On this page I take you on a journey visiting all the beaches, big rocks and other special places along the Margaret River coast from Cape Naturaliste in the far north of the region and Cape Leeuwin, the southernmost point.
This 100km long west-facing coastline has some of the most beautiful beaches you will ever walk on and the best waves you’ll ever get to surf. It truly is spectacular.
My Comprehensive Guide to the Margaret River Beaches and Coastline from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin:
Cape Naturaliste is the northernmost point in the Margaret River Region, and the starting point of the Cape to Cape Track, which follows the entire length of the coastline all the way to Cape Leeuwin. Tour the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse for a bit of history and some 360° views from the top. Set off on a walk along the trails that criss-cross the Cape and take in the “Other Side of the Moon”, the Cape Naturaliste Pinnacles, and a New Zealand fur seal colony.
Sugarloaf Rock is a massive, triangular-shaped chunk of granite sitting off the coast just south of Cape Naturaliste. It’s a spectacular sight in all weather and ocean conditions, and well worth the detour north off the main Caves Road route to get there.
Kabbijup Beach (Three Bears)
This is a beautiful beach at the base of a steep slope, a couple of kilometres south of Sugarloaf Rock. There’s no road access, but you can get there by walking the Cape to Cape Track from either Sugarloaf Rock or Yallingup. You can also get there by 4WD, along tracks starting off Sugarloaf Rock Road from the north, and Helmsley Road (near Yallingup) from the south.
Three Bears gets its name from the three surf breaks off shore – Baby, Mama and Papa in order of increasing wave size. When there’s a bit of swell up is a popular spot for surfers, despite the extra effort to get there, as it’s one of the best and most reliable surf spots in the region.
Powerful surf breaks, magnificent views and a sheltered swimming lagoon at the southern end of the beach make Yallingup’s town beach one of the best in WA.
A great spot for surfing, beach walks and swimming.
Yallingup Reef Beach
The white sands of Yallingup Beach curve around a low cliff onto a sheltered pocket of sand behind Yallingup Reef. The reef is a marine reserve, and sure enough the shallow lagoon is thriving with marine life. A great spot for snorkeling, and for small children to paddle and swim in the calm shallow water.
South Point, Yallingup
South Point is the low granite headland separating Yallingup Beach from Smiths Beach to the south. It’s a scenic spot, with walk a walk trail around the hill and plenty of vantage points to enjoy the ocean views.
The northern end of the point overlooking Yallingup Beach is a great spot to watch the surfers and spectacular views across to the Yallingup Cliffs and beyond. Or walk south around the corner to Torpedo Rocks and Smiths Beach.
The Torpedo Rocks are at the north end of Smiths Beach, part of the South Point headland. The “Supertubes” surf break is right near Torpedo Rock, on the Smiths Beach side.
Smiths is one of the most popular beaches in the Margaret River Region, and is always a top choice for swimming and boogie boarding. At its southern end, it is a wide, flat beach of pure-white sand and crystal-clear turquoise water, with a stream flowing across to the sea. Smiths Beach Resort is built behind the dunes at the southern end of the beach, but luckily it hasn’t spoilt the wildness and natural beauty of Smiths Beach too much, apart from making it even more popular.
The spot is at its dramatic best when the ocean is rough and stormy, but in calm, clear conditions it’s a great snorkeling spot.
Wyadup Rocks are another granite headland that’s interesting to explore. Starting at the northern end of Injidup Beach, mounds and boulders of granite alternate with sections of beach and tidal pools.
Beyond the beach, the rocks form a huge headland of granite with some similar features to Canal Rocks, though not quite as dramatic.
Injidup Beach is a beautiful swimming spot on a hot day, or great surfing with larger swells. It’s a popular beach, but rarely crowded and not at all built-up or commercialised.
The water is mostly calmish at the south end of the beach near Cape Clairault, but gets rough and wavy further north towards Wyadup Rocks. It’s an interesting beach to walk along, with rocky sections at either end.
Cape Clairault is a striking landmark that can be seen from many miles to the north. It’s one of the westerly-most points along the mostly dead-straight Cape to Cape coastline, and is easily recognisable by the stark white sanddunes at the end of the cape. Many a fun day out at Injidup Beach has been spent “surfing” down the steep dunes! The water in the corner of Cape Clairault is relatively sheltered from the waves by the rocks and reefs, even when the waves are huge.
