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Whale Trail

Whale Trail


DirectionsFrom the centre of Augusta, head south along Leeuwin Road, turning left at the sign for the Augusta Boat Harbour. Continue into the harbour, where you will find ample parking. The trail starts from the Stingray shelter (first photo in the below gallery) where you will find the Whale Trail markers. 

The Hike - After enjoying a nice warm-up walk on the Coastal Walk Trail, I would be immediately continuing as I joined the Whale Trail at the cool looking Stingray shelter at the Augusta Boat Harbour. Why it isn't one singular trail is anyone's guess but this is certainly an easier access point than the start of the Coastal Walk Trail. Heading off into the heart of the new Augusta Boat Harbour, I was stopped in my tracks by a flittered group of male Splendid Fairywrens that were super bright as it was prime mating season. 

Getting a few photos, despite their best efforts to not stay still, that was a nice start to this leg of my Augusta visit. Walking along the footpaths of the boat harbour, it's an impressive area that looks to have been well thought out. Finding the trail is easy thanks to the multiple Whale Trail markers but essentially you just head north and pickup the footpath as it goes along the rock wall and heads inland. Walking along another section of pavement as you leave the boat harbour, this is the best part of the walk for wildflowers as I believe a bit of effort has gone into the rehabilitation of the coastline here. There was a plethora of wildflowers in bloom as I walked in the super windy conditions, including Coastal Banjine, Giant Banksia, both Yellow and Purple Flag, Pepper and Salt, Cutleaf Hibbertia, plus plenty more that didn't make the photo galleries. Rising up a small hill, this provides some excellent views looking south towards the various islands off the coast, along with staring out over Flinders Bay. 

On a less windy day, this would have been much better but these are the conditions I was dealt, so I had to make the most of it. The pavement walking ends after 700m as you reach Dawson Way and follow the markers right. I was enjoying the old coastal town look of having grass edges with no curbing, it just feels more friendly and less orderly. Walking on the grass, you head back towards the coast, passing a few houses with interesting 90s holiday home architecture. Rounding a corner you continue walking on the edge of the road towards the pine trees in the distance. A gap in the coastal scrub revealed a grassy path towards a stone plinth and a wooden lookout. The stone plinth alerts people to where the old Flinders Bay Jetty used to be and the wooden lookout provides a cool little spot to stare out over Flinders Bay, presumedly at the space the old jetty occupied. Weirdly there is a Whale Trail marker here with Start/Finish wording on it, perhaps a mistake given the trail neither starts or finishes at this spot. 

After taking in the nice views, I headed back towards the road to continue my journey. Walking towards the pine trees, there is an information display overlooking Granny's Pool, telling you all about the whaling history of Augusta, from early American whalers to the ban on whaling and the thriving tourism industry today. Further along you get much better views of Granny's Pool and I was happy that the overcast weather had blown over to provide some sunny skies for my photos. A sheltered spot in the bay with a wooden jetty, Granny's Pool looks to be a great spot for a swim when the weather is a bit warmer. Given the cooler and windier conditions, the most activity I saw was a few families enjoying the playground at the park in front of Granny's Pool. Continuing on, the Whale Trail crosses a small creek at the end of the car park and follows pavement as it reaches the Flinders Bay Caravan Park. Here it got a little confusing, although there really isn't anywhere else to go apart from the pavement as it passes through some fencing into the back of the caravan park, the disappearance of the markers leaves it unclear where to go. I figured it you just walked along the interior road of the caravan park but it felt very intrusive on the people there.

Walking past the reception building, I still didn't see any markers and had to stop and check the map on the TrailsWA website. They have it running straight through the caravan park too, so I walked out via the entry road and sure enough, when I got to Albany Terrace, there was another marker. Albany Terrace is your home for the next two kilometres as you walk along the pavement until the very end. It's not a highly entertaining walk when the coastal scrub blocks out the views over Flinders Bay but the trail design keeps it interesting by having you cross the road, only to have you cross back over not long up the road, I assume just for funsies. There are a couple of breaks in the scrub where you get some nice views of Flinders Bay, and if the tide is low then it's possible to walk along the beach instead to provide a much better experience. I finally reached the end of the walk at a small park overlooking where the mighty Blackwood River empties into Flinders Bay. With all the wind, this appears to be the best spot for Kitesurfing, as there was quite the crowd enjoying the stiff breeze. Unlocking my bike I had left here earlier, I was not looking forward to riding the 6km back to my car against the wind. It wasn't too bad in the end and I treated myself to some hot chips in town as a reward.