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If you’ve been following this blog for a while you will know how much I love being by the sea. And hiking.
So spending my birthday weekend with a few friends by the coast hiking the Cape to Cape Track in the South West of Western Australia seemed like one of my better ideas.
Plans were made, tents were hauled out of storage, supply lists were drawn up….we were good to go!
The weather, however, had other ideas.
I really enjoy a good summer storm – the smell of the rain on the hot earth, thunder and lightning, and the crazy-beautiful cloud formations. But the weather predicted for our planned weekend away was….ridiculous!
Gale force winds. Thunder storms. Heavy rain. And to top it all off – hail! Not the most ideal hiking and camping weather. So the trip was cancelled.
Fast-forward 3 weeks….
The weather has sorted itself out and seems willing to cooperate, so we go in for Round 2. This time with success. (Post) Birthday hiking weekend complete!
The Cape to Cape Track starts and ends at the lighthouses at Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin in Augusta.
The 135km walking trail hugs the coastline along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge which is within the beautiful Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.
(And for those of you who know nothing about national parks but everything about wine…it’s right near the famous Margaret River wine region.)
The trail is significantly less developed than the Bibbulmun Track – the mother of all hiking trails in the South West region. There are no hiking huts along the trail like there are on the Bibbulmun Track but there are a several basic campsites.
We pitched our tents in a tiny site near the Foul Bay Lighthouse, tucked away under the peppermint trees and only a 1 minute walk from the beach. Perfection!
After an amazing bush-barbeque dinner (courtesy of my Dad) we did the only thing left to do when camping by the coast….
…drink Maple Whiskey (courtesy of Canada) and twirl sparklers on the beach
Only having 2 days over the weekend we were only able to walk around 32km of the southern end of the trail. This area has limited vehicle access points, and most are along very rough 4WD tracks.
While this may see inconvenient, it means that this part of the coastline remains very much untouched. The beaches are pristine, and for the most part we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
The section of the Cape to Cape Track that we walked requires a good amount of soft-sand beach and dune walking. As if our calves were not hurting enough from that, we stupidly forgot to use to the SPF 30+ on our legs the first day and were suffering from sunburn by Day 2.
Tired, hot and hungry, but thoroughly exhilarated, we finished our hike near the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in Augusta.
The best weekend I’ve had in ages and the ideal time this to do before the heat of the Aussie summer kicks in….looking forward to Round 2 after summer!