Why This Coastal Town Is Perth’s Perfect Weekend Escape
Buckle your seat belt, sit back and relax. We’re taking you to Denmark. No, not the happy Scandinavian country, but the small beach town along the rainbow coast of Western Australia. Still happy, just less cold.
Denmark is a four and a half-hour drive, or an easy one hour flight from Perth. It’s located in the Great Southern region of Australia, known for its rugged coastlines, thick forests, and boutique wineries.
Here you can take a scenic drive through the rolling countryside, sip cool-climate wines among lush green vineyards, and walk along the top of tall karri trees all in one day. This part of Australia is the perfect place to disconnect from city life and to reconnect with nature. We’ll help make your time in Denmark worthwhile, here are the best places to eat, play and stay.
Where to go
Make the beach your first stop when you arrive in Denmark. After parking at William Bay National Park, find the short walking trail that guides you to Elephant Rocks for a secluded beach cove surrounded by tall (elephant-like) boulders. Then follow the signs to Greens Pool, a shallow bay that’s protected against the mighty Southern Ocean.
These stunning beaches are sprinkled with smooth granite boulders surrounded by a turquoise coloured ocean. Bring sturdy shoes for exploring the massive rocks and snorkel gear for swimming through the clear, shallow waters.
Denmark is called the rainbow coast because it’s one of six regions in the world that experience a wet winter and a dry summer climate. Kind of like the Meditteranean. This makes the Great Southern region of Australia the perfect environment for producing cool climate wines, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.
During a scenic drive through the rolling countryside, stop for a snack at Ducketts Mill Wines and Denmark Farmhouse Cheese. The enormous property is perched on a hill surrounded by a green vineyard and local dairy farm. Grab a spot on the patio and order ‘The Vineyard’ charcuterie board paired ‘Three Cabernets’ wine.
If you really want to experience what makes this part of Australia unique and magical, stop by the Valley of Giant Treetops Walk in Walpole National Park (about 50 kilometre west of Denmark). It’s a walkway situated 40 metres above the ground along the treetops of massive karri trees. It offers a different perspective of nature in a peaceful environment.
Where to dine
There’s nothing quite like an Aussie small-town bakery with its varieties of meat pies and fresh-baked bread. If your nose doesn’t lead you to Denmark Bakery, then its reputation for award-winning pies will. Stock up on a few different treats to snack on during your time in Denmark. There’s an adjoining Bakery Cafe where you can sit inside or outside and enjoy an extended menu.
Don’t skip Boston Brewing Co when you’re in Denmark. The relaxed, open-air environment is set in a vineyard complete with a playground for the little ones and shaded picnic tables for the adults. It’s the perfect place to unwind with an ice-cold brew and a woodfire pizza pie. A tasting paddle is the best way to try the local beer flavours. Don’t be bashful — add the Korean sticky fried pork belly and grilled eggplant to your order.
When it’s time for something a little more luxe, make a reservation at Pepper & Salt Restaurant at Forest Hill Winery. Chef Silas Masih is renowned as one of the best regional chefs in Western Australia. He designed an ever-evolving menu that delightfully showcases Denmark’s local and seasonal foods.
Each dish is made with fresh produce from the surrounding farms and cooked in toasted spices inspired by Silas’ Fijian-Indian heritage. Match your meal with wines from the connected winery. Be sure to reserve an outdoor table to enjoy the stunning views, relaxed ambience, and stellar flavours of Denmark.
Where to stay
If you’re travelling as a family or with a group of friends, consider Skyhouse Retreat in Denmark. It’s a funky type of accommodation that incorporates the surrounding nature into its rooms. The rooms are situated a few stories high in wooden cabins that blend in with the tall karri trees. If you’re thinking this sounds like a treehouse — you’re totally right. Decks adjoin every room, and the surrounding forest is just a few steps away.
If you’re travelling solo or with a partner, Aiyana Retreat is a relaxing and rejuvenating accommodation in Denmark. You can choose among four different luxury villas that are secluded and self-contained in a bush setting. Each chalet is eco-friendly, comfortable, and luxurious. The best part? There’s an onsite wellness centre for you to enjoy a massage or a private yoga session.
Wherever you stay in Denmark, you’re sure to be in a tranquil atmosphere that’s perfect for reconnecting with nature.
(Lead image: Salt & Pepper and Tourism Western Australia)
Published 08 January, 2020