The Cape to Cape track is one of Western Australia’s most stunning walks and before I go any further I’ll apologise now for my overuse of adjectives in this post.
I recently spent six days walking this track with two friends and was astounded by the stunning coast, its diverse and constantly changing ocean views, its incredible array of wildflowers and its perpetually changing terrain.
This part of the Western Australian coast is unique and the only way to see it at its best is to walk it. On the Cape to Cape track you’ll cover areas only accessible by foot. Surfers find ways in to some spots on 4WD tracks but the majority of the coastline is inaccessible to vehicles of any kind.
This walk takes you from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin and normally takes around six to seven days to complete. We did the walk in reverse, we walked for three days from Cape Leeuwin, had a days rest and then completed another three days to Cape Naturaliste. It was September and it was spectacular, the weather was perfect, the colours unimaginable and the peace and tranquility a welcome change from our busy lives.
There are campsites along the way if you want to camp but we had the luxury of being picked up at the end of each days walk. One of our group lives in Busselton and her husband was our willing chauffeur. For those who want to camp out there are campsites positioned along the track. Some are commercial campsites but there are also isolated sites where you can pitch your tent in complete seclusion. These sites have toilets (complete with toilet paper), camp tables and rainwater tanks.
Be very aware of the weather though – the best times to do this walk are between May and September, once you get into the summer months the rainwater tanks are likely to be empty and the lack of shade on the track could make the walk unpleasantly hot.
This is not a walk to be taken lightly and the difficulty should not be underestimated. It’s doable by anyone with reasonable fitness but it does include some lengthy beach walks (always telling on the calf muscles), some serious rock climbing in places and at times some teetering along cliff edges.
There’s also the opportunity to get your feet wet. The main river crossing is at the mouth of the Margaret River near Prevelly, in the middle of winter this may be uncrossable and necessitate a detour around Caves Road but we managed to cross in September with the water coming just above our knees. Please take extreme care here though, be sensible and if the river is too deep or fast flowing then take the detour.
There are also several other creek crossings, if you’ve got long legs you may be able to leap across using the boulders as stepping stones (as one of our group was able to do), but for those of us with shorter legs it’s a case of boots off, trousers rolled up and a bit of a paddle. But it all adds a bit of variety to the day and the chance for a bit of fun.
After six days. 134.5kms, a few blisters, some stunning coastal scenery, two kangaroos, one snake, several lizards and some whale sightings on the final day, we made it to the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse. It was an amazing walk, yes, there were moments when we struggled, the soft sand on the long beach walks needed concentration and determination and a few blisters needed some TLC, but ultimately it was a week that showed us what our state has to offer. It showed us the unique beauty of this part of Australia, the diversity of the landscape and the spectacular coastline and it made us realise how important it is to take time out to appreciate what we have around us.
If you have the opportunity to take this walk, either in its entirety or as day walks, then don’t hesitate, Its beauty, its complexity and its simplicity can’t possibly leave you unmoved.