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Top 4 hikes in the Margaret River Region

When you think of Margaret River, it is usually the world-class wineries and white sand beaches that come to mind, but there is so more to this wonderful region, like its excellent hikes.

Make the three-hour drive from Perth to the Margaret River region and you’ll find a range of hikes, from epic week-long treks through bush and beach, to challenging day trips that edge along dramatic cliffs. Whichever trail you choose, you’re sure to be rewarded with coastal scenery unlike any other in the South West. Here are 4 must-do hikes to add to your to-do list.

1. Cape to Cape Track

Time: 5 - 8 days end-to-end.

Distance: 135km

Difficulty: Grade 4 - Bushwalking experience recommended.

Trail Start:  Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, 13km from Dunsborough which is 255km (3 hours) south of Perth.

Australian Geographic listed The Cape to Cape Track as one of the top ten multi-day walks in Australia, and we couldn’t agree more. This 135km trail runs between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin, travelling along spectacular coastline and through beautiful karri forest. Along the route, you’ll discover secluded beaches, fascinating cliffs, rock formations, and an ever-changing display of vegetation and wildflowers.

The trail is a mix of old 4WD tracks, constructed pathways, rough stony paths and sandy beaches. You can tackle the Cape to Cape as a week-long adventure where you camp or stay at accommodation, or you can break it in to a number of smaller, easier day walks. If you’re planning on walking the trail between June and December, migrating humpback whales may even join you as they make their way south.

Cape to Cape Track.  Photo by Inspiration Outdoors.


2. Hamelin Bay to Cosy Corner, near Augusta

Time: 4 hours

Distance: 13 kilometre return

Difficulty: Grade 4 - Bushwalking experience recommended.

Trail Start: Hamelin Bay boat ramp,312km (3.5 hours) south of Perth.

Speaking of day trips on the Cape to Cape, the hike between Hamelin Bay and Cosy Corner is a favourite. This 13km return trail begins at Hamelin Bay - a sheltered, aqua-blue cove that is reportedly home to some very friendly stingray. From here, the trail turns inland for a short but challenging climb up to Foul Bay Lighthouse. After admiring the sweeping views, you’ll continue past a number of small rocky islands before arriving at the beautiful Cosy Corner beach. Just south of Cosy Corner, you’ll find a limestone rock platform, complete with blowholes that spurt water up to 6 metres high on rough days!

 Hamelin Bay: Photo from Department of Parks and Wildlife


3. Wardanup Trail, Yallingup

Time: 2 to 3 hours

Distance: 6.3km loop

Difficulty: Grade 3 - Suitable for most ages and fitness levels.

Trail Start: Rabbit Hill carpark, Yallingup, 260km (3 hours) south of Perth

The Wardanup Trail explores the beautiful landscape surrounding Ngilgi Cave in Yallingup.  A favourite with the locals, this 6.3km loop walk leads you through shady peppermint forest up to Wardanup Hill and then descends down to Ngilgi Cave and the valley of Yallingup Brook. Along the trail, there’s plenty of fantastic coastal scenery to enjoy, including views to Sugarloaf Rock and Yallingup reef - you might even catch glimpses of the surfers on the surrounding surf breaks. Take note, this trail crosses sand, cliffs and coastal heathland, so make sure you’re wearing sturdy boots suitable for all terrain.

 Wardanup Trail by Pam Riordan

4. Bunker Bay Loop, Dunsborough

Time: 1.5 hours

Distance: 3.6km loop

Difficulty: Grade 3 - Suitable for most ages and fitness levels.

Trail Start: Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, end of Cape Naturaliste Road, 270km (3 hours) south of Perth

The Bunker Bay Loop is a short but scenic hike with an edge – literally! Starting at the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse, this 3.6km loop takes you as close as possible to the cliff edges of Cape Naturaliste. Don’t worry, the trail features a number of lookouts, so you can enjoy the superb coastal views with ease.

In particular, the viewing platform overlooking Shelley Cove offers the perfect spot to soak up the Geographe Bay scenery. Keen botanists will be interested to know that the trail also features three vegetation types - woodland, wind-pruned marri and coastal heath – all of which are distinctive to the Cape area.

Bunker Bay Loop by Gilbert Stokman 

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