Day 5: Lighthouse Finish

Thursday November 17, 28.2km/17.5mi

1km N of Quininup Beach exit (97.0/23m) to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse (124.2/98m) (WA) + 1km Shelley Cove

I was awake at 5:30 and noticed that it had just finished raining. When I emerged from the bushes and hiked out a half-hour later, I had this amazing rainbow waiting for me over the ocean.

Apparently it hadn’t finished raining, as it rained a couple more times for 5 minutes at a time. The clouds were moody looking all morning.

The trail was on a very nice wide track, perfect for a wet morning. Narrow trails are miserable when all the plants are wet.

These were my views pretty much all morning. It’s a very easy trail for navigation – to keep heading north, just keep the sea on your left.

Then it was time to descend to Injidup Beach!

Most of the time, the trail stays high on the ridges, because the coast is rocky and sometimes dangerous at high tide. But when there are beaches, the trail usually makes a point to cross them. This beach was nice hard sand walking.

I loved seeing the contrast of the red rocks, green bushes, and blue sea.

Looking across Wyadup Bay. I climbed that hill behind the water.

There were some Parks department workers doing some trail maintenance, and I told them about the brown water at the campsite yesterday. They said they would go check it out tomorrow, and it was probably soil being blown into the tank by the wind. As I continued, I noticed the weather had taken a pause on the rain. I had a nice view back to Canal Rocks.

This was just a really cool tree. Not tall at all, but very sprawling.

If I wasn’t constantly hearing the roar of the ocean (and seeing it), I would think I was hiking in the desert. This scenery looks just like Nevada or the southern PCT.

As I was walking along Smith’s Beach, I saw many fins in the water! Bottlenose dolphins, apparently. They swim in groups called pods.

Different country, same problems. Some greedy developer wants to encroach on the National Park, and circumvent a bunch of laws to do so. Gross.

Smith’s Beach was empty, I think because of the cooler weather. I had it to myself!

These rocks made the beach quite narrow at one point, I’m guessing at high tide you would have to time your steps with the waves.

After I left the beach I came to a junction where this sign was posted. There was a detour around the beach, good thing they informed us at end of the detour! Ha.

I believe these are called peppermint trees. They usually grow straight but in this constantly windy climate they tend to grow crooked.

Just before lunchtime I came to the tiny beach town of Yallingup. They had a nice little park and some shops, so I bought an ice cream bar and sat down and had a snack.

These things are amazing, they taste like a waffle with real maple syrup. Plus ice cream, of course.

I’ve seen a few trucks like this over the past month that I’ve been in WA. “No birds?” What do people have against birds here?!

I left the tiny town and hiked back into the bush. The sun was fully out now, and it was starting to feel warm….which means lookout for snakes.

Also lizards, apparently.

I kept watching the ocean looking for whales, as this is on the migration route for two different species of whales, the Southern Right whale, and the Humpback whale.

I thought I saw one, but it could have just been a large wave. I should get my distance vision corrected, haha. All afternoon was walking through the bushes above the sea.

I knew I was nearing the end of the Cape to Cape track when I saw the Trail registration book. I sign my name and details just like when I had started this trail 5 days ago.

The last 3km the trail are paved, to make it accessible for mobility impaired people.

It was easy enjoyable walking. And I saw three snakes, trying to warm themselves on the dark pavement.

If the trail traversed a rocky or wet section, the pavement would turn to boardwalk.

I made it to the end of the trail! Cape Naturaliste.

You can see the outside of the Lighthouse for free, but for $15 you can get a guided tour inside up to the top level. It was just before 4pm, so I decided to get the last tour of the day. Our guide explaining the history of the area:

The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse! It’s only 19m tall, but it’s built on a 101m hill, so effectively it’s 120m tall.

The interior had just been refurbished earlier this year. Everything was so white and shiny!

Up, up, up the spiral staircase…

The top level held the motor and some associated wiring. The Lighthouse was built in 1903 and was initially lit by kerosene, then incandescent bulbs, and now LEDs.

The view to the north, past the furthest point of Cape Naturaliste.

The requisite trail finish photo.

When I was on the top level of the lighthouse I stepped outside to get a view, and a gust of wind blew off my hat and sunglasses. I recovered both items, but only the hat remained intact. Oops.

It was now 4:30pm, so it was time to find a place to camp. I hiked 1km away from the lighthouse towards Shelley Cove, and I found a nice little spot tucked into the trees by a car park. Even though I’m done with the trail, tomorrow morning I will have a 12km walk into town, where I meet a bus at 9:30am.

Another great trail!

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