The Aquarium

Yallingup

Directions (Direct) - From Caves Road turn onto Canal Rocks Road and follow it all the way to a small car park on the right hand side just before the long descent down to Canal Rocks. From there follow the Cape to Cape markers north until you reach an obvious wide track heading down towards the ocean. Follow this and you'll come across the beach and sheltered pool protected by the granite rocks.

Directions (Scenic) - From Caves Road turn onto Canal Rocks Road and follow this until you reach the right hand turn for Smiths Beach Road. Take this and follow it down the hill, turning left and going all the way to the end. Find the Cape to Cape markers and follow them south, through some spectacular granite formations until you reach the wide track mentioned above. Head down it to the beach and protected snorkelling spot.

 

The Hike/Snorkel - With family Christmas being held in Funbury this year at my parents, I decided it would be the perfect time of year to put the snorkelling fins on and check out one spot near Yallingup that is really popular. Named "The Aquarium", it sits right on the edge of the famous Cape to Cape Track and is well sheltered by a series of granite rocks protruding from the water.

Joining me on this adventure was my sister and her family, minus my 2yo nephew who was left behind with nanna and granddad. On a sweltering hot day we drove out in convoy from Funbury to a spot that I had very fond memories of from my visit here a couple of months earlier on the Cape to Cape. This was a particularly fun day on the track but returning to the same spot was a very different experience. Firstly the temperature was in the mid 30s and secondly, there was a plague of flies always in your face. Nevertheless we found a park along Canal Rock Rd as the car park was not surprisingly full and made our way along the Cape to Cape towards the 4x4 track that leads down to the beach. I don't think I'd mentioned to my sister that there was a long-ish walk to the beach and my nieces were not enjoying the rocky limestone path when they had to carry snorkelling gear between them. Mercifully we arrived at the 4x4 track and it was a quick jaunt down to the very busy beach that acts as a nice place to put your gear while you snorkel. I had brought a sun shelter that I bought for a trip to Rottnest earlier in the year but never used so that was setup for everyone to use. The water was looking very inviting in the afternoon heat so everyone was quickly in the pool that was a bit of a shock thanks to the temperature difference. 

There are plenty of low rocks to help you put your flippers on and there is a good shallow section if you just want to hang out and have a soak in the cool waters. My brother-in-law Haydn was already in the water checking out the protected spot that is best for snorkelling so I made the plunge and joined him. Initially when I walked past here in September, I thought the snorkelling spot was just the wide bay leading around to Canal Rocks so was very impressed when I saw this section that isn't visible from the track. The shallows quickly disappear and there is a deeper spot that is popular for people to jump off the rocks in to so be careful if you're snorkelling in that area. Immediately I was impressed with the edges of the granite that still have the orange colouring under the water that they have above it. All manner of grasses, shells and sea creatures can be found up and down the rocks, along with a good number of fish floating around. It's not a big spot to explore but if the ocean is calm then you can extend your snorkel beyond the rocks (take caution if you do). After a bit of an explore on the western side of the pool, I found Haydn on the southern tip where the waves surge in and create havoc with visibility. This spot seemed to be where the fish really enjoyed hanging out but thanks to the poor visibility when sets roll through, getting pictures wasn't easy. Not helping was my old GoPro Hero 4 that is not easy to use at the best of times so the underwater photos are little subpar.