Torbay to Muttonbird
24th September 2019
The Hike - With 17km under my belt already, I had earned a bit of a break from the midday sun so spent a decent amount of time relaxing at Torbay Campsite. I would have loved to stay here but the scheduling didn't work out so it was a brief visit. With some excellent views from the shelter, the tent sites are even better and a lookout to the left of the shelter as you enter the campsite provides some better views. After cooling down thanks to some tank water in my hat, I explored the campsite, mainly wanting to take a photo of the distant Torbay Inlet to gauge whether it would be a problem or not. I hadn't heard of it being opened while I was out here and with a low tide forecast, I wasn't expecting too much trouble. From the lookout you can see the bulk of the next section with Cosy Corner Beach extending out to Muttonbird Beach with Shelter Island marking the point at where you exit the beach.
I was very much looking forward to the second half of my day as the sun was shining and it wouldn't be long before my shoes were off and I could feel the refreshing waters against my skin as I walked along another pristine beach. There was the small matter of getting to the beach though and luckily the path leading you down there is very enjoyable. Offering a mix of the lusher, fern filled eucalyptus covering and the open coastal heath full of wildflowers, it never felt like a chore walking through here. The flowering gums made another appearance after seeing them before Torbay and I was happy to see some familiar wildflowers mixed in with some orchids like the Purple Enamel Orchid that I had only seen a few examples of over the past few days. The area seemed to be a haven for pink and purple wildflowers as I saw a few more varieties as I headed along towards the beach. Right before you get to the famous Cosy Corner, there is a lovely section of forest that is full of She-Oak and has a soft covering of the dead needles that these trees provide. This didn't stop the wildflowers from breaking through and it was quite enjoyable to take in before one of the longest stretches of beach walking on the whole track.
Reaching the staircase down to Cosy Corner, you are presented with the glorious view of the bay and the combination of turquoise beauty and deep blue of the ocean. I let out a sigh of relief at the top of the stairs because as much as I had enjoyed the day so far, the beach walking is a far superior in my eyes to the dune bashing. It was also really hard to argue with the amazing weather I was experiencing too. While mid-20s in the dunes can be a bit uncomfortable, out on the open sands with the cool ocean breeze in your face, it is perfection. Keen to get down to the beach I skipped down the stairs, only stopping to take a photo of the view as it changed. What a view it is too. We really are lucky in WA that this is just one of hundreds of beaches along the south coast that are postcard perfect (and mostly absent of people). That said, Cosy Corner is one of the more popular spots near Albany and at the bottom of the stairs you come across a gravel car park that on my visit contained a few cars, a bit of a shock after a couple of days alone in the dunes up to this point.