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Dongara Western Australia

Dongara and Port Denison are lovely twin towns on the mouth of River Irwin with a charming coastal atmosphere.

At a Glance

Part of the striking Coral Coast, Dongara and Port Denison are twin towns divided by the Irwin River, a magnificent landmark of the area. The town is best known for being the ‘Rock lobster capital of Australia’, to complement that, the town showcases a giant rock lobster artwork known as the Big Western Rock Lobster.

There are much for you to do in this tranquil town, you can go to the Port Denison Marina and relax there in true Aussie fashion. There are beautiful isolated beaches that you can enjoy with little crowd, you can also go fishing at the pristine waters as the town is known for its crayfish abundance. There are also good walking trails that will explode in colours during the spring season as the wildflower blooms.

Dongara Western Australia


Where is Dongara?


Dongara Port Denison is 351 kilometres north of Perth.

Dongara Port Denison is situated in the Coral Coast just a short distance away from Geraldton. These twin towns were located at the mouth of the Irwin River. The easiest way to get here is to hire a car from Perth Airport.

Dongara Western Australia


Things to see in Dongara


Port Denison Marina

After a swim at the nearby beaches, you can have a relaxing picnic at the Port Denison Marina, home to the rock lobster fishing fleet. There are barbeque facilities, playgrounds for children as well as shaded seatings available. There is also a good chippy down at the marina, a classic dish to eat near the sea.

Port Denison Marina Dongara

Image © Tourism Western Australia


Thungara Trails

Near Dongara are the Thungara Trails, there are six distinct walk trails that will suit people of different calibre. Just pick up a free guide from the Visitor Centre and off you go. These trails runs near the coast and the Irwin River, with picturesque sights of both the Indian Ocean and the river itself. There is also a boardwalk that would make for a great place to take good pictures.

Thungara Trails Dongara

Image © Tourism Western Australia


Big Western Rock Lobster

The Coral Coast is a region with an abundance of crayfish, also known as the rock lobster. Dongara prides itself as the ‘Rock lobster capital of Australia’. To commemorate this, a giant red rock lobster sculpture is made in the town. It makes for an instagram worthy attraction as tourists are allowed to climb on the sculpture to take pictures.

Big Western Rock Lobster Dongara

Image © Tourism Western Australia


Illegal Tender Rum Co

Illegal Tender Rum Co is one of the gem north of Perth. They are a boutique distillery that has won multiple international awards. Why go for import brands when you can partake of quality rum brewed by local WA people? A full informative tour of the factory is provide and free samplings are provided upon visit.

Illegal Tender Rum Co Dongara

Image © Tourism Western Australia


What's the weather like?


Dongara Port Denison has a warm and temperate Mediterranean climate where the summer is warm and dry and winter is mild with abundant rainfall. In Summer (December to February), the average maximum temperature is 30°C with an average minimum of 20°C. In Winter (June to August), the average maximum temperature is 21°C with an average minimum of 8°C.


Get to know Dongara' history


Dongara Port Denison is made out of two twin towns: Dongara and Port Denison. Dongara was settled around 1853 by a harbourmaster to look out for passing vessels. Prior to that, the area was initially inhabited by the Wattandee people. In fact, the name ‘Dongara’ came from the Wattandee ‘thungarra’, meaning ‘sea lion place’.

The area was ‘pioneered’ when Lieutenant George Grey’s expedition was stopped by a cyclone and having to travel 700 kilometres back to Perth by foot. They passed through the region and saw its potential as good pastoral land, naming the river ‘Irwin’. The Europeans continued to explore this area and eventually settled it permanently.

Over the year, the popularity of Dongara Port Denison as a holiday destination grew due to its beautiful beaches, perfect winter weather as well as the colourful wildflowers during spring. Today, these lovely twin coastal town are home to around 2700 people.