Cape to Cape Track
Experience the wild coastal beauty, ancient granite landscapes and towering Karri forests of the magnificent Margaret River region
The gorgeous Cape to Cape Track embraces the beautiful West Australian coastline following the protected Ngari Capes Marine Park before diverting inland through the spectacular Boranup Karri forest to finish at mainland Australia’s tallest lighthouse.
The 135km trail is usually walked from north to south following the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. The ridge has a fascinating geology including soft Tamala Limestone that over millions of years has formed a massive network of caves, cliffs and shelves. This landform combined with dramatic outcrops of ancient granite rocks defines the trail creating a spectacular showcase of natural beauty.
As awesome as the Cape to Cape Track is, it is not to be underestimated. A hike like this demands respect and preparation. That’s where we come in! We are self-guided, long-distance walking experts. For more than 20 years we have been operating walking trips all around the world, including right here in Australia. We know you just want to get out there – to train and hit the trails – not be stuck trawling through endless website pages and blogs to piece it all together. We’ve walked this trail many times and have sifted through the overwhelming amount of information available to compile the ultimate guide with the best advice so that you can safely and successfully undertake this hike.
Get ready for
- Dramatic granite outcrops and stunning coastal scenery
- A forest of towering Karri trees – some of the tallest trees in the world
- Walking along pristine white beaches
- Migrating humpback whales (between May and December)
- Playful dolphins sharing waves with the surfers
- Swimming at Injidup natural spa
- A fun photo opportunity straddling the imaginary line separating the Southern and Indian Oceans at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
Cape to Cape Track
The average time taken to walk the Cape to Cape Track is 7 days but this can also be completed with a 6 days option, with a few different campsites and some longer days. Walkers travelling north to south will complete their journey at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. There is also an unofficial finish point as you walk under the Leeuwin Waterwheel, which makes for a great photo opportunity.
There are plenty of side trips and loop walks to do in the area including the 14.8km Meelup Trail from Dunsborough to the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. Talk to our staff if you would like to add this 1-day extension to the beginning of your Cape to Cape Track walk.
Also allow a few days to explore the stunning Margaret River region. Keep active by exploring forest trails by foot or mountain bike, go surfing, kayaking or caving. Enjoy the eclectic lifestyle – drink world-renowned premium wines at boutique vineyards and eat fabulous local fare at charming restaurants and cafes.
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to Yallingup: 14km/4–6 hours plus any side trips
Yallingup to Moses Rock Campsite: 20km/5–6.5 hours plus any side trips
Moses Rock Campsite to Ellensbrook Campsite: 21.5km/5–7 hours plus any side trips
Prevelly Caravan Park: 13km/3.5–4.5 hours
Prevelly Caravan Park to Conto Campsite: 18.5km/4.5–6 hours
Conto Campsite to Hamelin Bay Caravan Park: 22.5km/5–7.5 hours plus any side trips
Hamelin Bay Jetty
Hamelin Bay Caravan Park to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse 27km/6.5–9 hours
Lighthouse if open
Explore the Cape to Cape
Duration: 5 -7 days
Route type: Linear trail; walked from north to south
Start: Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
End: Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
Walk in reverse: Yes
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.
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.
On the trail
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 12,000 different plant species. And 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 the campsites are easy to find and well maintained. The path never diverts far from the stunning Indian Ocean where you can enjoy white sandy beaches and fabulous swimming. Not to mention for the most part the walk falls within the world-renowned Margaret River wine-growing region.
- Our detailed guide to hiking the Cape to Cape track – contains all the essential information you need to know in advance
- 7 days worth of food for your adventure; breakfast, lunch and dinner each day – delivered straight to your home
- Our own range of Lightweight, highly nutritious meals that are locally sourced, delicious and easy to carry & cook ( freeze dried and dehydrated)
- Our ‘state of the art’ Navigation app to guide you on the track; showing huts, campsites and all points of Interest along the way
- Delivery to your door* of our ‘Adventure in a box’ food parcel
- Our ‘Get fit for hiking’ e-guide for backpacking adventures
- 10% GST included
* Additional $35 delivery charge for locations in NT, WA and Northern Queensland
- Transfers from Dunborough to Cape Naturaliste
- Transfers from Cape Leeuwin to Augusta
- Any equipment needed
- Bookings and fees for 3 x campsites at Hamelin Bay & Prevelly Caravan Parks, Conto Campsite
Our essential information guides give you everything you need to know – and none of the information you don’t – to prepare well for one of these hikes. We cover off all transport and transfers with contacts, full equipment lists tailored to each walk, and safety factors to consider that can be unique to each track. We give you the information you need to know about water and where the best accommodation is before and after your trip, plus overviews of Aboriginal & European history and wildlife you can expect to encounter.
It saves countless hours of trawling through websites, guidebooks and forums to get to the essential information you need to know, so you don’t forget to factor in anything for your adventure.
