The Cape to Cape Track stretches for 124-kilometres along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin in the far south west of Western Australia. It features spectacular coastal and forest scenery, a fascinating geology of cliffs, caves, headlands and rock formations and an ever-changing display of vegetation and wildflowers.
Designed to bring people in close contact with the environment, the track mainly follows the coast, alternating spectacular sweeping cliff-top views with stretches of pristine beach. There are several inland loops, which take in some lovely, sheltered woodland sections as well as the magnificent karri trees of the Boranup Forest.
There are easy sections, which make excellent half-day and day walks, while some of the wilder parts are rugged and hard going. To tackle the whole walk is a great challenge - usually 5 to 7 days, but multiple access points along the coast allow the track to be completed easily in smaller segments.
How to get here:
Fly directly into the region with Jetstar Australia flights from Melbourne to Busselton-Margaret River Airport and hire a car from the airport or arrange an airport transfer, or fly into Perth and arrange a transfer or hire a car to drive 2.5 hours south to Busselton.
Busselton is a vibrant beach town and the beginning of the famed Margaret River Region. While here, be sure to check out the Busselton Jetty, the longest timber-piled jetty stretching out 1.841 kilometres out to sea. Either take the solar-powered electric jetty train, or walk to the end of the jetty and witness the vibrant sea life at the Underwater Observatory, before returning and trying a Trail Pale (limited edition) at Shelter Brewing Co. and a hearty lunch to prepare yourself for the trail ahead.
How to Hike the Cape to Cape Track:
Options for hiking the Cape to Cape Track vary, depending on the kind of experience you’re looking for. See the low-down below.
Fully Guided Tours
There are all-inclusive fully guided tours of the entire track which will ensure you don’t miss a thing.
Walk the full 124 kilometres over 8 days with the passionate guides from Cape to Cape Explorer Tours by your side, with delicious catering using the best local ingredients, accommodation transfers and logistics included – carrying only a day pack each day. Cape to Cape Explorer Tours offer their packages with a choice of glamping, 3.5-star Surfpoint Resort or 4-star resort accommodation options to suit every traveller.
Adventure company Off The Beaten Track WA also offer a range of fully guided end-to-end tours, paired with resort accommodation or a camping experience.
Semi-Guided tours include those with shorter itineraries and other experiences as part of the package.
For a luxurious experience of the Cape to Cape, Walk Into Luxury has a signature 4-day Cape to Cape Walk that combines guided walking on the best sections of the Cape to Cape Track with luxury accommodation and food.
Cape to Cape Explorer Tours and Off The Beaten Track WA also offer a range of shorter highlights tour packages for those who want the freedom to explore the region when not on the trail.
Expert tour guide company Margaret River Discovery Co. offers exclusive behind the scenes tours of the Margaret River Region, including canoeing the actual Margaret River, visiting a spectacular winery and walking the section of the Cape to Cape near Wilyabrup Cliffs.
For those looking to do a self-guided journey, there are options for transport to and from sections of the track to complete it end-to-end in 5, 6, or 7 days, or experience shorter highlights in 3, 4, or 5 days. For track transfers, Cape to Cape Explorer Tours are well versed in the best entry and exit points and can provide advice to help you plan and facilitate shuttles for your trip. They also offer transfers from Perth and Busselton-Margaret River airport. Private drivers and transport services are also available for those who want to find their way around the region’s wineries, breweries and attractions when off the track. Try South West Luxury, MyDriver or McLeod’s Tours.
The beauty of the Cape to Cape Track is that you can walk the trail in its entirety, or try out specific sections. We’ve broken the Cape to Cape Track down for you into 8 days below.
Cape Naturaliste to Yallingup: 14.1km, 4-6 hours
The first day on the Cape to Cape Track begins at the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. Before heading off, make sure you visit the lighthouse for views out towards the track and impressive coastline here. Learn about the fascinating maritime history of the Cape region, hear tales of ships wrecked off the formidable coastline and the hardships of life as a lighthouse keeper while gaining insight into the functions of this working lighthouse.
Follow the signage to the Cape to Cape Track and head south towards Sugarloaf Rock before hugging the coastline all the way into Yallingup. Sugarloaf Rock is one of the region’s most spectacular coastal landforms and unique environments – and a perfect photo op.
If you’re after some extra adventure, take a gander at Ngilgi Cave not far from here, with its semi-guided show cave tour of stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Finish off the day with a stay at Smiths Beach Resort, a luxury beachfront accommodation with stunning views of Smiths Beach. For those keen to camp along the way, try Tasman Holiday Parks in Yallingup.
Yallingup to Moses Rock: 23.4km, 6-10 Hours
Today’s track is a big one, so make sure you fuel up at the Yallingup General Store. Definitely one of the best days on the Cape to Cape, you get to see an amazing contrast of landscapes with a coastal rock pool known locally as The Aquarium, as well as impressive Canal Rocks and Injidup Natural Spa, Quininup Falls and the stunning wildflowers around Moses Rock. For those after a guided day tour, we definitely suggest getting on board with Cape to Cape Explorer Tours who will be able to get you the most out of this section of the hike.
