The Turquoise Coast is known for its stunning beaches, amazing wildflowers, fantastic fishing and awesome camping spots, but go off the beaten track on one of these stunning scenic trails and you will see the very best of this amazing part of WA. Explore Lesueur NP during the wildflower season, go underground in the Stockyard Gully Cave, take in the panoramic ocean views along the Turquoise Coast Walk Trail, Jurien, observe bird life, river and coastal views on the Thungara Trails at Dongara/Denison or wander among the other worldly shapes of the Pinnacles.
Add these two trails to your spring calendar! (August to November)
Yued Ponar Trail, Lesueur National Park
Time: Half Day
Difficulty: Grade 4 Bushwalking experience recommended
Trail Start: Cockleshell Gully picnic area off Cockleshell Gully Road
The trail winds its way through a diverse landscape featuring low heath; small sections of Wandoo woodlands; winding creek lines and high along the scarp to Mt Peron where you are treated to sweeping views of the Indian Ocean. Lesueur National Park is recognised as a global biodiversity hotspot for its diverse range of native plant species, with over 900 species of plant, over 100 of which are found nowhere else. It also offers walkers an opportunity to discover seasonal resources and view the country through the Yued Noongar eyes.
Lesueur Walk Trail, Lesueur National Park
Time: 1-3 hrs
Difficulty: Grade 3
Trail Start: Drummond Carpark, Lesueur NP
This walk showcases an abundance of wildflowers through August to November, along with interesting land formations and spectacular views to the Indian Ocean from the top of Mount Lesueur. The first 250m of the trail leads to the Wilson lookout and is wide and bituminized, suitable for prams and wheelchairs. The remainder of the four-kilometre trail is sandy and leads towards the flat top hill (mesa), before climbing up the slope of Mount Lesueur via switchback. The summit is across the top of the mesa on the other side to the ascent and rewards walkers with spectacular views.
Turquoise Way Walk Trail, Jurien
Time: 1-3 hours
Trail Start: Jurien bay Marina
The Turquoise Way Trail is a 14.2km sealed track from the Jurien Bay Marina along the coast to the Hill River Mouth. The track is suitable for walking, running / jogging, cycling, prams, scooters and users of all ages. It is accessible at several points and passes through the Dobbyn Park foreshore area that has beautiful grassed picnic spots and gazebos, public toilets, beach access, playgrounds, outdoor gym, outdoor shower, drinking water fountains and easy access to cafes, restaurants and other town amenities. The stunning coastal views along much of this trail, has made it a popular choice for residents and visitors alike.
PHOTO CREDIT – Alistair Ross
Thungara Trail 6, Dongara
Time: 1-3 hours
Difficulty: Grade 2
Trail Start: Fisherman’s Memorial Lookout
Starting from the Fisherman’s Memorial Lookout on Pt Leander Drive, the trail follows the coastline past the Marina and Granny’s Beach, all the way to the wetlands at the Irwin River mouth, where birdlife is prolific. Follow the river upstream to a vantage point with views out over the river mouth all the way to the ocean. Cross the river at the bridge and return along the opposite bank to where you started, passing a number of historic buildings along the way
Stockyard Gully Cave, Stockyard Gully Reserve
Time: Less than 1 hour
Distance: 1.3 km
Difficulty: Grade 2
Trail Start: Cockleshell Gully Road picnic area
This easy 1.3 kilometre return trail in Stockyard Gully takes you along a sandy gully and into a cool and refreshing tunnel carved into limestone, large enough to walk through. The cave is named after the stockman who used the deep, cool gullies as a natural holding pen for their cattle, as they drove them for Geraldton to Perth for market in the 1950s. The cave and gully offered a safe and refreshing place to camp along the way.
NOTE – There are bee hives at both entrances to the cave.
PHOTO CREDIT – Department of Parks and Wildlife
The Pinnacles Drive Trail, Nambung National Park
Time: 1-3 hours allowing time to get out of the car and have a close up look at the pinnacles
Trail Start: The trail starts in the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre car park.
A 4.5 km drive trail, winding its way through the amazing limestone structures that create the strange, other world environment that is the Pinnacles Desert. The trail is a clearly marked, firm sandy track, suitable for 2WD vehicles. There is a lookout platform in the middle of the loop where you can sit for a while and take in the views all the way to the white sand dunes along the coast and the blue of the Indian Ocean. The Lookout Platform is wheelchair friendly.
PHOTO CREDIT – Kim Fawcett