Frequently asked questions

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions page. Click on the boxes below to see answers to some of the most common questions our clients ask.

If your question isn’t answered here, email us at marketing@capetocapetours.com.au and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible – and we’ll add your query and the answer to our FAQs page!

“Explore the true nature of Margaret River”

FAQs about the Margaret River Region

How do I get to the Margaret River region?

Travel by Plane

Perth Airport is one of Australia’s closest airports to South East Asia, Europe and Africa and is serviced by over 20 international, domestic and regional airlines.

The Margaret River Region is an easy three-hour drive south of Perth. Once you’re here, Cape to Cape Explorer Tours will transfer you to and from your accommodation and to the Track. Just let us know how you are planning to arrive!

Jetstar is operating direct flights from Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Busselton Margaret River Airport. Jetstar will operate the service three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Please note, if you are joing our 8-Day Guided End-to-End hike starting Saturdays, the Saturday Jetstar flight into Busselton does not arrive in time to make the start of the tour. Instead, we recommend flying into Perth on Friday and hopping aboard our free transfer from Perth to Margaret River on Saturday morning. (However, at the end of your 8-Day Guided End-to-End tour the following Saturday, the timing works well for flights departing from Busselton Margaret River Airport to Melbourne. Should you choose this option, our driver can drop you at the airport in time for the 12.15pm departing flight.)

Jetstar is also operating three direct flights from Sydney per week. They’re on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday flying into the Busselton Margaret River Airport, a mere 40-minute drive away. This schedule is ideal for any of the self-guided adventures on the Cape to Cape Track with us. But if your coming for our 8-Day Guided End-to-End adventures – which start on Saturdays – we recommend you fly into and out of Perth. 

Cape to Cape Explorer Tours transfer service

If you are joining one of our 8-Day Guided End-to-End experiences, transfers between the Perth CBD or the Perth Airport are included in you tour price.

If you are embarking on one of our self-guided adventures, we offer a pickup service starting from $500 one-way for groups of up to 12 people (depending on pickup time).

Travel by Car from Perth

There are a number of car hire companies operating from various locations around WA’s capital, including the Perth Airports. It can cost as little as $360 to hire a Hyundai i20 for 9 days and, as our logistics ensure that your vehicle stays safe at your accommodation, it opens up options for adventuring to vineyards after finishing your days walk or visiting town for an evening meal. We recommend checking out VroomVroomVroom.com.au to find the best vehicle and price for your budget.

If you’re driving your own car, our logistics ensure that your vehicle stays safe at your accommodation for the duration of your Cape to Cape Explorer Tours experience. Also, by having your own vehicle you can spend your afternoons and evening visiting some of the regions great wineries and restaurants.

To get to Margaret River, take the Kwinana Freeway out of Perth city, and this will become Forrest Highway. Follow the signs to Bunbury and then to Busselton, travelling via the Bussell Highway.

You can also try the more scenic inland route from Perth. Adding an extra half an hour or so onto your trip, the South Western Highway guides you inland from the suburb of Armadale, Pinjarra, Waroona, Harvey, Brunswick Junction, Bunbury then Busselton.

Once arrived at Busselton you are at the gateway to the rest of Your Margaret River Region, which includes the towns of Dunsborough, Yallingup, Cowaramup, Margaret River and Augusta.

To drive from Busselton to Dunsborough, the quickest route follows the Busselton Bypass, turning right at the end of the Bypass and then immediately left onto Caves Road.

Alternatively, you can take a drive through Busselton by following the Bussell Highway through the town centre, which leads straight onto Caves Road and continues to Dunsborough. Yallingup is a short drive from Dunsborough along Caves Road.

To drive from Busselton to Cowaramup, Margaret River and Augusta there are two main options. The speedier route is via Bussell Highway, which travels through the heart of each of these towns. The more scenic route follows Caves Road, which travels through the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. For four wheel drive vehicles, it is also highly recommended to take a detour from Caves Road onto Boranup Drive, through the beautiful Boranup Karri Forest.

Travel by Coach/Bus from Perth

South West Coach Lines connects Perth and the South West region, departing daily from the City Bus Port, Domestic Airport & International Airport, Perth. South West destinations include Margaret River, Dunsborough, Busselton, Manjimup, Collie and Bunbury.

TransWA also operates a daily bus service from East Perth.

Other Airport Shuttle Services

There are a number of other local transport companies offering travel by airport shuttle, taxi, car hire. There are also charter vehicle companies which can cater to individual or group needs.

Do I need an International Drivers Licence?

An International Drivers Licence is desirable if you wish to hire a car, but it is not essential. Visit the WA Department of Transport website to find out more information on which countries require additional licences to drive on Australian roads.

RAC Electric Highway

The RAC Electric Highway is a network of publicly accessible electric vehicle fast-charging DC and AC stations located between Perth and Augusta in Western Australia. With Your Margaret River Region, stations are currently in place at Busselton, Dunsborough, Margaret River and Augusta.

The charging stations allow drivers to charge their eco-friendly vehicles in only 20-30 minutes – a dramatic reduction on the 10-12 hours it can sometimes take. What’s more, electric vehicle owners will be able to charge their cars for free until the end of 2015.

The RAC Electric Highway is the first of its kind in Australia and making use of this great travel tool will allow you to navigate Your Margaret River Region in the safest, most sustainable and efficient way possible. We encourage you to take advantage and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the region. Learn more at racelectrichighway.com.au

Aside from hiking, what else is there to do in Margaret River?

Nature’s playground

Margaret River is a world-class destination for visitors offering spectacular coastal and forest scenery, and experiences in the great outdoors from hiking to mountain biking and exploring underground caves packed with stalagmites and stalactites. It is truly nature’s playground and sits largely in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, comprised on ancient granite, stunning white-sand beaches, towering Karri forest, fields of wildflowers in spring.

