Navigation

Cape to Cape Track Northbound – Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturaliste

 

I first walked the Cape to Cape Track solo in 2002 walking in a southerly direction from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin. Having completed that solo walk of the Cape to Cape Track I returned to the Track in September 2009 leading a group from the Perth Bushwalkers Club to complete a northbound walk from Cape Leeuwin in the south to Cape Naturaliste, the northern trailhead.

Cape to Cape Track - Deepdene Beach

Cape to Cape Track – Deepdene Beach and Headwinds

Cape to Cape Track 2009 at EveryTrail

The Cape to Cape Track route as we walked it is outline in the map above. You can zoom in for more details. We started out from Perth busing down to Augusta and then out to Cape Leeuwin where we commenced the actual walk to the northern trailhead at Cape Naturaliste where we caught the Dunsborough taxi into Dunsborough.

Cape to Cape Track Northbound – Getting to the Cape Leeuwin Trailhead from Perth

Camping at Turner Caravan Park, Augusta prior to walking the Cape to Cape Track northbound

Camping at Turner Caravan Park, Augusta prior to walking the Cape to Cape Track northbound

Our little adventure on the Cape to Cape Track started on Saturday September 29, 2009 with a little bus trip south to Augusta on the South West Coach Lines non-stop service (bus change only) to Augusta. Not the best experience as the bus toilet was full, leaving a foul smell in the bus all the way to Busselton.  Frankly, pretty damn poor of South West Coach Lines to allow this to happen and I will probably not travel with them again if possible in light of this experience.

In Augusta we stayed at the Turner Caravan Park where we paid $12.00 each for a shared un-powered tent sites amongst trees. A very good caravan park in my view and one I have no hesitation in recommending.

Cape to Cape Track Northbound – Day 1: Cape Leeuwin to Deepdene Campsite

Perth Bushwalkers Crew on the Turner Campsite Bus heading out to the Cape Leeuwin Trailhead - Cape to Cape Track

Perth Bushwalkers Crew on the Turner Campsite Bus heading out to the Cape Leeuwin Trailhead – Cape to Cape Track

Our adventure on the Cape to Cape Track started proper on Sunday September 27, 2009. Thanks to the folks at Turner Caravan Park we were transported to the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse for the 8:30 AM start of the walk.  The cost was $5.00 per person. As it was, it turned out to be to early for the lighthouse shop which opens at 9:00 AM so we did the obligatory group photo and headed off full of good spirit, with Hamelin Bay our planned destination.

Perth Bushwalkers Group at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse - Cape to Cape Track Southern Trailhead

Perth Bushwalkers Group at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse – Cape to Cape Track Southern Trailhead

After about “five minutes” of walking we had to stop for the photo ritual at the petrified waterwheel, the southern trailhead landmark of the Cape to Cape Track. From what I can find out the wooden waterwheel was built in 1895 to supply fresh spring water to the lighthouse keepers’ cottages. The water came from a spring about 330 metres away in the marshlands near there.

Cape Leeuwin petrified waterwheel - Cape to Cape Track

Cape Leeuwin petrified waterwheel – Cape to Cape Track

From the waterwheel we worked our way along the coast a bit, passing beneath the limestone cliffs at Quarry Bay and finding interesting things on the beach.

Limestone cliffs at Quarry Bay - Cape to Cape Track

Limestone cliffs at Quarry Bay – Cape to Cape Track

"Someone's Dirty Ear" - Cape to Cape Track

“Someone’s Dirty Ear” – Cape to Cape Track

After Quarry Bay we head up along the single track of the Cape to Cape Track to the Track Registration Station. We of course signed ourselves in. This is important as it gives the Friends of the Cape to Cape Track and the Department of Environment and Conservation information on the usage of the Track.

Registration Station - Cape to Cape Track

Anne-marie at the registration station, Skippy Rock – Cape to Cape Track

Off the beach into the bush early on the Cape to Cape Track

Off the beach into the bush early on the Cape to Cape Track

Everyone was still jovial and in a good mood at this point, however once we hit Deepdene Beach, to the north of the Augusta Cliffs, it become clear that this was not going to be an easy 10 km of beach walking. Soft sand and a northerly wind put heed to that idea and once we reached Turner Brook, the decision was made to abort the day’s plans and to camp overnight at Deepdene Campsite.

