14 Things You Should Know Before Hiking the Cape to Cape Track in WA
For a spectacular adventure along Australia’s south-west coast, head to the Cape to Cape Track in Western Australia for the ultimate hiking experience. Situated between Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste, this is Australia’s longest coastal walk. The extraordinary landscape offers great variety, spanning squeaky white sand beaches, secluded coves, towering forests and limestone caves.
To help you choose your next walking or hiking experience, here are 14 things you should know before walking and hiking the Cape to Cape Track in Western Australia.
1. Where is the Cape to Cape track?
The Cape to Cape track is located in Western Australia. Western Australia’s southwest is known for its stunning coastline and breathtaking forests. As you navigate your way along the track, you will explore the diverse natural scenery and formations along the approximately 135 km route.
While there are many good hotels in Perth, as part of our group guided Cape to Cape walk we will pick you up and drop you off from one central hotel known as the Miss Maud Swedish Hotel, 97 Murray Street, Perth. The tour starts at 8:30 am at this hotel. We arrive back in Perth at approximately 6 pm on the last day.
2. What you will experience on this track?
We hike the Cape to Cape walk from south to north to avoid the prevailing weather conditions. The hike starts at Cape Leeuwin in a town, Augusta, about 350 km south of Perth. Heading north on the Cape to Cape Track, the walk traverses clifftops, deserted beaches, villages, coastal heathlands, peppermint tree woodlands and majestic Karri forests with tall open stands of eucalypt, which is unique to the location. This walk has the added benefit of being located near the Margaret River, an area renowned worldwide for its excellent lodging and dining experiences.
3. How can I walk the Cape to Cape track?
We offer four amazing hiking options:
- Cape to Cape self-guided tour for 9 or 10 days;
- Cape to Cape guided tour for 8 days;
- Cape to Cape Highlights self-guided tour for 6 days; and
- Cape to Cape Long Weekend group guided tour for 4 days.
Each option will suit people with different needs. If you want the freedom to take the track at your own pace, we provide self-guided tour options with all the essentials including comprehensive track notes and maps to keep you on course. If you opt for the guided tours, there will be 2 engaging, knowledgeable and professional guides who will both navigate you through Western Australia’s exquisite southwest coast and share interesting information about the landscape.
4. How hard is it to walk the Cape to Cape track?
We have rated the walk as ‘moderate’. The Cape to Cape Track is generally well graded and relatively easy to negotiate. At Augusta and before Ellensbrook, there will be hilly terrain which is manageable. We recommend our walkers wear comfortable walking and hiking shoes and don breathable clothing that will make your hike even more enjoyable. The walking is rated as moderate and is done at a pace that suits everyone. Walks consist of mostly coastal tracks with some bushland 4WD tracks and sections of beach. On average, we walk 17 km per day, with longer days reaching distances of up to 24 km.
5. How long does it take to walk?
The entire track can be walked in a week. However, if you want to soak in the exquisite environment at various viewing points throughout the track, you might be walking for a little longer than a week. Our walks are not only about keeping your head down and completing the walk in the shortest time possible. We want all our guests to enjoy the experience, see different aspects of nature, hear the pleasant gush of wind, view local fauna and smell the unique wildflowers.
The track has much to share and we recommend the walk not be rushed. With so much on offer, nothing should be ignored. Take your time and enjoy the experience. There are also great photo opportunities which we can tell you about.
6. What is the weather like?
It is difficult to predict what the weather will be like months ahead of your adventure. However, close to the commencement date, make sure you check the Bureau of Meteorology’s website for more accurate weather forecasts. We will provide you with information closer to the date for departure.
From March the temperature and humidity will drop as we head into the Autumn months and this is a great time of the year to walk. The middle of winter can be cold and wet and river crossings may be difficult. By September, springtime is in the air and we believe this is the best time to complete the walk. This walking experience is not available over the hot, and sometimes humid, summer months of December to February as we want all our guests to enjoy their walking experience.