Plus there’s loads of wildlife – see kangaroos by the dozen, migrating humpback whales, and a huge diversity of cute mammals and interesting reptiles. Check out our Day Tours for plenty of options when it comes to seeing this amazing region!

Wine tourism

It’s one of Australia’s top wine destinations more more than 200 vineyards and 135 cellar doors to visit. Many of our tours include exclusive cellar for visits, plus we offer a one-day speciality Cape To Vine Tour.

From the first commercial vineyard planting in Margaret River in 1967, the region’s natural assets have blended with the ability of the vignerons and winemakers to create a wine region that is one of the best on the planet.

A relatively small producer of Australian wine, the region produces a massive 20% of Australia’s premium wine. The pristine environment and the many micro climates ensure that every wine is special but not one is the same. A journey through Margaret River’s premium wine region is sophisticated yet relaxed, authentic and unique. Meandering from cellar door to cellar door is easy and spectacular with vistas of farmland, wine country and the coast. Listed HERE are over 90 cellar doors throughout the region.

The diversity ranges from farm-style to architecturally elaborate, many of which have casual cafés ranging to world-class restaurants. Take a quick look at Your Margaret River Region’s regional map and you’ll see that the cellar doors are easy to find and close together. Or totally immerse yourself in the wine region with a night or two at some of the winery accommodation on offer.

Food and produce

Dine on exceptional local produce grown in our clean and green environment, and served at dozens of top local restaurants. Plus, don’t miss the epic Margaret River Farmers Market every Saturday!

If you’re after fresh, local, tasty and organic produce, you’re spoilt for choice! Click HERE for a full list of markets and farm gates you can visit in the region.

If you’re joining any of our caterer hiking tours on the Cape To Cape Track, you’re in for a real treat. That’s because all our lunches and dinners are freshly prepared by our in-house catering company, Cape To Cape Moveable Feast. 

On our signature 8-Day Guided End-to-End tours, you’ll also dine out at some of the town’s best restaurants, including g a 6-course degustation dinner at Margaret River’s No. 1 restaurant – Miki’s Japanese Open Kitchen and you’ll taste some of the region’s finest wines and produce from Cape Grace Wines, Vasse Felix Estate, Margaret River Farmers Market and more.

Make a splash

The region also offers a plethora of water sports like surfing – it’s one of the top destinations in Australia and the world for board-riders. Click HERE for the low-down on surfing this remote and epic coastline. Or, for a full list of stellar beaches to explore, click HERE.

There’s also amazing fishing, diving and boating in our Indian Ocean playground, plus canoeing and kayaking on the Margaret and Blackwood rivers.

Surrounded by three sides of water, this coastline is like no other. To the north, the warm tranquil waters of Geographe Bay have created the best swimming beaches in Dunsborough and Busselton. Choose from secluded sheltered coves to long shallow beaches with fine white sand. Take the picturesque tourist drive, regional park walking track or even go by kayak to discover your special spot. Beach accommodation is available in Busselton, Dunsborough and Bunker Bay.

On the west coast, the might and power of the Indian Ocean is incredible to watch. Stretching 120km, this coastline has areas calmed by limestone reefs, lagoons and curving headlands. World famous for its surf, this section of coastline also offers great designated swimming beaches. Scenic lookouts, small coastal towns of Yallingup and Gracetown and tourist resorts are dotted along this coastline and provide beach accommodation.

Useful links

For all the information on Margaret River and it’s fabulous offerings to visitors, click on these links for The Margaret River Region and Australia’s South-West.

For more wine and vineyard information, see the Margaret River Wineries Map or Tourism Western Australia’s Margaret River Wine Region page.

For a full list of all the activities on offer, check The Margaret River Region’s Activities Page.

What are the major attractions in the region beside the Cape to Cape Track?

Where else in Western Australia could I visit during my trip?

Elsewhere in the South-West

Rolling farmland, undulating vineyards, spectacular coastal scenery, pristine natural forest and abundant eating and entertainment options paint an enticing picture for a memorable visit to the wider South-West region of Western Australia.

Whilst the region is one of the world’s 36 biodiversity hot spots, it’s probably the diversity of attractions and things to do that really make the South West one of the top tourist destinations in Australia.

For more information, visit the Australia’s South West website and download their 2020 Holiday Planner.

 Elsewhere in Western Australia

A visit to Margaret river can easily be combined with other memorable experiences in the wild and beautiful state of Western Australia. Options include exploring the state’s remote and untamed south coast with its stunning forests and beaches around Esperance, Albany and Denmark. Or, venturing north to the Coral Coast to swim with whale sharks, or further on to the Kimberley wilderness area.

For more ideas head to Tourism Western Australia and for tailor-made itineraries click HERE.

FAQs about the Cape to Cape Track

How difficult is walking the Cape to Cape Track? How do I know that I'm up for the challenge?

An exhilarating but challenging hike

The Cape to Cape Track is an exhilarating trek open to anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. We’ve had clients from 12 to 87 hike with us!

Having said that, it is also a challenging walk at times due to the diversity and nature of the terrain and requires preparation. The experience ranges from extended soft sand beach walks, through to steep (but short) climbs over loose limestone. It involves long, extended hikes that will challenge even the fittest in the group at one time or another.  As such, pre-trip preparation is strongly recommended to make the event enjoyable and to reduce the risk of injury.

Read our blog abut inspiring couple John and Ros Steel, aged 87 and 78 respectively, who hiked the Track with us HERE.

Three key elements to your preparation

Firstly, We strongly recommend training regularly at least 2 months out from the commencement of the tour. This should include some back-to-back day walks and extended walks greater than 15km. We recommend getting off of footpaths and bitumen for as much as possible. Some sand walking and hill walking will really help to build the fitness need on the track.

