Cape to Cape Track
The gorgeous Cape to Cape Track embraces the beautiful West Australian coastline from Cape Naturaliste lighthouse to Cape Leeuwin lighthouse following the protected Ngari Capes Marine Park. Scenic coastal trails meander inland through the spectacular Boranup Karri forest before finishing with stretches of beach-walking along pristine white sand and paths of pretty coastal heath.
The 135km track is usually walked from north to south following the glorious Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. The ridge has a fascinating geology including soft Tamala Limestone which over millions of years has formed a massive network of caves, cliffs and coastal shelves. This landform combined with dramatic outcrops of ancient granite rocky outcrops defines the trail to create a spectacular showcase of natural beauty.
The South West region of Western Australia, including the Cape to Cape Track, is nestled within a global biodiversity hotspot. The entire area stretching from Shark Bay to Esperance is home to approximately 8,000 different plant species. Nearly 80% of these plants are endemic to the area and found nowhere else in the world – which makes this walk very special.
The diverse landscape combined with the fascinating flora and fauna including native orchids such as fairy, snail, donkey and spider make this walk a joy. The trail is well sign-posted and perfect for self-guided hikers. The path never diverts too far from the stunning Indian Ocean where you can enjoy white sandy beaches and fabulous swimming. Not to mention the walk falls within the world-renowned Margaret River premium wine growing region.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Autumn 2022 departures – In December 2021, a large bushfire swept through the Boranup Forest in the Margaret River region, from Redgate Road in the north to Deepdene Campground in the south, affecting two day sections of the Cape to Cape Walk. This has temporarily closed approximately 38km of the Track. Work has been progressing on re-opening the track and restoring signage, clearing trees that may pose an obstacle or danger to walkers but is not expected to be completed in time for for Autumn. Along with our local suppliers we have been monitoring the continued and updated information provided to us by the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW), who determine the safety and suitability of when this section of the Cape to Cape can be re-opened. As we enter the March – May walking season alternative arrangements will be made for skipping this section of trail , days 5 & 6 of this itinerary.
get ready for
- Discover dramatic granite outcrops
- Savour stunning scenery and coastal trails
- Escape to a hidden waterfall. Relax with a dip at Injidup natural spa
- Comfortable accommodation in the town of Margaret River
- Be wowed by the variety of flora including seasonal spider-orchids
- Embrace the meditative rhythm of walking long pristine beaches
- Walk among towering Karri trees – some of the tallest trees in the world
Enjoy the freedom to explore at your own pace as you begin your self-guided Cape to Cape Track adventure from Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. If you have time, visit the lighthouse for sweeping views of the Indian Ocean and a perfect photo opportunity.
The first 3kms is an easy stroll on wheel-chair friendly tarmac – keep a lookout for wildflowers and enjoy the vast coastal views. Notice Sugarloaf Rock, an impressive distinctively-shaped granite rock just off the coast. Follow the Leeuwin-Naturaliste limestone ridge along coastal heath-lined paths before passing Mount Duckworth Campsite (the first of four basic campsites along the route) to follow the beach into Yallingup
Before setting off this morning there is usually a coffee caravan at Yallingup Beach car park if you fancy watching surfers and (hopefully) playful dolphins take on the world-famous surf break.
Savour the changing geology as you approach the enormous granite rocks towards Canal Rocks. These rocks formed between 1,000 and 530 million years ago – constant battering from waves has weakened the rock over time to form the distinctive channels.
Enjoy pleasant hiking for the remainder of the day as you follow the ridge past Injidup natural spa and beach. Weave your way through coastal tee-trees before a steady walk on 4WD tracks which descend onto the beach just before Quinninup Falls. The falls are hidden approximately 300m off the track but well worth a visit and swim if you’re inclined. A short sharp sand hill climb opens to flat heathland before finishing at Moses Rock.
Meals: B L
Look out for kangaroos on the ridge to your left-hand side as you begin today’s walk. Follow the track over limestone headlands to reach Wilyabrup Beach and a sometimes tricky creek crossing – exercise caution and cross slightly upstream away from ocean waves.
At the top of the cliff-top staircase catch your breath and take in the views as you look for abseilers. The climb is well rewarded with a beautiful seascape vista as the track meanders high above the Indian Ocean before dropping down to the beach below. From here the walk makes its way through lovely coastal vegetation with seasonal wildflowers and fascinating granite outcrops. Enter a pretty tee-tree thicket before a rocky scramble down and around the point to tiny Gracetown nestled around beautiful Cowaramup Bay where you can relax and enjoy a swim.
Meals: B L
Enjoy every step you take as the path hugs the coastline before meandering inland to historic Ellensbrook Homestead, the home of early settlers Ellen and Alfred Bussell. From here the trail moves past Meekadarabee Falls, a significant Aboriginal site which according to DPaW means ‘bathing place of the moon’.
There are a couple of steep hills to climb before you can enjoy good views from the top of the ridge. Thick vegetation lines the trail on either side enveloping you as you walk. It is wonderfully picturesque especially when pink pimelea and other flowering plants are blooming. Soon you drop onto Kilcarnup Beach which is home to numerous plovers, oyster-catchers and other shorebirds. The sand is usually firm and offers an opportunity to shed your hiking boots if bare-foot beach walking is your preference.
