Hamelin Bay to Deepdene
Cape to Cape Track

Hamelin Bay

Deepdene

8.8km

159m

2-3 hours

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.

I would be getting my fill of beach walking during the day so was happy to enjoy some time in the Peppermint groves as they are home to all the cool wildflowers. Immediately I found a Native Rose, Hovea, Old Mans Beard, a Pink Fairy Orchid, a Vanilla Lily, many flowering Acacias, Pink Boronia and Karri Hazel. Spring really is the best time to do the Cape to Cape as your gaze is constantly scanning the undergrowth for a new variety or colour. Given the biodiversity along the whole track, it's quite possible to see dozens of different wildflowers on a single day. I was very appreciative to not have to battle the winds today and being shielded from the wind meant I didn't have to wait for the flowers to settle into a calm position. As I wound through the thick grasses and the enchanting Peppermint trunks, I heard some voices in the distance. I muted my speaker and the voices became louder. I always feel weird running into people because in these winding tunnels of undergrowth it's quite a shock to people when you suddenly appear in front of them. I stopped in what was the most open spot I could find but sure enough I gave these two Canadian ladies a fright as they rounded the corner. 

We discussed our various plans and they had questions about distances and time that I was happy to answer. Heading in opposite directions, I continued climbing up to the high point of the morning and thought it would be a good opportunity to check for mobile reception given the area had been a black spot since the Boranup Hill Lookout. Being with Vodafone I had no luck so turned my attention back to the track as it made it's way along the ridge towards Foul Bay Lighthouse. The little talked about third lighthouse of the Cape to Cape, it's a tad smaller than its more famous siblings but still performs a vital service. Given the amount of shipwrecks around Hamelin Bay thanks to the various reefs, it is very much needed and had it's first life on Hamelin Island before being moved in 1967.  It's not the stuff of postcards but serves as a nice rest point for the morning so on one of the rocks I had a bit of a break and enjoyed a snack. I had made fairly good pace so far with a very light pack and some gentle terrain but with Hamelin Bay being a soft sand slog the previous day and Deepdene Beach famous for being much softer than Hamelin, I didn't stick around for too long.