A 9-Day Cape to Cape Track Itinerary
Take your time and enjoy the views!
In my previous post, I highlighted the top 5 reasons to hike the Cape to Cape Track in the South West corner of Western Australia, including it’s natural beauty, isolation and varied selection of accommodation options. Following on from that, here is one possible itinerary that will help you plan your hike.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How many days should I plan for if I want to hike end-to-end?
- What is the accommodation like along the Track?
- What are the distances between campsites or accommodation?
- Where can we get food and drink?
With these questions in mind, I’d like to lay out one possible itinerary for an end-to-end self-guided hike.
This itinerary isn’t about running along the track as quickly as possible from end to end; missing all of the views and wildlife because you’re looking only at your feet and trying to get it over with as quickly as possible…
Instead, this is about making your hike into a real journey over 9 days so that you can experience some of what the beautiful Margaret River Region offers.
One nice thing about the Cape to Cape Track is that although it has an isolated feel to it, there are still plenty of options along the way to buy food & drink and to stay in proper accommodation.
Generally, I recommend hiking the Track from north to south because the days tend to be easier in the north, while the longer days (with more beach walking), are in the south. Hence, as you build up your hiking stamina, you’ll be ready for that 6 km stretch of beach walking between Conto and Hamelin Bay!
You can find all of the maps and the complete guide to accompany this article on the Cape to Cape Track Guide Hiking App on Google Play or on the App Store. It works without needing internet so it works everywhere.
Day 1. Dunsborough to Mount Duckworth Campsite
Start in Dunsborough and treat yourself to a tasty meal and coffee. For breakfast or lunch before you start to hike, my pick is Artezen Cafe Restaurant & Bar. They use a lot of local produce and their coffee is second to none.
Option 1: Walk from Dunsborough
Leave Dunsborough on foot and walk the Meelup Regional Park Track. It is not part of the Cape to Cape Track, but it is well worth walking due to its stunning beaches and clifftop viewpoints. From Hurford Road in Dunsborough to the start of the Cape to Cape Track at the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse is a distance of 14.8 km. Continuing on to the first available campsite at Mount Duckworth is a total of 25.3 km.
Option 2: Taxi from Dunsborough
For a shorter day, take a taxi (there is no bus service) to the start of the Cape to Cape Track at Cape Naturaliste lighthouse. Then head south to Sugarloaf, hike past Three Bears and take in the views along the clifftops until you reach the Mount Duckworth campsite. This is a distance of 10.5 km.
The Mount Duckworth campsite is free and has shady tent spots, picnic tables, a composting toilet and water tanks.
Day 2 itinerary. Mount Duckworth to Moses Rock Campsite
On Day 2 of our itinerary, the hike from the free campsite at Mount Duckworth to the free campsite at Moses Rock is 26 km. At an average pace of 4 km/h, this would take about 6.5 hours. You can stock up on water and food in Yallingup (Yallingup General Store, known as Andy’s Store), or have lunch at Smith’s Beach at the cafe. Then set off to take in the beautiful Canal Rocks, Wyadup Beach, Cape Clairault, Quinninup Falls and Moses Rock to finally arrive at the Moses Rock Campsite. Set up your tent and relax away the rest of the day.
The Moses Rock campsite is free and has shady tent spots, picnic tables, a composting toilet and water tanks.
Day 3. Moses Rock Campsite to Gracetown
This 10.5 km section travels over the top of Wilyabrup Cliffs and has a few short beach-walking sections. At Gracetown, there is a caravan park with a range of options (chalet, cabin, campsite, glamping). It is located 4.0 km from the beach.
There are also a few short-stay accommodation options (make sure you book in advance). Gracetown has a cafe and a small shop for basic supplies.
There are no free camping options at Gracetown. Prices range from $15/night per person at the caravan park to several hundred a night for a house.
Day 4. Gracetown to Ellensbrook Campsite
This is a short, 8.5 km section, which makes it a more casual day. I recommend spending the morning checking out the surfers on Cowaramup Bay at Gracetown and having lunch in the cafe, then setting out at a leisurely pace to the Ellensbrook Campsite, stopping at Ellensbrook House for an educational tour.
