The Cape to Cape is a week-long 135km hike on the south-west coast of Australia.
The trail is really stunning. We hike over cliff tops (take sun cream!) with spectacular views of the turquoise sea. We walk through native forest, up and down sand dunes and along beaches. We pass stunning rock formations and hop over terrifying blowholes. We walk past a memorial for dead surfers, and then watch surfers tackling massive waves.
The Cape to Cape is an exhausting slog. Although not a technically difficult trail in any way, every step is through sand. Even when you’re not walking on the beach, you’re walking on sand. A week of hiking on this terrain is difficult! I think, “this is more exhausting than the Larapinta Trail!” a number of times.
There are four designated free campsites on the trail. These are lovely – set amongst trees so that you’d barely know they were there. It really seems that the trail organisers have thought about how to minimise the impact of the walk.
We stay in one national park campsite in a lovely forest. The forest is a really welcome change to clifftop and beach walking!
We wild camp for one night in a magical little spot next to a little bridge. There are other good wild camping spots on route, so you don’t need to hop from campsite to campsite unless you’re out of water.
When it comes to wildlife, the trail doesn’t disappoint. We see seals, skinks, lizards, snakes, possums, lots of black cockatoos, and, of course, kangaroos. We even see a whale on its migration path (albeit pretty far away from us!)
It is, however, sad to see signs for 1080 poison on the trail. It is nasty stuff, and the animals that eat the poison-laced baits die a slow and excrutiating death. I find it ironic that 1080 is laid here to preserve the native wildlife, such as the possum, and over the water in New Zealand, it’s dropped from the sky to kill possums.
We only see one other thru-hiker on this trail – a young American guy. Maybe it’s because we are doing it at the start of summer. We have every free campsite to ourselves.
The Cape to Cape is a good hike if you don’t have much time, as it’s so short. Unlike the Larapinta Trail, it doesn’t need much pre-planning at all. The trail goes through a few surf towns and past streets of rich people’s houses. You’re never that far away from civilisation, with some access roads on route.
We buy the guidebook just a couple of days before the hike, and before we know it, we’re walking!
We also hiked the Larapinta Trail in the Outback. To read about our experience, click here.