Cape to Cape Track……Margaret River Rivermouth to Cape Leeuwin

We had a few idle days before heading to Tasmania for Christmas. A check of the weather down south indicated temperatures in the low 20s so we decided to hike a section of the Cape to Cape track. Throwing the essentials into our backpacks we drove to Augusta which is a small but busy seaside town. Staying overnight we were able to get an early morning lift to Margaret River rivermouth with Cy from South West Driving Services.

Margaret River Rivermouth to Point Rd campsite-20kms

Waving Cy goodbye and with backpacks buckled up we set foot on the well defined track to hike the 20kms to Point Rd bush campsite, being our destination for the day.

The weather was ideal as we ambled through the undulating dunes above the seaside village of Prevelly. Coming across a viewing seat we took the opportunity to sit awhile to gaze over the Boodijidup valley below and the vastness of the ocean in the distance. A couple of day walkers from Prevelly stopped for a chatted, being locals this was their playground.

Time to move on and tackle the 365 steps leading down to Boodijidup creek, yes Ian counted every step. On reaching the valley floor a beautiful shady haven of peppermint trees and ivy greeted us, a perfect place for a breather. Being summer the creek had little water flowing which indicated we wouldn’t be getting wet feet crossing the sand bar. The climb up from the valley floor wasn’t as challenging and soon leveled out as we followed along the brook to where it merges with the ocean.

Now on the beach we were sinking into the soft sand and being exposed directly to the sun rays, the going was tough and slow. Once on the beach you are totally at the mercy of the sun. Stopping for lunch  we couldn’t resist taking our boots off and paddling in the rock pools created by the waves swirling  in and around, so refreshing and relaxing.

Josh and Lizzie, a couple from Victoria stopped for a chat, they also intended to hike through to Cape Leeuwin. With boots laced up it was time to continue on. Arriving at  Redgate Rd carpark many folk were down in the ocean splashing about whilst others were hanging ten, for us it was back to trudging through the soft sand. The track headed back up into the dunes onto a gravel vehicle track. Views from the clifftop of the wild ocean were spectacular. To reach Bob’s Hollow we followed the steep descent over a rough track of rocks, aided by the chain handrail we safely made it down.

Bob’s hollows are rugged limestone cliffs with a series of caves at the base. The actual cave entrance is secured off to the general public but organised caving adventures can be arranged. Google Bob’s Hollow.

After our cave exploring was done the climb back up to the clifftops had us meander through low dense scrubby vegetation  with sections of rocks to scramble over. The clifftop view highlighted some small enclosed bays delinated by rock formations.

Arriving at Conto campground we filled up our water bottles as we knew there was no water tank at Point Rd camp. The campground was full with many  happy campers  enjoying the great outdoors. Leaving the sand behind we continued on the vehicle track for a further 2kms where we entered the Boranup Forest.

To our surprise Point Rd campground was just as busy with holiday makers. Along with other campers we managed to squeeze our 2 person tent in between the tall timbers and camper vans. This was home for the night and after slogging through the sand, climbing up and down the dunes we were ready to enjoy a meal and drop the tent flap for the night.

Point Rd camp to Hamelin Bay-21kms

On waking to the chirping birds, an overcast sky greeted us and along with the tall timbers in the forest sun exposure wasn’t going to be an issue. Once sorted we headed off down the vehicle track through the Boranup forest which is home to peppermint and karri timbers with sections of jarrah and marri. Not far down the track we came across hikers who didn’t make it into camp before the setting sun. They pulled up on the edge of the gravel road and set up camp for the night.

Continuing along the well marked vehicle track the turn off to the Boranup lookout appeared. The wildflowers created a lovely splash of colour amongst the gums. A few kms along the gentle undulating track we arrived at the lookout. Climbing up to the viewing platform the anticipated view of the ocean was obscured by the forest canopy. Oh well was a nice spot for a breather and  early lunch.

Fed and watered we retraced our steps back to the track, pausing to chat to a few  hikers making their way north, love hearing about other hikers adventures. The vehicle track  narrowed to a sandy path that lead down to the ocean. The steep descent had us digging our heels into the loose dense sand and sliding down. 

Down on the beach, 9kms of sand walking to Hamelin Bay awaited us. Much to our surprise the sand was relatively firm hence walking was easier but the clouds had rolled on leaving the rays of the sun to contend with. The ocean activity was a pleasant distraction as waves tumbled into shore. Not being in a hurry we perched on the sand for awhile and allowed ourselves to be mesmerised by the untamed  roaring ocean.

