Cape to Cape Trail – Day 1

The Cape to Cape Trail is 135kms from Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in South Western Australia. We took seven days to complete it and camped at both caravan parks and bush campsites. It is also possible to do the hike in as little as five days and to only stay at bush campsites. We were in no rush though.

Around 7:30am on Monday morning we left Perth for Prevelly. We had decided to leave a third of our food at the Prevelly General Store for when we arrived on day four. After dropping off some of our food, we drove back up to the Naturaliste Lighthouse. A big shoutout to Chris for driving us around and dropping us off so that we didn’t have to coordinate car logistics. And also for the trail tips. There were many ‘Chris was right’ moments throughout the week.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to Yallingup (14kms).

The first part of the trail is a paved section down to Sugarloaf rock. Funnily enough, despite all of the rock sections and tree roots that we would have to cross later, it was here that I fell over.

We had just signed the trail book marking the start of the hike and no more than fifty metres later I was lying on my back, ‘turtled’. I had stepped backwards and hit a raised ventilation box and ended up lying on it on my pack. We were both laughing so hard that it took a while before I could get up.

After regaining ourselves, we waved bye to the lighthouse and started the walk to Sugarloaf Rock.

The entire walk to Sugarloaf Rock is paved and is an accessible tourist attraction. The rock itself is very impressive and we used it over the next two days as a landmark to see the distance we had covered.

After passing Sugarloaf, the ‘real’ trail begins. The Cape to Cape trail is marked with posts carrying the new trail plaque.

For the most part, the trail is relatively easy to follow, however, we were carrying the map and the guidebook and we were glad that we had both. On the beach stretches, it can be easy to miss the correct turn off as the posts are few and far between and can sometimes be hidden behind scrub in the dunes.

We learnt this quickly as we got a little bit lost on our first beach crossing. It was only very short, however, we missed the turn off (which we might not have if we had read the guidebook). We ended up finding the trail again after a little rock scramble.

Majority of the rest of the walk on day one was on the cliffs above the ocean. The trail wanders around each headland and there are incredible views.

The town of Yallingup in the distance.
Looking back at Sugarloaf Rock.

The beauty of being that high up over the ocean is that you have a really good view of the rain coming towards the coast. After spotting a big line of rain headed straight for us (rapidly) we rushed to pull out our pack rain covers and our rain jackets.

We managed to get our pack covers on and Shelley got her rain jacket but I couldn’t for the life of me, remember where I had put mine. I knew it must be in a clever spot but I could not find it and the rain wasn’t planning on cutting me any slack.

After searching every corner of the pack, I still couldn’t find it and the rain had arrived. In the end, I huddled behind Shelley and we waited for the rain to stop, crying with laughter. A little bit drenched we carried on.

I later found my rain jacket in the top pocket of the backpack. I had forgotten that that pocket even existed whilst in my hurry. It was a very clever spot though.

Tip #1: Know where your rain jacket is, before it starts raining.

The final stretch of day one for us was into Yallingup. We would stay at the Yallingup Caravan Park for our first night on the trail. We arrived a little before dark and had time to put up our tent and sit on the rocks to watch the sunset.

For dinner we had bought four freeze dried meals from Anaconda and tonight was our first night to try them. Unfortunately in my hurry to eat, I didn’t stir the food enough in the water so some came out with powder at the bottom. Yuck.

Tip #2 Stir the freeze dried really well.

Though the walk was relatively short, it had been a long day and we were knackered. As we were walking over the winter solstice, the sun set at 5:30pm and we went to sleep not long after that.

I want to say a huge thank you to Keith and Gillian for letting us borrow lots of their hiking gear. The hike would not have been possible without it and their past experience on the trail.

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