Limestone formations - Augusta Cliffs - Cape to Cape Track

Limestone formations – Deepdene Beach – Cape to Cape Track

Limestone rock formations - Deepdene Beach - Cape to Cape Track

Limestone rock formations – Deepdene Beach – Cape to Cape Track

When I walked the Cape to Cape Track back in 2002 finding the exit off Deepdene Beach to the Deepdene Campsite was a bit of a hit and miss affair. Basically one had to count the blowouts heading south. Now the exist off Deepdene Beach is now easily found as the Track exit point gated and signed.

No missing the exit from Deepdene Beach to the Deepdene Campsite - Cape to Cape Track

No missing the exit from Deepdene Beach to the Deepdene Campsite – Cape to Cape Track

Cape to Cape Track Northbound – Day 2: Deepdene Campsite to Conto Campground – 32 km – Monday September 28, 2009

Exiting Deepdene Beach for the scramble into Hamelin Bay - Cape to Cape Track

Exiting Deepdene Beach for the scramble over into Cosy Corner Beach – Cape to Cape Track

Typical vegetation on the Cape to Cape Track north of Conto Campground

Typical vegetation on the Cape to Cape Track – Foul Bay

Limestone platforms - Cape to Cape Track

Limestone platforms – Cosy Corner – Cape to Cape Track

Looking north with Hamelin Island out to sea - Cape to Cape Track

Looking north with Hamelin Island out to sea – Cape to Cape Track

Coming down on to Redgate Beach - Cape to Cape Track

Coming down into Hamelin Bay – Cape to Cape Track

After heavy rain overnight, we packed up and headed off with the intention of walking through to Conto Campground, our planned Day 2 Cape to Cape Track camping site. This day’s walk was now 32 km instead of the original 22 km. After 10 km, we arrived at Hamelin Bay two members of the group felt that 32 km was pushing the limits for them and arranged for the Augusta Taxi to take them through to the Conto Campground. Four of us decided to continue the walk, with three of us taking the opportunity to reduce our pack loads for the day, getting tents and other gear taken by taxi to Conto.

Skippy - On the way to Boodjidup Brook - Cape to Cape Track

Skippy – On the way to Contos Campground – Cape to Cape Track

The balance of the walk to Conto Campground was quite good. Boranup Beach was a mix of soft and hard sand, and the balance was track walking via Point Road Campsite on to Conto Campground.

Kookaburras at Contos Campground - Cape to Cape Track

Kookaburras at Contos Campground – Cape to Cape Track

Cape to Cape Track Northbound – Day 3: Conto Campground to Ellensbrook Campsite – 36 km – Tuesday September 29, 2009

 

http://i0.wp.com/lh5.googleusercontent.com/-6g3LRUrOvN8/Tb_Osk_juwI/AAAAAAAAAC4/9YWwfdsuBZs/s800/IMG_0351.JPG?resize=560%2C420&ssl=1

Natalie leading the charge out of Contos Campground – Cape to Cape Track

This was to turn out to be our big day on the Cape to Cape Track. From Conto Campground to Bob’s Hollow and on to Redgate Beach we made good progress, even though the Track is fairly over grown.
Looking north over The Ledges - Cape to Cape Track

Looking north over The Ledges – Cape to Cape Track

Coming into Redgate Beach, Calgardup Brook was flowing so some off us to the boots off path to wading across. From there Redgate Beach was a hard slog along soft sand as expected.

Boots off - Calgardup Brook - Cape to Cape Track

Boots off – Calgardup Brook – Cape to Cape Track

 

slogging along Redgate Beach - Cape to Cape Track

Anne-marie slogging along Redgate Beach – Cape to Cape Track

Once we left the beach we followed Boodjidup Brook before the crossing on the bridge and then the “300” steps to the ride. From there we went into robot mode for the uninspiring section to Prevelly. 

Boodjidup Brook, Cape to Cape Track

Boodjidup Brook, Cape to Cape Track

At Prevelly we indulged at the General Store even though it was windy and freezing sitting outside.  After a consultation, we decided to not attempt a crossing of the Margaret River at the mouth, instead we backtracked to the Cape to Cape Track and continued north via the alternate route (Wallcliffe Road, Caves Road, Kilcarnup Road) which I estimate adds approximately three kilometres to the day, not the one kilometre suggested in the 3rd Edition of the Guidebook.

