The Quenda Trail contrasts dense dune heathland vegetation and wild flowers with coastal views and a beach walk.
It heads south from Yallingup through the coastal heath behind Smiths Beach, then loops back via a 1km walk on Smiths Beach’s white sand and limestone outcrops past a couple of surf breaks, including the well-known Supertubes break. Of course the walk could also begin and end at Smiths Beach if that’s more convenient.
The circuit is about 4km long and takes around an hour to an hour and a half to complete the walk. From late winter through spring there’ll be a plentitude of wild flowers in bloom in the coastal heath. The best time to walk the Quenda Trail is definitely in cooler weather because the inland section feels very dry and arid beneath a hot sun and the sandy track gets hot to walk on. On a hot day in the middle of summer I’d prefer to skip the inland track and just go for a walk along Smiths Beach and have a swim!
The Quenda Trail is one of six short to medium length walks beginning in Yallingup, the others being the Torpedo Trail, Ghost Trail, Caves Trail and Wardanup Trail. These trails are all interconnected and the Quenda Trail links up directly with the Torpedo Trail, as well as the long-distance Cape to Cape Track.
Track Notes for the Quenda Trail
Distance: 4km circuit
Time: 1 – 1.5 hours
These track notes describe the trail in a clockwise direction starting and finishing at Torpedo Rock carpark off Yallingup Beach Road.
1. From Torpedo Rock carpark turn left (north) onto the track. Almost immediately you’ll reach a crossroads, this is where the end of the Quenda Trail meets back up with the starting point. Continue straight, following the brown triangle “Quenda Trail” marker. Or if you want to do the loop in the opposite direction to what I’m describing here, beginning with the walk along Smiths Beach, turn right.
2. You’re on a section of track that is a part of both the Quenda Trail and the Torpedo Trail, heading up a slope passing through a thicket of young melaleuca trees.
3. Turn right (south) at the next junction in the track and follow the orangey-coloured sandy track up hill. Continue on this long straight sandy track for over a kilometre through thick coastal scrub up and down some hills. You’ll see a range of interesting plants and flowers, all well adapted to thriving in the harsh conditions of the sand dune. We walked the trail in early summer and the wild flowers we saw were mostly on their last legs…
4. At the T-junction it’s time to turn right and head over the dune and down onto Smiths Beach.
5. Once on the beach, you could turn left and detour south if you wanted to (it’s about half a kilometre down to the southern end of the beach and Smiths carpark), but we chose to turn right and head north back towards Yallingup. The weather had taken a turn while we were walking and we were keen to beat the rain if possible.
If the beach is washed away at the limestone rocks you can turn right onto a track shortly before the first beach access. This will lead you past the rocks on the inland side then down onto the beach to the north of them.
There are a few rocky sections where we had to walk up the dunes to get around.
6. Walk among the granite boulders at the end of the beach and find the steep track up onto the point. Follow it back to the small gravel carpark then turn left to Torpedo Rock carpark.
What is a Quenda?
The quenda is the Western Australian subspecies of southern brown bandicoot, a cute little hopping marsupial. The word quenda originates from the Noongar Aboriginal word “kwernt”.
Quendas are omnivorous, active both during the day and at night, and seen reasonably frequently compared to other small native mammals. A good place to see them in the wild is along the Point King Walk Trail in Albany, which is where I took the photo.
Finding the Starting Point
The Quenda Trail as described here begins at Torpedo Rock carpark, a small gravel carpark off Yallingup Beach Road as it rounds the bend to follow the coast.
To get there from Yallingup Beach and the lower town level walk (or drive) to the bigger South Point carpark on the rocks overlooking Yallingup Reef at the far southern end of the beach and pick up the track heading south along the coastline through the heath growing above the rocks. This track is marked as Cape to Cape and Torpedo Trail. This short section of track between South Point carpark and to Torpedo Rock carpark is rather scenic and worth the extra 700m or so for the coastal views of Smiths Beach and Torpedo Rock.
Walking down from the old part of Yallingup town at the top of the hill, the best way is to get to the Quenda Trail is to find the Torpedo Trail and follow it downhill towards the coast parallel to Yallingup Beach Road until you reach the intersection with the Quenda Trail.
Another alternative is to begin the walk at its southern end on Smiths Beach by first walking up the beach about half a kilometre from the south end of Smiths Beach where there’s a carpark, shops and accommodation.
Last Updated: 20th August, 2015.
First posted on 20th July, 2015 by Bonny.
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