West Cape Howe National Park
The 20-kilometre coastline protected by this national park includes rugged headlands, dramatic granite and dolerite cliffs, isolated beaches of pristine, white sand backed by coastal dunes, and the state’s most southerly point, Torbay Head. Scrub heathland has colonised the interdunal valleys and swales, with peppermint, bull banksia and clumps of mallee. Near the park entrance, on the slopes and peak of Torbay Hill, are pockets of karri forest, with an understorey of karri oak, hazel and wattle. Surrounding Lake William and the wetlands behind the dunes, banksia heathland predominates. Elsewhere there are forests of stunted jarrah and she-oak. Wildﬂowers are abundant and include 11 trigger plants and 58 orchids. Mammals include western quolls, southern dibblers, southern brown bandicoots and western ringtail possums.Watch out for rare birds such as the red-eared ﬁretail, ground parrot, black bittern and crested shrike-tit.
Apart from the gravel road that leads to Shelley Beach, a 4WD vehicle is needed to negotiate most of the undulating and sandy tracks. Shelley and Dunsky beaches are popular for snorkelling and scuba diving but beware of strong rip tides. In summer, Shelley Beach has prevailing easterly winds perfect for hang-gliding; the lookout carpark is the take-off zone. On the western side of the headland, West Cape Howe offers experienced rock-climbers many challenging climbs. The Bibbulmun Track walking trail passes through the park. The beaches are excellent ﬁshing spots for salmon, mulloway, herring and King George whiting; however, anglers and beachcombers must exercise caution as freak waves and gusting winds can occur unexpectedly.
Shelley Beach; bush camping at Dunsky Beach
Location and access
30 km west of Albany via Lower Denmark Rd then Cosy Corner Rd
DEC Albany (08) 9842 4500
Albany (08) 9841 9290
Denmark (08) 9848 2055
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