7. Things to carry while walking the Cape to Cape track?
We recommend our walkers and hikers carry as few items as possible. In addition to a water bottle, food, maps, information guides, mobile phone and a camera, we do not anticipate you will need anything else. We will provide you with a lunch bag, cutlery and a container to help keep your nourishments fresh and safe. Your luggage will be transported on road by our professional team, so you will not have to worry about carrying it around.
8. What fitness level do I need?
A walk of this length does require you to have an appropriate and adequate fitness level. While we do not discourage anyone to have a go and try the walk, we can help you determine whether the walk is manageable for you if you give us a call. Our guides are professionals and understand not everyone has the same capabilities. If you choose a guided tour, they will help support you throughout the walk. Even if you opt for a self-guided tour, our friendly team will alert you to areas throughout the walk which will require extra effort, so you can prepare and manage your walking experience accordingly.
9. What’s the best time of the year to hike the Cape to Cape track?
Based on our experience, the best time is during the Spring months (September through to November). It is pleasantly cool at that time of year and the temperature begins to slowly rise. In Spring, the wildflowers blossom and the natural flora smell is welcoming. Spring is ideal as it is not too hot like summer and autumn, and not too cold and windy like winter.
10. What maps and guidebooks are available?
If you choose a self-guided tour, we will provide you with comprehensive track notes and maps, together with a conveniently sized map case to keep this important information safe from the elements. In addition, we will provide you with 24/7 support from our driver and representatives on the ground.
With our guided tours, no maps are provided because you will have two professional, knowledgeable and understanding guides who will take care of your navigation needs.
11. How much water should I carry?
We recommend you carry enough water to get you through the day. Each person has different requirements in relation to hydration and we recommend you carry enough water as you need. Remember, we will stop at various locations throughout the walk which do have water and toilet facilities. This will enable you to refill your water bottle. However, the more you carry, the harder the walk.
12. Can I have a rest day or a half-day walk option on my guided experience?
If you select the guided option, there is little flexibility in tailoring the experience to suit each person’s individual needs. Unless you choose a self-guided tour, there is no option to have a rest day or half-day walk option.
Nonetheless, we do provide breakfast, lunch and dinner that has been prepared by professional chefs to help keep you nourished. In addition, walkers will enjoy staying in a private room with ensuite at a delightful choice of lodgings each night, including beachside and riverfront motels and apartments.
13. Will my mobile phone work on the Track?
Reception along the track is available. There is better reception towards the northern end of the track than the southern end. However, we recommend you should not rely solely on mobile reception for communication purposes.
Your safety is your responsibility and you should consider other safety measures than use of a phone. Especially for self-guided tours, we recommend you notify family and friends of your whereabouts, provide them with a copy of your itinerary, notify us of your emergency contact details, obtain appropriate health and medical insurance, plan for any emergencies and carry appropriate first aid and medical supplies as required.
14. How do I get to the Cape to Cape Track?
For our 9 and 10 day self-guided Cape to Cape walks you will have to organise your travel to the starting point of the walk which is in Augusta, Western Australia. If arriving by car, we recommend leaving your vehicle at the last accommodation at the northern end of the track, which is Bunker Bay / Dunsborough, then catching a bus to Augusta. This will make things easier at the end of your holiday as your car will be ready to take you home. Additional information will be provided to guests in their information pack.
For our 6 day cape to cape highlights walk we start our walk at Gnarabup. For this walk we can arrange for pick ups and drop off from either Margaret River or Bunker Bay but this does come at an additional cost.
For our guided cape to cape walks we arrange for pick up and drop offs from Perth.
This trip can easily be combined with the Bibbulmun Track group-guided trip for an extended Western Australia walking holiday.
For amazing hikes and walks in Australia, like the Cape to Cape Track in Western Australia, browse our entire collection online and feel free to give our expert guides a call on +61 3 9597 9767 to discuss any queries.