Secondly, the main issue to interrupt a walk of this nature is not the fitness of the participants, but problems with feet, socks and/ or shoes. We strongly recommend that all participants have very well-worn-in boots that they have trained in extensively prior to the walk. Issues often emerge even with well worn in footwear after 7 days of back to back walking. This training should also trial any new socks etc. that may be worn during the walk. Training on a range of surfaces and topography will best test gear, shoes – and your body, prior to tackling the diversity of the Track. Having some back up footwear available including runners or hiking sandals often comes in handy on sand stretches or if blisters occur with your main pair of shoes/boots.

Thirdly, it will be your responsibility to manage your personal foot care during the course of the tour and address any minor rubbing or ‘hotspots’ straight away so as to avoid these becoming significant obstacles to completing the walk. You should carry a range of dressings and equipment to assist you to manage minor issues before they become serious. CCET guides carry a kit for feet treatment in the case of an emergency.

Prepare now and reap the rewards during your time on the Cape to Cape Track!

What is the terrain of the Track like? What distances will we be walking?

The Cape to Cape Track

In the far southwest corner of Western Australia, a broad peninsula projects into the Indian Ocean – ancient, wild, and stunning.  Running north to south along its western edge is the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, the setting of the 132km Cape to Cape Track, and backdrop to the Margaret River region.

Beginning at Cape Naturaliste in the north, the Cape to Cape Track meanders through windswept limestone ridges, deserted white beaches, giant granite marbles, and towering Karri forest to finish up at Cape Leeuwin in the south.

The Track’s setting in the Margaret River Region – renowned internationally for stunning scenery, world-class beaches, gourmet food, and fine wines.

Difficulty and distances

The Cape to Cape Track is an exhilarating trek open to anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. We’ve had clients from 12 to 87 hike with us!

Having said that, it is also a challenging walk at times due to the diversity and nature of the terrain and requires preparation. The experience ranges from extended soft sand beach walks, through to steep (but short) climbs over loose limestone. It involves long, extended hikes that will challenge even the fittest in the group at one time or another.  As such, pre-trip preparation is strongly recommended to make the event enjoyable and to reduce the risk of injury.

Sample hiking itinerary

The distances you walk vary on which tour you choose from our range of guided, self-guided and day tours (you can find exact daily distances in the Itinerary of each product). But our most popular options are the guided and self-guided End-to-End tours, covering the entire 132km length of the Track.

For example, the daily itinerary and distances of the self-guided 7 day options is:

Day 1: Cape Naturaliste to Smiths Beach. 16.5km

Day 2: Smiths Beach to Moses Rock. 14.75km

Day 3: Moses Rock to Gracetown. 15kms

Day 4: Gracetown to Prevelly. 21.75km 

Day 5: Prevelly to Hooley Road/Boranup Forest. 22.5km

Day 6: Boranup Forest to Cosy Corner. 20.5km

Day 7: Cosy Corner to Cape Leeuwin. 21km

What sort of shoes and other equipment will I need to hike the Track?

Footwear for your Cape to Cape Track hike

We’ve done a special blog post all about footwear, including interviews with our guides about what shoes they wear on the Track. Click HERE to read it.

Generally we recommend wearing a pair of solid, reliable walking boots. If they’re well worn-in and very comfortable and waterproof, that’s a big advantage!

It’s also a good idea too bring an alternative pair of walking shoes, also well worn-in, in case of rubbing. You may choose to wear walking sandals or trainers/runners on certain stretches. You’ll also walk some sandy beaches, where some hikers like to go barefoot.

Keep an eye on this page because we’re making a video about footwear recommended by our expert guides. It’s coming soon!

Personal items to bring on your hike

A suggested list of clothing and equipment to bring for your hike on the Cape to Cape Track also includes: 

Woollen socks (suggest three pairs of quality walking socks, worn-in)

Gators, if you choose

Walking poles (if you feel your knees need them!)

Lightweight clothing for walking – long pants and long-sleeved shirt recommended for sun protection

Sunhat

Beanie

Fleece jacket

Waterproof hiking jacket and pants

All other personal clothing, including warm clothing for evenings

Casual attire is suitable for the restaurant celebration dinner

Swim gear

Personal toiletries

Water bottles / bladder (we suggest carrying 3L/day)

Blister protection (recommend at least one pack of Compeed per person)

Medications (include sunscreen, insect repellent, analgesics and any personal medication). Please remember to advise CCET staff of the location of any medication you may require urgently

Daypack: comfortable daypack to carry your water, lunch pack and personal items while walking (camera, swim gear, sunscreen etc). Prior to the tour, try to take at least a few walks wearing this pack to prepare your body.

What our guides will carry

If you join one of out guided hiking tours, our guides will carry:

Maps

Satellite tracking beacon

Comprehensive first aid kit

Mobile phones

Emergency access and support vehicle details

What weather can we expect and what's the best time of year for hiking?

Margaret River’s Mediterranean climate

Known for its four distinct seasons, the mild Mediterranean climate not only makes the Margaret River Region a premium wine growing region, but also a year round choice for holiday makers.

In summer, there is little rainfall and the average maximum temperature is just under 30 degrees Celsius. Hot days are usually cooled off with lovely afternoon sea breezes. Summer evenings are balmy to mild with temperatures around 15.5 degrees Celsius.

Most of the rainfall occurs in the winter but winter still has plenty of glorious sunny days. Winter enjoys mild temperatures that average 16 to 18 degrees with some days in the early 20’s. Winter evenings are mild and average above 8 degrees Celsius but are still cool enough to enjoy a log fire.

Spring and autumn are lovely and warm with plenty of sunny days.

Each season reveals different aspects to appreciate. In summer the stunning beaches seduce swimmers and kite surfers. In winter, they’re graced with a passing parade of whales. Autumn sees a flurry of arts and wine-inspired events. In spring, the wildflowers put on their own dazzling show.

Hiking in summer and winter

The Margaret River region experiences hot, dry summers during December to February and relatively cool, damp winters in June, July and August. During these months, we offer self-guided hiking options and day tours.

