Year One’s from Margaret River Independent School take on the Track!

The students from the Margaret River Independent School are always so much fun to take out exploring on the Cape to Cape Track! These local kids spend their days learning in small classes in a beautiful bush setting about 10kms south of Margaret River. The schools vision is to provide an environment that caters for the whole child in development of lifetime learning skills as well as academic and creative excellence. This year, the year one students joined our managing director Gene for an overnight camp full of leadership and team building activities.

Gene chatting to the kids out on the Track.

Gene with the Year 1 students from Margaret River Independent School

We are always impressed by the knowledge and respect that these children have for their local environment! These 6 and 7 year olds are often finishing our sentences when we begin talking about some of our endemic flora and fauna species. Their enthusiasm and connection with nature is inspiring.

Kids in Boranup Forest

Enjoying some shade in Boranup Forest

As well as walking through the bush, we worked on some of our favourite team building and leadership activities including Spiders Web and Pipeline.

Being briefed on the Spiders Web activity

Being briefed on the Spiders Web activity

The challenge was set for the children to make their way through the web of the mighty Hamelin Spider, which the kids took to quite well. Without facilitation, they formed a circle, selected a leader and formulated a plan that would see all of their classmates get safely through the web.

Forming a circle in the shade to formulate a plan

An empowering moment for the children

The kids were very impressed with themselves after the activity concluded, and rightfully so! Who would have thought that a group of 6 and 7 year olds could make such a great team!?

Celebrating Spiders Web success

Celebrating Spiders Web success

The class also demonstrated amazing patience and cooperation throughout their pipeline activity, which they very quickly got the hang of. Returning to the Pipeline activity throughout the walk allows the group to try and better their score that is measured by how fast they can move the ball through the pipeline with dropping it to the ground!

Pipeline in action!

Pipeline in action!

The camp finished with an expedition through the awe-inspiring and mighty Giants Cave! With crawling, ladders and sliding, each one of the children made it the entire way through the 500m underground labyrinth. It is always such an empowering experience to reconnect children with their natural environment. As you can see, Cape to Cape Explorer Tours love hosting camps for school and youth groups! We are more than happy to creative a package that suits the needs of your group. Check out our Schools page to find out more information or send us through an email at info@capetocapetours.com.au today!

A special thanks to Lauren Trickett for the incredible photos she took throughout the camp.

 

Enjoy the extras on one of our guided end-to-end experiences!

Our guided end-to-end hikes run back to back throughout Spring and so far this year our groups have been having an absolute blast! Not only are they loving the Track and learning about all the different environmental and social elements that make the Margaret River Region so special, they are indulging in wine tastings, massages, cave explorations and delicious meals after their days walk.

Enjoying the contrast of Boodjidup Creek & Beach!

Enjoying the contrast of Boodjidup Creek & Beach!

After your first day on the Track, we head back to Gnarabup for a fantastic BBQ of local line caught fish and fresh salad. This is the perfect opportunity for everyone to relax and get to know each other whilst chatting about the adventure that the week ahead holds!

Before setting off from Cape Naturaliste

Right before setting off on their 135km journey!

Day two on the Track is a little bit longer and more challenging than the first, but it’s all worth it to head to Cape Grace Wines and enjoy a wine tasting and a cheese platter with Karen. Heading home to unwind with a delicious Margaret River meal in your room will leave you feeling rested for your next day on the Cape to Cape. This night is one of the best to indulge in a massage.

Group of hikers tasting wine at Cape Grace winery

Hikers enjoying tasting at Cape Grace Wines

Your third day with Cape to Cape Explorer Tours is a shorter and easier walk finished with a sundowner at Margaret River’s founding estate, Vasse Felix. After trying wine produced from some of the regions oldest vines, head home to freshen up before hitting The Common for pizza night! Yum!

Enjoying a wine and platter at Vasse Felix

Vasse Felix sundowners are a lovely way to finish the day!

After crossing the half way point and the Margaret River, on day four you walk into your accommodation. Tonights meal is a degustation of Japanese tempura at Miki’s Open Kitchen, one of the regions most renowned restaurants. A two hour dining experience that will leave you feeling spoilt!

Mike's Open Kitchen

A sneak peak of some of the delicious Japanese food at Mikis Open Kitchen

After a variable, challenging and long day on the Track, you’ll head straight back to your accommodation to relax and enjoy a dinner in your accommodation from one of Margaret River’s best providers, The Larder. Another opportunity for a massage presents itself this evening.

Group of hikers at Contos Cliffs

Contos Cliffs is one of the most scenic sections of the Track.

