Uncover the hidden side of Margaret River… on foot
Been slack over the weekend? Take a walk. Margaret River, just a 3-hour drive south of Perth, is world famous for premium wine, waves and walking. Why not combine the three with the Cape to Cape Track, a 135km trail which shows off the southwest’s best natural beauty? Rugged coastline, pristine beaches, karri forests, limestone cliffs – all moments from this region’s famed vineyards.
This one’s ideal if you’re up for walking 5 or 6 hours a day, spending lots of time under the sun and using the ocean as a bath. Running from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, it covers the entire Margaret River coastline and takes about 5-8 days to complete, depending on your fitness level and how many swim breaks you take.
When the day’s done, most camp on the beach or in campsites, beloved for their toilets and rainwater collection tanks. But if you insist on a pillow and a shower, take a guided tour with nights spent at local B&Bs!
In addition to the spectacular scenery of the coast’s rugged limestone cliffs, powdery white sand beaches and pristine forests, there’s wildlife too. While most animals in the area are nocturnal, it’s not unusual to catch sight of red-winged wrens, purple-crowned lorikeets, bobtail lizards, bandicoots and brush-tailed possums. Dolphins, humpback whales and southern right whales are often spotted too.
But it’s not without challenges. First is the sand. When you’re not walking on the beach itself, you’ll be walking on dune trails or 4WD tracks. With soft sand making for slow walking, sore calves and blisters, switching to sandals or bare feet is the best way to go. Second: the flies. A fly net will be your very best friend on the Cape to Cape. Wind, too, if it’s strong enough to blow the critters away. Then, of course, there’s the siren call of the wineries that are so, so close by.
But if you resist that temptation, a week spent like this will see you communing with Margaret River at its most pure. And while the view from the wine tasting van is pretty, we reckon the one away from the somewhat hedonistic oenophiles is even better.
Where: Margaret River