This short scenic loop drive takes in all the of the main Denmark landmarks and natural attractions close to town – including some impressive views and vistas that you can enjoy from the comfort of your car.
- The broad, sweeping expanse of the Wilson Inlet
- Karri Trees, up close and from afar
- Big granite outcrops (including Monkey Rock)
- Beaches and seacliffs of the dramatic South Coast
Scenic Drive Notes:
Driving Distance: 30km (20 miles) from Denmark town to the end of Lights Road, plus another 10km to get back to town along South Coast Highway
Time: Half an hour as a scenic drive without stopping. But allow at least half a day if you want to take your time and stop off and do the various lookouts, short walks, beaches and other diversions along the way.
Scenic Drive Route Map
1. Begin in the Denmark Town Centre…
Beginning in the centre of town, drive down towards the river and turn right onto Hollings Road, which runs parallel to the river next to Berridge Park before disappearing into a grove of karri trees beyond the town centre.
2. Around the Wilson Inlet
Soon the road swings around to the right, and you’ll get glimpses of the Wilson Inlet from between the houses and tall trees.
3. Poison Point
Pull over where the road turns a sharp corner to the right at the Poison Point lookout for some stunning views out across the inlet. A short walktrail leads down the hill to the peaceful (if a bit muddy) shoreline.
4. Rainbow Close and Poddyshot
Turn left onto Ocean Beach Road, then left again onto Minsterley Road. Turn down either Rainbow Close or Poddyshot Place, both of which lead to the inlet’s peaceful shores.
At the end of Rainbow Close, you can stop for a short walk along part of the Little River Heritage Trail.
5. The Salt Marsh, the Sand Bar and Prawn Rock Channel
Continue along Minsterley Road and it will meet up with Ocean Beach Road again. You’ll get more views of the inlet behind stunted paperbark trees growing in a salt marsh. You can see the end of the Nullaki Dunes and the sandbar where the inlet meets the sea.
At Prawn Rock Channel, park the car and take a short walk over the pontoon bridge onto an island. It’s usually possible to wade from the island across to the Nullaki Peninsula side of the Wilson Inlet sandbar and Ocean Beach.
Prawn Rock Channel can be a really nice spot for a swim, especially for little kids.
6. Ocean Beach
You’ll come to the end of the road at Ocean Beach. Stop here and take a walk along the beach, or go for a swim in the waves if the weather’s warm enough.
This is Denmark’s main beach, and is an experience not to be missed. The views out across Ratcliffe Bay are spectacular.
7. The Lions Lookouts on Wilson Head
Driving up the hill past the Ocean Beach carpark, on the track that starts at the end of Ocean Beach Road, you’ll find a series of lookouts offering yet more spectacular views.
From the lookouts, you can see far away across Ratcliffe Bay to the inlet, Nullaki Peninsula and the cliffs of West Cape Howe National Park.
On a rough day, watch the waves creeping up and crashing on the rocks below. And during the winter months, keep an eye out for whales!
8. The Monkey Rock Trailhead
Drive back down Ocean Beach Road a short distance then turn left onto Lights Road.
The huge rock on the slope of the hill to the north-west is Monkey Rock. If you use your imagination, you might notice it looks a lot like the head of a gorilla, gazing solemnly out over the inlet and Wilson Head.
You can walk up to the rock along a short section of the Bibbulmun Track, beginning where the track crosses Lights Road. The views from the top of Monkey Rock are spectacular on a clear sunny day, and even more so when a cold front is approaching over the ocean.
9. Lights Beach
Take a detour down Lights Beach Road to the wild and dramatic Lights Beach.
Lights Beach is for the most part not safe for swimming, but is wonderful for walking along and exploring.
Sections of sandy beach are interspersed with elephantine boulders (similar to the rocks at Greens Pool and Elephant Cove), rocky ledges and sandhills. Massive waves roll in and crash on the beaches and islands of granite – a spectacular sight to see.
From this part of the coast you get a good clear view westwards across the ocean, making Lights Beach one of the best vantage points around Denmark for watching the sun set.
10. A Tunnel of Karri Trees
Lights Road narrows into a corrugated gravel track, winding through karri/jarrah forest and farmland before joining South Coast Highway.
Where to from here?
To return back to town and complete the scenic loop drive, turn right off Lights Road onto South Coast Highway, which will take you straight back into town.
More Sight-Seeing and Exploring
Alternatively, turn left onto South Coast Highway combine this scenic drive with one or two of the other scenic drives in Denmark. Or continue your Denmark sightseeing further west along South Coast Highway, towards William Bay, Walpole and the Treetop Walk.
- My recommendation: return to town via the Mount Shadforth Scenic Drive for more beautiful Denmark scenery. Along this karri tree-lined road you get some beautiful views from high up on Mount Shadforth out over rolling green hills and the Wilson Inlet, all the way down to the ocean.
- The Scotsdale Tourist Drive will also take you back into town. Give yourself half a day or more to meandre along this beautiful touring route, stopping in at wineries and other attractions along the way.
- Explore the William Bay National Park. The turnoff into the eastern section of the national park is only about 5km west along South Coast Highway. The two must-see attractions in William Bay are Greens Pool and the Elephant Rocks. And if you’ve got time, a visit to Madfish Bay is also well worth it!
Last Updated: 29th May, 2015.
First posted on 8th November, 2013 by Bonny.
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