length

10 Days

difficulty

Moderate - Challenging

trip cost

From $2650 pp

Icons / stylised / time Created with Sketch.

length

10 Days

Icons / stylised / difficulty Created with Sketch.

difficulty

Moderate - Challenging

Icons / stylised /cost Created with Sketch.

trip cost

From $2650 pp

Self-Guided Trip

our walk experts

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • Map
  • Itinerary
  • Getting there
  • Inclusions
  • Walking app
  • Exclusive guide
  • Similar walks

Overview

Cape to Cape with Meelup Trail

Western Australia’s world-famous Cape to Cape Track will reward you with some of the most varied trekking in the world in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. Our unique extended 10-day trip includes the stunning 14km Meelup Trail from Old Dunsborough to the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and is a great way to begin your Cape to Cape adventure.

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.

There are treasures aplenty here in the south west region, so take your time to explore and enjoy. We’ve included a rest day, which you could use to hop on a food and wine tour – visit secret cellar doors and meet passionate local producers. Choosing where to eat and drink is an adventure in itself! We can easily organise a driver so you can relax and switch into holiday mode.

You’ll also enjoy a wonderful variety of accommodation. We’ve selected lovely places in the heart of Margaret River town, in laidback and secluded Yallingup in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, in the relaxed coastal town of Dunsborough, and in the beautiful haven of Augusta on the tip of rugged Cape Leeuwin.

Please note: due to accommodation limitations in Dunsborough / Yallingup we recommend you begin your walk on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday to avoid disappointment.

Cape to cape track

Highlights

get ready for

  • Delight in the raw coastal beauty of Western Australia’s south west region
  • Take advantage of your proximity to some of Australia’s best premium vineyards
  • Be wowed by the abundance of endemic plants including peppermint, boronia and lemon-scented myrtle
  • Watch for dolphins, seals and seasonal whales from vantage points along the trail
  • Be awed by majestic towering 200 year old Karri trees in the Boranup Forest
  • Bask in the clear turquoise waters at stunning Meelup Beach, one of WA’s best loved swimming beaches

Map

Explore

Length: 150.5km 
Duration: 10 days  
Grade: 4
Route type: Linear trail; walked from north to south
Start: Old Dunsborough 
End: Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
Location: Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park
Closest towns: Dunsborough, Yallingup, Margaret River, Augusta

Yallingup is a tiny coastal hamlet famous for its world-class surfing and cool surfie vibe.

Gracetown is situated along the sweeping curve of Cowaramup Bay, this quiet coastal town of beach shacks is the halfway rest stop along the 123 kilometre Cape to Cape Track. It offers good shallows for safe swimming.

Boranup Forest – Be amazed by soaring Karri trees within Western Australia’s global biodiversity hotspot.

Hamelin Bay is presents a stunning beach of turquoise water, white sand and friendly stingray population who feed close to the shore.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse straddles both the Indian and Southern Oceans. Cape Leeuwin also is mainland Australia’s tallest lighthouse.

Itinerary

Daily Details

Day 1: OLD DUNSBOROUGH TO CAPE NATURALISTE LIGHTHOUSE (14.5km)

We recognise and acknowledge Wardandi people as the traditional owners of Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.

Drive to Cape Naturaliste lighthouse car park to transfer with your private driver to Old Dunsborough to begin your walk. If you are driving from Perth or elsewhere, we recommend you start no later than 12.30pm to allow yourself enough time to comfortably walk back to your car.

The Meelup Trail introduces you to the gorgeous coastal scenery you will follow on your Cape to Cape adventure. There are spectacular granite outcrops along the mostly flat route including the picturesque Castle Rock. Little side trails beckon and entice you to visit secluded pristine white beaches but we suggest you wait until you reach Meelup Beach (look for dolphins who love to frequent this bay) or Bunker Bay for your first dip in the delights of the Indian Ocean.

The trail begins to climb and becomes a little rugged as you approach Cape Naturaliste with some gorgeous rocky outcrops brimming with seasonal wildflowers. There is also a 2km beach walk just before Bunker Bay before you leave the coast – for a very small section you will be walking on a public road so watch for traffic. The path climbs over an uneven stretch of rocks before reaching Shelley Cove. There are shortcuts to the lighthouse but if you keep right there are great views from the platform where you should look for seals basking in the sun.

Accommodation: Dunsborough or Yallingup (dependent on availability)

Meals: L

DAY 2: CAPE NATURALISTE LIGHTHOUSE TO YALLINGUP (14KM)

The first 3km from the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse is an easy stroll on a wheel-chair friendly path – keep a lookout for wildflowers just after the registration point, making sure you also take in the vast coastal views. You can see Sugarloaf Rock, distinctively-shaped and more impressive than Castle Rock, just off the coast. If you have time it’s nice to divert from the path to the lookout to take in the dramatic seascape that helped shape this coastline.

Keep following 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. Linger on the beach and watch the talented local surfers take on the swell at Yallingup Main Break, the birthplace of surfing in the south west.

Accommodation: Dunsborough or Yallingup (dependent on availability)

Meals: B, L

Day 3: YALLINGUP TO MOSES ROCK (18KM)

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 break. 

