D'Entrecasteaux National Park
D’Entrecasteaux National Park is a narrow strip hugging the coast for more than 130 kilometres between Augusta and Walpole. This is a significant wilderness area of pristine natural beauty, with long, bone-white beaches, high dunes and spectacular coastal cliffs.
South from Pemberton via Pemberton–Northcliffe Rd then 8 km south of Northcliffe via Wheatley Coast and Windy Harbour roads
350 km south of Perth; 25 km south of Pemberton
DEC Pemberton (08) 9776 1207
118 779 ha
Pemberton (08) 9776 1133
Northcliffe (08) 9776 7203
Walpole (08) 9840 1111
Featured Activities in the National Park
Leave the only set of footprints in the sand of a remote and beautiful beach
Stand on the limestone cliffs at Cliffy Head and look for southern right whales
Traverse the challenging Yeagarup Dunes to reach the coast for a spot of beach fishing
- D’Entrecasteaux National Park, Eco-friendly activity
A look at the past
Point D’Entrecasteaux was named in 1792 when French Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux sailed past on a French scientific expedition. Little interest was shown in the area until the late 1880s, when pastoralists began to bring their cattle into the region to graze on summer coastal pastures. In 1911, the iron barque Mandalay was wrecked offshore from what is now Mandalay Beach; the wreck can sometimes still be seen when the tides and sand are favourable.
Aboriginal artifacts discovered in the park prove Aboriginal occupation dating back at least 6000 years, although investigations in areas adjacent to the national park indicate Aboriginal occupation as long as 47 000 years ago. Erosion of sand dunes has uncovered a number of sites of significance, including stone artifacts, fish traps, quarry sites and burial sites.
The park’s outstanding natural features include a series of hexagonal-shaped basalt columns to the west of Black Point, formed by a volcanic lava flow some 135 million years ago, and the 10-kilometre-long mobile Yeagarup Dunes. Inland from the coast is a series of lakes and swamps, including Lake Jasper – the largest freshwater lake in the southern half of the state, and an important habitat for waterbirds and freshwater fish. Major streams and rivers, including the Warren, Donnelly and Shannon, flow through the park.
Vegetation includes coastal heathlands, grasslands, low woodlands and scattered pockets of karri forest. Mount Chudalup, a huge granite outcrop, is a particularly special ecosystem boasting 42 species of moss, 28 species of lichen and 6 species of liverwort, some of which are found nowhere else. More than 250 plant species are found in the park, representing a large proportion of the biologically diverse south-west.
D’Entrecasteaux shelters a number of threatened animals within its borders, including the quokka, woylie and malleefowl. New Zealand fur-seals have also been seen at Black Point. Other animals include possums, wallabies and bandicoots. Southern right whales can be seen along the coast from September to November. Sandy Island, in Windy Harbour, is an important nesting site for flesh-footed shearwaters.
This is a water-lover’s paradise, with swimming, surfing, beachcombing, boating and canoeing on offer at a bevy of beautiful beaches. Photographers will also find themselves spoilt for choice, particularly at sunset and sunrise. Jump in a 4WD and head out along the coast, and you can easily find a beach where the only footprints will be your own.
Point D’Entrecasteaux, accessible by 2WD, offers a selection of walks including the Pupalong Loop Walk (400 m, easy) with trailside information on Noongar culture and tradition. A link from the trail provides access to the Point D’Entrecasteaux platform which offers spectacular coastal views. Coastal Survivors Walk (2.8 km, 1 hour, one way), follows the dunes and cliff tops between Point D’Entrecasteaux and Windy Harbour, and provides information along the way about coastal flora and fauna. The Cliff Top Walk (2 km one way, 1 hour, medium difficulty) takes in the impressive limestone cliffs between Point D’Entrecasteaux and Tookulup. More adventurous walkers can tackle the summit of Mount Chudalup (1.5 hours return, medium difficulty), which delivers spectacular views. Take care in wet weather as the granite can be slippery.
Windy Harbour and Salmon Beach (both with 2WD access) are popular spots for fishing. A 4WD is needed to reach other coastal fishing spots. Coastal fishers should take special care, as dangerous sea surges can occur without warning.
With 130 kilometres of coastline, much of it remote, this is a fabulous place for remote beach driving. Note this is an isolated national park, so ensure your vehicle is well maintained and you are well equipped for remote driving, and notify someone of your intended route and return.
The 6-kilometre D’Entrecasteaux Drive enables you to take in the park’s diverse landscape and classic coastal vistas, with lookouts at Gardner, Sunset and Salmon Beach.
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