Many hikers enjoy the solitude of hiking at these times of year when the Track is uncrowded. In summer, the warm temperatures mean plenty of great swimming opportunities and in winter, it’s a chance to see the Indian Ocean at its most wild.

Hiking in spring and autumn

These seasons are our most popular for hiking on the Cape to Cape Track. It’s when we’re most busy and we run our guided, self-guided and day tours.

Spring, during September through to November, is loved for its abundance of orchids and the spectacular blooming of wildflowers across the entire 132km length of the Cape to Cape Track. Wildflowers, whales and warming weather make this an attractive season for hiking!

Autumn, from March to May, is also a great season for hiking – that’s when Margaret River generally experiences lovely sunny and mild days. Come in autumn for perfect hiking weather with lovely light breezes, a glassy ocean and surfers performing on distant waves!

For more detailed weather and climate information on the region visit the Bureau of Meteorology.

FAQs about your accommodation

Can I schedule extra nights' accommodation into my self-guided tour?

Of course you can! When booking any of our multi-day self-guided tours you can select as many rest days in the middle of your walk as you like. And you can schedule extra nights’ accommodation either side of your tour.

To add addition nights to any of our multi day self-guided packages during the booking process, first select the number of participants and the date of your tour. Then simply add as many extra nights’ accomodation as you’d like on our ‘Optional Extras’ page.

Why don't we move accommodation more frequently?

Cape to Cape Explorer Tours have hand-picked fantastic coastal accommodation in the Margaret River Region in close proximity to the Cape to Cape Track. Our customers consistently appreciate returning to familiar surroundings after a long day’s walk! It means you won’t need to worry about packing and unpacking your belongings more than you need to because we’ve reduced the hassle of shifting accommodation.

Guided tours

During our guided multi-day tours, you’ll have one accommodation venue during your entire stay. That means you’ll have to unpack only once! We provide daily transfers to the start of each day’s hike in the morning and back to your accommodation in the afternoon.

The transfers between your accommodation and hiking start or finish points take no more than 35 minutes – and they’re along the iconic Caves Road tourist drive. That means you’ll be seeing magic Margaret River scenery along the way including a wide array of wineries and vineyards, rolling farm land, towering Karri forest and coastal heathland. Our guides also deliver commentary along the way and tell the stories of the local places, characters, history and legend.

Self-guided tours

During some of our self-guided tours including the End-to-End tours, you will change accommodation once midway through your experience. That means reducing travel time by staying in the Smiths Beach area near the northern end of the Cape to Cape Track and then moving to the Gnarabup area, which is a convenient base to hike the remaining southern sections of the Track.

Plus, you have the luxury of walking in and out of your accommodation on several of your walking days. On all the other days, we’ll organise your morning and afternoon Track transfers to and from your accommodation.

We really want to treat ourselves. Can we upgrade our accommodation?

You absolutely can!

8-Day Guided End-to-End tours

A stroll from Gnarabup Beach and right on the Cape to Cape Track, Surfpoint Resort is our own 3.5-star hiking hub. Sleep under the stars in a private, comfortable canvas glamping tent set amidst beautiful native gardens. Or upgrade to a private room in high-quality resort accommodation (with your choice of a private ensuite bathroom or using shared bathroom facilities). 

Surfpoint Resort features large guest kitchen, wonderful spaces to share with other guests, communal dining room, lounge with fireplace, outdoor BBQ area, quality coffee machine, shop and 24/7 laundromat. Hypoallergenic cleaning practices are used. Our on-site management team is available pre and post-hike to assist you with your needs.

Self-guided tours

On our 7-Day Self-Guided End-to-End tours (including both the catered or self-catered option), you can add our ‘5 Star Luxury Upgrade’ during the booking process.

By selecting the number of participants and the date of your tour, you can then simply select the ‘5 Star Luxury Upgrade’ on our ‘Optional Extras’ page. For an extra $495 per person twin share, you can upgrade your experience – and we’ll even include a 1 hour massage.

You will spend your first three nights in the 5-Star Smiths Beach Resort, followed by four nights in an upgraded spa apartment at the beautiful Margarets Beach Resort.

What is the accommodation like on the range of End-to-End 8-Day Guided tours?

A stroll from Gnarabup Beach and right on the Cape to Cape Track, Surfpoint Resort is our own 3.5-star hiking hub. Sleep under the stars in a private, comfortable canvas glamping tent set amidst beautiful native gardens. Or upgrade to a private room in high-quality resort accommodation (with your choice of a private ensuite bathroom or using shared bathroom facilities). 

Surfpoint Resort features large guest kitchen, wonderful spaces to share with other guests, communal dining room, lounge with fireplace, outdoor BBQ area, quality coffee machine, shop and 24/7 laundromat. Hypoallergenic cleaning practices are used. Our on-site management team is available pre and post-hike to assist you with your needs.

FAQs about the Cape to Cape explorer tours guided experiences

Can I have a rest day or a half-day option on my guided experience?

Absolutely! It’s your holiday! You are more than welcome to take a day off walking to relax at your accommodation, enjoy the wineries of the Margaret River region, explore the beaches of Gnarabup or stroll the streets of Margaret River.

If you’re booking onto any of our 8-Day Guided End-to-End tours, 4 of the 7 hiking days can include a half-day walking option. That usually means we’ll drop you in to meet the rest of the group at the morning tea stop, so you can rest in the morning but walk the rest of the day. Or you’ll be picked up after lunch, meaning you can relax instead of walking during the afternoon.

Half-day options are subject to vehicle access to that day’s section of the Cape to Cape Track and staff availability on the day. If you feel like you need a rest and want to do a half-day option, we’ll certainly do our very best to accommodate you and ensure you’re able to complete as much of the Track as you can!

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your options. Phone 0459 452 038 or email info@capetocapetours.com.au.

