Location: Yallingup – Continue along small road past Smiths Beach carpark to the end and follow Cape to Cape track to the left
Distance: roughly 2km return along the beach
Difficulty: Guesstimating that it’s about a Grade 3 – Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bush walking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections and rough surfaces.
When: I’ve heard it can get busy so maybe head down early during the warmer days
What to bring: I wish I’d brought my snorkel!
Cost: $0 (got to love a freebie!)
Whenever I drop my little brother back at his mums in Margaret River, I tend to stay a couple of nights for a change of scenery. The weather was pretty terrible this time when I dropped him back but I didn’t want that to stop me from exploring. The Aquarium has been one of those places that’s been saved in my South West WA folder on Instagram forever so I took the opportunity and set off on a mini adventure. By the way, does anyone else use the saved button on Instagram?! It’s literally how I plan every trip! Maps informed me that The Aquarium was only a half hour drive from Margaret River along Caves Road (a must-do drive if you get the chance! So many kangaroos, wineries and beautiful bush scenery). The maps lead me to a blocked off road so I continued down and parked at Smith’s beach carpark. If you keep going to the left of the main carpark you can drive down a small road along the coast that leads to another little carpark and the Cape to Cape track. I could see where The Aquarium actually was on the map so I began walking along the Cape to Cape track. The walk alone was scenic in itself so I highly recommend!
I kept getting distracted by the incredible coastline and opportunities to climb rocks. There’s some seriously good cliff photo ops here if you come with a buddy! After walking through a little bush section of the track, I caught a first glance of my destination! The Aquarium is about the most real aquarium you can get! It’s a natural pool that’s protected by rocks from the waves so its covered in seaweed and corals and absolutely teeming with sea life! I noticed it immediately from photos I’d seen. I had to veer off-track a little (or maybe I didn’t? I might have just got a bit excited) down a gravelly, sand track which lead straight to it. As soon as climbed across the rocks and looked down into the water, I immediately spotted a bright red fish and a black and white one who quickly hid when they noticed me. I sat for about an hour just watching how the huge waves dissolved to nothing before they reached the pool and dreaming of snorkelling here on a warmer day! Or maybe I’ll just ask my friend to send over my wetsuit from Melbourne. I’ll surely get some use out of it. Seriously though, this is how much I loved this spot! On a sunny day I can just imagine how beautifully crystal clear the water would be! Also, the pool is deep enough to dive in from the rocks. SO much fun to be had here! Can’t wait to return!