The Cape to Cape Track is Australia’s longest coastal walking trail. Traversing 135km of coast in WA’s Margaret River, the Cape to Cape Track allows hikers to take in all the natural abundance that the region has to offer.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Boodja Country of the traditional Wadandi people who have occupied and cared for this land, walking the Boojarah (capes) and foraging in the bushland and sea that surrounds it for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


  • Walking beneath towering, 100-year-old Karri trees in the Boranup Forest
  • Scouting out the best swimming and surf spots on the coast
  • Sunsets over the Indian Ocean each day
  • Feeling immersed in the natural landscape and at one with the weather

What is the Cape to Cape Track?

The Cape to Cape Track stretches from Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in the south to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse in the north.

It allows you to experience the entire coast of the Margaret River region at a slower pace and is a perfect way to scout out all the surf breaks, 4WDing tracks, fishing spots, off-grid camp spots, and other hiking trails.

The Cape to Cape Track hugs the coast for most of the walk, meaning you can expect towering limestone cliffs, coastal shrubbery, and endless beaches as well as forests abundant with 100-year-old Karri trees, bushland, and incredible rock formations. 



There are many ways to experience the Cape to Cape Track, depending on your level of adventure. A range of caravan parks and bush camps are spaced along the trail, with options for private accommodation and transfer services between the trail and accommodation each day too.

It’s a great introduction into longer multi-day hiking, as despite feeling isolated during the day, there are options to shower, re-stock on snacks or buy necessities that you may have forgotten along the way.

Read more: How To Poo in The Bush

While most end-to-end hikers begin in the north, we decided to do the opposite and get the hardest days done first, rather than working up to them.

Day 1 – Cape Leeuwin to Hamelin Bay

Distance: 25km
Duration: 9 hours

The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse began to grow smaller as we passed a few sheltered bays before entering our first section of coastal scrub. We happily helped a group of 60-year-olds offload some home baked ANZAC biscuits and apricot cake.  

Every middle-aged man’s attempt at a wholesome online dating profile came to mind as we plodded through our first stretch of soft sand. The Deepdene campsite is easy to miss, so keep your eyes peeled for a wide opening in the dunes and a black arrow. We had lunch here and re-filled our water in the shade.

The gorgeous Elephant Rocks at golden hour were the sign we’d been waiting for – the end of our first big beach stretch. We then navigated the limestone ledges, known colloquially as ‘The Blowholes’, which at high tide can resemble a kid’s water playground with spurts of water being forced upwards out of several natural holes in the rock. A dolphin peeped out of the waves to greet us.



We finished our first day with a headtorch-lit scrub stretch behind the dunes, sparkles appearing on the ground everywhere, which I soon realised were spiders’ eyes! We spotted what was left of the historic dock in the blanket of darkness, signalling that we’d reached Hamelin Bay. 

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

Day 2 – Hamelin Bay to Conto Campground

Distance: 21km
Duration: 8.5 hours

I woke to the sound of the families with young kids stirring around me. It was the end of the Easter holidays, so every man and his dog (and his rig) had set up along the 4WD friendly beach of Hamelin Bay, trying their luck at casting a line or three.

We passed giant, triangular-shaped sea slugs and a few other backpack and hiking pole-clad crews before reaching the end of the sand, signifying the most mentally challenging section of the trek. We celebrated with a swim in the clearest blue, my partner’s recent tan a deep golden in comparison.

We climbed up into the Boranup Forest next, black skeletons of trees jutting out over the ocean, the 4WDs and board riders becoming smaller and smaller. The burnt began giving way to life as we progressed, in the form of green ferns and the sprouting crowns of grass trees, resembling dancing figures from a distance with their bendy stems. It was a reminder how sturdy yet fragile all this natural beauty is.

Our backs were killing at this point, so we whacked on some tunes for a final push into giant karri tree forest, with all trunks at different stages of stripping burnt bark to reveal bright orange under layers.



The sun started to set as we passed Point Rd Campground (closed due to the December bushfires), before reaching Conto Campground where we were met with little pockets of glowing yellow light between trees and soft music emanating. We set up camp, then I lay down on my puffer to gaze up at the trees, letting my eyes adjust to the lack of light, pinpoints of stars appearing through gaps in the big branches.

Day 3 – Contos Campground to Prevelly

Distance: 19km
Duration: 7 hours

We hiked out of our camp sanctuary to a ridge high above the forest, laden with burnt grass trees, where wonderful views opened up of the ocean (again!). We picked up a tip from another hiker earlier in the piece that ‘As long as the ocean is on your left, then you can’t get lost!’ which we stuck to the entire trip. Big caves began to appear as we weaved under ledges of limestone, fantasising about camping in one someday.



A storm began to brew at our backs as we reached Redgate Beach. The wind picked up and the rain began to pelt, causing us to decide to cut the day short and stay at Prevelly, where there would be shelter to cook. 

We got lost after the Redgate car park (a good spot for a bite) as there are many false trails. There’s a bunch of rocks to climb over to get back on the sand again, so just follow those.

The next section passes along Boojidup Brook before a massive set of stairs. If you look out near the top of the stairs, you’ll see a house on the top of the huge hill opposite, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.


Day 4 – Prevelly to Ellensbrook

Distance: 12km
Duration: 4 hours

After crossing the river mouth of Margaret River, which can be high in winter or after heavy rainfall (for which there’s an alternate route), we continued the hike along high coastal cliffs past Cape Mentelle, which you can hike right out onto for a view of Kilcarnup Beach.