Who are the guides and how much do they know?

The Cape To Cape Explorers team

You will simply love our team! We’re a close-knit group of passionate individuals who love Margaret River and relish sharing the wonders of the Cape to Cape Track! They’re all trained and experienced in delivering the full range of commentary on the Track, covering topics including geology, marine, flora and biodiversity, fauna, indigenous culture and European history. We know the stories and local legends that will make laugh or shake your head in wonder! 

All our guides are Margaret River locals and we’re the only local company specialising in hiking tours on the Track. When we’re not hiking, you’ll find us surfing the region’s epic waves, diving for crayfish, mountain biking through the Karri forest or generally tackling the great outdoors in some other way, shape or form. Did we mention we love living in this magic part of the world!

To read about each of the guides you might meet, click HERE to meet the team.

And to read a blog article about the Cape To Cape Explorer Tours team hiking the track together, click HERE.

Our founder Gene Hardy

Gene Hardy is the founder and managing director of Cape To Cape Explorer Tours. He’s a larger than life character with more enthusiasm for nature than anyone we’ve met, and you can’t miss him with his shock of curly hair! Watch a great video of Gene and the Cape to Cape Track made by Tourism Western Australia HERE.

Gene was born in Margaret River and has an in-depth knowledge of the Capes’ attractions reserved only for true locals. Prior to launching Cape to Cape Explorer Tours, Gene travelled and worked worldwide as a journalist for various sporting publications, and developed environmental, interpretive and team building programs in both Australia and the UK, and worked for a number of conservation agencies and NGOs in the South West of Australia.

Gene is currently the Vice-President of the Friends of the Cape to Cape Track, sat on the Board for the Augusta – Margaret River Tourism Association, and also the National Board for Surfrider Foundation, a group focused on coastal conservation.

Gene has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Diploma in Education. When not out on the Track, Gene is a keen waterman and has represented Western Australia a number of times surfing, playing underwater hockey and won the World Wooden Bellyboarding Championships at Chapelporth Beach, UK in 2005.

He sites trekking the Peruvian Inca Trail in 2005 as his life’s hiking highlight, but says the Cape to Cape Track in WA and South Coast Track in Tasmania rank just as high!

FAQs about the Cape to Cape explorer tours self-guided experiences

What is your standard accommodation on self-guided experiences?

During some of our self-guided tours including the End-to-End tours, you will change accommodation once midway through your experience. That means reducing travel time by staying in the Smiths Beach area near the northern end of the Cape to Cape Track and then moving to the Gnarabup area, which is a convenient base to hike the remaining southern sections of the Track.

Plus, you have the luxury of walking in and out of your accommodation on several of your walking days. On all the other days, we’ll organise your morning and afternoon Track transfers to and from your accommodation.

Northern accommodation

In the Smiths Beach area for your first three nights, you will either stay at Chandlers Smiths Beach Villas or Canal Rocks Beachfront Apartments depending on availability. Both are located right on the Cape to Cape Track and a short stroll from stunning Smiths Beach.

Southern accommodation

When you relocate south to the Gnarabup area for your final four nights you will stay at either Cape To Cape Explorer Tours-run SurfPoint Resort or Margarets Beach Resort, depending on availability. Both are modern, clean and comfortable, with Gnarabup Beach a short walk away.

A luxury upgrade

On our 7-Day Self-Guided End-to-End tours including the catered or self-catered option, you can add our ‘5 Star Luxury Upgrade’ during the booking process.

By selecting the number of participants and the date of your tour, you can then simply select the ‘5 Star Luxury Upgrade’ on our ‘Optional Extras’ page. For an extra $495 per person twin share, you can upgrade your experience – and we’ll even include a 1 hour massage!

You will spend your first three nights in the 5-Star Smiths Beach Resort, followed by four nights in an upgraded spa apartment at the beautiful Margarets Beach Resort.

How does the self-guided option work?

Our self-guided hiking options are perfect for adventurous walkers who want the freedom to walk the Cape to Cape Track in a solo rather than group environment.

You can choose the self-guided option and hike on your own, with your partner or family, or a group of friends.

Read a great blog on a Perth couple who took the self-guided option to hike the Track for their honeymoon HERE.

Or read another blog about two great friends who chose our self-guided option for their annual hiking adventure HERE.

What self-guided hiking includes

We’ll still be there to handle all the logistics, including accommodation, morning and afternoon Track transfers, and all your catering (unless you want to take care of meals yourself via the self-catered option). We’ll also sort you out with detailed maps and information on each day’s hike. And we’ll provide a satellite device for your peace of mind in case of any emergency on the Track.

In addition, your drivers each day will be able to pass on plenty of information about the Track including its geology, flora, fauna, indigenous and European history. Plus plenty of great yarns and legends about the Margaret River region and its local characters, past and present.

Or choose the guided alternative

Alternatively, choose one of our guided hiking options if you prefer to walk the Track in the company of a different expert guide each day with a small group of other like-minded souls. The choice is yours!

Read all about a father and daughter from Adelaide who joined one of our Guided End-to-End hikes HERE

Why can't I just hike the Track myself without logistical support from Cape To Cape Explorer Tours?

You absolutely can hike the Cape to Cape Track on your own, and each year many people do. Most solo hikers do day walks, staying at local accommodation like Surfpoint Resort right on the Track.

A small number also hike the entire 124km length of the Track, carrying all their gear and staying in a handful of rudimentary camp sites along the way, bringing their own tent and sleeping gear and much of their own food and water with them.

Why choose Cape To Cape Explorer Tours

However, Cape To Cape Explorer Tours was founded by local adventurer Gene Hardy in 2010 when he realised many hikers did not want to carry a heavy, 20kg-plus backpack along the Track – particularly because it includes a number of sandy beach crossings.

