The Cape to Cape Track (C2C) is located in the south west of Australia and goes along the coast between the Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. It ranges about 135km, has various possibilities to overnight/resupply and enthuse his walkers by its marvellous views and environment
In I830, when the first settler arrived, they already walked along the coast and needed about 7-8 days to complete it which is also the average duration for completing the whole trail. Since there was no official track it was decided in the 1980s the develop one, which is now know as the Cape to Cap Track. The starting/end point are either the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse (north, closest town: Dunsborough) or the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse (south, closest town: Augusta).
My hiking plan:
Before every long distance hike you should plan your hike. It is important to know how big the distances of the campsites are, how much food you need, how big the evolution differences are and so on. After hiking the Darling Range section of the Bibbulmun Track I took one day of to resupply and plan my hike. It won’t be as challenging as the Bibb Track and I was now more experienced on long distance hikes.
My plan was to go southbound, starting from Cape Naturaliste and I had 10 days until I have to get back to Perth for my flight to the east coast. So it was enough time to take it slow, walk from campsite to campsite and take long breaks on the beach 🙂
Day 1: Dunsborough to #1 camp site (10km/10km)
I arrived in Dunsborough in the afternoon with the bus (TransWA) from Perth and planed to hike the 10km to the first campsite. Since the Lighthouse is about 14km away from Dunsborough i needed to hitch hike from the city centre. It was my first time and it worked out pretty well. It took me only 30min until I arrived at the starting point where I logged in in the Log book.
With the sun slowly setting down to my right I set my first steps on the C2C. The first 4km nice to walk and even accessible for people with a wide range of physical disability. I arrived at the camp site just as the sun set down, ate dinner and went to bed since i was tired of a long day. I was again alone on my first days as on the Bibbulmun Track but I was now used to it 😉
Day 2: #1 C2C-camp site to #2 C2C-camp site (21km/31km)
I left early in the morning to get quickly back my routine (total hiking time: 66% morning and 34% evening) and arrived after 2 hours in the first trail town Yallingup. It was to soon for a burger but I enjoyed my brekky (Australian synonym for breakfast) and dried my clothes which I washed at the showers. Just right after Yallingup you have the last chance for a while to get a good coffee with some cake (I, of course didn’t missed the possibility). While drinking my coffee I walked along smith beach where I already spent some time and met two lovely Australian a couple weeks ago (Read here).
As its getting really warm midday, I stopped at Moses rocks which is a really nice place to go for a swim. You could either climb over the rocks to get into the water or even jump from a little bridge.
After this great refreshment I went back on the trail and started the last part until moses campsite. You should try to reach moses campsite before sunset. Follow the path toward the ocean and you find a bench at the cliff and you will never forget this sunset.
Day 3: #2 C2C-camp site to #3 C2C-camp site (21km/52km)
For this section, you should get up early and have you camera always ready to hand. For me, the stretch from Moses camp site until Gracetown (town passing next day) was the most impressive one. Walking either on a 4W-street or path, you will have the most impressive views behind an ascent/corner or when you walked trough dense grown rottnest tea tress. It took me about 6h for almost 12km to get to Gracetown, which will be the last trail town along the C2C. I took a lot of time to find good spots, spent time in “pool” which rock formation create and climbed on couple bigger rocks.
When you arrive in Gracetown and its getting to warm, take a rest at the only restaurant “sunsets cafe”. They serve tasty food and refreshing drinks.
Check my review about this burger on my “Burger Trail”
It was hard to start again after a burger and cake but it was worth it 🙂 It is not far until the next camp site (Ellenbrook) and you have either the choice to walk on the beach or on the top of the hill. Since I was in a hurry because weather changed, I walked along the top and arrived lucky dry at the camp site. If you have time, visit the Ellenbrook homestead which was build in 1850s and is the earliest European settlement along this coast.
