Sugarloaf Rock is one of the south west region’s most spectacular coastal land formations. It’s not hard to see why it’s one the hallmark images of renowned Australian Landscape photographer, Christian Fletcher, or why it’s graced the cover of Australian Geographic magazine. If it’s not at the top of the list of any landscape, or would be landscape photographers who visit the area, it should be.
I’m told the sea-sculptured rock is spectacular to see when the weather is stormy with the seas crashing all around. I’m also told that one of the greatest sights is to see the sun sinking over the horizon, changing the colour of the rock continuously as it sets into the Indian Ocean. Or you can see it as we did this week, on a calm, sunny day, surrounded by crystal clear waters. (Reminder to myself – visit again in stormy weather).
Situated within the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, the gigantic towering granite rock emerges from the ocean, very close to shore, but completely surrounded by water. The best place to view it is from the purpose built viewing platform. Although it would be easy to wade or swim over to the rock and attempt to clamber onto it – Please don’t. The rock is a haven for nesting sea birds, including the red-tailed tropic bird from September to February.
To get to the Rock by car, leaving from Dunsborough drive along Cape Naturaliste Road for approximately 10km. Then turn left onto Sugarloaf Road. The narrow, winding road ends after three kilometres at the car parking area for the rock.
Or you could walk. Three kilometres to the north is Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse where the 140 kilometre Cape to Cape walk track commences. The first few kilometres of the track offers great views of Sugarloaf Rock, and is wheelchair and pram accessible. There’s stunning surf and beautiful bays to look down on to one side of you, and native Australian coastal bush full of birds and wildlife on the other. I’m told there’s benches conveniently place along the way to allow walkers to sit for a while to drink in the stunning vista’s or to just listen to the peace – Only a few more weeks and my ankle should be sufficiently healed to allow me to see for myself……. Still small steps though at the moment, in fact only about twenty of them to take me from the car park to the viewing platform.
What a pleasure it is to be getting out and about again.