Gene realised most hikers also relish the chance to have a hot shower, a delicious meal, a glass of Margaret River wine and a comfortable warm bed to sleep in after a day on the Track!

Best way to connect with nature and soak up the Track

We recommend either joining one of our guided or self-guided hikes. That way, we take care of all the planning and logistical details so you have the headspace to connect with nature, immerse yourself in the beauty of the Track, and truly experience the wonder of the Margaret River region.

Plus you’ll only have to carrying a light day pack with your lunch and swimming  gear. And you’ll have the added safety of either walking with one of your expert guides (if you join a guided tour) or using our maps, weather planning service and satellite safety device (if you choose the self-guided option) to ensure your safety at all times and minimise the chance of getting lost or missing a Track turn off! 

FAQs about transport

When and where are the Perth pick-up and drop-off points for my guided experience?

If you’re booking our Guided 8-day End-to-End experience or our 4-Day Deluxe experience, transfers to and from Perth are included.

Pick-up

Enjoy complimentary morning pick-up from the Perth Ambassador Hotel (196 Adelaide Terrace, Perth CBD) in the Cape to Cape Explorer Tours’ transfer vehicle.

We will take a rest stop at the Crooked Carrot cafe and road house half way through the journey, giving you the opportunity to grab something to eat, a coffee on the go, or to use the bathroom. After meeting one of our expert guides in Dunsborough, you will head directly to Cape Naturaliste for your first taste of the Track!

Drop-off

On departure day, we’ll also do a morning transfer from Margaret River back to the Perth Ambassador Hotel. Alternatively, you can be dropped directly at Perth Airport if you are flying home.

Other pick-up or drop-off points

In some cases (by prior arrangement only and if time permits), our driver can drop you or pick you up at select other locations in Perth CBD or along Forrest Highway, such as Murdoch Train Station. Please discuss this with us in advance of your trip starting.

How to the daily Track transfers work?

Cape to Cape Explorer Tours have hand-picked fantastic coastal accommodation in the Margaret River Region in close proximity to the Cape to Cape Track. Our customers consistently appreciate returning to familiar surroundings after a long day’s walk! It means you won’t need to worry about packing and unpacking your belongings more than you need to because we’ve reduced the hassle of shifting accommodation. Instead, our drivers will pick you up each morning to take you to your hiking start point for the day. And they’ll pick you up in the afternoon to drop you home to your accommodation.

Guided tours

During our guided multi-day tours, you’ll have one accommodation venue during your entire stay. We provide daily transfers to the start of each day’s hike in the morning and back to your accommodation in the afternoon.

Read a blog about a father and daughter who joined one of our guided tours HERE.

Self-guided tours

During some of our self-guided tours including the End-to-End tours, you will change accommodation once midway through your experience. That means reducing travel time by staying in the Smiths Beach area near the northern end of the Cape to Cape Track and then moving to the Gnarabup area, which is a convenient base to hike the remaining southern sections of the Track.

Plus, you have the luxury of walking in and out of your accommodation on several of your walking days. On all the other days, we’ll organise your morning and afternoon Track transfers to and from your accommodation.

Read about one of our solo self-guided hiking adventures HERE.

Track transfers

The transfers between your accommodation and hiking start or finish points take no more than 35 minutes – and they’re along the iconic Caves Road tourist drive. That means you’ll be seeing magic Margaret River scenery along the way including a wide array of wineries and vineyards, rolling farm land, towering Karri forest and coastal heathland. Our guides also deliver commentary along the way and tell the stories of the local places, characters, history and legend.

Will I need my own car or a hike car?

It is a great bonus – but not essential – to have your own car or a hire car during your visit. Having a car means you have the extra freedom to explore the stunning Margaret River region and visit some of the wineries, beaches, restaurants and other attractions during your free time or rest days.

Hire car options

There are a number of car hire companies operating from various locations around WA’s capital, including the Perth Airports. It can cost as little as $360 to hire a Hyundai i20 for 9 days and, as our logistics ensure that your vehicle stays safe at your accommodation, it opens up options for adventuring to vineyards after finishing your days walk or visiting town for an evening meal. We recommend checking out VroomVroomVroom.com.au to find the best vehicle and price for your budget. 

Parking

If you’re driving your own car or a hire car, there is ample free parking for your vehicle at your accommodation for the duration of your Cape to Cape Explorer Tours experience.

FAQs about our food and catering

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Yes we can! Our in-house catering company Cape To Cape Moveable Feast provides all the catering for your trip.

When you make your booking, you’ll be asked if you have any dietary requirements. Simply fill out the box with your dietary information.

We cater for vegans, vegetarians, paleo and gluten free. In some cases, our head of catering will contact you directly to discuss your needs. We’re happy to work with you and accommodate your dietary needs!

We have a strong emphasis on not only meeting special dietary requirements but ensuring the meals are delicious and exceed expectations!

Are you vegan? Here’s what our catering manager Lisa says about the meals you can expect: “We definitely cater for vegans and offer menu items other than just simple salads – for example, tagines, curries, Mexican dishes, bean burgers, complex salads, to name just a few dishes. We receive excellent feedback about our catering and we go the extra mile to make sure everyone on tour has a positive food experience!”

Feel free to contact the catering team directly if you have any further questions at: catering@capetocapetours.com.au
 
Or, to read our catering guide, click HERE.

How does the catering work? What food can I expect?

You are about to start a memorable walk along the magnificent Cape to Cape Track. To keep your body nourished & fit for walking we have put together a variety of fresh & delicious breakfast items as well as local artisan products for you to enjoy at the end of each day!

The Cape To Cape Moveable Feast story

In 2017, Cape To Cape Explorer Tours director Gene Hardy & Catering Co-ordinator Lisa Johnston decided that it was time to take our clients catering experience in a different direction and start our in-house catering company, called Cape to Cape Moveable Feast.