Savour the changing geology as you approach the enormous granite rocks towards Canal Rocks (Winjee Sam). 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. You can divert from the path to a wooden boardwalk for a close up view of the canal itself. Please make sure you follow all safety signs in the area as the ocean can be dangerous and unpredictable with king waves not uncommon.

Enjoy pleasant hiking for the remainder of the day as you follow the ridge past Injidup natural spa. Weave your way through coastal tee-trees before a steady walk on 4WD tracks before descending onto the beach just before Quinninup Falls. The secluded falls are very well hidden approximately 300m off the track but worth a visit if you have the energy. A short sharp sand hill climb opens to flat heathland before finishing at Moses Rock.

Accommodation: Dunsborough or Yallingup (dependent on availability)

Meals: B, L

Day 4: MOSES ROCK TO GRACETOWN (16km)

In the mornings kangaroos like to congregate on the ridge to your left-hand side so keep watch 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. Your climb is well rewarded with a beautiful seascape vista as the track meanders high above the Indian Ocean before dropping down to the beach. From here the walk makes its way through lovely coastal vegetation with seasonal wildflowers among the 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, enjoy a swim or visit Gracie’s General Store for ice cream!

Accommodation: Margaret River

Meals: B, L

Day 5: GRACETOWN TO MARGARET RIVER MOUTH / WALLCLIFFE RD (20KM)

Enjoy every step you take as the path embraces the magnificent coastline before meandering inland to historic Ellensbrook Homestead, 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. 

Accommodation: Margaret River

Meals: B, L

Day 6: Rest day - Margaret River

A day to enjoy all that the Margaret River region has to offer including visiting local breweries, distilleries, wineries. Relish the many natural attractions including swimming, surfing, cave tours, snorkelling, or visit one of the many galleries or treat yourself to a wellness experience. 

Accommodation: Margaret River

Meals: B

Day 7: WALLCLIFFE RD TO BORANUP FOREST / HOOLEY RD (24KM)

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.

Accommodation: Margaret River

Meals: B, L

Day 8 : BORANUP FOREST TO COSY CORNER (21.5KM)

Notice the change in vegetation while marvelling at the magnificence of the world’s third tallest tree. Feel your connection with nature, listen to birdsong that fills the forest but also to the silence – the Japanese call it ‘forest bathing’ and we know it is immensely important to allow ourselves time and space to experience it. 

Soon you will begin your walk along beautiful Boranup Beach where the 7 km stretch of sand 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. If you have time take a quick dip in the crystal clear waters of Hamelin Bay, where you may be lucky enough to see their famous resident stingrays. After your break begin the final stretch along gorgeous wooded trails past the quirky Foul Bay lighthouse to Cosy Corner.

Accommodation: Augusta

Meals: B, L

Day 9: COSY CORNER TO CAPE LEEUWIN LIGHTHOUSE (21.5KM)

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 whoop whoop or high-five! Then celebrate your official finish at the lighthouse where the magnificent Indian and Southern oceans meet.

Accommodation: Augusta

Meals: B, L

Day 10: Depart Augusta

Check out anytime before 10am – there is plenty more to experience before you leave the Margaret River region including wineries, breweries, cafes, chocolatiers and farmer’s markets

Meals: B

Cape to Cape

Getting there

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.

Inclusions

What's included?

Included
  • Self-guided walking supported by RAW Travel’s navigation app – easily navigate along the trail
  • 3 nights’ accommodation in either Yallingup or Dunsborough (dependent on availability)
  • 2 nights’ motel style accommodation in the heart of Augusta
  • 4 nights comfortable en suite accommodation in Margaret River township
  • Delicious breakfasts using in season local produce including granola, jams, yoghurt and sourdough 
  • Fresh prepared packed lunch for walking days 
  • Private daily vehicle transfers from your accommodation to / from the trailhead – 1 transfer per day
  • Emergency Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) for the duration of your trip
  • Cape to Cape Track map 
  • ​​Carbon offset for your trip and a native tree planted on your behalf
Excluded
  • Single supplement
  • Travel insurance
  • Dinners
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Lighthouse entrance fees (Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse $5pp + Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse $6pp)
  • Transport to and from Perth 
  • 2-way daily track transfers (one-way transfers are included)
Add-ons
  • 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.
App

Walking app

Finding your way

Our unique RAW Travel walking app has been designed to help you navigate easily on the trail. Simply download your map with the link we send you and you’ll be able to follow your route with ease, showing your location in real-time without any internet connection needed. The app has many great features; it shows you weather forecasts localised for each of your overnight stops, detailed information on each overnight stop and where it’s located. There are important reminders, safety information, videos and emergency contact information for your route. It also has a unique audio feature that can tell you about places and points of interest as you approach them on the trail.

Cape to Cape Destination Guide

Exclusive guide

GET INSPIRED

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.

Download Now

Hikers, Cape to Cape Track
Cape to Cape Track

Customer Star Rating of 5   

Customer Testimonials

I have travelled with RAW Travel twice now on self-guided hikes – the Nakasendo Way in Japan and the Cape to Cape Track. 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. Thanks for introducing me to the wonderful world of walking!

Monica Antoniazzi

Customer Star Rating of 5   

Customer Testimonials

The Cape to Cape walk is a great concept, very achievable and most satisfying when completed.

Ian Dufty

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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

SELECT PREFERRED DATES

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