Wildcat Beach and The Window
Wildcats Beach really is a wild place, with monstrous waves crashing on the beach and offshore rocks, and towards the end of the beach at Cape Clairault, some even crashing perpendicular to the shoreline. You can get there by walking around Cape Clairault from Injidup, or take the 4WD track south from Injidup right down onto the beach.
The Window is a better-known, but still very remote, surf break further south along this treacherous reefy beach.
The stunning Wilyabrup Cliffs are a little way off the beaten track, but are well worth visiting. The seacliffs are up to 40 metres tall, and composed of granitic rock.
It’s a popular spot for rock climbing and abseiling, but is also a great place along the Margaret River coast just to admire the views of crashing waves and watch the sunset.
Cowaramup Bay is a large cove forming a natural harbour – one of the few sheltered places along the rough and wavy Margaret River coast – with a coastline just over a kilometre long. The bay provides a safe mooring for a couple of fishing boats and is also a nice calm place to swim (if a bit seaweedy). The small town of Gracetown is built up on the slope overlooking Cowaramup Bay at its southern end.
Both the south and north points of Cowaramup Bay are superb surf spots and the smaller reef break within the bay on its southern side (known as Huzzawouies) is a great spot for less experienced surfers.
Lefthanders/Big Rock Beach
Lefthanders Beach south of Gracetown and Cowaramup Bay has several surf breaks along its length which are among the most popular in the Margaret River Region. The carpark above the beach provides fantastic views of the surf for spectators. The beach is incredibly beautiful and extends south all the way to Ellensbrook, making it a great beach for long walks. Sadly there have been two fatal shark attacks off Lefthanders Beach in the past decade.
Ellensbrook is very scenic and a nice beach for walking along and beach combing, but it’s not so good for swimming. The brook emerges from the dunes and flows down to the sea, and the shoreline is cobbled with small granite boulders. On a rough day the huge waves crashing on the rocks feel very close to the beach.
Gnoocardup Beach is a long beach with soft white sand and big waves breaking on rocks and reefs very close to shore. At the northern end is a granite headland then a section of smaller boulders and loose rocks all the way around to Ellensbrook Beach. At the southern end there’s another long rocky ledge section until Kilcarnup.
Kilcarnup and Joey’s Nose
Another long soft-sand beach with rocks, cliffs and reefs at either end (both limestone and granite), Kilcarnup can be a beautiful beach for swimming and snorkeling when the weather’s calm, and great for beach combing after storms – if you don’t mind the seaweed. Also a popular spot for scuba diving.
Joey’s Nose is a prominant boxy limestone rock extending out over Kilcarnup Beach towards its northern end. The cliff looks a little bit like a joey’s nose (sort of).
Kilcarnup is a bit of a trek to get to without a 4WD but I recommend taking a walk there from either the Margaret Rivermouth or Ellensbrook. It truly is a beautiful place.
A world-class surf break, and one of the most well-known places in the Margaret River Region. Panoramic views of the surf and surrounding coastline from the Surfers Point beach and the hill and carpark above it. Also a good spot for swimming in the sheltered reef holes, and for beach combing.
Gnarabup Beach is a favourite with families, as it’s a great beach for little kids to swim, paddle and build sand castles. The reefs out to sea provide a bit of shelter from big waves, and there’s a little jetty and a pontoon that you can jump off from. It is also good spot to take the dog for a run, go fishing, do a bit of snorkeling, rent a stand-up paddle board or launch a trailer-boat. As far as beaches go, it’s a good all-rounder with something for everyone!
At the very end of the winding road through Prevelly, you’ll reach Gas Bay and the Grunters surf break. The beach is a picture-perfect crescent of white sand, a nice place to relax in the sun and watch the surf.
Ever since walking the Cape to Cape Track 10 years ago, Boodjidup Beach has been one of my favourite Margaret River beaches. The seemingly endless strip of pure white sand stretches over two kilometres down the coast from Prevelly Park all the way to Redgate. There are no rocks or reefs for a huge distance down the beach, just glassy-clear blue water and big surf. Boodjidup Brook emerges from behind the dunes, but it only reaches the sea after winter rains. Further south near Redgate, there are a few rocky and reefy sections.
Boodjidup Beach ends at a rocky point, on the other side of which is North Redgate Beach. This beach is reasonably sheltered, and a good option for a swim.
