Everything You Need To Know: Castle Rock Bay, Dunsborough
Castle Rock Bay used to be a bit of a locals only secret, but in recent years has become a popular alternative to Meelup Beach around the corner. It’s a tranquil slice of beach, sheltered from predominate southwesterly winds and swells down south, making it the perfect spot for an arvo on the water.
What Is It:
A calm, tranquil bay located on the eastern side of Cape Naturaliste, Castle Rock Bay is bound by a couple of impressive rock formations to the east (Castle Rock) and west (Sail Rock).
It’s an incredible spot for fishing, swimming, surfing (in winter) or just some good old fashion relaxation.
Where Is It:
It’s a short six-minute drive north of the Dunsborough (just follow Castle Rock Road), although if you’re up for it it makes a nice finale to a scenic 1-hour walk along the coast too. It’s also a short half-km walk from the more popular Meelup Beach.
What To Do:
Give yourself the afternoon to swim and explore this beautiful section of coastline, once the southwester has come in making this side of Cape Naturaliste a glassy ocean haven – the white sand and crystal clear waters are unparalleled.
Amenities-wise is well organised too, with public toilets and gas barbecues to settle in for a proper picnic.
There’s plenty of access trails around the area as well, with some beautiful wildflowers in spring and plenty of little bays for a bit of your own peace and quiet. An easy climb up Castle Rock offers some pretty damn spectacular views.
What Not To Do:
As always with any public picnic areas make sure to leave it as clean as when you arrived. It’s not quite as hidden as it used to be, so just be mindful of crowds and get down early if its holiday season and you want to nab a barbie.
Try not to trample outside of the trails – this is a delicate area of the southwest, and as more people find out about it the more effort it’s gonna take on your behalf to keep it beautiful.
If you are going to climb the rock, don’t be a hero and make sure to take it slow.
In the middle of the year large winter swells can wrap around the cape and create some awesome, fun surf thanks to the southwesterly making it offshore.
This unique area of coastline is a photographer’s heaven – get down early or late to catch some of the most incredible lighting and landscapes this state has to offer.
Depending on the time of year, keep your eyes peeled on the horizon for passing humpback whales!