Feature National Park – Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park

Leeuwin–Naturaliste National Park protects almost the entire length of coast between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. More than 360 limestone caves and tunnels lie beneath the flowering heath-covered headlands. Many distinctive rock formations jut from the ocean waters between the capes, including Sugarloaf Rock — a popular vantage for observing seabirds and thought to be the only place in the South West where the Red-tailed Tropicbird comes to rest.

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park (Photo: Parks & Wildlife)

Located 36 km west of Busselton, the park stretches over 120 km between Bunker Bay in the north and Augusta in the south, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park features windswept, rugged coastlines, secluded bays and impressive granite outcrops. Some of Australia’s most beautiful caves lie within the park. Both Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste have historic lighthouses — the light at Cape Leeuwin marks the extreme south-west point of Australia. The world’s third-tallest tree, the Karri, grows in the Boranup Karri Forest in the south of the park between Caves Road and the coast. Bushwalking is extremely popular in the beautiful forest in the south of the park just before Hamelin Bay and the area offers great scenic drives, bushwalking, camping and picnic spots. Surfing and salmon fishing are popular too.

Wildlife is abundant with chance sightings of dolphins surfing beach breaks. Humpback and southern right whales can often be seen between June and December. Rare and common sea and terrestrial birds are best seen at Sugarloaf Rock and Cape Leeuwin. Kangaroos, quendas, possums, reptiles and more are found all through the park. Wildflowers are prolific in spring including many species of orchid.

Short walks in the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park offer some of the most exhilarating adventures and are easy with boardwalks, sealed paths or limestone tracks. Or for something to really experience the natural wonders of this national park, take a five-day hike on the 135km Cape to Cape Track which follows the coast from Cape Naturaliste, Dunsborough to Cape Leeuwin, Augusta.

(Article sources: https://www.steveparish-natureconnect.com.au/nature-centre/leeuwin-naturaliste-national-park/, https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/leeuwin-naturaliste, https://www.margaretriver.com/members/leeuwin-naturaliste-national-park/)