Hiking the Cape to Cape Track is a bucket-list goal for many people, including Perth bushwalker Trish McKenzie. She walked the entire 124km Track over 7 days with logistics, transfers, meals and accommodation from Cape To Cape Explorer Tours.

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And we loved her photo diary from her Margaret River adventure. So much so that she’s given us permission to share it with readers of our blog. Below is her account of the seven days of hiking, with a quote that inspired her each day. Also listed are her highlights, distances covered, wildlife spotted, and a selection of photos from each day.

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Great stuff Trish! She’s joining us again this year for our new 6-Day Bibbulmun Track “Walpole Wilderness Experience”. The team at Cape To Cape Explorer Tours can’t wait to walk with you again Trish!

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Day 1: hiking the Cape to Cape Track


“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible” – Saint Francis (quote on my sandwich today) 

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to Smith’s Beach 

16km (approx 17.5km with diversion) 

Started at 11.10am 

Lunch and snacks 30 mins 

Finished 4.20pm 

Walking time 5 hours 

Bobtail lizards seen x 3 

Snakes seen x 0 

Highlights: The section near Sugar Loaf Rock. Although hard on the legs, I liked the beach walks. The incredible food!! The knowledge of our driver Rusty – so interesting!

Lowlights: Starting later than I would’ve liked. I didn’t start hiking until 11am and have been awake since 5am. The section just before and after Mt Duckworth Campsite. It was really sandy and felt never-ending.

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Day 2: hiking the Cape to Cape Track

“The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving ” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Snr (No quote on my sandwich today but this one kindly sent to me yesterday by my lovely friend Aoife) 

Smith’s Beach to Moses Rocks 

14km (approx 16 with diversions) 

Started at 8.10am 

Lunch and snacks 30 mins 

Finished 2.30pm 

Walking time 4hours 

Bobtails seen x 1 

Snakes seen x 0 

Skinks seen x2 

Whales seen x3 

Highlights: The rocky section all the way to Canal Rocks. Quinninup Falls (respect and thank you to the Wadandi people for allowing me to access such and important cultural site). Meeting a lovely aspiring young writer named Ben who I got to talk a lot about literature with. Nice guy, although he got me lost twice! Beautiful beaches and stunning rock formations. 

Lowlights: 7km of uninspiring sandy track – luckily met Ben and we chatted through that section. Needing to call a friend because I left my trail notes at the apartment and couldn’t find the track off Indijinup Beach – thanks Alistair!!

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Day 3: hiking the Cape to Cape Track

“With the right mindset and spirit, the sky is the limit” (quote on today’s sandwich) 

Moses Rock to Gracetown 

13km

Started at 8.30am 

Lunch and snacks 30 mins 

Time waiting for reptile to get off track 30mins 

Finished 2pm 

Walking time 4.5hours (but took my time today as pick up was 4pm) 

Bobtails seen x 0 

Snakes seen x 0 

Skinks seen x1 

Whales seen x5 

Southern Heath Monitors seen x3 

Highlights: Willyabrup Cliffs were magnificent!! The stunning wildflowers EVERYWHERE. It was walking through a fairy garden. My walk through “Jurassic Park” and my beautiful encounter with Southern Heath Monitors. Such magnificent creatures. The creek crossing with fellow hikers was funny. Meeting so many lovely people on the trail. 

Lowlights: I didn’t enjoy the rock scramble before Gracetown. I’m fine with scrambling over seaside rocks – do it a lot- but I had no end marker to work towards and it was a little scary feeling you were doing something without direction. Thanks again Cape To Cape Explorer Tours for another wonderful day on the track. My favourite so far!

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Day 4: hiking the Cape to Cape Track 

“My dear children are up with the dawn and are busy nearly all day with one thing or another” Ellen Bussell, 1872 (No sandwich quote today so seems fit to use this quote seeing I walked to Ellensbrook). 

Gracetown to Prevelly

19-21km

Started at 9am 

Lunch and snacks 30 mins 

Finished 3.30pm 

Walking time 6 hours 

Bobtails seen x 0 

Snakes seen x 0 

Skinks seen x0 

Whales seen x2 

Southern Heath Monitors seen x0 

Highlights: Ellensbrook Homestead was pretty. The different varieties of orchid all found in a small area. The stunning, dense bushland towards Cape Mentelle filled with limestone outcrops and beautiful purple flowers. The beach at Joeys Nose. Dinner and drinks at the pub with a big group of hikers I’ve met along the way. Great, genuine, friendly people. Crossing Margaret River. How much fitter I’m feeling as the days progress. 

