Donnelly River is in the forested heart of the southwest region of Western Australia, 200 kilometres south of Perth. On its banks sits Donnelly River Village, a small, historic mill town surrounded by karri forests. Donnelly River Cruises offers the perfect, relaxing way to explore the Donnelly River – from the karri to the coast, through the pristine D’Entrecasteaux National Park, stopping for a stroll on the sandy beach.
Donnelly River Cruises runs morning and afternoon cruises that meander along the lower 12 km section that features a diverse ecosystem only accessible by boat. The cruise takes visitors from the lush jarrah and karri forests, through the paperbark and wetlands, to the limestone cliffs and the majestic Southern Ocean. Cruising past cute holiday huts, guides share local history while pointing out the beautiful flora and native wildlife.
Head way out West and discover the beauty of WA’s wildflowers, natural formations and historic attractions. Flights take you in to Perth for 2 night stay with coach touring which includes visits to Geraldton, Dalwallinu, Hyden, Albany, Pemberton, Margaret River and Busselton. Cruise the Donnelly River, marvel at The Pinnacles and Wave Rock, enjoy the delights of Rottnest Island and be mesmerised by dreamtime legends in the Ngilgi Caves.
Donnelly River Cruises is a fascinating four-hour tour that originates in an area of open jarrah-marri forest. The cruise winds its way through the many diversified ecosystems of the Donnelly River. Other flora in this area includes bull banksia, she oak, prickly moses, zamia palm and the interestingly named snottygobble. The only access to this pristine area is by boat, which helps to maintain the delicate environment.
Donnelly River is one of the few catchments left in WA containing all the region's endemic freshwater fish including western minnow and western pygmy perch, black bream, and trout.
The river flows through a large area of tall karri forests before the scenery changes to swampy flats and sand dunes with paperbarks, Warren River cedar and a variety of banksias. At the mouth of the river on Donnelly River Cruises, you can take a short stroll along the soft white beach.
There’s a lot to explore in the historic milling town of Donnelly River, also known as Donnelly River Village. The town is surrounded by the magnificent giant karri trees, one of the world's tallest hardwoods and features the heritage listed and well-preserved old mill and the giant 70 metre King Karri.
Nearby One Tree Bridge is a giant felled karri tree that once provided access over the Donnelly River while The Four Aces are four majestic karri trees that are over 230 years old. During WA’s wildflower season, Donnelly River bursts with the colours of native wisteria, hovea, coral creeper, clematis, and kangaroo paw.
The mighty Bibbulmun Track passes through the centre of town and gives visitors the opportunity to walk a part of one of the world’s great long-distance trails. At over 1,000 kilometres, the track stretches from Kalamunda to Albany passing through some of WA’s most stunning scenery.
Donnelly River is the Traditional Land of the Pipelmen people of the Noongar nation. Nearby Wardandi people also visited this country. The Aboriginals who lived here had a profound knowledge of and connection to land, plants, animals, education, and trade.
Donnelly River was named in the 1830s by the Governor of Western Australia, James Stirling after Admiral Sir Ross Donnelly, a friend of Stirling's wife’s family.
The town was named after the river but was originally named Wheatley after the Wheatley family who operated the first mill there in 1912. It has since been more commonly referred to as Donnelly River or Donnelly River Village.
Some of the locals affectionately refer to their town as The Donnelly.
The Donnelly River flows 151 kilometres through national parks and state forests before reaching the Southern Ocean. During summer Donnelly Lake and Glengoran Pool offer picturesque swimming and picnic spots.
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