Also along today’s route are some of the most amazing wineries in the region. If you fancy a drop and some lunch, pop your head into Wills Domain for an award-winning feast, or Clairault Streicker for a wine blending experience and degustation restaurant lunch.
Finish the day’s hike at Moses Rock, a popular surf break punctuated with rocky outcrops and tidal pools. Campers can overnight at Moses Rock Campsite, while luxury travellers can arrange a transfer and put their head to rest at Cape Lodge resort.
Moses Rock to Ellensbrook: 19.1km, 4-6 Hours
Experience some of the most dramatic coastline in this section of the Cape to Cape Track. This section will have you pass the impressive Wilyabrup Cliffs where you can jump onto an adventure tour with Margaret River Climbing Co. or go abseiling and orienteering off the cliffs with Margaret River Adventure Co.
After whetting the appetite with all that adventure, fill yourself up with some local gourmet delights at a long-table winery lunch at Vasse Felix or Leeuwin Estate.
Head through Gracetown where you can pop into Gracie’s General store to stock up on any essentials. Some may choose to end todays walk here and overnight at Gracetown Caravan Park, while others end the day in the cooler surrounds of Ellensbrook.
Campers can pitch the tent at Ellensbrook Campsite. Those after more creature comforts can spend a night or two at a farm bungalow at Burnside Organic Farm, or luxury chalets at Tanah Marah.
Ellensbrook to Prevelly: 10.3km (One Way), 3-4 Hours
A short section of the track leaves the peppermint and karri trees behind, heading back to the coast to enjoy Kilcarnup Beach before crossing Margaret River to reach the town of Prevelly. Leaving Ellensbrook behind, the track starts climbing up a vehicle track that is surrounded by marri/jarrah forest on both sides, containing an excellent array of wildflowers and orchids.
Since this is a shorter day, we suggest having a splash in the waves or the actual Margaret River mouth. Spend some time exploring the heritage site of Ellensbrook Homestead, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the beach.
If camping, Prevelly Caravan Park is conveniently located, while Margarets Beach Resort is close-by for cosy apartments.
Prevelly to Contos: 18.2km (One Way), 5-8 Hours
Feast on breakfast and fresh coffee and the newly renovated White Elephant Café - located on the beachfront it overlooks the sparkling shores of Gnarabup Beach. Heading inland as you leave Prevelly, enjoy lovely peppermint tree-filled bush as you make your way to Boodjidup Brook. Finish the day by re-joining the coast and meandering up to the cliffs above Conto’s Beach. Be sure to check out the nearby Lake Cave – fully guided tours take you into this impressive cave to see the iconic ‘suspended table’ formation. Also nearby is the accessible Mammoth Cave, offering self-guided tours for visitors to explore at their own pace.
Contos to Hamelin Bay: 22.4km, 5-9 Hours
Taking you through the famous regrowth karri trees around Boranup, this day is half amazing forests and half coastal walking including a long beach walk into the holiday hamlet of Hamelin Bay. Marvel at a treasure trove of wildflowers and karri trees as the hike traverses the Boranup Forest. Then enjoy the pristine waters of Hamelin Bay, overnighting in the campground or a cabin at the Hamelin Bay Holiday Park.
Hamelin Bay to Deepdene: 8.8km, 2-3 Hours
Stand on the shores of Hamelin Bay beach, where the gentle lap of the shallow waves is home to wild smooth stingrays, black stingrays and eagle rays. Watch them glide with effortless elegance through crystal-clear turquoise water.
Leaving Hamelin Bay, this section to Deepdene Campground, a designated site for trail hikers only, can either be a short day or part of a longer day to finish into Cape Leeuwin. The highlight through here is the epic blowholes section. Soon enough you will reach the Foul Bay Lighthouse, and then it is an easy walk to Cosy Corner Road.
From Cosy Corner Road, meander along an interesting limestone shelf that is full of blowholes. Round the Cape and on a clear day witness a first glimpse of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse - the end point of the Cape to Cape!Get a picnic together and relax on Cosy Corner Beach, before continuing to Deepdene Campground - about 20 minutes up the beach in a sand dune blow out. Look out for a gap in the dunes and then walk up the track for a few minutes. This is another low-key campsite and bookings are not required. Alternatively, transfer back to Hamelin Bay for the night.
Deepdene to Cape Leeuwin: 15.7km, 4-6 Hours
Today is the last section of the Cape to Cape - and a stunning way to end a truly magnificent hike. Deepdene Beach is long but wild and the last section into the lighthouse is really enjoyable. Be sure to check out Jewel Cave, arguably the most impressive cave in the Margaret River Region. Join a fully guided tour to witness the cavern of stalactites and stalagmites. Once at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, visit The Lightkeepers Cottage Interpretive Centre and café to celebrate the journey.
Stay in town in Augusta, where delicious food and great views await at The Colourpatch Cafe, or transfer to accommodation at Flinders Bay Caravan Park. From here, transfer back to Busselton-Margaret River Airport, Perth Airport, or continue your travels in the South West.
Written by Annabel Owen & Janice Platt