditional owners of this region. While visiting, we ask that you walk softly, taking the time to listen to and care for Boodja (Country). Leave only your footprints and wheel tracks, and take away only your photos and happy memories.
We support our local businesses and especially those who ride with us.
Friends of ConnalKit offer many local options:
Food & Drinks:
Some excellent catering services are available for in house catering and dinner parties. Olsens Catering offer many options including their fun Epicuriosity dinner for something different for a group.
Coffee, Breakfast and lunch and some evenings in town try Artezen Café-Restaurant-Bar.
The all important coffee stops when out on the bike - there are many on offer but our favourites are:
Yallingup Coffee Roasting Company - great as a finishing stop in town after a long hard ride. Also with plenty of outside space with the newly opened Djiljit Mia Nature Play Park next door.
Commonage Coffee Co - great mid ride stop with a downhill finish to town. Located high on Commonage Road. Let them know we sent you. Check opening days - weekends mainly.
Gabriel Chocolate - a mid ride super food with real dark chocolate for superb hot chocolates and mochas along with other treats and a huge choice of chocolates.
Barnyard 1978 - another good mid ride stop for coffee, breakfast or lunch.
If the day has got to you and you need a cool treat the famous Simmos Ice Creamery is very close to town on Commonage Road.
A couple of cycling accessible wineries with varying food options are Clairault Streicker - access via Henry Road (Cafe/cellar door and vineyard picnics) and Domaine Naturaliste (cellar door and charcuterie and cheese boards).
If you want to pack a picnic make sure you add some tasty delights from Crunch Preserves and a loaf from Yallingup Wood Fired Bakery.
Venture on a longer road ride to Cowaramup and you will find a good choice of several coffee shops, a bakery and a bike shop. Cowaramup is also the start of the 23km mountain bike and walking trail - the Wadandi Track which will take you through to Witchcliffe, following the former Busselton to Flinders Bay Railway.
Galleries and Tours:A couple of very clever cyclists have developed two apps for the region which are definitely worth having on your phone when you are visiting. Go to your app store and look for these:
|App: Margaret River Find the Fun||App: Cape to Cape Track Guide|
An absolute must visit when in town is Christian Fletcher Gallery – a master landscape photographer whose ability to perfectly compose and capture light in his images creates stunning images of the region and around the world. Our mid week group rides leave from this gallery.
Just off Commonage Road in the LIA you'll find Corrynne's Natural Skincare.
On Caves Road (accessible from the cycle track Dunsborough to Busselton), just west of Chain Avenue a combination of natural honey and pottery comes together at Happs Pottery and Icon Honey. Jacquie Happ has kindly offered "Cyclists are welcome to have their water bottles topped up". Thanks Jacquie for this offer.
The whole region is host to an array of artisans with many beautiful galleries to visit. During the Margaret River Region Open Studios many more are accessible from their home studios. The long weekend in March hosts the renowned Sculpture by the Bay exhibition displayed along the Dunsborough foreshore with the small sculptures on display in Christian Fletcher's Gallery. A sculpture trail has been developed along the foreshore, being added to each year with the City of Busselton acquiring a piece from the Sculpture by The Bay event to install permanently.
Other talented local artists have added some quirky street art features around the town. See if you can find them all, some are featured in our gallery of pictures below.
Off the bike, when you need a rest, or want to celebrate a special day, you could try a wine tour or a scenic tour and a picnic with Kuste Kombi. Let Cam take you for a memorable ride in a 1960s Kombi Van.
If you need any signage for your business or property see Matt Rodier at Dunsborough Signs & Graphics.
Cycle to Busselton and walk the famous Busselton Jetty. Well formed cycle paths can take you on a loop through Vasse to Busselton along the Bypass then return along the coastal path to Dunsborough.
For Your Cycling Needs:
If you need any cycle clothing - check out the Connal Kit range here.
If you have any bicycle needs whilst in Dunsborough, pop in to see Graham and Lee at the Bike Shed.
The Dunsborough business Ride Local offers all-inclusive Tour Packages, Coaching and Premium Shuttle Services for both Road and Mountain Bike.
Guided local tours are offered by Richo from Bike Swim Hike Dunsborough
Discover the Meelup Mountain Bike Trails – head to the Dunsborough & Districts Country Club for information about accessing these trails. Also offers clubhouse facilities.
Dunsborough Ridge Retreat offers 4 retreat villas just 10 minutes out of Dunsborough fully self contained. Kelly and Kevin are both keen cyclists.
A little favourite AirBnb in Dunsborough is The Studio in Old Dunsborough with excellent access to mountain bike trails, roads and cycle paths and hosted by bike friendly hosts.
Accommodation is available in an assortment of resort style complexes or whole houses fully equipped and rented out through a collection of agencies. Low budget backpacker style accommodation through to luxury level. The options are so numerous we are not going to detail more.
Meet the Locals and Support Local:
If you are not familiar with this area and want to come and ride, we are happy to give some recommendations of quiet roads to ride or places to visit. Follow us on Instagram and you may get an inkling of some of our favourite roads and spots to visit. You can also check in at the Dunsborough Bike Shed to get all their hints and tips.
Many of these local businesses we have provided links to, have connections to members of our cycling community. We want to promote them. Amongst our numbers we have chefs, restauranteurs, coffee roasters, doctors, kombi tour operators, accountants, bike shop owners, natural skincare manufacturers, dietician, mechanics, accommodation providers, physiotherapists, sign writers, graphic artists, artists, potters, writers, photographers, engineers, brewers, IT professionals, app developers, builders, teachers, beekeepers, farmers, gardeners, pool services, irrigation specialists, City Councillors, wedding celebrants, architects, viticulturalists. If in town and you need any of these just ask a cyclist! We probably all know a good winemaker too!
|The locals are friendly - Join us at Yallingup Coffee.|
|These locals don't bother moving when we cycle past.|
|Friendly Dunsborough locals showing off their Dunsborough Cycling Jersey.|
|Some locals we just have to wait for!|
|Then there are just the plain cute locals.|
Cycling the South West:
A new cycling tour has emerged this year which looks exciting. As locals we have jumped at this opportunity of a supported cycling tour of the South West corner of our state and organised by locals. We have signed up for the Tour of WA (TOWA) from 6-11 October 2020. Roads we are all too familiar with in our home state but rarely ridden. 6 days of cycling Margaret River - Nannup; Nannup - Collie - Bridgetown; Bridgetown - Greenbushes - Donnelly - Manjimup; Manjimup - Nannup - Augusta; Augusta - Margaret River. A 6 day cycling adventure - A ride not a race. “Experience WA like never before”. 684 kms. 12 towns, on road support. Numbers are capped and it may have already booked out.
Other upcoming race events in this region are Seven (Australia’s Premier Gravel Race 26 September 2020) and Tour of Margaret River (The Ultimate Race for Teams 6-8 November 2020). Follow the same link as for TOWA.
We hope to see you all in Dunsborough. Feel free to send through other worthy cycling destinations for our ongoing bucket list. Please enjoy a few more local images in the gallery below.
Jen & Greg, July 2020.
Connal Kit Cycling Clothes, Dunsborough, Western Australia
|Dunsborough sunrise - best time to start your ride at The Family of Four.|
|Follow every rainbow, till you find your dream! (or get wet!).|
|Just another sunrise. Tricky - yes we face East in the West!|
|... Join the Pack|