The next section was one of our favourites: a beautiful 360-degree undulating green-scape of thick coastal scrub, punctuated by uninterrupted sea views. With every footstep we heard the scurry of lizards either side of us in the bush, making us feel as if we were the only ones there, engulfed by all the green. Five blue tongue lizards waited a little longer to scurry away though, staying in the sun to say hi. 



At Ellensbrook, we met some other hikers and exchanged stories from the sections we’d just hiked. It was the midway point for us all, from either direction. We all enjoyed the lack of chatter in our own ways, and instead listened to the not-so-distant sound of waves pounding, tents being set up, and a fire being lit.

Note: Day 3 & 4 could easily be combined, however with aching bodies and a storm predicted on day three we decided to play it safe!

Day 5 – Ellensbrook to Moses Rock

Distance: 19km
Duration: 6.5 hours

Our earliest wake up yet. I collected water from the nearby tank, the moon and a few stars still glowing high in the gums. Coffee and porridge warmed our bellies and souls.

We greeted the sea early in the day, illuminating a path up and down the dunes past coastal rosemary, pigface, and other sturdy greens that could withstand the constant thrashing of the onshore breezes.

We walked past the breaks of Huzzas and Lefthanders, the number of wetsuit-clad figures out on the reef growing as we get closer to civilisation. The Margaret River Pro was happening that week and the people a-buzz in the water showed it. After a cheeky stop at the general store for warm drinks and buttery pastries, we got lost in the beachside clusters of rocks around the headland north of Gracetown.

Rock-scaling with our weighty packs followed. We watched the stones change shape from block-like to smooth and circular beside the ocean before climbing up a steep hill to Moses Rock Campsite for a full sky sunset overhead.


Day 6 – Moses Rock to Yallingup

Distance: 23km
Duration: 7 hours

Kangaroos perked up to say hi to us as the landscape began to shift to a grassy, more farmland feel. We sauntered up and down dunes, passing many more rock formations resembling various household objects. We shed our packs for the short detour to Quinninup Falls, a popular day walk with a car park nearby.



The rain came for us, then suddenly went away, leaving a rainbow in its wake as we passed Indijup Beach. We well and truly had our hiker’s legs now, spurred on by some nostalgic tunes and an AirPod each. We dipped down to the sea, skipping along three big rocks that acted as a stepping-stone-style bridge before climbing up, up and further up to watch Canal Rocks shrink in the distance and the beachside community of Yallingup grow to the north, coats and cameras being shed and reapplied throughout. 

At Yallingup Caravan Park, we no longer had ‘mi boring’ for dinner, utilising spring onions, Thai basil and mint from the lush herb garden adjacent to the camp kitchen, making for one (if I don’t say so myself) restaurant-worthy feed.


Day 7 – Yallingup to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse (and back to the car)

Distance: 14km
Duration: 4.5 hours

We began with a warm morning stretch and a sandy 4WD track high above the five-metre swell. Boogie boarders flipped about in the barrels, riding the whitewash into the sand below.

We made a beeline to Sugarloaf Rocks with the knowledge that we had a short day ahead. Almost the entire stretch brought clifftop views from sheer limestone heights as the soundtrack of pounding waves spurred us forward.

At Sugarloaf Rocks, there’s still another 3.5km to the lighthouse, so save some snacks and energy for the final stretch! It was weird walking on a paved path again and interacting with people in the gift shop where we bought our obligatory Cape to Cape patches, the realisation hitting home that we’d made it!


Now how do we get back?

In true Explorer style, we decided to depend on the kindness of strangers to get back to our car in Augusta. Our first lift was from Tay, a young surfer from north of Perth, who was playing chauffeur for his Mum on the trail and watching the surf pro in between. He got us to Yallingup.

Pete and Deb stopped off at Caves Road to pick us up after a quick pint at the pub. They were also hiking the Cape to Cape Track, but staying in accommodation and enjoyed sharing stories from their past 18 years of retirement, of which they’d housesat full-time for 10 years. 

We then waited at the Margs roundabout for our next lift, as the sky began to darken and the heat of the sun left our bodies. A dusty maroon Commodore eventually pulled onto the verge, and a Belgian, white-dreaded backpacker stepped out. He was on his way to the Mindful Earth community in Karridale, 10 minutes from where we needed to be. I laid on the mattress in the back amongst drawings of mushroom forests, sarongs on the ceiling and a few ‘psychedelic revolution’ stickers on the windows.  

I sank into the homely comfort of being with a fellow traveller, lulled by the swinging dream catcher from the rear-view mirror and chatter about adventures up north, finally able to relax after so much excitement, as we zoomed through the headlight-lit Karri giants at 110km an hour.

Essential Gear

  • Map (can be purchased at Margaret River/Dunsborough visitor centre or either of the lighthouse shops)
  • Water treatment tablets or water filter
  • First aid kit
  • PLB
  • Head torch
  • Sunscreen & hat
  • Raincoat
  • Tent
  • Hiking boots

Skill Level


The Cape to Cape Track itself doesn’t have many physically challenging sections, apart from the seemingly endless beach stretches which slow down your pace. The difficulty in this hike comes with navigating rocks and long days with a heavy pack.

Distance / Elevation Gain / Days

135 km walk / 1775 m / 7 days