We wanted our guests to eat meals that were nourishing, fresh, offered variety & were put together with thought, care & love.  Food that would provide everything a hiking body needs to keep it going. So began, what has been and continues to be a labour of love & a very successful journey.

Over the last 3 years we have fine tuned our menu and consistently receive wonderful feedback from our clients. As well as striving to make our kitchen as kind to our our environment as possible. Our Moveable Feast team pride themselves on doing what they can to ensure our clients catering experience is a positive one while on tour. 

We love that our clients are able to experience some of our great local restaurants, enjoy ‘rest nights’ with our eat in dinners and sample delicious local artisan products.  It’s the perfect balance!

Supply box

Both our guided and self-guided hikers receive a supply box at the start of your experience. It’s packed with a variety of breakfast items and snacks for the Track.

Your lunches

At the start of each day’s hiking, your driver or guide will provide you with a delicious freshly-made morning tea and lunch. These vary from day to day, but all are healthy, filling, nutritious and tasty!

Your dinners

We have some delicious freshly prepared ‘Eat In’ dinners planned during your stay that will be delivered to you at the end of each day for reheating. 

You will find reheating instructions on your menu that is  included in your dinner esky bag. Your ‘Eat In’ nights are the perfect time to enjoy your complimentary local artisan products. That is if you can wait until then!

For those open guided hikes, your adventure also includes a number of meals out at delicious local restaurants.

Handy links for more information

Our website has detailed information on food and catering under each individual tour or package.

When booking, check your itinerary for exact details of meals and inclusions.

And to read our complete catering guide, click HERE.

What are you doing to minimise waste and single-use plastic?

Cape to Cape Explorer Tours & Moveable Feast strive to have a low environmental impact & are constantly trying to find ways to reduce our environmental footprint.

We shop local, don’t use single use plastics and only use environmentally-friendly cleaning products.

Our dinners are provided in reusable containers which we clean, sanitise and reuse. And if we need to bag anything, we always use recyclable and compostable paper bags instead of plastic!

One way you can assist us in our quest is being mindful of your food waste. When re-ordering supply items please ask yourself ‘Do I really need this?’, check what other options are already supplied for you in your box that could be used and only then place your order. Mother Nature will love you for it!

Do you offer bespoke items like gourmet gift hampers?

One of our offshoot businesses is Margaret River Hampers, showcasing amazing local artisan produce in delicious gift hampers.

A celebration of the best local artisan products & produce this stunning region has to offer. Inspired by pristine beaches, majestic forests, award winning vineyards and diversity of it’s local people.

We take pride in showcasing amazing products and bespoke keepsakes from talented local producers from this stunning region.

There are many different themed hampers to choose from, packed with delicious wine, beer, cheese, chocolate and other goodies!

Order a hamper today to enjoy during your stay in Margaret River or to be posted as a gift anywhere in Australia!

See Margaret River Hampers for more info or to order.

FAQs about Cape to Cape Explorer Tours

What's the average age of travellers who walk the Track with Cape To Cape Explorer Tours?

Our hikers are from all walks of life and all ages! They’re usually aged from late 20s right through to mid-70s, with the average age being around 55 years old.

We don’t have any age restrictions in place – as long as you have a reasonable level of fitness and are medically able to walk up to 22.5km a day, you’ll be right at home on a Cape To Cape Explorer Tours experience.

Read a case study

Read the inspiring story of John and Ros Steel, aged 87 and 78 respectively, on our blog HERE.

Get in touch with us

If you have any questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via phone at 0459 452 038 or email at info@capetocapetours.com.au.

Why should I choose Cape To Cape Explorer Tours?

At Cape to Cape Explorer Tours we pride ourselves on creating the highest quality Cape to Cape Track experience available. We are the Track specialists.

An award-winning, local company, we support the Track and our community. Our guides and staff all live in the area, are professionally trained and have an intimate knowledge of the Track and the Margaret River region, not to mention a passion for walking and people.

Leave only footprints

We aim to offer a holiday experience that makes positive impact on the natural environment and our community – among a long list of environmentally conscious and socially responsible practices, we actively contribute to management of the Track and sit on the committee of the ‘Friends of the Cape to Cape Track’, aim for low food miles with our catering, have a ‘buy local’ policy, choose minimal and recycled packaging, are partners with and practice the principles of the Leave No Trace foundation, and have achieved Advanced EcoAccreditation – the national benchmark for environmentally aware tourism operators.

Welcoming you

We look forward to welcoming you to Margaret River and sharing the natural wonders of the region – especially the Cape to Cape Track, with you! To find out more about our Team or how we give back to the community please see below.

What are your awards, sustainability and environmental credentials?

We’re the proud winners of Gold in Ecotourism (twice!) at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards – plus a bunch of other accolades we’re lucky enough to have on display in our office.

Read more in a recent blog article HERE.

Some of the accolades we’ve won include:

2019 Awards

Bronze in Ecotourism at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards

Silver in Standard Accommodation for our hiking accommodation base, SurfPoint Resort, at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards

Telstra Margaret River Region Business Awards winner for Robust and Remarkable category

Telstra Margaret River Region Business Awards finalist for Excellence in Digital Business]

Managing Director Gene Hardy named Margaret River Region Businessperson of the Year

2018 Awards

Gold in Ecotourism at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards.

2017 Awards

Gold in Ecotourism at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards

Silver in Chinese Tourism at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards

Bronze in Tour and Transport Operators at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards

Finalist in the FACET Golden Guide Award

‘The Margaret River Region Business Awards winner of Environmental Excellence

The Margaret River Region Business Awards finalist for Best Small Business

The Margaret River Region Business Awards finalist for Excellence in Tourism

2015 Awards

The Margaret River Region Business Awards winner in Tourism

The Margaret River Region Business Awards winner of Industry Development Award

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner

2014 Awards

Finalist in Ecotourism at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner

The Margaret River Region Business Awards finalist for Small Business of the Year

The Margaret River Region Business Awards finalist for Tourism Excellence

The Margaret River Region Business Awards finalist for 0-4 Employees

2013 Awards

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner

What are your values as a company and how will I be treated?

