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  >  Active   >  Fifteen great walks in Margaret River Region for families
Cape to Cape Track, Margaret River Region, Australia @ Margaret River Region
Cape to Cape Track, Margaret River Region, Australia @ Margaret River Region

Margaret River walks are nature, scenery and wildlife focus, not a winery in sight. Western Australia is enormous with nearly 2.6 million square kilometres. The mediterranean climate epitomises the Margaret River region making it a great year round destination. Here is a selection of easy walks from the well-known to the hidden corners of the southwest, Western Australia. All of the walks are free entry, except for Busselton Jetty and Cape Lighthouse interior tours. Otherwise nature has put on a display for visitors to revell in.

Best time to visit

Spring is the glorious wildflower season, autumn is the seasonal colour. Winter is chilly and atmospheric with log fires and brisk walks. Then there’s the whale season from September to November and of course summer is gorgeous because our nearby beaches are tempting.

ON YOUR BUCKET LIST

  • Whales and pelicans
  • Hamelin Bay sting rays
  • Lucky Bay Kangaroos
  • Karri forest
  • The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
  • Rock forms and azure blue ocean

GOT KIDS IN TOW

  • Easy walks
  • Toilets and picnic areas

Location of towns

 

 

Bunbury, Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup, Hamelin Bay, Boranup Forest, Augusta and Quinninup.

BUNBURY (Geographe Bay)

Geographe Bay is a region of its own with its distinctive character. Any visit to the iconic Margaret River is not complete without a visit to this glorious coast and hinterland.

Where is the Geographe Bay?

The Geographe Bay is between Bunbury and Margaret River, a stunning coastline of 30km. The diverse landscape offers a contrast from quiet coves to long stretches of white sands and safe spots for swimming to the stark ochre cliffs of Cape Naturaliste. The Cape is the tip and furthermore point of the region.

1
BIG SWAMP WALK

Interests

  • Bird watching, wetlands, paperbark trees
  • Bush walks
  • Spring wildflowers

This 2.5km easy walk meanders around the Big Swamp, a conservation wetland, located one kilometre south of the Bunbury city centre.

The Big Swamp Walk is home to over 60 species of birdlife, including the Australasian grebe, white-faced heron, dusky moorhen and purple swamphen. There are several lookouts and bird watching hides. The wooden boardwalk tranverses past. The walk is an excellent place to observe native birds in their natural environment. The boardwalk provides access to the centre of the lake.

TIP: A great place for budding photographers to practice their skill at capturing birds in flight.

  • Length: 2.5 km
  • Duration: 1 – 3 hours
  • Grade: Easy
  • Wheelchair: Accessible

NOTE: A shared track with cyclists.

BUSSELTON REGION (GEOGRAPHE BAY)

2
BUSSELTON JETTY

Interests

  • Jetty
  • Marine life
  • Underwater observatory

The jetty is the longest wooden pier in the southern hemisphere. There is an entrance fee to get through the gate on shore then follow the boardwalk all the way to the end. Stop and observe fish which can be seen in the clear water along the way. At the end of the jetty is an underwater observatory when you can get a lot closer to the fish by descending a spiral staircase to the sea floor. There is an additional charge and entrance is managed with guided tours.

TIP: This is a great place for families however the sheer length of the jetty can invoke a bit of trepidation for younger visitors. Some kids have refused to walk on ‘water.’

  • Length: 3.6km (return)
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Start/Finish: Busselton jetty

If kids are tired there is a train running the length of the jetty.

3
AMBERGATE RESERVE

Interests

  • Original native bush reserve
  • Kangaroos
  • Spring wildflowers

The reserve is a spectacular remnant of plants and animals once common in the area. It contains several rare and endangered species. And many kangaroos.  Ambergate reserve is a great place to see wildflowers in spring. There are bench seats along the walk encouraging visitors to linger and listen for bird life.

  • Length: 4km
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Grade: Flat

DUNSBOROUGH REGION

Meelup Beach Foreshore Walk, Bunker Bay Walk Trail, Wyadup Bay to Canal Rocks (Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park) and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

 

4
MEELUP FORESHORE WALK TRAIL FROM DUNSBOROUGH TO MEELUP BEACH

Interests

  • Coastal views
  • Meelup beach toilets, BBQ
  • A day at the beach, perhaps just chilling out

Meelup beach has toilets, showers, barbecues, picnic tables and is a beautiful place for a swim. Meelup Beach is a great place to start to explore the area.