Note: Both the 3rd Edition of the Guidebook and the Cape to Cape Track map incorrectly show the Track exiting Caves Road to the north of Kilcarnup Road.  The Track actually follows Kilcarnup Road as it exists on the ground.  The alternate route is not signposted either.  Once we rejoined the main Track at Gnoocardup it was pretty straight forward, if not up and down walking to Ellensbrook Campsite.

Upon our arrival at Ellensbrook Campsite we found the water tank empty, but water is available about 500 metres north from the Ellen Brook and at Ellensbrook House (taps).

Knackered - Camping at Ellensbrook Campsite - Cape to Cape Track

Knackered – Camping at Ellensbrook Campsite – Cape to Cape Track

Camping at Ellensbrook Campsite - Cape to Cape Track

Rod camping at Ellensbrook Campsite – Cape to Cape Track

Day 4: Ellensbrook Campsite to Moses Rock Campsite – 20.5 km – Wednesday September 30, 2009

 

Meekadarrabee Falls, Cape to Cape Track

Meekadarrabee Falls, Cape to Cape Track

After another wet night, we headed off, first exploring around Meekadarrabee Falls and Ellensbrook House before moving on to Gracetown.
Ellensbrook House - Cape to Cape Track

Ellensbrook House – Cape to Cape Track

Gracetown may well be named after the heroine Grace Bussell, but it is “Grace” in name only.  A number of the group members commented on the unwelcome feeling we got coming into Gracetown and at the store where we felt that we where ripped off. This is in contrast to Prevelly where the people at the store where friendly and helpful. It was interesting for me, as nothing has changed in the past seven years since my last visit in 2002. This is the most negative place on the of the Cape to Cape Track. The Gracetown store is okay for maybe getting a feed (watch what you are charged) and supplementing supplies but not for a complete re-stock.  There is no public water supply at Gracetown so don’t expect a tap or three to refill water bottles.

Coming into and leaving Gracetown via the Cape to Cape Track is a hit and miss affair, with the Track being poorly marked at both South Point and North Point.  Is this another sign of the attitude of Gracetown towards walkers? This was probably the worse section for trail markers or rather a lack of them so it was good to get back into the “wilds” around Whaleback.

Whaleback, Cape to Cape Track

Whaleback, Cape to Cape Track

Willyabrup Cliffs Lookout Platform - Cape to Cape Track

Willyabrup Cliffs Lookout Platform – Cape to Cape Trac

Willyabrup Cliffs, Cape to Cape Track

Willyabrup Cliffs, Cape to Cape Track

To cap off the day, we had some difficulty finding a good crossing point at Willyabrup Brook due to the flow levels.  A bit of consultation took place before boots and clothes came off (some members) for the crossing.
Crossing Willyabrup Brook, Cape to Cape Track

Crossing Willyabrup Brook, Cape to Cape Track

 

Natalie and Georgina, Willyabrup Brook, Cape to Cape Track

Natalie and Georgina, Willyabrup Brook, Cape to Cape Track

 

 

Once we completed the crossing of the Willyabrup Brook it was a relatively short stretch before came into Moses Campsite, our last campsite on the Cape to Cape Track this journey.

Ralph, toilet block and water tank, Moses Campsite, Cape to Cape Track

Ralph, toilet block and water tank, Moses Campsite, Cape to Cape Track

Day 5: Moses Rock Campsie to Yallingup – 22 km – Thursday October 1, 2009

Tents amongst the thicket at Moses Campsite, Cape to Cape Track

Tents amongst the thicket at Moses Campsite, Cape to Cape Track

Our plan today had been to walk through to Mount Duckworth Campsite, but the day was wet and cold and feet where are hurting, so after Injidup Beach the decision was made to bail at Yallingup for the day.

Bridge over the boggy gully along the top of the cliffs south of Quininup Beach, Cape to Cape Track

Bridge over the boggy gully along the top of the cliffs south of Quininup Beach, Cape to Cape Track

When we arrived at the Yallingup Beach Holiday Park we confirmed that Dunsborough had a taxi service (meant we would only have 14 kilometres to walk instead of 24 kilometres) and we decided to enjoy the “luxury” of two cabins which where meant to hold four adults and two children each. The emphasis being on meant. The cost was $116.00 per cabin.  As it rained all night it was a good decision.

