A hiking holiday can be the experience of a lifetime. Sure, it’s not as glamorous as a week or two in Bora Bora, but trekking your way through scenes of stunning beauty can have its own rewards. You’ll enjoy the fresh air of the rugged outdoors, you’ll do your body some good, and ultimately you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something at the end of it all (while making some awesome memories along the way, of course). Hiking holidays aren’t for everybody, but for those with hikes aplenty cropping up in their top ten bucket list destinations, it can be the only kind of trip that seems fulfilling.
There are plenty of invigorating hiking trails to choose from all over the world, from entry level tracks to extremely challenging endurance tests. But one of the most scenic and breathtaking hikes out there can be found in the South West region of Australia, a couple of hundred kilometers under Perth. The Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is one the country’s most beautiful spots, combining the best of Australia’s staggering scenery in one place; beaches, coves, cliffs and forest make this a hike that definitely deserves a top spot on your bucket list. Log on to BUCKiTDREAM to see if you can find any other adventure lovers who’ve tackled the hike, then keep your trusty BUCKiTDREAM planner handy as we give you the ultimate rundown on Leeuwin-Naturaliste!
Walking Cape to Cape The fabled hiking trail forms the backbone of the National Park, and is no doubt one of the main attractions of the region. The track extends over 213 km of stunning coastal scenery, and takes you between the lighthouses of Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste, which mark the beginning and end points of the trail. It combines many different types of terrain and surface, making for an interesting and varied hike. There’s wide open stretches of sandy coast, narrow rock-besieged paths and a couple of rough scrambles; the idea behind the trail’s design was to construct something which blended into the naturally dynamic terrain.
Camping on the Trail Don’t worry, you don’t have to tackle all 213 km in one day! There are plenty of campsites and caravan parks along the way, four of which are outfitted with a toilet and a water tank. You’ll need to bring your own tents, but access to these campsites is free. If you feel like coughing up for a higher class of luxury, there also commercial run sites and a couple of developed campsites, all of which cost varying amounts to stay at. Alternatively, if you really want to take your time walking the hike, the trail passes through four small towns where you can rest your feet.
Check out the Sights Along the Way If you’re interested in sauntering along the trial at a relaxed pace, there’s loads of things to pique your interest along the way. At the northern end of the hike, near Cape Naturaliste, you’ll find a delightful vineyard named Mongrel’s Creek, which is well worth a visit. This laid-back, unpretentious winery is situated in a stunning locale with atmosphere to spare. You can sample some of their freshly made wines for pretty reasonable prices; so reasonable in fact, that it’s easy to while away a whole day up at Mongrel’s Creek. However, hiking isn’t just thirsty work, it’s hungry work too; if you’re looking for some tasty treats along the trail, head to the Goanna Cafe & Gallery in Dunsborough, which serves up a delightful menu of everything from finger food to slow roast.
Some Handy Hints for Your Hike If you’re setting out to hike the Cape to Cape trail, it’s important to keep some things in mind. Yes, it’s a stunning piece of Australia, but it’s also pretty demanding and rough during certain parts; remember to keep that in mind at all times as you hike your way through. It makes sense to go from south (Leeuwin) to north (Naturliste) to ensure you’re not walking into the wind, as it can get pretty heavy on the coastal sections. Make sure you keep your water full at all times, and don’t necessarily rely on the water tanks along the route; they can be handy in a pinch, but it’s best to fill up at the numerous towns you pass through on the way to ensure you don’t run dry.
The South West of Australia is one of the nicest places on earth; you won’t breath in air fresher than the stuff that hits you on the Cape to Cape hike. For adventurers and travelers that love to be active on their holidays, it most certainly deserves a spot on your bucket list; you can even combine it as part of a mega-tour of Down Under and experience everything this stunning country has to offer. Hopefully that BUCKiTDREAM planner is crammed with things to do when you get there; just make sure to share all your adventures and discoveries with your fellow DREAMERS!