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A-Z Guidebook: Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Western Australia

Welcome to the A-Z Guidebook Link Up. If you would like to join, read the A-Z Guidebook tab at the top of the blog and write a travel post relating to the letter of the month.

* May marks 12 months since we started our A-Z journey. Thanks to the readers, contributors and commenters. This month:

L or Lake

I really wanted to write about (Cape) Leeuwin Lighthouse but as I have already cheated on (Old) Government House, I thought I better stick to my own rules. Instead, I have chosen to share with you this photo from Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in Western Australia.

Cape Leeuwin is the most south-westerly mainland point of Australia, named by English navigator Matthew Flinders after the first ship to visit the area, the Dutch vessel Leeuwin (Lioness). On the edge of Geographe Bay is Cape Naturaliste, named respectively after the ships of French navigator Nicholas Baudin. Quite thrillingly (well for me at least), Cape Leeuwin is said to be the point where the Indian and Southern Ocean’s converge. To be honest, when you are standing on the point gazing into the ocean, all you can see are whitecaps and choppy waves, as the howling wind tries to blow you all the way to South Africa. It would be much easier to identify the convergence point if say, one ocean was green and the other pink but they are both just a deep, cerulean blue so you have to use your imagination.

sign in front of the ocean for leeuwin-naturaliste national park in western australia

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park stretches between these two capes, made up of dense karri and jarrah forests and a rugged coastline. The 135km Cape to Cape Track traverses the area between the two points, past plenty of beautiful bays with azure water and white sands. As enticing as those bays are, in reality they are quite desolate. Standing in the sun with the sea glittering and hot sand underfoot there is little shade and a constant buffeting from the wind. The scrub has long ago been beaten into submission. There’s no getting away from the fact though, that the views are gorgeous.

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is part of the an area of WA that is broadly known as Margaret River. Famous for its Cabernet-Sauvignon wines, we visited as part of a longer trip to WA. The wine is indeed wonderful but I discovered that Margaret River has a lot more on offer including of course, some excellent Lighthouses.

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11 comments… add one
  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime May 15, 2016, 3:51 pm

    At first I thought you would be somewhere in Holland given the Dutch word. Then I thought it might be a park for naturalists. We also have an area where two oceans converge and there’s no differentiating colours here either 😀

    • Fiona Ryan May 18, 2016, 9:19 am

      It’s a very unusual name. We don’t have many Dutch words here at all (unlike SA) so I had no idea of its origin.

  • Joy @MyTravelingJoys May 17, 2016, 8:28 pm

    Interesting! I guess we didn’t get that far south when we visited the Margaret River. We only had a weekend and there’s really just so much to do along here. Thanks for sharing!

    • Fiona Ryan May 18, 2016, 9:13 am

      We were there for a few days also (maybe 3?) but Mr Tiffin loves to drive. It’s not too far away from Margaret River though.

  • sherry from sherrys pickings May 19, 2016, 3:35 pm

    We loved Margaret River and Cape Leeuwin. Such a glorious area of the world. We loved seeing where the 2 oceans met. It feels really different to the East coast doesn’t it? The vegetation and the geography of it feels like a new world. And it is all so very far away from the other side of Oz, and so close to Asia. I can’t wait to head back there one day.

    • Fiona Ryan May 24, 2016, 6:26 pm

      You got it in one Sherry – it just happens to be part of Australia but could easily be a different country on the same continent. That dessert in between east and west is the ultimate barrier.

  • Patti May 20, 2016, 11:35 pm

    Your photos make it so inviting I do so hope to get to Australia one day! Thanks for the link up each month. I missed last month ‘K’ I was going to do Kentucky or Kauai but I couldn’t find my pictures. Makes me so mad! I’ve got to get my files better organized! Anyway beautiful photo of the water, such lovely colors.

    • Fiona Ryan May 24, 2016, 6:28 pm

      Thanks Patti. Even for most Australian, WA is a long way. It’s 6 hours from Brisbane to Perth by plane. It only takes 3.5 hrs to get to New Zealand from Brisbane! Thanks for joining in again this month. Get ready for the next letter. I’m sure you can guess what it is!

  • retrostuart May 23, 2016, 10:20 am

    The photo captures the beautiful colours of the beaches and sea in Western Australia. After travelling the coast from Cape Leveque north of Broome to the South Australian border a few years ago, I’m still haunted by the visual memories. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Fiona Ryan May 24, 2016, 6:29 pm

      It’s a wonderful part of the world isn’t it?. Wild, windswept and untouched.

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