After your second last day on the Cape to Cape, you will get the opportunity to visit one of Margaret River’s iconic caves. Venture underground with helmet and torch to explore the beauty of Calgardup Cave before emerging to a delicious hearty soup under the stars featuring freshly baked rolls from Margaret River Woodfired Bread.

Entering Calgardup Cave

About to enter the depth of Calgardup Cave

To celebrate your achievement of hiking the Cape to Cape Track, we spend the final evening sharing a meal at The Common. Certificates, slide shows and champagne make for an enjoyable evening of reminiscing with your new friends!

Celebration Dinner

Recapping on a life changing week at The Common!

With all of our Guided Join a Group experiences full to the brim this Spring and bookings for both Autumn and Spring next year already flowing in, we recommend booking now to avoid disappointment! With three different accommodation options including camping, staying in well appointed beach houses or staying at the 4-Star Margarets Beach Resort you can shape your Cape to Cape experience to suit your needs. Check out our dates on our home page now!

Splendid July School Holidays

This July school holidays have been the busiest yet at Cape to Cape Explorer Tours! Even though we have had some wet and windy weather in the Margaret River Region, we’ve been out and about on the Track and underground.

Low family exploring Calgardup Cave

The Loh family explorer the underground wonders of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge in Calgardup Cave.

The Loh family joined us last week for a Sunset, Forest and Cave Explorer Tour through the southern end of the Cape’s region. Although the rain was heavy outside, once we made our way down the steps and underground into Calgardup Cave our soggy thoughts were long forgotten. Escaping the Singaporean heat to visit Margaret River in the winter months has been a very popular choice for families from South East Asia. The Loh family used the holiday as a reunion as their youngest daughter Jaz is currently studying in England and their daughter Jana has recently been in Sydney completing her tertiary education.

Rainbow the Mehta family at Wydup Rocks

The Mehta family enjoying a rainbow mid-hike above Wyadup Rocks.

The Mehta family also joined us for a full day of hiking from Smiths Beach to Moses Rock. Although a few showers graced us throughout the day, we were lucky enough to experience lots of fantastic rainbows after each downpour. Living in New South Wales, the family are often very busy after school and on weekends with sporting commitments. The families favourites include soccer and cricket, whilst sun Anish also likes to surf when conditions are right.

The kids enjoying a hike in Nannup

Youth from Nannup, Margaret River, Manjimup, Pemberton and Northcliffe hiking the Timberline Trail in Barrabup.

To finish off the holidays, we spent two days out in the bush with youth from Margaret River, Northcliffe, Pemberton, Manjimup and Nannup for a Bush Survival Camp funded by the Local Drug Action Group. Camping at Workers Pool in Nannup was a great experience! We pushed on through some pretty extreme weather with the temperature dropping to -2.5 degrees on Wednesday night and over 75mm of rain overnight on Thursday and through pack up on Friday morning. The kids aged from 12-17 years old showed amazing amounts of leadership as they shared the responsibilities in the kitchen and around the camp fire. They were also incredibly respectful to all the supervisors, camp visitors and each other.

Overall, we’ve had a fantastic school holidays here at Cape to Cape Explorer Tours full of fun and adventure. If you are visiting Margaret River next holidays with the family why not try one of our day tours? We can also organise a customised trip for you and your family to help you reconnect with nature and learn a little bit more about the true nature of this amazing region.

 

Happy Walker Spreads Rays of Inspirational Light on Track

Terra Lalirra, depression awareness walker, joined us this week on a Camping End-to-Ender for sunset and caving as part of her journey around Oz.

Whilst Ms Lalirra says she hasn’t been walking long with ‘The Happy Walk’ starting on September 10th 2012, she has actually been long distance walking for her health for over a decade and will be walking for almost another decade in her plight to aid her cause.

“I am walking around Australia for 7 years for Lifeline and Depression Awareness and Suicide Prevention,” she said. “I have walked around Tasmania and just begun walking from Perth to Melbourne which should take 8-15 months.”

The path has not always been a joyful one for this Happy Walker so creating awareness and raising money is close to her heart.

“I would like to raise one million dollars for Lifeline over a 7 year period but also as I walk I chat with people about their experiences and my experiences and hand out little cards to recognise depression.”

“(The best part of the trip) is the  natural surroundings I have walked through and the characters that I  meet. People pull over just anywhere on the side of the road, come and give me a big hug and share they own experiences with Lifeline  … it’s inspiring and keeps me going.”