Isaac’s Rocks, Redgate
Come down to Isaac’s Rocks for beautiful views of Redgate Beach, crashing waves and spectacular sunsets. Jump and hop across the boulders, splash around in the shallow rock pools and keep the camera ready for the next big wave! On rough days, the massive waves engulfing the big off-shore rock is an awesome sight to behold. Swim and paddle in shallow water off the small beach in amongst the rocks.
Redgate Beach – Calgardup Bay
Redgate Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches near Margaret River. One of my favourite spots for a swim in the waves, but definitely not the safest swimming spot in the Margaret River Region. Good waves for surfing break at both the north and south ends of the beach, and occasionally in the middle too.
Bob’s Hollow is a rocky cove beneath towering cliffs. High up above Bob’s Hollow there is a cave in the cliffs with a fresh water spring close by, a welcome place to stop and rest if you’re walking the Cape to Cape Track.
A beautiful beach overshadowed by limestone cliffs, Conto Beach is a popular spot for fishing, swimming and surfing – especially for people staying in the nearby Contos Campground. The beach is mostly long and straight with big waves, but in the southern corner Cape Freycinet provides some shelter and is a nice spot for swimming.
A rocky ledge section of the coast not often visited, but fairly popular for fishing. The granite headland extends a fair way south, ending at a long, remote unnamed beach.
A kilometres-long, remote beach behind the Boranup Karri Forest. On a sunny day that’s not too windy, Boranup is a beautiful deserted paradise with pure white sand the clearest turquoise water. The southern end of this beach is Hamelin Bay, a popular spot for swimming, fishing and diving. Boranup Beach is accessible by 4WD track, or by a very long walk along the Cape to Cape Track down through the Boranup Forest or north along the beach from Hamelin Bay.
Hamelin Bay – the far southern end of Boranup Beach – is one of the most interesting places in the Margaret River Region, both for its natural beauty and for its history as a former logging port. It’s a stunningly beautiful beach on a sunny day, and a great spot for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving with its calm water, reefs, offshore rocks and islets, and lots of ship wrecks. Boats can be launched from the beach, and fishing off-shore and from the beach is another popular activity.
One of its main draws that it’s the best place in WA for seeing stingrays! They come in almost right up to the beach in groups of up to 5, 10 or more and are very friendly and unafraid of people.
White Cliff Point
White Cliff Point which separates Hamelin Bay from Foul Bay is a prominent landmark on the point and if you view it from the south at Foul Bay you will see where it gets its name!
From the beach and boat ramp at Hamelin Bay you can follow a path up onto the bluffs from which you get beautiful views of Hamelin Bay, Foul Bay and Hamelin Island. Explore the shoreline of White Cliff Point to discover fascinating formations in the fragile limestone and a secret beach.
Foul Bay is anything but foul! It is one of the most beautiful, unspoilt beaches in the Margaret River Region. It begins in the south with a big granite headland that shelters the beach from southerly winds, and a broad pure-white beach with crystal-clear water. It then continues north with a series of small bays, limestone ledges, reefs and low cliffs along the middle section of the bay, and then another long beach section in the north, ending at White Cliff Point.
Cosy Corner is a great swimming spot (well, so long as a south-westerly isn’t blowing!) and an interesting part of the coast for beach combing and exploring. Half the bay is a dead-straight white sand beach, the other half a rock ledge elevated above the sealevel. Limestone reefs and islands about half a kilometre off-shore provide some shelter from waves and make for superb diving and snorkeling. Less “cosy” than you may expect from the name, but beautiful nonetheless.
Deepdene Beach is long, remote and windy beach. It’s mostly straight and sandy, but has many rocky and reefy sections as well.
A beach on a point with reefs and rocks off shore – good for fishing and snorkeling. The sandy barren area behind the beach has pinnacles-like rock formations, similar to the ones up at Cape Naturaliste.
Quarry Bay is a broad, square-shaped cove cut back deep into the land in the shadow of Cape Leeuwin. When the ocean is calm, it’s a good spot for snorkeling.
Cape Leeuwin is a dramatic feature of the coast, a landmark and experience not to be missed in the Margaret River Region! A long, thin promontory of granite extends a kilometre out to sea, marking the boundary between the Great Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean. At the end of the point stands a 40m tall lighthouse, which you can tour and climb to the top of for amazing 360° views. Cape Leeuwin marks the end point of the Cape to Cape Track.
What is your favourite of all the Margaret River beaches and big coastal rocks?
Last Updated: 22nd March, 2015.
First posted on 10th December, 2013 by Bonny.
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