Cape Naturaliste is a headland in the Margaret River region of southwestern WA. Situated at the western edge of Geographe Bay, Cape Naturaliste is part of the spectacular Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and is the northernmost point of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge which was named after the cape. The cape separates the calmer, sheltered waters of Geographe Bay from the Indian Ocean.
One of the main attractions of Cape Naturaliste is its 200 metres high lighthouse built in 1903. The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse stands proudly on a 100-metre bluff and visitors are invited to climb its 59 stairs to its observation platform and be rewarded with magical views over Geographe Bay. It’s the perfect spot to witness humpback whales during their migration and breeding season.
Head way out West and discover the beauty of WA’s wildflowers, natural formations and historic attractions. Flights take you in to Perth for 2 night stay with coach touring which includes visits to Geraldton, Dalwallinu, Hyden, Albany, Pemberton, Margaret River and Busselton. Cruise the Donnelly River, marvel at The Pinnacles and Wave Rock, enjoy the delights of Rottnest Island and be mesmerised by dreamtime legends in the Ngilgi Caves.
Cape Naturaliste’s First Nations people, the Wardandi, called this place Kwirreejeenungup which in their language means ‘the place with the beautiful view.’ That’s certainly an apt description of this glorious part of Western Australia with Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park one of Western Australia's favourite holiday destinations.
The 123-kilometre Cape-to-Cape Walking Track is a long-distance trail that winds its way along the length of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge past pristine beaches and secluded forests. Its start and end points are the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and the historic Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the tallest on the Australian mainland.
The serene waters of Geographe Bay make it a popular place for holidaymakers to swim, kayak, or go boating and fishing. A 40-minute drive from Cape Naturaliste is the picturesque town of Busselton, gateway to the Margaret River wine region and famous for its iconic jetty, calm beaches, majestic forests and delightful cafes and breweries.
The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and three original keepers’ cottages are beautiful testaments to the incredible maritime history of WA’s Cape region. The lighthouse was built in 1903 in under a year at a cost of around 4,800 pounds.
Before the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse was built, mariners had to rely on a landmark known as ‘The Tub’ – a barrel mounted atop a 30-foot pole in Busselton - to mark the safest passage and landing.
A visit to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse reveals stories of the challenges of life as a lighthouse keeper. Three keepers and their families originally lived at Cape Naturaliste with each keep taking turns to keep the light shining by winding the clockwork and pumping kerosene to the burner.
Visitors also hear tales of shipwrecks off the often-treacherous WA coastline and learn about the local flora and fauna and the important role the ocean currents play in this part of Australia.
First Nation Wadandi is a language group that forms part of the Noongar people of the southwest of WA. Known as sea people, they have a strong connection to the ocean and surrounding waters of this region. Their language is recorded as Burron Wongi.
French navigator Nicolas Baudin stopped here on the 30th of May 1801. Baudin was exploring and mapping the coast of New Holland (Australia) and named Geographe Bay, after his flagship, Géographe. Cape Naturaliste was later named after the expedition's second ship, Naturaliste.
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse was built in 1903. Limestone was quarried 1.5 kilometres away and carted by bullock wagon for the construction.
The lighthouse was converted to automatic operation in July 1978, its white beam flashing twice every 10 seconds and visible to vessels 48 kilometres away.
The last Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse keeper left in 1996 making this the last manned lighthouse on mainland Australia.
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