Quinninup Falls was an ocean-facing 10m waterfall tumbling onto a sandy beach near the Cape-to-Cape Trail in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. As you can see from the photos on this page, the waterfall’s flow wasn’t doing too well. If it wasn’t for the colored rock walls due to algal growth caused by persistent moisture, I probably would’ve kept walking on the Cape-to-Cape Trail without ever suspecting that the falls was here all along. In any case, the scenery around the waterfall was what literally stole the show, and the falls itself was merely our waterfalling excuse to talk about the gorgeous coastal scenery of the Cape-to-Cape Walk.
Our visit to Quinninup Falls was in June 2006. Despite rain clouds just off shore threatening to dump their load during our hike, it was apparent that the falls would only be revived under some persistent rain or the cumulative effects of multiple Winter rains before the next Australian Summer would hit the area. We weren’t certain if our visit was merely mistimed as being too early in the Winter for the rains to replenish the falls, or if we were caught in a much larger climate anomaly of prolonged drought. Whatever the case may be, we saw what we saw, and we hope that one of these days, we could come back when the falls would flow better than it did.
Our Explore Australia 2006 Road Atlas actually mentioned that there was a more direct route to reach the falls, but it would require a high clearance vehicle given the rugged nature of that road. So instead, we began our hike from the Moses Rock car park (see directions below). From there, we readily picked up the Cape-to-Cape Track and headed north since we knew that was the general direction of Quinninup Falls.
All throughout the track, we were treated to gorgeous coastal views. The threatening rain clouds seemed to amp up the drama of the scene as we weren’t too sure whether we’d get the brunt of whatever those clouds would deliver or not. Nonetheless, we walked for about a half-hour until we reached a very sandy hill that quickly descended into a wide valley with lots of shrubs growing about inland to our right. It turned out that the vegetation there was growing because of the flow of Quinninup Falls (despite it not flowing too well).
And a few minutes walk amongst those shrubs right up to the small rock formations giving rise to the waterfall concluded our walk. We basically spent some time taking what photos that we could given the limited waterflow, but we at least tried to make use of the unusual rock formations around the falls.
When we had our fill of Quinninup Falls, we then had to go back up the sandy hill that we had descended. Unfortunately with the loose sand, it was difficult to climb back up to the top of the hill. That was because with each step we took going up, we seemed to tread back down and lose quite a bit of the forward progress. If ever there was a good cardiovascular workout, going uphill on loose sand like this would certainly be the way to do it! For this reason, we bumped up the difficulty score as certainly it would require a bit of fitness to go up such hills. Just walking like you normally would might not be enough!
Once we made it up above the strenuous sandy uphill climb, it was then pretty much smooth flat walking on the Cape-to-Cape Track back to the Moses Rock car park. And once again, we got to enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery throughout this very quiet and naturesque walk that was every bit the opposite of the overcrowded beaches we’re used to back home in Los Angeles. Overall, we spent about 75 minutes away from the car with a solid 60 minutes of it spent hiking.
Finally, one thing worth mentioning about this excursion was that it would be the perfect Nature excursion and exercise to complement the good food and fine wine of the neighboring Margaret River Wine Region. There were also other attractions nearby like the Ngilgi Cave, which we also visited prior to doing this waterfall hike.
From Busselton, we left Hwy 10 to go onto Caves Rd (Hwy 250) and followed it west then south via Quedinjup for about 37km towards Moses Rock Rd. Note that this route also intersected with Quinninup Rd (about 5km north of Moses Rock Rd), which was said to be more direct towards the falls. However, we were told it was a high clearance road with underlying rocks jutting up from the road surface so we didn’t want to chance it with our low-clearance rental car.
Heading west (right) on Moses Rock Rd, we then took it to the Moses Rock car park about 3km later. The road became unsealed as we got close to the car park. The Moses Rock car park was just one of many stops along the scenic coastal Cape-to-Cape Trail.
Note that if you’re headed north on the Caves Rd from Wilyabrup, it’s about 2.8km to the Moses Rock Rd.
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