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.
Ask us about adding on an extra night or two of accommodation before or after your hike, or even a rest day in the middle, to give you more time to enjoy the delights of the world-renowned Margaret River region and its stellar food and wine offerings.
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 3km 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 tea-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: Breakfast / Lunch
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 tea-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: Breakfast / Lunch
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: Breakfast / Lunch
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: Breakfast / Lunch
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: Breakfast / Lunch
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: Breakfast / Lunch
Check out anytime before 10am – there is plenty to experience before you leave the Margaret River region including wineries, breweries, cafes, chocolatiers and farmer’s markets.
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is one of the most popular attractions in the Margaret River Region. Only 13km from the town of Dunsborough, the Lighthouse and cottages reveal the fascinating maritime history of the Cape region. From the viewing platform you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, Cape Naturaliste, the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and the beautiful Geographe Bay coastline.
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Yallingup means ‘place of love’ in the Wardandi Aboriginal language. This tiny coastal hamlet sits on the edge of the Indian Ocean and is famous for its world-class surfing. The viewing platforms all along the shoreline offer amazing. views. Yallingup’s award-winning wineries and boutique cellar doors dot the picturesque hillsides, with some even overlooking the ocean.
Tiny Gracetown is situated along the sweeping curve of Cowaramup Bay. This quiet coastal town of beach shacks offers good shallows for safe swimming. A small general store by the beach offers the essentials.
The towering pale-barked karri trees of the Boranup Forest are magnificent, with some reaching more than 60m in height. Pre-dominantly 120-year regrowth, the forest was originally milled during the late 1800s timber boom. But it is still impressive and holds a special place in the hearts of many locals and visitors alike. The area is also well known for its wildflowers and orchids that colour the forest floor in spring.
Stunning Hamelin Bay is a vast expanse of bright white sand and turquoise waters, well known for the abundance of stingrays that frequent the shallows.
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse sits at the tip of a spectacular peninsula where the Southern and Indian Ocean meet. The historic lighthouse is mainland Australia’s tallest lighthouse and is a must-see attraction. It’s also one of the best land-based vantage points for spotting whales (May to September).
- 7 days self-guided walking supported by RAW Travel’s navigation app including route map, emergency contacts, weather and other helpful information. Our free app easily helps you find your way by showing where you are in real time.
- 7 nights comfortable accommodation with the friendliest customer focused team in Margaret River
- 7 breakfasts with local and seasonal produce including bread, yoghurt, coffee, butter and jams
- 7 packed hikers lunches
- Private daily vehicle transfers to / from the trailhead
- Pre-trip planning, guidance and support from our experienced team
- Emergency Personal Locator Beacon (for the duration of the trip)
- Lighthouse entrance fees (Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse $5pp + Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse $6pp)
- Travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Alcoholic beverages
- Single room supplement and solo traveller surcharges – please enquire
- 2-way daily track transfers (one-way transfers are included)
- Ask us about adding on an extra night or two of 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 a 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 destination experts if you would like to include this. Additional cost applies.
To/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.
Western Australia’s Cape to Cape Track is legendary! We promise once you finish this walk you will forget every bit of sand that inadvertently made its way into your boots! Find out everything you need to know in our free destination guide.
Wonderful walk. Enjoyed the scenery and accommodation in Margaret River – delightful place and hosts. Breakfasts were excellent.
Cathie Cohn, Blackburn (VIC) – October 2023
An amazing walk with spectacular scenery. It should be on everyone’s bucket list! The hosts were fantastic. Very knowledgeable and friendly.
Rick Madden, Port Macquarie (NSW) – September 2023
A fantastic adventure! The challenge of completing each day and enjoying the sights and sounds. Margaret River guest house were fantastic. Lisa and Kieran could not do enough for us.
Craig Stevens, Hope Island (QLD) – September 2023
Wonderful and challenging at the same time. Loved the beautiful colours of the coastline and being amongst the wildflowers. Being at one with nature and your own thoughts is always a great mix. The breakfasts made by Kieran at the guesthouse were amazing and Lisa was a fantastic host.
Tina Madden, Port Macquarie (NSW) - September 2023
Great trip and well organised. Very scenic location and great wildflowers in springtime.
Kristine Andrew, Albert Park (VIC) - September 2023
Exhilarating and uplifting experience. Enjoyed the stunning landscape and flora, isolation and challenge – we are proud of our tenacity and stamina! Accommodation in Margaret River was excellent. The people we dealt with on the trip (hotel staff, driver, caterers) were helpful, respectful, organised and timely.
Phil & Di Goodison, Wynnum (QLD) - April 2023
I have travelled with RAW Travel twice now on self-guided hikes and have come away from both experiences feeling refreshed, inspired and hungry for the next challenge. The RAW 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.
The Cape to Cape walk is a great concept, very achievable and most satisfying when completed.
Australia – Self Guided Walks
Cape to Cape Track – Self Guided Highlights
- Dramatic granite outcrops and pristine ocean sea-scapes
- Astounding variety of flora including seasonal spider-orchids
- Towering Karri trees
- Stunning scenery and coastal walking
Cape to Cape Track
Cape to Cape Track with Meelup Trail
- Extended trip that starts with the beautiful Meelup Trail and includes a rest day
- Gorgeous coastal landscapes and seascapes
- Abundant endemic plants including peppermint, boronia and lemon-scented myrtle
- Lovely accommodation in Yallingup / Dunsborough, Margaret River and Augusta
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