The walk has several sections:

  • Dunsborough to Meelup, follows the coast for 4 km on a flat track with small rocky sections. A side track from Castle Rock up to Lookout Rock is moderately steep and well worth walking up for an elevated view of the coast.
  • The second section loops from Meelup onto higher ground before returning to the coast north of Meelup. This second loop is about 3 km and has great views over the coast.
5
CAPE NATURALISTE TO SUGARLOAF ROCK DUNSBOROUGH

Interests

  • Bush walk
  • Coastal views
  • Rock forms
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Cape Naturaliste LIghthouse

The 3.5 kilometre length of the Cape to Cape track is wheelchair accessible and provides stunning coastal views between Cape Naturaliste and Sugarloaf rock. The new ‘Access for More’ section of the Cape to Cape Walk Track runs between the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and Sugarloaf Rock. This is a world class, levelled and bituminised Class 2 trail that provides an exceptional experience to walkers of all abilities. It also incorporates more than 1 kilometre of timber boardwalk. It is suitable for people in wheelchairs, being graded 1 in 12. It can be accessed by road at either end.It offers excellent views of the coast and whales may be spotted June- October.

  • Length: 3.5km
  • Duration: 1 – 2 ½ hours
  • Grade: Easy
6
BUNKER BAY WALK TRAIL ROUTE

Interests

  • Eastern side of Cape Naturaliste coastal views
  • Original coastal vegetation
  • Panormic azure ocean views

Bunker Bay Loop

This track heads in the other direction (south-east) from the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse to explore the rugged Bunker Bay before returning to the lighthouse. Extend the walk by visiting Shelley Cove. The track runs along the cliff edge, revealing breathtaking views of the coast.

 

 

Outstanding views of Cape Naturaliste from the lesser known eastern side of the Cape. The iconic Cape Naturaliste Track covers the western side of the cape. The start of the trail is ordinary with a sandy track taking you through the coastal scrub, then the views start opening up to the sight of the turquoise waters of Bunker Bay.

  • Length: 3.5km (loop)
  • Duration: 1 – 3 hours
  • Start/Finish: Cape Naturaliste lighthouse
7
CAPE LEEUWIN LIGHTOUSE

Interests

  • A working lighthouse
  • The views

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, perched at the southwestern-most tip of Australia where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. This Lighthouse, the tallest on mainland Australia, is still an essential navigation tool for vessels navigating the cape. There are regular guided tours of the lighthouse. For tour details check out for more information Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

YALLINGUP REGION

Walks include Canal Rocks to Wyadup Bay and Quinninup Falls.

8
CANAL ROCKS TO WYADUP BAY

Interests

  • Canal Rocks well known photo location
  • Rock sculptured by nature
  • Surf coast

Canal Rocks to Wyadup Bay is a section of the Cape to Cape multiple day tramp. Canal Rocks, Rock sculptures nestled in surging waves are a drawcard for their mesmerising colours and form. There are excellent viewing platforms and bridges encouraging visitors to linger. The signage to Wyadup Bay is clearly marked.. The track, part of the Cape to Cape Track, starts at the Canal Rocks upper car park. This section has an easy start however the track surface becomes uneven and steep. You can turn around and return to the memorising Canal Rocks. The spectacular Wyadup Rocks are well worth the effort. You will be retracing your steps.

  • Length: 4km
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Start/Finish: Canal Rocks car park
9
QUINNINUP FALLS

Interests

  • Remote unspoiled coastal scenery
  • Winter flow waterfall
  • Spring wildlflowers

A winter walk. The path to Quinninup Falls is also part of the Cape to Cape Trail. The walk to the Falls is easy/medium, there’s even a boardwalk part way. However there is also a reasonably-sized sand dune to navigate. Sand walking is an exercise in itself. The 10 metre waterfall is magnificent in winter and early spring set against the wild flowers and the scenery and is worth the trudge up the sand dunes on your return. In summer water fall is often reduced to a trickle and it is very hot traversing an open landscape. Quinninup Falls is within the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.