From here it is a short walk across Cape Mentelle to Margaret River mouth where you will need to assess the best place to cross the river before finishing with a short uphill walk to Wallcliffe Rd.
Meals: B L
The longest section of the Cape to Cape Track begins among bushland on unused 4WD tracks to descend 300+ steps to sheltered Boodjidup Valley. Consider taking morning tea among the Arum lilies – an invasive but nonetheless pretty weed from South Africa. The sheltered path exits onto the coast which you follow until Redgate Beach famous for a daring rescue of shipwreck survivors by local Aboriginal man Sam Isaacs and Grace Bussell, 16 year-old daughter of Ellen and Alfred Bussell mentioned previously.
There are more stunning views as you climb to the top of the ridge and follow the pathway to Bob’s Hollow. The section from Bob’s Hollow to Contos Campground is arguably the most spectacular of the entire walk – make sure you savour the incredible turquoise seascape. The day finishes among the magnificent Boranup Karri forest where you can look for seasonal orchids and forest-loving fungi.
Meals: B L
Embrace the change in vegetation while marvelling at the magnificence of the world’s third tallest tree. Feel your connection with nature, listen for birdsong but also to the silence of the karri forest – the Japanese call it ‘forest bathing’ and it’s more important than ever we allow ourselves time and space to immerse ourselves in it.
Before too long you will be on beautiful Boranup Beach where the 7km walk will either delight or dismay you. Whatever your state of mind, we suggest you use this time to let your thoughts drift and enjoy the mediative rhythm of your steps. Treat yourself to a quick swim in the crystal clear waters of Hamelin Bay, where you may be lucky enough to see their famous resident stingrays, before a final push past the quirky Foul Bay lighthouse to Cosy Corner.
Meals: B L
The reward for your efforts on the Cape to Cape Track slowly begins to reveal itself on your last day. The trail starts with a fascinating walk on an ocean-hugging limestone platform. The rocky shelf consists of a series of small blowholes which surprise and delight especially if the ocean swell is conducive to making them ‘blow’! The excitement of seeing your first glimpse of the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse as a tiny speck drives you onwards along one of the longest beach sections of the walk. Immerse yourself in the beauty of one of long-distance hiking’s most beautiful final sections. Amble the last few kilometres of the glorious Leeuwin-Naturaliste ridge embraced by low growing coastal heath. Reach the historic water wheel, and unofficial finish of the Cape to Cape Track with a woop woop or high-five! Then celebrate your official finish at the lighthouse where the magnificent Indian and Southern oceans meet.
Meals: B L
To and from your walk
If you do NOT have a car, your driver will transfer you to / from the start and end point of your walk each day. If you DO have a car, you can drive and park your car at the start or end point of each day’s walk. If you leave your car at the start point, your driver will meet you at the end of your walk at a designated agreed time and transfer you back to your car each day. If leaving your car at the end point, your driver will meet you each morning at the end point of that day’s walk and transfer you to the start of the trail. You can then drive yourself back to your accommodation at the end of your day’s walk.
Experience tells us leaving your car at the END point of each day’s walk is the most convenient as it saves time waiting for a pick-up, therefore allowing you more time to enjoy the area.
What You Get
- 7-days self-guided walking supported by RAW Travel’s new navigation app including route map, emergency contacts, weather and other helpful information. Our free app easily helps you find you way by showing where you are in real time
- 7-nights comfortable accommodation with the friendliest customer focussed team in Margaret River
- 7 breakfasts with local and seasonal produce including bread, yoghurt, coffee, butter and jams
- 7 packed lunches of wraps, sandwiches, rolls, fruit, muesli bars or trail mix (or similar)
- Private daily vehicle transfer from your accommodation to or from the trailhead
- Pre-trip planning, guidance and support from our experienced team
- Emergency Personal Locator Beacon (for duration of trip)
- One-way daily transfer (an additional charge applies for 2 way transfer each day)
- Lighthouse entrance fees (Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse $5pp + Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse $6pp)
- Travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Alcoholic beverages
- Single room supplement & Solo Traveller surcharges – higher prices apply – please enquire
- Extra charge applies for 2 way daily track transfer
- Ask us about adding on an extra night or two accommodation before or after your hike, or even a rest day in the middle, to allow more time to explore Margaret River and surrounds.
- Upgraded accommodation is possible, subject to availability, with surcharge payable
You can extend your time on the trail walking the 14km Meelup Trail from Old Dunsborough to the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to meet the Cape to Cape Track. Talk to our sales staff about adding in this option. Additional cost applies.
I have travelled with RAW Travel twice now on self-guided hikes – the Nakasendo Way in Japan and the Cape to Cape Track in southwest WA. I have come away from both experiences feeling refreshed, inspired and hungry for the next challenge. The RAW Travel team have been exceptional, organising hassle-free adventures with an ethical mind and a respectful immersion into other cultures. Aside from the overwhelming sense of achievement at the end of each hike, I love that walking to and through a destination really makes me appreciate the amazing world we live in, its people, cultures and nature. Thanks, RAW Travel, for introducing me to the wonderful world of walking!
The Cape to Cape walk is a great concept, very achievable and most satisfying when completed.
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TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed