At the northern end of Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park stands Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. A 1½-km-long (1-mile-long) trail leads from Cape Naturaliste to Canal Rocks, passing rugged cliffs, quiet bays, and curving beaches. You can opt for guided tours, on request (various routes and costs); the cape to cave trail wraps in Ngilgi Cave and a stunning strech of coastline. Migrating whales are often spotted along this stretch, and from the lighthouse. This is also the
start of the coast-hugging 138-km (86-mile) Cape-to-Cape Walk, for which there are also guided tours (Cape to Cape Tours are recommended for extended hikes; 0459/452–038, capetocapetours.com.au). Four major cave systems are easily accessible within Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.
CaveWorks. The CaveWorks display center at Lake Cave presents a good introduction to the whole cave system and how it was formed. There's a simulated cave tunnel called a cave crawl that allows kids to safely experience tight spaces. CaveWorks is open daily from 9–5. Caves Rd., Forest Grove, Margaret River. 08/9757–7411. www.margaretriver.com/caveworks-eco-centre-and-research.
Jewel. The southernmost cave of the entire underground system, Jewel has one of the longest straw stalactites in any tourist cave in the world. There's also an interpretive center on site and a cafe nearby. Caves Rd., Augusta. 08/9757–7411. www.margaretriver.com. Daily 9:30–3:30, tours every hour on the half hour (more frequent during school vacation).
Lake Cave. Centered around a tranquil, eerie-looking underground lake, Lake Cave is the deepest of all the open caves in the region, and there are tearoooms on-site. Entry and tour cost at each of the caves is A$22 or you can buy a discounted pass for $55 to visit Lake, Jewel, and Mammoth caves. There's also a discounted ticket that includes all three caves and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse for A$70 Caves Rd., Forest Grove, Margaret River. 08/9757–7411. www.margaretriver.com. Daily 9:30–3:30, with tours every hour on the half hour.
Mammoth Cave. Here you'll find ancient fossil remains of extinct animals. Self-guided tours are avaiable, and you can add an audio experience. Wheelchair access is possible. Caves Rd., Witchcliffe. 08/9757–7411. www.margaretriver.com. Self-guided tours A$22. Daily 9–5, with the last entry at 4.
Ngilgi Cave. Near Yallingup, Ngilgi Cave is a main site for adventure caving. In between crawling through tight spots, sliding down smooth rock surfaces and gazing at stalactites, you'll learn about the fascinating history of this special cave, explored by candlelight in the 1900s. Semi-guided cave tours take about one hour, cost A$21 and run every half hour from 9:30 to 4. Hightly recommended adventure caving tours operate at 9:30 am weekdays. Prebooking at least 48 hours in advance is advised. Adventure tours cost from A$33 to A$152, and vary from 45 minutes to four hours in length, depending on the tour. 76 Yallingup Caves Rd., Yallingup, 6282. 08/9755–2152. www.geographebay.com/ngilgi-cave.
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. The view from the top of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia and only a 10-minute drive south of Augusta, allows you to witness the meeting of the Southern and the Indian oceans. In some places this alliance results in giant swells that crash against the rocks, in others, you'll spot whales surfacing (in season: May–September). While the ocean can be chilly, small coves are blessed with calm waters ideal for swimming. The lighthouse precinct is open daily 9–5, (last entry 4:45 pm; A$8). Guided tours to the top of the lighthouse (via a lengthy stairway) cost A$20 and run daily every 40 minutes. The last tour is at 4:20 pm. Leeuwin Rd., Augusta. 08/9758–1920. www.margaretriver.com.
1267 Cape Naturaliste Rd., Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Western Australia, Australia