Follow your adventurous spirit to the most southwestern point of Australia, where two oceans meet.
Augusta marks one of the rugged points of Australia; a final landmark before a vast southern unknown, and a Cape where two oceans collide. It’s a place to get lost, get wild and return to nature. Old knowledge is everywhere. Whether it be in the sacred spaces of the First Nations Wadandi People; in the ancient caves, Boranup Forest, cliffs and coast; through to the intuition of the fishing fleets and abalone divers based in town.
It is present at the historic Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse that has shepherded many a passing maritime vessel; or with the generational farming families, some who are bringing old wisdom of livestock, permaculture and vine to a new audience.
The forest, the coast and the Blackwood River, all raw and alive, contributing to a renewed, pared back perspective.
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1. Blackwood River
2. Flinders Bay
The most accessible way to take a dip in the Southern Ocean is at Flinders Bay, south of Augusta’s town centre. It’s here that the wild south begins. One of its more scenic and tranquil spots is Granny’s Pool, located at the old Flinders Bay Settlement. There’s a park right on the water with picnic tables, a ship-style playground and barbecues. The jetty here is a marker for the daily swimmers who brave the often-chilly waters! There’s lots for all ages to do like swimming, paddling, fishing, crabbing, snorkelling or watching the pelicans.
3. Boranup Forest
Towering karri trees, some over 60m in height, undulate across the valley. With sunlight streaming onto their smooth trunks, this is one of the best sights in the Margaret River Region. Boranup Forest is a feast for the senses with the forest floor tumbling with wildflowers, orchids and funghi (in season) together with the sounds of native birds and the fresh smell of eucalypt. Along the drive you’ll find the Boranup Lookout which takes in views across the picturesque forest and the stunning turquoise waters of nearby Hamelin Bay. The lookout also marks the start of some lovely bushwalks and has a great picnic spot.
Parts of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and Boranup Forest are currently closed due to recent bushfires in the area. For further advice please visit the Parks and Wildlife Service Alerts website: alerts.dbca.wa.gov.au
4. Hamelin Bay
The idyllic coastal haven of Hamelin Bay offers a vast expanse of bright white sand, sparkling turquoise waters filled with marine life, and spectacular limestone cliffs. The sheltered bay is great for swimming, snorkelling and fishing, and divers can explore the nearby shipwreck. The wild Eagle Rays that call this sanctuary zone home are a protected species so remember to look but don’t touch.
5. Eco Adventures Margaret River
Combining innovation with forest exploration on their tours (where the environmental impact is top-of-mind) to give a unique trail experience suitable for everyone aged four to 94. All that’s needed is a current driver’s licence (but if you don’t have one, join a friend as a passenger). The tour is the only one of its kind to hit the Forest Grove trail area, complete with untouched forest, shaded laneways, open paddocks, lakes and hidden paths. It’s 18 kilometres of trail in 90 minutes, aboard an all-electric and environmentally-sensitive EcoBike, designed and built just for Eco Adventures.
A true wine and food experience stripped back to its essential basics and crafted by a multi-generational farming family. Everything at Glenarty Road feels genuine, from the farmhouse to the roving animals and the rustic tin sheds. This is a farming dream come to life: paying homage to the land, the region and family history, through regenerative agriculture. The property houses a sheep farm, a vineyard and a vegetable garden. Expect crafted wines, grass-fed meats, seasonal produce, house-made charcuterie and a farm-to-table style feast.
7. The Colour Patch
An iconic venue that has dominated generations of family holidays on the Blackwood River foreshore of Augusta. The Colour Patch Café has recently undergone an exciting and modern iteration, but still has one of the best waterside dining views in the entire region. The new Café and Bar is open for a breakfast, lunch and dinner, a casual drink or a takeaway meal. Seafood share plates, pizzas, burgers and classic fish and chips are on the menu. The interior gives a nod to the maritime heritage of the area, especially the ten metre, fully restored 1960s yacht.
8. Jewel Cave
Caves Road is so-called for its many ancient limestone caves, but Jewel Cave is arguably the best show-piece of them all. It’s Western Australia’s biggest show cave, with three massive chambers of incredible beauty. A fully guided one-hour tour takes in all its wondrous formations, like one of the longest “straw” stalactites in Australia, beautiful flowstone, cave coral and more. Learn about Tasmanian Tiger activity here thousands of years ago. Opt for a self-guided walk through the Karri forest or pop into the adjoining café during your visit.
9. Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
A visit to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse comes with the rush of the open wild; it’s one of the four geographical ‘corners’ of Australia and the place where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. This is the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia (and one that’s still working – vital for seafarers navigating around the treacherous Cape). A new Interpretive Centre, housed in an original lighthouse keepers’ cottage, holds an interactive experience about the history and life of the building since its construction in 1895. Otherwise, visit to spot whales from May to September, or pop into the café.