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 campsite/ hut and what facilities are available there so you don’t need to carry our trail guide. 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.
Need to Know
Independent adventures place you at the centre of the experience, giving you the confidence to be a self-reliant walker on the trail. We take care of the research needed and give you all the essential information relating to the trip ( a task that seasoned walkers can tell you often takes many hours to get the correct information) so you can be thoroughly prepared and confident that you have everything you need for your adventure. We give you all the contacts & details to nearby transportation, accommodation and hire services, highlight any risks to be aware of and how to mitigate them.
The food prep is a major hassle of many hikers trips and we solve that for you. We prepare all the food that you need for your trip, all pre-measured and dehydrated / freeze dried to take away the weight but keep the freshness. Our meals are reviewed by Nutritionists to provide the right daily nutrition and energy for your demands of the walk. And our ingredients are prepared from the best local ingredients here on the Mornington Peninsula, cooked to order and freeze dried fresh – not sitting on a shelf for years at a time!
Once you arrive at the trail it’s all over to you the adventure begins! You are free and independent to create your own experience the way you want it. We provide you with an app to help you navigate in real time on the trail and give you the campsite locations and points of interest but you are completely autonomous & self – supporting on the walk. These trips are best suited to people who relish that sense of liberation and freedom that comes with being self-reliant and don’t need the back up of a leader or group travel. Independent Adventures are different from our other self – guided walking trips as there are no briefings, transfers or local support from RAW Travel staff. It’s just you and nature out on the trail!
As awesome as the Cape to Cape Track is, it is not to be underestimated. A hike like this demands respect and preparation.
Make sure you incorporate some beach walking into your training. The Cape to Cape Track has long sections of beach walking that can be particularly challenging especially if the sand is soft underfoot. Walkers may find they experience blisters for the first time as feet tend to shift in footwear when walking on a surface that gives way.
Where you can’t borrow equipment consider how much you think you might use an item before you buy it. If you can see yourself being a regular hiker in future then it’s worth investing in good equipment that will last you for many, many years to come. Otherwise renting gear for your trip may be your best option and sometimes a combination of both: buy a good jacket or stove, but rent an PLB and tent.
If you are travelling to Western Australia with the main purpose of hiking the Cape to Cape Track, we recommend you fly into Perth, take a bus to Dunsborough, a taxi transfer to the trailhead, do the walk, taxi transfer to Augusta, then bus to Perth and fly home from there.
Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia service Western Australia, with the main airport located in Perth.
Check all airlines when making your bookings – you may be surprised with the options available.
It is important to book your transport before you start your walk. The Cape to Cape Track starts at the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and finishes at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. There is no direct public transport to the trail. The easiest way to get to Cape Naturaliste is to take public transport from Perth to Dunsborough then private taxi to the trailhead. If you are adding in the Meelup Trail then Dunsborough is your starting point.
If you live or are driving in Western Australia your car can be left while you are walking the track at the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse car park compound. Please ring them on (08) 9755 3955 well in advance of your walk to make arrangements. Car pick-up and drop-off is only available during opening hours. You will need to take transport from Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse back to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse at the end of your walk. There are no current arrangements available to leave cars at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. See our links on ‘transfers’ in the earlier section.
Four free Cape to Cape Track campsites are intermittently spaced along the trail: Mount Duckworth, Moses, Ellensbrook and Deepdene. When used in conjunction with existing caravan parks and campgrounds it is possible to camp along the entire Cape to Cape trail. Facilities at the free campsites are basic and include a composting toilet, rainwater tank and picnic tables with seating. There is no need to book but space is limited – groups of 12+ are encouraged to use private camping facilities.
Bookings need to be made and fees apply for 3 x campsites at Hamelin Bay & Prevelly Caravan Parks, Conto Campsite
Please note there are no shelters at any of the campsites so a tent must be carried.
Hazards to be aware of include falling rocks, slippery surfaces, cliff edges, unstable surfaces that can give way underfoot, falling tree limbs , storm damage and in the coastal sections, tidal surges, large waves, currents and strong winds can be a factor.
It is possible to walk the track year-round but you will encounter less extreme weather patterns if you avoid the wet winter months or extreme summer temperatures.
The best time to walk the track is autumn from late March to late May and spring from late August to late November.
Social and environmental
All our adventures are fully carbon offset so that you know your travel has minimal impacts. Hiking itself is a low impact activity but we offset the cost of all our office operations and food production as well, so you can be satisfied that you have chosen a form of travel that is both good for you and good for the planet. Each year we also plant trees on behalf of every customer who has travelled with us, aiming to build towards a carbon positive effect with our operations.
As a B-Corp a focus on local community is an important part of who we are. We are committed to buying locally and source our produce from growers here on the Mornington Peninsula. We care about people in our community and for every meal pack you buy with us we donate a meal to a homeless support charity, to spread some love and share good food with those who need it most.
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