TIP

How to find Quinninup Falls, use Moses Rock Road as your GPS guide. Follow directions on how to get to the end of Moses Rock Road, you will find the car park. You will see toilets and a viewing platform and to the right is the path to the falls. At the start of the path, there are three small wooden posts and some large bushes on either side. As you are walking along keep a lookout for the Cape to Cape Track signs – Remember to follow the track and do not deviate.

  • Length: 3 km return
  • Grade: Easy-Moderate
  • Allow: 75 minutes

10
WHALE TRAIL, AUGUSTA

Interests

  • Marine wildlife

Vantage points for whale watching buffs. The migrating Humpback Whales Watching season is from June to August. The trail goes from the Blackwood River mouth to the Augusta boat harbour in Flinders Bay. A perfect way to see humpback whales, right whales and dolphins without getting your feet wet. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive telltail spray of breathing whales. Perhaps you will glimpse whale action in the form of breaching and tail slapping acrobatics. The walking track is a formed trail with sections on the road itself. The route goes through the caravan park at Flinders Bay and there is directional signage.

  • Length: 6 km
  • Duration: 1 – 3 hours
  • Grade: Easy

 

11
PELICIANS

The boardwalk is a firm flat surface and is a great way to see the spectacle of the large Augusta Pelicans making themselves at home on the jetties and rocks. The path follows the Blackwood River from the boat ramp to the bottom of Albany Terrace . There are sometimes dolphins in the harbour. The walk is easily accessible from the town caravan park, Turner Caravan Park.

  • Length: urban walk 2.4 km (loop)
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Grade: Flat

 

12
KARRI FOREST

The incredible Boranup Karri Forest is home to the third tallest tree species in the world. This is a walk for any fitness level as you can actually drive, although it is recommended you get up close and personal with the majesty of Australia’s Karri trees. Boranup Drive will allow you to see multiple spots of interest, including the Boranup Lookout to soak up forest and ocean views. From the lookout, you also have access to some walking trails, which for birdwatchers is a must. You may see purple-crowned lorikeets, fairy-wrens, white-breasted robins and golden whistlers. There are picnic spots, toilets and seating throughout the walking trails.

  • Length: Various
  • Duration: 1 – 4 hours

 

13
Hamelin Bay sting rays

A visitor favourite, the sting rays of Hamelin Bay. Another beautiful beach and one of the few places you can see stingrays and manta rays up close – they swim in the shallows around the boat ramp. You can attract them by splashing in the water but don’t touch these beautiful marine rays.

  • Length: 100 metres
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Start/Finish: Hamelin Bay boat ramp

 

14
LUCKY BAY

 

Cape Le Grand National Park is approximately an hour’s drive east of Esperance. Lucky Bay is the most famous attraction with the high contrast between the striking white sand and piercing blue water. Kangaroos drink from the creek that seeps through the sand and are used to visitors making them excellent photography subjects. The kangaroos are grazing on seed nuts and seaweed deposited during high tide. Remember do not please don’t feed or pet them.

15
KING KARRI TRAIL

Interests

  • Karri Forest
  • Spring wildflowers
  • Native birds

A short walk from the former timber town of Quinninup, the King Karri Trail is a walk through the giants of the South West. The magnificence of the ancient Karri forest is stunning as you slip into the quiet of the forest track.

  • Length: 3.5 km (loop)
  • Duration: 1 – 3 hours
  • Grade: Easy

Cape to Cape Track

The multiple day tourism poster trail is the 135 kilometre Cape to Cape Track. This one is for serious trampers who have a few days and a lot of energy to spare. The coastal track runs between Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse in Dunsborough and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in Augusta. Some of the trail sections are easy, while some sections are rugged and rough. It is great that visitors can experience parts of the trail without walking the entire length

  • Length: 135 km one-way
  • Duration: 5 – 8 days
  • Grade: Easy-Difficult

Travel Pack Information

Tips for bushwalking

  • Wear suitable, closed-toes footwear
  • Slip, slop slap sunscreen on during high UV weather
  • Carry water: 1 litre per person, per hour
  • Do not stray off the tracks
  • Be mindful of snakes in spring and summer
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back

The journey is worth it.

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