Trailblazers Toolkit: The Ultimate Guide to Hiking in Dwellingup for Beginners

Just over an hour’s drive southeast from Perth, Dwellingup offers a treasure trove of nature-inspired experiences and unique adventures. With old growth forests, flowing rivers, vibrant hiking and mountain-biking trails, and incredible camping spots, it’s the perfect place to reconnect with nature. 

WHY HIKING IN DWELLINGUP IS PERFECT FOR BEGINNERS

Hiking is a fantastic way to get outside, enjoy fresh air, and get some exercise. It’s engaging, fun, and a wonderful way to connect with nature. For beginners, we found Dwellingup’s diverse trails the perfect starting point. Whether hiking solo or in a group, the sense of accomplishment and the beautiful scenery make us want to hit the trails again and again.

GETTING STARTED: HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?

No matter your fitness level, there’s a trail for everyone in Dwellingup. If you’re new to hiking, it is best to start with shorter trails with easy terrain. Here at OTBT we list trails around Perth by distance, and have many under 5kms – perfect for beginners. We were surprised to learn that 5kms is only about 6,500 steps—less than the daily recommended 10,000!

Remember that hiking is about exploration and enjoying nature at our own pace. As your fitness improves, you can challenge yourself with longer and more difficult trails.

CHOOSING YOUR TRAIL

Selecting the right trail is crucial for an enjoyable hike. As beginners, we always opt for well-known, marked trails to avoid getting lost. Trail markers, often color and picture-coded, guide us and ensure we stay on track. At the trailhead, maps show the trails, their markers, and whether they are return or loop trails. For our first hike, we chose the well-marked Chuditch Trail in Lane Poole Reserve, which is also dog-friendly.

OUR GO-TO DWELLINGUP TRAILS

Marrinup Falls Walk Trail | Class 3
Approximately 1.4km, Marrinup Falls is picturesque all year round but comes alive in the winter months. There are some steep sections and it can get a little slippery so be careful!

Chuditch Walk Trail | Class 3
A moderate hike from Chuditch Campground to Nanga Mill, the 7km walk trail winds through the jarrah forest with impressive collection of grass trees along the way. Wide tracks with gentle gradients and the occasional hill, Chuditch is perfect for group hikes.

King Jarrah Walk Trail | Class 4
The King Jarrah Walk Trail is 18km and can take approximately 5 hours to complete. The trail follows the river for much of the way with the west side of the trail providing some steep sections to get that heart pumping!

Island Pool Walk Trail | Class 3
A steep looping 2.1km trail with magic views of the Murray Valley below, the decent winds down through forest and rocky outcrops. Finish with a swim to cool off.

Nanga Brook Walk Trail | Class 3
Choose either Nanga Townsite or Nanga Mill Campground as your starting point and follow the scenic 2km (one way) trail that meanders alongside Nanga Brook.

Bibbulmun Track | Class 4
Heading south along the Bibbulmun is a well-worn path and a great section for beginner hikers. Immerse yourself in the trees for a little forest bathing! Or head north following the Hotham Valley rail line– on the weekends keep your ears peeled for the Hotham Valley Forest Train and get ready to wave at the friendly passengers as they toot-toot past.

POW Camp Trail | Class 2
With information spread around the trail providing insight to life in the 1940’s as a Prisoner of War at the POW Camp at Marrinup, the route is a 4km looping trail with easy to medium gradients.

 
 
 

WHAT TO WEAR

You don’t need fancy gear to start hiking, but wearing the right clothing makes a big difference:

  • Light: Wear breathable clothing to stay cool.
  • Long: Long pants and sleeves protect against sunburn, scratches, and insect bites.
  • Layered: Layer your clothing to adjust to changing temperatures throughout the day.
  • Shoes & Socks: Choose snug, comfortable shoes. Trail runners or light hikers are ideal. Avoid bulky wool socks; opt for thin sock liners made for hiking.
 
ESSENTIAL GEAR
  • Backpack: A good backpack, like the Osprey Talon, is essential. It distributes weight evenly and can carry all your essentials comfortably. For day hikes, the Talon 22 is a great choice.
  • Water: Carry 1-2 liters of water for a half-day hike. A water bladder is convenient as it keeps your hands free and distributes weight evenly. If you do use a hydration bladder, we also recommend using a 1ltr alongside to ensure adequate hydration.
  • Food: Bring high-energy snacks like nut bars, fruit, protein bars, and trail mixes to keep your energy levels up.
  • First Aid Kit: A compact first aid kit is a must. Consider a Snake Bite First Aid Kit, especially in areas where snakes are common.
  • Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Protect yourself from the sun and insects. If you react badly to bites, add antihistamines to your first aid kit.
  • Zip Lock Bags: Handy for storing food, keeping items dry, and packing out used toilet paper.
  • Whistle: An emergency whistle can help you signal for help if needed. Osprey backpacks generally have a whistle built into the chest strap. Remember 3 blasts on the whistle means ‘Help’!
  • Toilet Paper: Pack a few sheets in a zip lock bag and remember to pack out used toilet paper to leave no trace.
 

SOLO VS. HIKING TOURS

Solo Hikes
Hiking by yourself can be incredibly rewarding. It allows for quiet contemplation, personal pace, and flexibility. Just be sure to:

  • Check the weather.
  • Choose familiar trails.
  • Tell someone your plans.
  • Carry essential gear.

Hiking Tours
Group hikes are excellent for socializing, learning from others, and tackling unfamiliar trails. Off The Beaten Track WA’s hiking tours or guided hikes are led by incredibly knowledgeable guides who have a knack for connecting you with nature, other hikers and yourself. You’ll leave feeling inspired, empowered and with a full heart and tummy as they also include delicious catering on all their experiences.

HIKING ETIQUETTE
  • Yield to uphill hikers.
  • Let faster hikers pass.
  • Say hello to fellow hikers.
  • Keep conversations low.
  • Use headphones for music.
  • Stay on the trail.
  • Pack out all rubbish.

SAFETY FIRST
  • Know the park and its conditions.
  • Inform someone of your plans.
  • Be bushfire aware.
 
 
 

AFTER YOUR HIKE

Adventure can be hungry work! One of our favourite things to do in Dwellingup after a hike is visit one of the fantastic cafes to grab a bite!

Blue Wren Café
A Dwellingup staple! With a full menu from fish and chips to freshly made sandwiches and everything in between, you will find a yummy way to refuel after a hike. The garden is pet friendly so your best fur-end can join you on all your adventures.

Waypoints Café
Situated within the Dwellingup Trails & Visitor Centre precinct, Waypoints café is in prime position to get you fully ready for your day on the trails. Here you will find nourishing smoothies, fresh juices and a Dwellingup trail themed menu to fuel you.

Garden Eats
Garden Eats pride themselves on tasty vegan and gluten free meals prepared with locally sourced, quality ingredients, served with super friendly service. Indulge in your food whilst sitting among the lush gardens located next to the impressive Lost Eden Art Gallery.

Longriders Café & Restaurant
Sit by the fire during the colder months or enjoy the balcony on a sunny day! A familiar aroma fills the air as you explore the menu. Choose from freshly prepared, stone-baked pizzas, mouth-watering burgers or indulge in delicious smoked meats from the specials menu.

 
Hiking in Dwellingup is a fantastic way to start our outdoor adventure journey. Whether we join a hiking experience with Off The Beaten Track WA, or explore on our own, the trails, scenery, and sense of accomplishment will keep us coming back. So, we gear up, follow the tips in this guide, and enjoy the beauty and adventure that Dwellingup has to offer.

Find your next adventure