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West Cape Howe National Park

Sea cliffs, coast and karri

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Unknown
Duration: Unknown
Family Friendly

Overview :  West Cape Howe National Park lies on the southern coast between Albany and Denmark. Its coastline is dominated by rocky headlands,... more »

Tips:  West Cape Howe National Park lies about 30km west of Albany via Cosy Corner Road, Coombes Road and Shelley Beach Road.

Few... more »

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Points of Interest

From the lookout, you can see the clean white sand of Shelley Beach curving beneath steep limestone hills, which drop sharply into the sea.

West Cape Howe is regarded as Western Australia's premier hang gliding site and, on long weekends and holidays, it attracts large numbers of enthusiasts from as far away as Perth. They launch from the... More

2. Tarbotton Track

The Shelley Beach Lookout car park is the start point of the 30 minute, 600m return Tarbotton Track. It follows a boardwalk and, when the boardwalk ends, you can continue along a limestone ridge to reach the Bibbulmun Track, with views down a rocky valley to Shelley Beach and the ocean.

In spring, the park is a canvas of blazing colour. The... More

Shelley Beach is the most visited area in West Cape Howe National Park, as it is the only area in the park that is accessible to two-wheel drive vehicle. The wide sweep of beach is bounded at both ends by huge granite boulders, formed at the same time as the granites of the Porongurup Range, 79km to the north.

Campers can pitch a tent at Shelley... More

4. Dunsky Beach

This short, sandy beach at the bottom of a steep hill is protected from the prevailing south-westerly winds.

Offshore, sponge reefs provide the opportunity for divers to explore the rich marine life of the South Coast but be aware that strong rip tides sometimes occur in this area.

New Zealand fur seals and Australian sea lions cruise along... More

5. Torbay Head

Torbay Head is the southernmost point in Western Australia. This point was named by English navigator George Vancouver in 1792. To the east, the peninsula of Torndirrup National Park is abruptly terminated by Peak Head. Over the Southern Ocean lies Eclipse Island.

6. West Cape Howe

The cliffs of West Cape Howe plummet 75m into the sea, which pounds relentlessly at their base. The black igneous dolerite rock, which forms the Cape itself, was squeezed up as molten rock from deep below the Earth's crust, and cooled below the surface, allowing the formation of relatively large crystals.

English navigator George Vancouver... More

7. Golden Gates Beach

Golden Gates Beach is renowned as one of the area's best surfing spots. This remote spot is accessible only by four-wheel drive.

8. Karri forest

The cleared rural landscape and ringbarked trees of Torbay, near the park’s entrance, are a vivid contrast to the shady karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor) forest just within the park boundary. The tall karri forest supports a dense understorey of tall shrubs - karri oak, karri hazel, karri wattle and the waterbushes. Where there is light and space,... More