Hamelin Bay to Deepdene
Cape to Cape Track
The Hike - Here we are, the final day of my Cape to Cape adventure and I thankfully woke up to some much better weather than I received in the previous two days. With about 24km of hiking to get through today and a pick-up time of roughly 3pm, I enjoyed a slight sleep-in before departing. Making this day a lot easier, I had arranged with the lovely staff at Hamelin Bay Holiday Park to leave some of my gear with them at reception to lighten my load. There was no benefit to carrying my tent, sleeping gear or cooking gear so I treated myself to a lighter pack and would return at the end of the day to collect it. With everything already packed the night before, I enjoyed a cup of tea before tidying up and departing. I didn't talk about it in my last post as I ran out of space but Hamelin Bay is a really cool spot that I'd love to return to in summer for a quiet holiday. You won't find phone reception here so you can concentrate on having fun snorkelling the nearby reefs, walking along the pristine beach or finding a quiet spot to read a book. The famous stingrays start appearing around summer time and the whole bay is fairly well protected if you want to explore a bit further with your snorkel and flippers.
At the time of my visit though, the conditions were anything but summery thanks to the overcast skies, cooler temperatures and threat of showers throughout the day. Thankfully the wind had died down to a moderate breeze of about 30kmph, almost nothing compared to the previous two days. With everything ready, I left just after 8am and was on the lookout for the two ladies that I had caught up to yesterday, wondering if the soggy beach walking had deterred them from hiking today. I've broken this day up into two posts mainly because I took way too many photos to share in one post and the other reason is there is enough going on in this area to consider this an option for a short rest day if you spend the morning around Hamelin Bay. Walking out to the beach, I wanted some parting shots of the jetty and Hamelin Island before I departed, having rushed them the previous afternoon thanks to the howling winds. What is left of the jetty is an icon of Hamelin Bay and on a calm day you can still see the pylons that stretch out into the bay. Used as a base to load up ships with our precious Karri, Jarrah and Marri trees in the early days of colonisation, I have mixed feelings about the jetty.
The track leaves the beach by heading up the wooden staircase and towards the western point of Hamelin Bay. There is a little side trip you can follow to get better views of Hamelin Island from White Cliff Point before you duck down onto the beach at Salmon Holes. This is just a warm-up beach for the longer sections you'll face later in the day and I was happy that it wasn't completely washed out from the last two days of stormy weather. I spotted a bird of prey circling above and did my best to capture it in the grey conditions but in the end spent more time watching it with my peepers. Up ahead was a much more photogenic bird scene with a Pied Oystercatcher fossicking in the surf for something to eat. I love these birds as they have a lovely contrast of orange beak and eyes against a black head, plus they don't mind sticking around and posing for a few photos. I almost missed the beach exit photographing the layered limestone bridge formation that is located near the first of many rocky deposits you'll see for the day stretching out into the water. Like with many of the beach exits of the Cape to Cape, the soft sand takes some effort to ascend with a bit of slippage but once you're at the top it's the start of a fairly long section of inland walking.