Day 4: #3 C2C-camp site to Contos Campground (31km/83km)
It was the 24th December and I planned to spent christmas eve on Contos Campground, which is located in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and costs 10€ per person. The Margaret River region is well known for its imposing caves and “Lake Cave” is located close to Contos Campground. Since there are no tours on the 25th, I wanted to arrive soon enough to get at least on the last tour at 4pm. I got up around 4am and had some part along the coast and inland waiting for me.
ATTENTION: You’ll will have to pass Margaret river mouth, where the river flows out to the sea. Since I hiked in the summer, the water level was so low that a sandbank separate the river form the ocean. In winter/spring it is most likely that you have to walk trough water or take the diversion which is noted in the guidebook.
After crossing, the trails continuous through forrest inland which makes a nice change to the coast. Since I’ve walked already a lot in the forrest on the Bibbulmun Track, I raised my pace and got after getting back to the coast for 5km to Contos Campground. It was enough time for visiting Lake Cave which is definitely worth to visit
After spending nights alone on the previous camp sites, Contos was more occupied and I had the chance to get to know a lovely young couple an their 3 year old son. We ate our christmas dinner together and had a nice evening together.
Day 5: Contos Campground to Hamelin Bay (16km/98km)
Since it was christmas, I decided to not walk until the next campsite (again about 30km) and spent more time with my new friends. I thought I could also sleep in but the really cute looking Kookaburra had other thoughts. Right on time, he started singing (and he’s voice is not at all cute/nice) around 5am and kept us all awake (don’t forget you earplugs).
I said goodbye to my neighbours in the afternoon and head into the forrest. I reached the beach 6km before Hamelin Bay and realised one big disadvantage of hiking southbound: Strong winds from south. I must admit it was really fun facing the wind but if your a beginner try to walk this section in the morning or walk northbound.
Just shy of Hamelin Bay i set my tent in the sand dunes and had my first night sleeping at the beach. The used to the sound of the waves it was hard to fall asleep but still totally worth it 🙂
Day 6: Hamelin Bay to #4 C2C-camp site (16km/115km)
Waking up with the view of the ocean was making this experience unforgettable. I walked the last km to Hamelin Bay where is also a big caravan park. As I left the beach, I saw a father sitting with his daughter enjoying a nice morning on the beach and started talking with them. He asked me if I want stop by for a coffee and breakfast and I couldn’t resist :). He has spent a lot time travelling to different places and knew how good it feels for a hiker to get some extra food. Spending the morning with them and their friends was so nice that I decided to stay the whole day with them. Thank you very much again to Steve and his daughters/friends for that wonderful time 🙂
In the afternoon it was time to say goodbye and I left to my last camp site. Just as I got to the beach I met Frank who is german but travels with his partner all over Australia. They both are doing the Cape 2 Cape but just a bit different. Since they love running, each of them run a section of the trail. He is running the first half of the day, they met for lunch and she continuous for the rest of the day. I really like the idea so check out their page if your interested (Click here).
It was a nice walk along the beach and I arrived just before sunset my last stop. On the way to the campsite (0,5km off trail) I saw some marks from a hiker and as I arrived I met Maggie who started today her northbound trip.
We talked a lot about the trail and gear (typical hiker talk) and it was nice to have some company again for the last night.
Day 7: #4 C2C-camp site to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse (20km/135km)
The guidebook mentioned that the last part till the lighthouse goes partly on the beach, so I left early for not having to much wind. It was a nice walk on hard sand and after the beach you climb up to walk over a limestone rock platform. If you get lucky you see how the water from the ocean gets blown through holes from the rocks.
The last part is a hard sand path which goes through bushes and along the top of the cliff. After meeting the first hiker the last night, I met 3 more couples until I reached a nice shady spot where the log book of the southern terminus is placed.
I walk further till the lighthouse which is also worth a stop. The Leeuwin Lighthouse was build 1895, marks Australia’s most south westerly tip and marks with his height of 39m the meeting point of the Indian and Southern Oceans.