Sugarloaf Rock
Access For More Trail
Access For More Trail
Donkey Orchid
Access For More Trail
Access For More Trail
Access For More Trail
Access For More Trail
Access For More Trail

Access For More Trail

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park

Directions - Located north of Dunsborough, follow the signs towards the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse along Cape Naturaliste Road until you reach the end. The trail head is located on the western side of the car park with a large information board telling you about the various trails in the area.

The Hike - Finding good quality and picturesque trails that are wheelchair friendly in WA is a bit of a hard ask so it's nice to know that one has been specifically designed that takes in some stunning coastline near Dunsborough. The Access for More Trail also coincides with the first section of the famous Cape to Cape Track so makes for a gentle start to proceedings if you're tackling the week long journey (or at the very least a paved uphill finish). Starting at the iconic Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, you can explore the history of the lighthouse by paying a fee for entry or just find the large information board and get going. 

Starting at the lighthouse end means a gentle downhill from about 100m above sea level down to the edge of the water at Sugarloaf Rock. There are a few trails in the area including the Cape Naturaliste Track and Cape to Cape so make sure you follow the Cape to Cape markers as this trail makes up the first section leading down the hill. The coastal landscape is made up of low lying shrubland that outside of wildflower season (late winter to late spring) looks pretty uniform in appearance and colour. During those magical months the coastal heath comes alive with all sorts of different colours, shapes and interesting features. Some of my favourite wildflowers you'll see early on this walk are the Native Rose, Old Man's Beard and Native Geranium. While the spectacular ocean views take a while to appear, this initial stretch is great to slow down and have a look at what you can find in the undergrowth as not all wildflowers are right in your face. I also love watching for bees and once you start to slow down and notice the details, a hidden world opens up before your eyes. 

 

Once the ocean views appear, the walk becomes even more enjoyable thanks to the stunning scenery of Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park that runs up and down the coast. The main feature of this walk is the eventual end point and obvious attention point of Sugarloaf Rock. An icon of the South West region, its unique shape is the centrepiece of many a photo and is a drawcard for people visiting Dunsborough. I like that for most of the trail you are heading in its direction with the trail, the ocean and the rock all together in most shots. Switching between pavement and boardwalk, you arrive at the first of a few strategically placed lookouts, this one being the Wilanup Lookout. Being on the edge of the cliffs you get a much better view looking down towards the rocky shore and the dramatic rock formations below. I love watching the waves crash into the rocks and thinking about what goes into making the interesting patterns and shapes over thousands of years. From here you also get some better views of Sugarloaf Rock and can see the second half of the walk as it winds along the coastline.