The 135km Cape to Cape Track traverses the length of Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and overlooks the adjoining Ngari Capes Marine Park, alternating spectacular sweeping cliff-top views with stretches of pristine beach.
At any time of the year there's a good chance of seeing dolphins, and between June and September whales pass close to shore on their annual migration between the Southern Ocean and their breeding areas further north. Most are humpbacks, the species that breaches the surface more than any other, but you may also see southern right whales and, if you're very lucky, a blue whale.
It's not all about the coast though, there are several inland forays which take in some lovely sheltered woodland sections as well as the magnificent Boranup Forest of towering karri.
The Track varies from the 'access for more' section to Cape Naturaliste with a shallow gradient and a smooth, wide constructed surface to steep, rough stony paths and sandy beaches. It is for walkers only - except where the route follows some of the 4WD tracks that are frequented by surfers accessing their favourite breaks at this world-famous surf location.
To tackle the whole Track in one trip is a great challenge (usually 5 – 7 days), but multiple vehicle access points allow the Cape to Cape Track to be completed in smaller segments. The overnight options include some very basic camping areas for Track walkers only, campgrounds with more facilities and vehicle access and, this being the tourist mecca of the Margaret River wine region, plenty of other accommodation right up to the highest levels of luxury and pampering.
For most of the year Margaret River, about mid-way along the track, can be crossed with care at its mouth, but there are periods in winter when conditions don't allow a safe crossing and walkers will have to take an inland diversion to cross at the bridge upstream. (The river mouth can be accessed by vehicle at the southern side, but not from the north - walkers from the north have no alternative but to retrace their steps if the river mouth cannot be crossed).
For more on the Cape to Cape Track including guide books and other information, go to the website of our not-for-profit community partner the Friends of the Cape to Cape Track. The friends coordinates a track adoption program and, along with a number of other operators licensed to provide tours, offers a series of guided walks.
The Track is open year-round, with sea breezes moderating the extreme heat of summer. However, fire danger at this time of year can still be very high, with the wind adding to the risk.
Leeuwin-Naturaliste is one of our most popular parks and part one of the country's most well-known tourist destinations: anyone planning to walk the Cape to Cape Track during peak periods (see KNOW: When to visit) should book accommodation early, and consider allowing extra travelling time from Perth.