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Cape Leeuwin, and the
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
Augusta, Western Australia
Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia is the extreme south-western most point of the Australian continent - a wild and windswept place on the Margaret River coast, almost completely surrounded by crashing waves and sparkling blue sea. At the end of this flat, one kilometre-long promontory of land jutting out into the ocean stands a tall lighthouse, built in the late 19th century.
It's one of the most scenic places to visit in the Margaret River region, and there's plenty of history there too.
Meeting of the Oceans
Cape Leeuwin marks the boundary between the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean.
Don't laugh, but I find the experience of standing where two of the world's Seven Seas clash sparks my imagination and contributes a sense of drama to the already very dramatic coastal scenery, even if it is just an arbritary line on the maps!
Photo taken by Amanda Slater.
Visiting the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse (and its Cottages)
Fees and Visiting Hours
To visit the end of Cape Leeuwin and the Lighthouse grounds costs $5 per adult and $3 per child. The grounds are open from 8:45am to 5:00pm every day of the year except for Christmas.
Lighthouse Tours cost $17 per adult and $7 per child.
Lighthouse Tour Times, normal day:
9:00, 9:40, 10:20, 11:00, 11:40, 12:20, 13:00, 13:40, 14:20, 15:00, 15:40, 16:20.
And on school holidays and public holiday weekends:
9:00, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30.
Another great reason to visit Cape Leeuwin is to check out the lighthouse and its cottages. You can wander around the grounds and see the lighthouse up close for $5, but to actually get into the lighthouse and climb up to the top, you need to join one of the lighthouse tours that run throughout the day. They cost $17.
The old historic cottages are home to a visitors centre, cafe and souvenir shop - you can book a tour at the visitor center.
Is it worth it?
The Lighthouse is one of the major tourist attractions in the area, and has the fees, opening hours and occasional crowds that go with this.
In my opinion, if you've driven all the way down to Cape Leeuwin then it's definitely worth paying the $5 to have a look around the lighthouse precinct. As for the lighthouse tour - I've done it a few times and felt like I got my money's worth, but then I am the sort of person who likes views and scenery, and is interested in lighthouses and the history of the area.
It's worth noting that my Mum who generally despises tours and commentary, also enjoys going on the Lighthouse tour!
The Fossilized Waterwheel, Frozen In Time
The fossilised water wheel is a curiosity worth visiting while you're at Cape Leeuwin. It was built to help pump water from a spring up to the lighthouse cottages, and over the years the wood that it was originally made from has been replaced by minerals. It's now completely calcified and frozen in time, like a stalagmite.
Where is it and how do you get there?
Cape Leeuwin is at the far south of the Margaret River region, and is the terminus of the Bussell Highway. To get there you need to drive through the town of Augusta. As the Bussel Highway reaches Augusta it turns into the town's main street (Blackwood Avenue), and if you continue south along this road it turns into Leeuwin Road.
For a scenic detour, turn left off Blackwood Avenue onto Albany Terrace, which follows the shores of Hardy Inlet and Flinders Bay before meeting up again with the main road.