Rug up warm for this winter road trip; 326 KM from Perth and only 3559 KM from the Casey Station in Antarctica, this is one breathtaking and brilliantly cold part of the earth you do not want to miss.
Cape Leeuwin is named after the ship, Leeuwin, which in Dutch means ‘Lioness’. This vast piece of land lays in the charming town of Augusta; if you ever want to live in one of those towns from the movies, you know, the small seaside town where fresh air is in abundance and life sails peacefully – head south and do not turn until you arrive in this town.
The beautiful thing this place holds is being wedged between two oceans that clasps two different personalities; The Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean.
My road trips over the years never took me to Augusta, I saw the signs counting down the kilometers as I inched closer, however my travels always led me down another path.
At 2:40 AM on a very cold morning, my friend and I left the darkness of Perth to find the light at the place where the land ends. As the people of Augusta slept, we soared through as light began to creep around to our side of the earth. A windy road lead us down to the cape as we rushed to beat the clock before the sun glided over the horizon of the Southern Ocean. We were excited… but we failed. Can you spot our failure below?
See that land in the distance? We should have been standing on this spot to see the sun spread its sunlight and warmth over the land. As a sunrise/sunset chaser, this is my first major navigational failure.
Moving past the error in navigation, the oxygen-rich air and the smell of sea salt enriched every cell in my body. I advise reading up on the history of the cape, the ships that past, and the ones that are still laying on the seabed.
After breakfast in town and watching the sailboats as they followed the wind, we drove to a cabin we booked in the forest. I found this exquisite gem on Airbnb, it’s owned by a lady who lives in San Francisco. A huge bathtub was the feature of this openly planned cabin, along with a fireplace, a huge bed and a kitchen that would have made even Gordon Ramsey a happy chappy. The sounds of the forest were whimsical, and little forest wrens played all around the cabin.
When it was time to head back down to the cape for the sunset, the sun, sky, and clouds put on a magnificent show for us, over the Indian Ocean, making up for the lost sunrise.
Pack warm clothes and wear in layers, sometimes the arctic winds bite into your bones. But then again, not everyone feels the cold the same. Pack a hot milo or coffee, with bikkies of course, and a camera.
IMPORTANT: On the Southern Ocean side, there are smooth rocks that descend into the ocean. These may look safe and sturdy, but even the top of the descend is slippery. There is also a big sign up warning about these rocks, and also stating that if you fall in the ocean, they WILL NOT rescue you because they cannot get a boat into this area.
On the Indian Ocean side, the rocks are smooth and jagged but you can get close to the water. However, the Indian Ocean holds a lot of power with waves of extraordinary momentum, along with the wind. Be respectful of this, and watch your footing.
Please enjoy the photo gallery!