Eventually the jetty ruins came into view as did many people enjoying the ocean. Four wheel drivers spinning wheels in the sand, surfers catching waves whilst others splashed about. Beach cricket was in full swing with others stretched out on a towel soaking up the sun rays. Regardless of the activity everyone was having fun. A few groups called us over to chat, we couldn’t convince them trudging through the sand in hiking boots with backpacks on was any sort of fun, each to their own.

Making our way to the caravan park our first stop was the kiosk where we enjoyed a cold drink and ice-cream. Once booked in it was a scramble through the backpack to retrieve the toiletries then off to enjoy a shower. Refreshed and tent set up we headed up to the very well equipped camp kitchen and tucked into a hearty dehydrated meal. Have to admit cooking and dehydrating our own meals is so worth it. The caravan park covered a  huge area which was jammed packed with campers, caravans and tents.

Josh and Lizzie showed up and they had swapped their tent accommodation for a soft bed in a cabin. They stated their exhaustion levels were overriding any desire to continue on to Cape Leeuwin and  would be organising a lift back to Margaret River the following day. At times we all have to make a big decision whether to continue or not. Drifting off to sleep to the sound of the waves rolling in and out to shore was extremely peaceful, what a life.

Hamelin Bay to Deepdene campsite-9kms

With backpacks loaded we were ready to head off when a familiar face appeared. Anna a work colleague and her hiking buddy wandered in. They had bush camped in the dunes as the sunlight faded before they reached Hamelin Bay. After a few pleasantries Anna and co headed to the kiosk whilst we made our way back to the hiking track. We wandered over to White Cliff Point viewing platform to gaze upon Hamelin Island.  Lots of people were enjoying an early morning splash whilst others had their boats  in the water.

Many day walkers where out for a morning stroll  and a few hopeful fisherman were casting a line. As we made our way through the dunes we were looking forward to arriving at Cosy Corner to explore the blow holes. Passing by Foul Bay lighthouse we made our way down to walk along the limestone shelves that lead to the blow holes.

The ocean certainly put on a display for us as the waves crashed in and around the blow holes with sprays of salt water shooting up the vertical limestone pipes. The thunderous sound of the ocean roaring below us was eerie. After stepping carefully over the rough shelves of  limestone we found our selves amongst granite headlands that formed a secluded bay.   

Passing over a very dry Turner Brook, the sign to Deepdene campsite appeared. Veering off we headed towards the campsite sinking in the loose sand with every step. What greeted us was a sheltered campsite nestled amongst coastal vegetation. With cleared tent sites, picnic tables, water tanks full and toilet it was very inviting and it didn’t take much to convince one another to set up camp for the night. Being a shorter day on the track we enjoyed a very relaxing afternoon before tucking into a delicious meal then crawling into our sleeping quarters for the night.

Deepdene to Cape Leeuwin- 9kms

Back on the track we continued along the dense sand. Reaching a cluster of rocks we paused and watched the waves dance about the rocks. Out further in the ocean waves crashed into granite outcrops putting on a grand display.

Waves crashed up from the base of the rocks as we walked across another rough uneven rock platform. There was no sand between the rocks and the ocean, one slip up would have had us swimming to Cape Leeuwin!!! The lighthouse, albeit a speck in the distance came into view.

Eventually back onto the sand for a short distance before heading up into the dunes. The canopy of tea tree vegetation threw mottled shade which was a welcome relief from the glaring sun. Whether walking along the coastline or in the dunes the ocean was pretty much always in view.

Approaching  Skippy Rd we had to give way to traffic, a sure indicator the serenity of the hiking track was drawing to an end. Once safely across the road and signing off at the trail registration station, the track lead us across another rocky outcrop as we ventured towards Quarry Bay.  A feature of Quarry Bay is the unusual rock formation with water seeping through the rock.

Passing by the historic waterwheel and making our way to the lighthouse we were off the sand and our hike was done. Making our way to the lighthouse we enjoyed our traditional end of hike feast at the cafe.

Cy picked us up from Cape Leeuwin and transported us back to collect the car. The drive back to Perth was filled with enthusiastic planning to hike Cape Naturaliste to Margaret River in April.

Until next yarn, happy hiking from Bernadette and Ian

sign off


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