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coral coast and pilbara GUIDE
Unlike most remote areas Cape Range National Park is easily accessible
to 2WD and caravans. Just 40km from Exmouth, the park is a striking
contrast between Ningaloo’s clear blue seas, with sandy beaches and
rugged inland gorges, rocky limestone ranges and deep canyons. With
camping areas offering opportunities to swim, snorkel, fish and hike, it’s
the ultimate escape for self-sufficient campers.
Park highlights include the Mandu Mandu Gorge for an easy ramble
along an ancient river bed to the summit’s brilliant panoramic view. In the
southern end, Yardie Creek gorge’s striking multi-coloured walls reflect
off the deep waters of Yardie Creek below – take a flat-bottom boat and see
the rare black-footed wallaby and giant osprey. Bird nerds should check
CAPE RANGE NATIONAL PARK
WULA GUDA NYINDA MEANS
‘COME THIS WAY, YOU’
Darren ‘Capes’ Capewell grew up
in Shark Bay, and is the owner
operator of Wula Guda Nyinda
Aboriginal Eco Adventures. He
is passionate about ensuring this
pristine environment is protected,
educating and introducing visitors
to the area so they can feel and truly
understand the spiritual connection
the locals have to this place. To ensure
an authentic cultural experience, the
guide must be Aboriginal and ideally
a member of WAITOC.
Favourite places | I enjoy the
ruggedness and the limestone cliffs
of the west coast, the blood-red
sand country of Peron Peninsular,
and the beautiful unspoilt Dirk
Best time to visit | It is good all
year round, but if you don’t like
the wind... then I suggest March to
October. Wildflower season means
nature comes on big and guests
can feast on bushtucker.
Cultural history and significance
of area | The traditional Aboriginal
people, who have been in the area
for approximately 20,000 years,
are the Nhanda and Malgana
people, and the traditional name
for Shark Bay is Gutharraguda.
It adds a new dimension to
experiencing the area if you
know about the local Aboriginal
culture and history and are able
to experience and see it through
Cultural sensitivities | Remember
culture comes first and business is
planned around it. Ask before you
take photos. Don’t pick up stones
because they could be ceremony
stones. Avoid direct eye contact, it
is a sign of disrespect. And don’t
wear West Coast Eagles colours on
one of Capes’ tours!
fish and hike,
it’s the ultimate
the Mangrove Bay bird hide – migratory birds flock here in the summer
months. On the eastern side take the scenic drive through Charles Knife
Canyon and onto Thomas Carter Lookout for spectacular views across
Ningaloo Marine Park and the Exmouth Gulf. There is a 5km walking trail
between Shothole and Charles Knife canyons for experienced hikers.
Wi ld fl owers abound after winter rains in July to October, including the
rare green birdflower, Sturt’s desert pea and flowering rock ficus.
Park entrance and camping fees apply – stop at the Milyering
Visitor Centre. Come prepared – there’s no power, water, fuel, or
shower/toilet facilities. November to April can be extremely dry and
hot, and hiking is not recommended.
Emus in the Cape Range National Park (Photogrpahy Tourism WA).
Pied cormorants at Dirk Hartog
Island (Photography Tourism WA).
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