Pre-arrival day – Drive down from Perth and check into accommodation in Margaret River any time after 2pm. You can explore the region and local township, but please be back at the accommodation at 6pm for our welcome, followed by dinner.
Cape Naturaliste to Smiths Beach 17 kms
Kicking off your 7 day hiking adventure from the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse you will begin your journey gently by following the boardwalks downhill to Sugar Loaf Rock. The track then takes you up on top of coastal clifftops then out on to Three Bears Beach before heading up a steep sand dune and back along the ridge. The Track then runs along an extended section of carved limestone sea cliffs before reaching the coastal hamlet of Yallingup. After Yallingup pass over the granite headland at Torpedo Rock and on to the fabled Smiths Beach.
Smith’s Beach to Moses Rock 16km
You’ll start the day by following the coastline around Smith’s Beach to Canal Rocks then onto Wyadup and Injidup Beach. The coastline here is superb! The trail takes you on a short steep scramble up some rocks from Smith’s Beach to Canal Rocks Rd, which is short but oh so sweet and the views from the top are impeccable! Up to the Rotary Lookout and through the coastal shrubs to Wyadup Rocks and Injidup Beach. Sit under the melaleuca trees at Injidup and watch the waves crashing in. Hike along some 4wd tracks past Cape Clairaut you will eventually reach a beach section near Quinninup Falls then an almighty calf burning climb up the escalator sand dune! The climb will be worth the coastal clifftop views of Moses Rock at the top.
Moses Rock to Gracetown 16kms
The Track rises high over several large limestone headlands before flattening out on Wilyabrup Beach. A wonderfully constructed staircase then guides walkers up and onto the stunning sea cliffs of Wilyabrup Cliffs. After passing the cliffs, the track drops back down onto the beach, passing the famous, surfing breaks of Gallows and Guillotines. The coast then turns decidedly rocky as it weaves over picturesque granite boulders and finally into the pretty hamlet of Gracetown.
Gracetown to Prevelly 23km
Leaving Gracetown, you will pass the memorial from the 1996 limestone cliff collapse where a number of children and adults sadly lost their lives. Reading the memorial and learning about the tragedy is really moving. As you head away from Gracetown, you will have entered a desolate lunar landscape with limestone craters that morph into coastal scrubland. Before long you reach the Ellensbrook Homestead, which is a beautiful heritage listed home surrounded by National Park. The Cape to Cape walk trail leads you to an awesome grotto and the delightful Meekadarbee Falls then Ellensbrook campsite.
From the campsite, you’ll tackle a long slow hill which leads you to an undulating dirt track that takes you through scrubland with a series of switchbacks. Depending on the Margaret River sandbar will determine our fate for the afternoon, taking the Winter diversion and discovering parts of the Cape to Cape not many tackle, or continuing on to cross the Margaret River.
Prevelly to Boranup Forest 22km
Today we begin the hike walking through beautiful peppermint and jarrah forests and heading inland inland to the beautiful views over the plains before heading down the 365 log steps that lead you to a hidden oasis called Boodjidup Creek and the Frank Mouritz Bridge. Heading along the track through some sand dunes (watch out for emus through this section) will lead you to the very sloped, narrow and boggy Boodjidup Beach! They say that no 1km of the Cape to Cape is like the last – they sure got that right!
From Red Gate beach you re-enter the Melaleuca trees and hike along the ridge until you get to the famous chain! After climbing down the chain you’ll be greeted by one of the best sections of the Cape to Cape: the scenic Bobs Hollow and Contos Cliffs. Enjoy the views of the turquoise waters as you traverse along the top of the cliffs to Contos campground. From here you will enter the majestic Karri filled Boranup Forest, home to the world’s third tallest hardwood. The solid track under foot and afternoon shade of the karri trees make it all seem easy!
Boranup Forest to Cosy Corner 21km
Today we start in the thick of the Boranup Forest, home to an array of wildlife and wildflowers! Head south, back into the coastal heath, and down onto the stunningly beautiful Boranup Beach.
7kms of sand walking along the pristine white beach and crystal clear waters will lead you to Hamelin Bay, home to some of the Cape’s friendliest stingrays who love a feed of freshly caught fish! Continue on past the many islands and headlands of Foul Bay before a narrow trail takes you through peppermint trees along an undulating track that leads to Foul bay Lighthouse and Cosy Corner.
Cosy Corner to Cape Leeuwin 20.5km
Cosy Corner is definitely a highlight of the entire track – you have to navigate along rocky ledges and around blowholes which makes it such an exciting section! Listening to the sound the waves make against the rocks underneath you is really awesome and don’t be surprised if you get sea sprayed! After passing Elephant Rock you’ll find yourself on Deepdene Beach – a 6km beach which can be boggy at times. You will leave the beach and climb up the sand dunes and away from the sound of the waves crashing.
Narrow single tracks lead you to Skippy Rock and from here there is only 3kms remaining of your amazing adventure! As you reach Quarry Bay you have one last small beach section then over some rocks and up to the car park. And there she is – the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse! You have just hiked 124kms from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin – Congratulations! Tonight we celebrate in style!
Pack up and head back to the city, refreshed and ready to tackle the new week with plenty of amazing memories and stories to tell!
Daily Distance: 124km, walking 16-22 km / day for 7 days