Updated: Oct 1
A Mongolian girl's hiking note to the Cape To Cape
The Cape to Cape Track is a 130km long hiking trail from the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse to Cape Leeuwin lighthouse, in other words, from Dunsborough to Augusta.
The trail is mainly a coastal walk and it should take 7 days to complete this hike, however, you might want to power through and finish in a shorter time.
1. Where to begin? Where to park?
You can either start from the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse or the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse. When you start the walk remember to sign your name on the walkers' book at the beginning of the hike.
You can park at the lighthouse parking. I suggest handing a piece of paper with car details to the lighthouse to inform them about your long-term parking. So they know you not camping there but doing the trail.
Spring is the perfect time to do Cape To Cape. There are wildflower blossoms all the way and the weather is not too hot. Please be aware of those sleepy snakes.
2. How to prepare the hike?
This was my very first multi-day hike and I was confident about my preparation, but I was wrong.
Hiking is where you'll carry everything in your backpack, and that backpack is going to go on your back. Do not overload, pack only necessary survival items.
Cape to Cape track will lead you to walk on the long beach sand and climb some mountains. Heavy Backpack will bring pain to your back, and knees and you are not stable enough to walk.
Outside of the list, you should prepare some of your clothing and food. It will be nice to have a night torch for night cooking or going to the bathroom at night. And every day I saw one or two snakes, maybe it's wise to have the snake bite ankle guards. Having good sports shoes with a thick Cushion is necessary. I had only my sandals in the beginning and I ended up with two blisters on my feet on my second day.
3. My six days of trips
Yallingup Smith Beach
17km / 5hr
Gracetown Caravan Park
30km / 9hr
Margaret River River Mouth
20km / 6hr
30km / 9hr
Take a bus to Dunsborough
17km / 5hr
To watch videos of my 6 days of trip, click here
I left from Perth in the early morning to Dunsborough. It was raining when I started the walk at 1 p.a m. I think the beginning of the walk is easy and you will reach the first free campsite, Mount Duckworth Campsite. If you walk another hour you will arrive at Yallingup. There are some comfortable accommodation options, please remember to make a booking before arrival.
I walked past Yallingup and pushed a little forward, then in the end because of the rain, I set my tent up on Smith Beach. It is not recommended for wild camping, but because of the sunset and heavy rain, I have to stop there and deal with my situation.
After a rainy and windy night, I pack up early and start the walk. My suggestion for the new hikers is to carry a lightweight tent with good water resistance quality, in this way you are prepared for the rain. Some beach walk, cliff walk and bush walk lead you to the second free campsite, Moses Rock Campsite.
I found climbing down the cliff's narrow stairs tricky with the strong wind, and with my big backpack, I felt I would be blown away. I called the Gracetown Caravan Park to make a booking. Then 5:30 pm I reached Gracetown Beach, and the caravan park owner picked me up. It is very nice of the Caravan owner to pick up the hikers from the entrance of the town. At the end of the day, I had two blisters on my feet.
Since I'm such an inexperienced hiker, I bought only one pair of sandals. About footwear, my suggestion for C2C hikers is to bring one sports footwear with a thick cushion and one flipflop. There is a general store in the town with a little cafe, if you wish to have a proper good meal please be aware that their closing time is 5:30 p.m. The Gracetown Caravan Park is very clean. There are some power point in the toilet and kitchen if you need to charge your devices.
Today one of my friends joined me for the hike, her name is Lavender. We had a good breakfast in the Gracetown General Store and then started the walk. The walk is easy and we hike through a beautiful bush walk with tons of wildflowers.
We passed the Ellensbrook Free Campsite aiming to go to Prevelly. There is a sign about the Margaret River river crossing, safest option is to do the alternative inland trail.
We've chosen the coastal walk to cross the river. The tide was very high at River Mouth that day we couldn't cross it instead we camped next to the river and decided to walk back and do the detour.
We went to check the tide at the beginning of the river mouth for the last time before walking back, and the tide was low.
We cross the river successfully and hitchhike to the Margaret town. Lavender didn't have a backpack cover, she was managing with garbage bags and a tent cover. She bought a backpack cover and I bought a pair of shoes, which is such a game-changer for the hike.
My blisters were very open and fresh, I had pain even standing straight let alone walking long distances with a heavy load. The blisters dried off during the rest of the walk, and I felt much less pain. We hitchhiked again back to the track and started our walk at 1 p.m.
We climbed up to the cliff and enjoyed our top hill ocean view along the track, the view was truly epic with the sunset. We camped on Conto Campsite and it was another heavy rainy night.
We walked through a forest and picked up some tree branches as support sticks since we started to have some knee pain.
The forest walk was easy then we started a very long beach walk to Hamelin Bay. It was a bit of a challenging walk. There is a Caravan park in the Hamelin bay where you can have some Hot Chocolate or Coffee. My hiking pal stopped here and I continued my walk alone heading to Deepdene Free Campsite.
There is a small sign on the beach pointing towards the campsite. Do not miss that sign, otherwise, the last 17km doesn't have any suitable place to wild camp. Deepdene Free Campsite is very close to the beach, there are two picnic tables and a long drop toilet. I didn't use the water, since I refilled my bottles earlier in Hamelin Bay.
Easy walk to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. I didn't find the Hiker's sign-out paper at the end, went directly to meet the lighthouse receptionist, and asked for some information about buses to go the Augusta.
There was none, so I hitchhiked to the town and waited for the bus in the cafe. The bus will drop me at the bus station in Dunsborough, I asked a lady to send me to the lighthouse, and she said yes, I'm very grateful for all the people who offered me lifts and help.
About the bus from Augusta to Dunsborough, you have to book online at least one day ahead. I saw some people get on the bus without an online ticket. Since the driver doesn't have a secretary he would have to let other passengers wait and manually fill out all the forms for the new passengers.
4. The reason to do a solo hike
I work as a casual FIFO Utility in mine, and one day it's my turn to scrap all the pots for 12 hours. I wasn't happy about it, since we have a clear rotation policy to prevent workers from getting injured.
In the beginning, I had anger and complaints filling my chest, then it slowly faded away, and I started to get some deep life thoughts, mainly thinking one question, who am I? I'm a Mongolian girl, working and travelling in this foreign country. I came to this country to learn the language and culture and open my eye horizon, which I think I did 80% now and you can tell since I wrote this blog.
I'm very happy when I see more things and explore new stuff, especially outdoor adventures. But recently I stopped my little adventure hobby, busy working in a mine site. That's why Rainbow Mood is coming up, I lost the balance of work and life. The day I flew out, I started my action to do the Cape to Cape.
And it was perfect, spring just arrived. Since I often admire those people who go on long trips just by themselves, especially girls, I grabbed my gut and decided to walk alone.