West Cape Howe National Park lies on the southern coast between Albany and Denmark.
Granite-bounded Shelley Beach is the easiest site to visit and offers good fishing and a low-key campground. If you have a high-clearance four-wheel drive, the soaring cliffs and crashing surf at West Cape Howe should not be missed, and Dunsky Beach and Torbay Head (the southernmost point of Western Australia) also warrant visits.
Few facilities are provided in this wild area yet it attracts campers, bushwalkers and keen fishers. Shelley Beach Lookout is a prime launching site for hang-gliders and offers bushwalking on a short boardwalk. The Bibbulmun Track crosses the park. Golden Gates Beach has a renowned surf break.
Wildflowers and forest
Inland, the park rises to the north, with coastal heaths giving way to jarrah and sheoak and to tall karri forest near the park entrance.
- The southern coastline has a notorious record for accidents and deaths due to people slipping or being washed into the ocean by unexpected waves, gusting winds or extra large swells. Please exercise extreme caution and don’t risk being the next victim.
- Stay well back from cliff edges.
- When fishing please wear a Personal Flotation Device or life vest. Rock fishing is extremely dangerous on this coastline and is not recommended.
Four-wheel-drive tracks are only suitable for high clearance vehicles. The tracks are narrow with encroaching vegetation. Please drive slowly and be aware of oncoming traffic.
Two-wheel-drive vehicles can reach Shelley Beach and the nearby lookout, but other sites within the park require high clearance four-wheel-drive (make sure you have a tyre pressure gauge and a tyre pump). Park features can also be reached by bushwalking along the sandy four-wheel drive tracks.