The Cape to Cape Track is Australia’s longest coastal trail. If you enjoy multi-day hikes, love camping in the bush, and spending hours in nature, this hike is definitely for you! The trail has 135 km, runs through immensely beautiful Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, and features some spectacular landscapes. Having said that, you will be given an opportunity to see some of the best places in Margaret River in Western Australia. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you all you need to know about the Cape to Cape Track.
HOW LONG IS THE CAPE TO CAPE TRACK?
The 135 km Cape to Cape Track is Australia’s longest coastal trail. It usually takes 4 – 7 days to do it. The walking track goes through Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, and stretches between Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. The Water Wheel is the official end of the Cape to Cape Track, but the truth is that everyone goes a few extra kilometres to touch the second lighthouse. If you want to know how I planned the entire hike, go to a separate post with the Cape to Cape Track: 7-day itinerary.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE CAPE TO CAPE TRACK?
The Cape to Cape Track goes along the coast with several inland loops. It’s indeed a long hike, but the scenery changes very day, so it doesn’t feel boring at all. The beach stretches are definitely the greatest challenge of the hike. If you are an experienced hiker, you can definitely do the Cape to Cape Track unsupported, carrying all the necessary equipment on you. If you don’t feel like doing it that way, there are some companies offering self-guided or guided Cape to Cape trips. I recommend the first option though.
HOW HARD IS THE CAPE TO CAPE TRACK?
The Cape to Cape Track is an amazing adventure, but it also requires a good level of fitness and some previous experience in long-distance hiking. For me, the biggest challenge was to carry all the gear on my back for such a long time. Even though I took the bare minimum with me, my backpack was quite heavy, and it gave me a hard time, especially when I was walking on soft sand. The total distance, and the long sandy stretches, should be your main worries. The key to success is to keep pushing on, even if it’s not easy.
HOW TO NAVIGATE ON THE TRACK?
The trail is marked quite well, except the beach sections. When the walking track goes down to the beach, there are suddenly no signs. It’s pretty obvious you should follow the beach for some time, but the question is, where to exit it? When it comes to navigation, I followed the signs and used google maps to double-check if I’m heading in the right direction. Internet works fine only around towns. If I were you, I would download the map of Margaret River region beforehand (so that you can use it offline) or install AllTrails app instead.
WHAT TIME OF YEAR IS BEST TO DO THE CAPE TO CAPE TRACK?
The trail is open all year round, but the best time to do it is Australia’s spring and autumn. These two seasons are definitely hikers friendly as the temperature is not too high. I did the Cape to Cape Track in December. As you might expect, some days were extremely hot, but nights were surprisingly cold. Warm clothes come in handy! Don’t forget to pack them, even if you’re doing this hike in summer. Last, but not least. Flies can be very annoying on summer days, so be prepared for that too, and take a fly net with you.
HOW TO PICK UP YOUR CAR AFTER THE HIKE?
Most people start the Cape to Cape Track at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, and head towards Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. It’s obvious that if you leave your car at the first lighthouse, you will have to get back there after the hike. This is how you can do it. Take a taxi from Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse to Augusta, catch a bus to Dunsborough, and then take another taxi to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. This is exactly what I did to pick up my car. There is no walking fee, and entry to Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is also free of charge.
WHERE TO CAMP?
Camping is possible at national park campsites or private caravan parks. National park campsites have basic facilities such as toilets and picnic tables. You can camp for free at most of them. Some sections of the Cape to Cape Track include caravan parks only, so you have no other choice than staying a night there. It will cost you more, but at least you can take a shower and charge your phone. Remember to make a booking though. For campsites locations, go to a separate post with Cape to Cape Track: 7-day itinerary.
WHAT TO PACK?
Packing light for a multi-day hike is absolutely essential. You do need to take all necessary gear with you, but remember that every extra kilogram will make your life harder. In my opinion this is the bare minimum: ultralight tent (it’s worth the money), sleeping bag (be mindful that nights can be very cold), power banks (you will get a chance to charge your phone every second day on average), fly net (don’t go without it), headlight, ear plugs (needed to survive a night out in the bush), clothes, cosmetics, toilet paper, water, food.
WHERE TO TAKE WATER FROM?
You don’t have to take water for the entire hike with you. There will be some grocery shops along the way. National park campsites also have rainwater tanks. Bad news is that they should not be solely relied on, especially in summer. Happy to say that I didn’t have any troubles with refilling my bottles even though I did the Cape to Cape Track in December. But due to the extreme heat, I did start every day with 5 liters of water in my backpack. That’s a lot! Just a reminder. Don’t forget to treat or boil tank water prior to consumption.
HOW MUCH FOOD TO TAKE?
The last thing you need to know about the Cape to Cape Track is that you don’t have to take food for the entire hike. The trail passes through towns, so you can buy some groceries or even grab a coffee there. Private caravan parks sell some basic products too. Yes, they are overpriced, but you can’t be too choosy when running out of food. Overall, it’s reasonable to carry a food supply for at least 2 – 3 days. For exact locations of grocery shops, go to a separate post with the Cape to Cape Track: 7-day itinerary. Good luck!
This is all you need to know about the Cape to Cape Track. Do you think you can finish this hike in 5 days? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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