Off The Beaten Track hike Margaret River

Hiking group Off The Beaten Track hit the Margaret River region’s epic Cape to Cape Track this spring for a weekend full of adventure and laughs. And they enlisted Cape To Cape Explorer Tours to handle all the logistics and planning. That included cracking accommodation at SurfPoint Resort. Delicious meals from our in-house catering company Cape To Cape Moveable Feast. And daily transfers to and from the start and finish of each day’s hiking.

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Read on for an edited account on their three-day hiking adventure from the team at Off The Beaten Track WA and their guides Lou and Scott.

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Day one hike: Ellensbrook to Gnarabup

“On Friday evening our keen group of hikers arrived at Surfpoint Resort fresh and ready to get on the trail. We had the warmth of the wood fire. And after some introductions we sat down to enjoy a delicious dinner together, complete with chocolate brownie!

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After a night of heavy rain and gusty winds, we were all pleasantly surprised to see blue skies for our first day’s hike from Ellensbrook to Gnarabup Bay. We spent some time learning about the history of Alfred and Ellen Bussell and their heroic daughter Grace. After meandering around the grounds of Ellenbrook Homestead we headed up to Meekadarabee Cave, with the tranquil sounds of Ellen Brook amongst green lush foliage. 

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Tackling hills and beach walks

It was time to start warming up and we headed up our first gentle slope! Lou made her first discovery of a rare snail orchid (which later turned out to be as common as a garden snail). And we soon got our first views of the ocean. We followed the ridge before making our way past the “southern pinnacles”. And down to the beautiful white sand of Kilcarnup Beach. Just past Joey’s Nose we stopped to enjoy our delicious lunch (turkey, cranberry and gruyere cheese baguettes with cake) on some rocks. And we enjoyed the serenity of the waves crashing around us.

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We continued up to the tip of Cape Mentelle with breathtaking views back across the bay and the interesting coastal limestone formations surrounding us. We then crossed to the south side of Cape Mentelle to the equally stunning Horseshoe Bay. Then we set our sites on Prevelly. Here we were paddled across by Mike from Cape to Cape Explorer Tours (what a gentlemen)! Our happy hikers enjoyed happy hour at The Common and some tasty chicken tagine for dinner. Then off to bed to recharge for day two on the Cape!

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Off The Beaten Track adventure: day two

The weather gods gave us superb hiking weather for day two of our Highlights Weekend, starting at Redgate Beach and hiking through to the Boranup Forest. Those sunny clear skies showed off those azure blue seas along the world famous Cape to Cape Track! We crossed Calgardup Brook… some people giving it a go in boots just to test if waterproof. Others went bare foot with the sand between their toes! 

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We left beautiful Redgate and headed through Melaleuca thickets leaning in like tunnels. Then we made our way down a chain handrail to Lou’s favourite spot of the whole trail – Bob’s Hollow! This place feels like a coastal fantasy land. And I think it really did capture some people’s hearts. After checking out Bob’s Hollow we made our way down further to explore the cliffs. And to take a moment to enjoy our morning tea and listen to the ocean echoing off the cliff wall. 

Wildflowers in full bloom

Many bees were buzzing ahead, zipping in and out of the many hives built in crevices in the cliff face. We still had so much to see! And after leaving this very impressive place we had the spectacle of the endless views of spectacular ocean as we meandered along the top of the Contos Cliffs. We had many stops to admire the views. As well as some spring flowers brightening up the trail. They included orange native rose, red cockies tongue, pink boronia and purple scaevola.

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A large goanna nearly ended up under Lou’s boot and was in no hurry to step aside – obviously enjoying the sunshine as much as us! We headed on into the forest to Point Rd Camp to enjoy a well-deserved lunch (another sensational tasty treat of egg, sprouts and deliciousness!).

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The final stretch. And apparently no more hills (so Lou told us) took us through the Boranup Forest. Here, our hikers were completely immersed in the towering Karri trees. Plus hundreds of snail orchids, honeypot banksias and hibbertia, with clematis and purple hardenbergia hanging down like decorations. The towering Trevor greeted us at the end of our weekend hiking adventure and escorted us to Kodak Corner in the heart of the Boranup forest. Here we snapped our final group photo (‘cos you can never have too many right Lou) and farewell!

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New friendships formed on Cape to Cape Track

It was a lovely end to walking over 30kms together. And forming new friendships and inspiring some to take on the full Cape to Cape Track experience. Lou and Scott hope to see you all back experiencing the simply stunning Cape to Cape very soon.

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A huge thank you from Off The Beaten Track WA to all our hikers for joining us for this very special Cape to Cape Highlights Weekender. Also a big shout out to Gene, Trevor, Mike, Meg and Lisa from Cape To Cape Explorer Tours. And to Nic from Surfpoint Resort for all your support throughout the weekend!”

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To book your own guided or self-guided adventure with Cape To Cape Explorer Tours, click HERE.