EXMOUTH AND CAPE RANGE NATIONAL PARK
Continuing on our road trip in Western Australia, we are now in Exmouth, ready to explore the famous Cape Range National Park.
We spent the day in the small town of Exmouth to prepare our trip in the national park with supplies, food, water, and stuff enough to stay 3 or 4 days. There are no shops in the park and Exmouth is located 40 km from Cape Range.
We arrived at the end of the afternoon at the national park. Usually, an entrance fee is required ($13 per vehicle and per day) but when we went at the “office”, the woman was already leaving and said: “Don’t worry too much about it, I’m off since 30 seconds.” She didn’t care anymore! Good for us, thanks Ma’m!
On the first day, the wind was too strong to go for a swim. So we celebrated our free entrance at the beach closes to “Turtles Center”. Sitting on the beach and having a delicious “Fat Yak – Pacific Ale“. Suddenly, some whales were jumping in the ocean. You could easily see the crazy scenario and it felt like the whales were really happy and were celebrating the free entrance with us together. WOW, it was incredible, AMAZING! Such a majestic animal. The days in Cape Range started perfectly!
When the whales disappeared, we moved to Turquoise Bay. We heard that Turquoise Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in this NP. Long white sand beach, crystal clear water… even with the cold wind, we couldn’t resist jumping in the water and snorkel for a while. Just an awesome feeling to swim with hundreds of fishes.
After a while, it starts to be a bit chilly. So we ran out of the water and took refuge in the car. It was time for some rounds of one of our favorite games: “Skip-Bo”. Even with a French “apéro”: one glass of Stanley before our cooking session 😉
Because of the high season, all the campsites were already booked and full. Not a big deal for us, we cooked on a picnic area our favorite dinner “RICE-TUNA-BROCCOLIS” and at the nightfall, we drove to Mandu Mandu Gorge to sleep in the car park.
Usually, in Australia, we never drive during the night because of the kangaroos that are attracting the car lights. But this time we did it, carefully. Suddenly hundreds of kangaroos appeared! We haven’t seen so many kangaroos at the same time. They were eating all next to the road and one was standing in the middle of the street, looking at us, he didn’t want to move, not afraid at all, funny!!
On the second day, after a nice brekkie, we went hiking the Mandu Mandu Gorge. The walking trail is around 3 km. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the gorge and on the ocean.
During the hike, we have met Paula, a Russian woman who was having a break, sitting under a bush while hiking the gorge. She kept going with us. Despite the fact we had to stop every 10 minutes to take her on pictures, she was really funny, and her life story did make us dream. While she was traveling in Australia a few years ago, she met her husband, Bob (Australian). Since then, they travel all around the world on their sailing boat. WHEN THE DREAM COME TRUE!
In the afternoon, the wind didn’t calm down, so we went to Turquoise beach for a chilling afternoon: relaxing and reading.
On the third day, we spent our time UNDERWATER. An awesome fact in Cape Range National Park is that you don’t need to get on the boat to explore the coral reef. The snorkeling sites are accessible from the shore. That’s perfect!
We started our snorkeling day at Oyster Stack. The unique characteristic of this place is that you access at the water from a rocky shoreline full of sharp oyster shells: don’t forget your flip-flop!
The expedition was wonderful. We were surrounded by plenty of colorful coral and fishes. Be simply aware of the strong currents at Oyster Stack. But be careful fellow travelers… a little tip, because as we were snorkeling there it happened to a girl, who was not familiar with snorkeling situation like this.
If the water level is going down (low tide) and it’s even windy, the chance is much higher to come too close to the corals or to the reef. So make sure to keep distance or check before how much space between surface and corals is.
Our next spot was at Lakeside beach. As soon as we reached the beach, a kangaroo welcomed us by jumping in front of us, soooo NICE!
This beach is also gorgeous: white sand and turquoise water. It’s the place to swim with turtles: first time for Adrian.
After spending 3 incredible days in Cape Range, we decided drove back to Exmouth. We found a refreshing water playground for kids: perfect for a free shower! HAHA (see video here)
We are ready to keep exploring: next stop Karijini National Park.
- There are no free camps in Cape Range National Park, only paying campgrounds.
- No campfires allowed in the national park
- Entrance fee
- On many sites, there are picnic facilities and toilets
- Cape Range National Park is located in Western Australia, 1100km from Perth, 200 km from Coral Bay, and 40km from Exmouth.
- With all the gorges, beaches and snorkeling spots, you can easily spend one week in the national park.
Have you ever been to Cape Range NP? Contact us below to share your story with fellow backpackers!
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