“I get a lot of time to think and to experience my surroundings in every sense. I get to smell and taste and feel everything that drivers miss,” she said.

Gene Hardy, Managing Director of CCET, believes that long distant walking is beneficial for the soul and the mind.

“It’s interesting as some of our walkers say that long distance walking can have transformational effects like long term effects on your positive well being.

“It gives you time to reflect and relax and, if you are walking with your partner, catch up with them.”

Terra Lalirra uses walking as therapy to stay mentally healthy and hopes to raise awareness about depression and suicide prevention.

If you would like to join us on a walk please contact us here… E: info@capetocapetours.com.au M:0459 452 038 or here for more info…

Sunset Track, Forest and Cave Explorer Tour or Camping End-to-Ender

If you would like to read about Ms Lalirra or help her on ‘The Happy Walk’ please go here… The Happy Walk

If you are feeling down and need some help please go here… Lifeline or call the crisis line 13 11 14.

Like Mother Like Daughter

This week Mercedes College students and their Mum’s joined us for three days of Cape to Cape Explorer Tour action.

The 68 participants were split into groups that rotated between diffrerent challenges over a three day program including Abseiling in Boranup Forest, Caving in Giants Cave, Kayaking in the Margaret River Estuary and Team Building Activities at Contos for the Cape to Cape Explorer Tours Challenge Loop Trail.

Although physically challenging it was also a lovely bonding experience for the women and their siblings.

Whilst they all worked together as a team in the groups it was interesting to watch the similiarity’s between the parents and their children.

“Each Mum and child seemed to approach the activities in similar manners,” said Gene Hardy

“All the activities are great for team building but also fantastic for the Mum’s to have an opportunity to experience with their teenage daughters and vice versa.”

“It was a highly successful camp and the ladies and girls were a pleasure to have on tour with us.”

Great Effort Mercedes College. See you again next year!

Cape to Cape Explore Tours offer special packages for schools (click here for more info) but are are also happy to customise tours to your needs.

To book or for further information please call us on M:0459 452 038 or email E:info@capetocapetours.com.au

‘Jewel of the Capes’ tour a Wildlife Bonanza

Cape to Cape Explorer Tours flagship one day tour, the Jewel of the Capes, provided a number of wildlife encounters and other highlights for six lucky participants during a recent mid-week custom tour.

‘September in Margaret River has been exceptionally wet this year and it’s fantastic to see the surrounding bushland and coastal heath looking so healthy”, said Senior Tour Guide and Cape to Cape Explorer Tours Director Gene Hardy.

“The Jewel of the Cape tour visits possibly the most scenic stretch of the Cape to Cape Track, as well as traversing the regions most exciting cave.”

A number of wildlife encounters occurred, beginning when a very brave Bearded Dragon decided to stand his ground and show the group an impressive set of sharp teeth.

The Bearded Dragon is from the Dragon or Agamidae family. About 73 different Adamidae species occur in Australia, with 66 found in Western Australia alone. They have a unique set of posterior teeth, fused to the outer rim of their jaw, which can be clearly seen in the above photo. These teeth are permanent and are not replaced. However they also have a second set of interior teeth and are continually replaced throughout their life.

“Looking at the amount of teeth still left on this feisty little fellows outer jaw, I’d say that he is still reasonably young”, laughed Gene “Possibly a puffed up teenager!”

The other wildlife encounter to note was a large male emu and his little brood of four chicks. At up to 55kg the Emu is the second largest bird in the world, just behind the Ostrich.

“The interesting thing about Emus is that the fathers do all the childrearing”, says Gene.

“And it’s not just looking after the chicks either, he will sit on the eggs without eating for between 40 and 60 days”

After the brief encounter, the father Emu decided he’d seen enough of our group and ran off, down the Track, with his little chicks powering along behind him.

Another highlight of the day were the golden flowers of the Acacia littoria or Shark Tooth Wattle dominating the wild sea cliffs.

The final highlight of the day was the enormous caverns of the adventure cave, where the group took on the challenge of  a game of stealth in the Ballroom with vigour.

After the expanse of the Ball Room Chamber, the ladder section was a lot of fun and gave everyone a chance to marvel at the amount of wind whistling through the chamber, some 70metres below the surface!

With the cave behind us and a bottle of cold Ballingup Apple cider on the surface the day had come to an end…everyone will sleep well tonight!

The ‘Jewel of the Capes’ tour runs every Saturday and enquiries can be made to have a tour run any day of the week for a custom group of 4 participants or more.

Please call Cape to Cape Explorer Tours on 0459 452 038 to book or for further information.