Coastal Walk TRail
Directions - From the centre of Augusta, head south along Leeuwin Road, driving past the Augusta Boat Harbour until you reach a sign for Dead Finish. Take the left turn here and follow the unsealed all the way to the end. The trail starts at the jetty and follows the unsealed road back the way you came.
The Hike - With a whirlwind South West road trip in full swing, the third day would see me travel from Pemberton to Augusta, take in a couple of trails, then heading north to Yallingup for two more trails, before driving to Funbury where I would be staying that night. Waking up at my lovely BnB in Pemberton, I enjoyed the continental breakfast provided but knowing what a hectic day I had planned, I was off just after sunrise. The drive between Augusta and Pemberton was really nice and every time I look at a map, there is a massive chunk of forest between these towns that I always wonder why there aren't more trails there to explore the national parks.
Arriving in Augusta, this is a town that I've passed through a couple of times when doing the Cape to Cape Track but never stopped for a lengthy visit. I was intrigued by the three trails listed on TrailsWA but further investigation before the trip indicated they were really one long trail divided up into one long coastal walk. With that being the case and me being on my own, I had my bike with me, so dropped it off at the finish of the Whale Trail near the mouth of the Blackwood River and set about finding the start of the Coastal Walk Trail. After overshooting the turn for the trail, I ended up at a lookout for the Leeuwin Lighthouse, so took some photos before doubling back to make the correct turn at Dead Finish. At the end there is a small area to park and after gathering my gear, I headed towards the jetty for some photos. Picking a super windy day to do this wasn't ideal but that was my schedule and the wild weather certainly added another element to the hike. This area is not known for being calm but I think this was next level. After taking a few photos at the jetty, the trail heads back up the unsealed road for 600m before joining a single track for the rest of the journey. Immediately I was impressed with the wildflowers through here, a bit unexpected given how close you are to the beach but great to see.
Among the finds were Fanflowers, Boronia, Coastal Wattle, Pink Fairy Orchids, Cutleaf Hibbertia, Old Man's Beard, Basket Bush and Native Wisteria. Thankfully I was a little more protected from the fierce winds through here but waiting for the flowers to be still required a bit of patience. Entering the single track, you walk through a tunnel of thick coastal scrub including one of my favourite trees in the South West, the Peppermint Tree. Occasionally the views open up and I could see the frothy seas of Flinders Bay in the distance. Hoping the weather would clear up for the rest of the day's adventures, I walked on and was soon looking at the new Augusta Boat Harbour. Providing a sheltered spot for boats and vessels to moor, the curved rock wall was quarried from literally across the road to reduce the environmental impact, and the area has been nicely done to incorporate the walking trails. After passing the Rare Foods Australia building, I reached the inner part of the harbour and noticed the impressive shelter structure that I think is meant to be a Stingray. This marks the end of the Coastal Walk Trail and the start of the Whale Trail, which you can read about here.
Final Thoughts – Being at the bottom of the Capes region, Augusta has an end to the earth type feeling to it, and it's a place I've enjoyed passing through on the Cape to Cape.
With a few official walk trails in the area that have been nicely signed, this is the best way to explore the area near town, along with getting some exercise in.
I would recommend doing what I did and just joining them up, as doing just this trail doesn't seem like the best way to go about it. With the views over Flinders Bay combined with the wildflowers in spring, this is a nice stroll if you're visiting Augusta.
Get out there and experience it!!!
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