Lowlights: Not as much variety in the landscape today. Thanks again Cape To Cape Explorer Tours for a great day on the track, a yummy lunch and a great insight to the track by my wonderful driver this morning.

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Day 5: hiking the Cape to Cape Track

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going” Beverly Sills (sandwich quote) 

Prevelly to Hooley Road

 22.4km 

Started at 8.15am 

Lunch and snacks 45 mins 

Finished 3.30pm 

Walking time 6hours 

Bobtails seen x 0 

Snakes seen x 1!! 

Skinks seen x0 

Whales seen x1 

Southern Heath Monitors seen x1 

Hooded Plover x lots 

Highlights: Walking through Boodjidup Valley and stopping at the beautiful, lush spot beside Boodjidup Brook for yummy morning tea. The Hooded Plovers were an entertaining diversion from a killer 4.2km beach hike. Bobs Hollow and the cliff top views surrounding it were stunning! Not losing my shit when the 1.5m dugite refused to get off the bloody track! The stunning Karri trees in Boranup Forest (the part of the track I’ve been really looking forward to)!

Lowlights: Deep beach sand with short legs was an absolute trial. My calves are so sore!!! I’m really proud that I got through today. It was a long slog but worth it. 2 more days to go!! Thanks again Cape To Cape Explorer Tours for a great day on the track, a yummy lunch and for Gene for not only being so flexible in picking me up because I arrived early but also the added tour of Bridal Cave. You can see how your enthusiasm and passion for the area and what you do has made you the success you are. Props to you!

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Day 6: hiking the Cape to Cape Track  

“Life is a climb but the view is great” Unknown (sandwich quote) 

Hooley Road to Cosy Corner 

23km

Started at 8.30am 

Lunch and snacks 45 mins 

Finished 3.30pm 

Walking time 6.15hours 

Bobtails seen x 0 

Snakes seen x 0 (although oblivious to the fact that I walked right past a 1.5m long dugite on the beach!! Oops!)

Skinks seen x0 

Whales seen x0 

Southern Heath Monitors seen x0 

Stingrays x2 

Highlights: Walking through the Karri Forest. Seeing the Stingrays at Hamelin Bay. Walking the beautiful and unfortunately named, Foul Bay. Pushing myself further than I thought could go. Realising I’ve walked over 100km in 6 days – go me!! 

Lowlights: Long beach hikes (approx 8km of my day). Not as much variety on this leg. I’m really proud that I got through today. It was a long slog but worth it. I am capable of more than I realise. Thanks again Cape To Cape Explorer Tours for a great day on the track! You are an amazing team of positive and highly motivated people!

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Day 7: hiking the Cape to Cape Track

 “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life” Steve Jobs (sandwich quote) 

Cosy Corner to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse 

19 km 

Started at 8.40am 

Lunch and snacks 30 mins 

Finished 3pm 

Walking time 5.50 hours 

Bobtails seen x 0 

Snakes seen x 1 (baby tiger snake) 

Skinks seen x0 

Whales seen x0 

Southern Heath Monitors seen x0 

Highlights: Stunning beach views. Fun cliff climbs. See the end goal and smashing it! Derrick and Shirley (fellow hikers) holding back to ensure I was safe along the cliff walks with my short little legs. Realising how much stronger (mentally and physically) I had become to enable myself to push myself some challenging terrain and be able to blitz some long distances). Touching Leeuwin Lighthouse at the end – bittersweet! 

Lowlights: Sand, sand and more sand. Although I could see Leeuwin Lighthouse in the distance, at times I felt it was taunting me with its presence.

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Final reflections on the adventure

What an achievement! I am truly proud that I completed the Cape to Cape over the past 7 days. It’s definitely not a stroll in the park. It is undoubtedly challenging. Hats off to the hikers who completed this “Turtle Style” (house and contents on the back). It was challenging enough as it was.

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Yes, the beautiful, biodiverse region of my favourite part of the world was a draw card and a highlight. But, the ultimate and surprising highlight for this avid solo hiker, was the comradery on the trail. I realised that although I’m hiking solo, hiking is a community. We build each other up and help each other out. We cheer each other over the finish line. I met some amazing people from different backgrounds, all with different reasons why they were taking on this challenge. Everyone was generous of spirit, kind and enthusiastic.

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That, along with the highly motivated, knowledgeable and extremely passionate people who are Cape To Cape Explorer Tours is what actually made this adventure for me. Thanks again for the flippin’ amazing food. The insight about the trail. Your military precision organisation.

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If you’re thinking about doing it, DO IT! Life is too short to put things on hold. Go through a company like me, such as Cape to Cape Explorer Tours. Or organise your own trip, go solo or in a group. There is no right or wrong. Just do it!

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