The Ellensbrook campsite is free and has shady tent spots, picnic tables, a composting toilet and water tanks.
(An option to save a day in this suggested itinerary would be to combine Days 3 and 4 and walk from Moses Rock Campsite to Ellensbrook Campsite; a distance of 19 km total.)
Day 5 itinerary. Ellensbrook Campsite to Prevelly/Gnarabup
There is a lot to see along this 14.0 km stretch of coastline, including Cape Mentelle, the Margaret River Mouth, Surfer’s Point and the lovely town sites of Prevelly and Gnarabup (which are side-by-side).
There is a caravan park in Prevelly (with cottages, cabins, vans or campsites). Gnarabup has a cafe and a restaurant. Both have many short-stay accommodation options. This area is a great spot to consider stopping over at for a few nights. You can call a taxi and head into the town of Margaret River (to stock up on food or fuel), or have a meal in Gnarabup and enjoy the swimming beach located here.
There are no free camping options at Prevelly/Gnarabup. Prices range from $15/night per person at the caravan park to several hundred a night for a house.
Day 6. Gnarabup to Conto Campground
There are several points on this section of the track that are absolute highlights. You’ll find rugged limestone cliffs and stunning views over white sand beaches along this 13.6 km stretch. This is possibly the prettiest section of the track.
In addition, Conto Campground is a lovely spot to spend a night. It has large, private sites and a camp host who will help you get settled in. A nightly fee applies.
Day 7 itinerary. Conto Campground to Hamelin Bay Campground
It is a 21 km long day between these two campgrounds. Hamelin Bay Campground is on the beach and has cabins and campsites available. The trail is a mix of walking through Karri forest and walking for 6 km on Boranup Beach. A nightly fee applies to stay at Hamelin Bay Campground. It’s best to book in advance if you are hiking during peak season.
Day 8. Hamelin Bay Campground to Deep Dene Campsite
The geography around Hamelin Bay is quite unique–with lots of limestone features and small offshore islands. There is one section where you may hear and see blowholes in the right swell and tide conditions.
It is 10 km between the Hamelin Bay and Deep Dene Campsites, with beach walking and some rock hopping.
The Deep Dene campsite is free and has shady tent spots, picnic tables, a composting toilet and water tanks.
Final Day of our itinerary: Day 9. Deep Dene Campsite to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
This is the final section of our 9-day itinerary for the Cape to Cape Hiking Track. It’s a 15.5 km long section with beach walking, rock hopping and a few lovely clifftop views. The finish is at the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse–the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia. This is where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean.
If you have time, go into the lighthouse grounds and take the audio tour. It’s a fascinating history that outlines how challenging it was to live here as lighthouse keepers in the early 1900s.
Although the Cape to Cape Track finishes here, it’s still 8.5 km or so to the town of Augusta. You can call a taxi or walk the road to get into town.
Augusta has a good selection of accommodation options, pubs and restaurants. There is a periodic bus service from here, but make sure you check the timetables and book your seat.
The Cape to Cape Track is rugged, isolated and uncrowded.
It is often hiked end-to-end in 6 days, but I recommend to take it a bit slower and spend time enjoying the coastline, quality food and drink and sleeping in a real bed for a few nights!
The Guidebook App
- The Cape to Cape Track Hiking Guide App.
You won’t get lost at any of those crossroads.
It has handy information on where and when you can find water and the locations of all sights, campsites, toilets and much more.
Furthermore, it’s the only fully authored guide App for the track that has been verified and is kept current. Users find it indispensable!
- Dunsborough Taxis: (08) 9756 8688
- Margaret River Taxis: 131 008
- Augusta Taxis: 131 008
- Cy Fort in Augusta: 0428 953 385 (he’ll pick you up and drop you off anywhere in the south west)
- Trans WA regional bus service: 1300 662 205
The Cape to Cape Track is located in south west Western Australia. It is one of the Great Walks of Australia.
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