Cape to Cape Explorer Tours deliver a personalised and quality service – a fun, healthy holiday with great food, accommodation, company, scenery and a wonderful sense of accomplishment!

Your safety and satisfaction are our priority and our attention to detail and love of looking after all the ‘little things’ have led to many repeat customers and glowing reviews.

Seeitbeforeitsgone
Seeitbeforeitsgone
06/06/2024
5-day Cape-to-cape highlights Cape to Cape made it possible for us to experience the track in comfort and within our time constraints. It's a beautiful hike, and Gene and his team take really good care of you. The food they provide is delicious and they have set up their trips to be as environmentally responsible as possible.
Freedom547922
Freedom547922
30/05/2024
Spectacular Such a well run and caring company, which ensured that our adventure was absolutely brilliant! All of the staff and guides are fantastic and you can tell the staff all enjoy working for Cape to Cape Explorer Tours too....always a great sign to me :)
Donna P
Donna P
27/05/2024
Beauty of the Land and Sea in WA An incredible journey from the beginning to the end with ‘postcard’ scenery at every corner. I had the privilege of hiking with a bunch of people (local and interstate) that kept me laughing all the way. A huge thank you to all the CCET team I met and the ones I didn’t - your countless hours of work were appreciated. My ‘glamping’ was very comfortable and all meals were amazing. This well organised adventure is provided by passionate, knowledgeable and entertaining humans. Thank you all !
Steve C
Steve C
25/05/2024
Absolutely Fabulous WOW, WOW, WOW. I have just completed the seven day end to end guided tour, and it was absolutely amazing. From the initial booking process, all the way from start to finish. This is an exceptional company which is run by passionate and amazing people. From my pickup in Perth to my drop off back in Perth, it was fantastic. The logistics involved in organising this guided hike ran like a well oiled machine. All the staff were absolutely amazing and extremely passionate about there jobs. From drivers to guides to the staff cooking and providing delicious meals every day to all the office staff, and our hosts at Surfpoint Resort, thank you, you are all amazing, I am hesitant to mention names individually as I don't want to miss anyone. Thany you, Thank you, Thank you. I can highly recommend Cape to Cape Explorer tours. And I will be back to do it again.
Leanne B
Leanne B
22/05/2024
Highly recommend Cape to Cape Explorer Tours Great experience with Cape to Cape Explorers Tours. Gene and his team could not do enough for us. Beautiful scenery and a challenging walk if you’re doing the entire track. Highly recommended!
SeaDiva
SeaDiva
16/05/2024
Best hiking tour in Australia Thank-you to everyone at CCET, what a professional, well run outfit. The Guides were incredible, mostly local, born and bred in the region, caring, knowledgable and incredibly passionate about the region. Each day has a different theme and the guides share internesting information relating to that days theme, so you were not only immersed in the beautiful landscape but came away learning so much about this much loved region. The food was incredible, the in house caterng was delicious, healthy, generous and offered great variety. But what made it even better was the opportunity to eat out at local pubs, breweries & wineries, sample local produce and experience a local farmers market. I came away feeling like I'd not just gone on a hike, but was able to really experience the Margaret river region. The accomdation was comfortable, spacious and clean. The staff have thought of everything you could possible need to make your stay comfortable and ensure you recovered each night and woke up refreshed and eager to get back out on the track each day. I cannot think of a thing that I wanted for the entire week. For me what sets CCET apart from other hiking tour providers was their care, generosity and flexibility. Sometimes one size does not fit all. A group hike will attract a range of people, of various ages, fitness and hiking ability. CCET were able adapt and accomodate a range of different needs and ensure got the most out of there adventure. I cannot recommend Cape to Cape ExplorerTours more highly, they are a 5 *operation.
Margaret A
Margaret A
13/05/2024
Fun walking experience I had an incredible time, the guides were professional, shared so much local knowledge and included surprises along the way. The food was delicious and you never went hungry. Accommodation was clean and well managed. I would definitely recommend you take on this adventure Margaret River is full of history and diverse landscapes.
O3232PRmaryf
O3232PRmaryf
13/05/2024
Just brilliant! Excellently organised trip, with great accomodation, food and transport. The track guides and support staff were all fantastic, leaving us to simply enjoy the gorgeous scenery and the experience! A total package . If you are thinking of walking the Cape, this is the group to do it with, whether you choose a guided walk or a self guided experience.
PHjnr
PHjnr
12/05/2024
Memorable and rewards the effort. The end to end, Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leewuin trek is spectacular and a great experience. Cape to Cape tours is really well organised, the guides and accommodation staff are fabulous, and the food is delicious. I stayed in a tent and it was very comfortable (and I’m not a regular or even occasional camper). But comfortable rooms with or without ensuites are also available. At 134/135 kms it is a long walk, made harder by a lot of beach/dune sections. It was my first multi day hike but others tell me it’s harder than the Overland trek in Tasmania. Weather in May was just about perfect, but need to be prepared for rain ( I wasn’t).
Peter G
Peter G
11/05/2024
A memorable adventure for 4 brothers. I did the guided 8 day tour with my 3 brothers and had a fantastic time. We had a different guide each day, and they were all very passionate and knowledgeable about their section of the trek. The food, both lunch and dinner, was top class and plentiful. The accommodation at Surfpoint Resort was comfortable, and the transport arrangements worked really well. The scenery on the trek is varied and amazing! Would thoroughly recommend the adventure. Thanks Cape to Cape for a memorable experience.

News from the track 

Connect with us

Get in touch

Phone: 0459 452 038

Email:  info@capetocapetours.com.au

Office and postal address: 1/24 Auger Way West, Margaret River, Western Australia 6285

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