Located in the southwest corner of Western Australia, the Cape to Cape Walk has long been recognised as one of Australia’s premier bushwalks. Tracing the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge for 123 km between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin, the trail features rugged granite headlands, sheer limestone cliffs, white sand beaches, and a varied array of fauna and flora. I hiked the Cape to Cape Track in 2010. All logistical details have been updated as of April 2020.
At a Glance
Distance: 123 km (76 mi)
Avg. Time: 4 to 6 days
Start / Finish:
- Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin.
- No public transport available to either trailhead.
- Reasonably priced taxis are available to Cape Naturaliste from Dunsborough, and from Augusta to Cape Leeuwin. Note that some accommodation operators also offer courtesy drop-offs and pick-up to and from the Track. See the Friend’s of the Cape to Cape Track’s Accommodation and Services Page for details.
Season: All year-round. Spring and autumn are usually the pick of the seasons. Summer can also be good, but be sure to carry plenty of water. Winters brings with it the increased chance of stormy weather, which means that watercourses along the way may occasionally flood after heavy downfalls.
Maps & General Information
- Guidebook: The Cape to Cape Guidebook (8th Edition, 2019) contains trekking notes, photos, information on flora and fauna, and topographic maps that cover the entire track.
- Map: Double-sided paper map covering the entire trail from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin.
- GPS: Downloadable route files for the Cape to Cape from the Western Australian Parks and Wildlife Service.
- Online Information: 1. Friends of the Cape to Cape Track; 2. Western Australia Parks and Wildlife Service; 3. Cape to Cape Track Facebook Group; 4. Inspiration Outdoors (Cape to Cape)
- What to take?: The guidebook makes for a great souvenir, however, its largish size and weight make the map a more practical option to carry on the walk itself. If I was to do the Cape to Cape Track again, I’d take the map and upload the GPX track to the Gaia GPS app on my phone.
- Resupply: It is possible to top up your supplies in Yallingup, Gracetown, Prevelly, and Hamelin Bay. That being said, prices are high and choices are limited. I recommend bringing your supplies from either Dunsborough or Augusta.
- Water: H2O is available from rainwater tanks at the campsites and the occasional spring. Officially speaking, it is recommended that all water be treated. Unofficially, I found the campsite water to be fine and never heard of anyone having any intestinal problems during my hike (November 2010).
Route / Conditions
- Character: The Cape to Cape Track consists of a combination of maintained pathways, old 4WD vehicle tracks, and beach sections. Terrain-wise, the going isn’t overly difficult – the odd sand dune, a few hills, and some semi-rugged coastal stretches. The trail is within the capability of most hikers with reasonable levels of fitness and experience. It would make for a great maiden multi-day trek for those who are relatively new to the sport of backpacking.
- Navigationally speaking the Cape to Cape is a relatively easy walk. You never stray too far from the coast, and as of 2019, the track now has new trail markers thanks to the efforts of the volunteers at the Friends of the Cape to Cape Track.
- Bring your own shelter. Campsites situated at Mt. Duckworth, Moses Rock, Ellensbrook, Contos, and Deepdene. Moses Rock and Contos are the picks of the bunch. All campsites have toilets and water.
- Indoor accommodation is available at Yallingup, Gracetown, Prevelly, and Hamelin Bay. Great value and highly recommended is Surfpoint@Prevelly.
- Jagged limestone cliffs, pounding surf, gorgeous sunsets, impossibly white sands, and the transparent waters of Hamelin Bay. A stunning hike from start to finish.
- Although the lion’s share of the scenery is coastal, there is a short but enjoyable stretch through the state’s most westerly stand of Karri trees just south of Contos campground.