Day 6: Yallingup to Cape Naturaliste – 14 km – Friday, October 2, 2009

Kabbijigup Beach, Cape to Cape Track

Kabbijigup Beach, Cape to Cape Track

 

Looking south from above Kabbijgup Beach, Cape to Cape Track

Looking south from above Kabbijgup Beach, Cape to Cape Track

 

Blue Water, Indian Ocean, Cape to Cape Track

Blue Water, Indian Ocean, Cape to Cape Track

Taking a break, Sugarloaf Rock, Cape to Cape Track

Taking a break, Sugarloaf Rock, Cape to Cape Track

Having slept well and feed well in Yallingup, we headed off to Cape Naturaliste, with a planned arrival time of 12:30 PM and a taxi pick-up booked for 1:30 PM.  As it turned out, we travelled well today, enjoying dolphin and whale sightings off the coast, arriving at Cape Naturaliste around noon.  A phone call to Dunsborough Taxis had us picked up about 30 minutes later. Dunsborough Taxis can be contacted on 08 975 8688 and have a mini-bus for group pick-ups or drop-offs.

Perth Bushwalkers Walk End - Cape to Cape Track at Cape Naturaliste

Perth Bushwalkers Walk End – Cape to Cape Track at Cape Naturaliste

Return to Perth from walking the Cape to Cape Track

We all stayed overnight at the Dunsborough Inn Motel. My room was a “queen sized” backpacker’s room (double bed, shared shower) and cost $30.00 for the night.  Good value in my view.  Leaving Dunsborough one group member caught the South West Coach Lines 7:00 AM bus service getting into Perth around 11:30 AM whereas the remainder of us went on the Transwa service which departed at 10:00 AM arriving in East Perth at 2:30 PM.  In hindsight, getting the South West Coach Lines bus would have been a better option as it left early and did not stop on the way to Perth.

There ends the walk.

Points to Note from this Walk of the Cape to Cape Track

  • Optus mobile coverage was only at Prevelly, Yallingup and Cape Naturaliste. There was limited coverage at Augusta and Dunsborough;
  • Winds, with the exception of the first day, where in our favour, i.e., prevailing from the south-west;
  • The Conto Campground to Ellensbrook Campsite GPX file is missing the the first kilometre or so out of Conto Campground;
  • Both the 3rd Edition of the Guidebook and the Cape to Cape Track map incorrectly show the Track exiting Caves Road to the north of Kilcarnup Road.  The Track actually follows Kilcarnup Road as it exists on the ground.  The alternate route is not signposted either;
  • The Gracetown store is okay for maybe getting a feed and supplementing supplies but not for a complete re-suppy;
  • No water available at Gracetown;
  • Dunsborough Taxis can be contacted on 08 975 8688 and have a mini-bus for group pick-ups or drop-offs.

Cape to Cape Track Resources

5 Responses to Cape to Cape Track Northbound – Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturaliste

  1. Andrew October 4, 2009 at 8:20 PM #

    Nice report and an interesting walk by the sounds of it. Good details too.
    Thanks a lot
    Andrew

  2. Vanessa March 1, 2012 at 7:34 PM #

    It has been 12 years since my last trek of the bibluman track as a then teenager. I have been looking into a lot of WA sites so i can get back into it, but a LOT has changed since then (two children and a few extra kilos). Can you recommend any hiking sites for families with small children as untimately we would love to take our kids on an easier hike / camp – ( as when you have small kids there isnt usually anyone round to take them off your hands for a week 😉 ).

    • Aushiker March 2, 2012 at 8:11 AM #

      Great to hear you want to get out bushwalking with the family Vanessa. The Cape to Cape Track is great for shorter walks from a family/base camping perspective too.

      To answer your question I suggest checking out the Western Australian Family Bushwalking Club. It sounds like they would be ideal for you.

      All the best.

  3. Lynda Young July 3, 2015 at 2:16 PM #

    Get good impression of what’s ahead of us in September.Thanks for taking the time to write up your experiences.

    • Aushiker July 3, 2015 at 9:03 PM #

      All the best with your walk in September. Nice time to walk the Track.

Please share your thoughts ...

%d bloggers like this: