Let a local show you around their town for an insider’s guide to all the best bits of Dwellingup.
In 2001, Peter and Monique Tippett made a tree change from the northern Perth suburbs with their two young kids. Settling in Dwellingup in the Darling Ranges to train as fine furniture designers/makers, they never looked back. Fast forward to 2017, when they bought a rundown commercial/residential building on the town’s main street. Casting an artistic eye (Monique is also a visual and sculptural artist), they transformed it into Lost Eden Creative: an art gallery, artist residency and bespoke short-stay accommodation, Gallery House.
Have a relaxing stay at Lost Eden Creative’s Gallery House. (Image: Lost Eden Creative)
Showcasing a mix of established and emerging artists in curated monthly exhibitions, the dynamic exhibition space has become a focal point in the WA art scene. And as for the kids? You’ll find Pete and Mon’s daughter, Ebony, in the site’s side garden at Garden Eats, a food van in a horse float that serves up fresh vegan dishes and the best coffee in town. Here, they show us around town.
All about Dwellingup
‘Where trails meet’, Dwellingup is a 90-minute drive south of Perth in the Murray River region of Western Australia and one of the nine towns the long-distance Bibbulmun Track passes through.
Go on canoe adventures on the Murray River. (Image: Chad Gerber)
What’s it all about?
A charming old timber town flanked by forests of majestic jarrah trees, Dwellingup makes for a weekend country break ripe with outdoor adventures, heritage excursions, fresh local produce and nature-inspired creativity. Claiming the title of Western Australia’s Top Small Tourism Town in the 2021 GWN7 Top Tourism Town Awards, its allures are many: head to the 55,000-hectare Lane Poole Reserve for bushwalks and mountain bike trails through forested valleys and canoe adventures on the Murray River (‘dwellingupp’ is a Noongar word meaning ‘place near water’). And take a scenic trip back in time with the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway on one of three historical trains that run along former timber-industry tracks, before sampling the fruits of local orchards, checking out galleries and soaking in some country hospitality.
Ride a mountain bike through forested valleys. (Image: Tourism WA)
Pete & Mon’s Perfect Itinerary:
8:30 am – Garden leave
Rise and shine at Gallery House in the centre of town. Step out the door and grab a coffee at Garden Eats in the gallery garden.
Try fresh vegan dishes at Garden Eats. (Image: Lost Eden Creative)
9:00 am – Get pumped
Take a stroll through town and drop into Dwellingup Silver to browse its jewellery inspired by nature on your way to the new Dwellingup Trails and Visitor Centre. Let the kids loose on the bicycle pump track while you have a bite of brekkie at Waypoints Cafe.
10:00 am – Into the Forest
Hire a canoe or a mountain bike at Dwellingup Adventures next to the info centre and head down to Lane Poole Reserve and breathe in the forest air on the Murray River or get your heart racing on the world-class Murray Valley downhill trails; there’s one for everyone.
Hire a canoe and explore the iconic Lane Poole Reserve. (Image: Tourism WA)
12:30 pm – Gallery Graze
Back in Dwellingup, and via a stop at Crossroads Gallery, fuel up and feel good at Garden Eats beside the Lost Eden Creative Art Gallery. Ebony at Garden Eats will serve you the tastiest and healthiest food in town from her cute, refurbished horse float. Then exercise your mind in the gallery space, which holds monthly exhibitions by established and emerging contemporary West Australian artists.
Ebony at Garden Eats will serve you the tastiest and healthiest food in town. (Image: Lost Eden Creative)
2:00 pm – All Aboard
Take a trip on the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway’s Steam Ranger, a two-hour journey through the forested hills outside Dwellingup.
Take a trip on the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway’s Steam Ranger.
4:00 pm – Cider and sunset
Head to Wine Tree Cidery on Holyoake Road. Enjoy a cheese board and farm-made cider on the timber verandah overlooking the orchard as the sun gets ready to set.
Enjoy a cheese board and farm-made cider with friends. (Image: Chad Gerber)
6:00 pm – Country hospitality
It’s the Dwellingup Hotel for dinner. Relax in the cosy country pub atmosphere. Meet some locals and/or fellow visitors to town. You better be hungry; the meals are hearty and generous.
8:00 pm – Day’s end
A minute’s stroll from the pub and you’re back at Gallery House. The outside fire pit deck is perfect for toasting marshmallows while talking about the day and planning for tomorrow, and all the things you didn’t get to do on this one fine day.