Karridale and Hamelin Bay
Welcome to Karridale and Hamelin Bay!
Once the hub of the South-West during the timber rush at the turn of the century, Karridale has a rich history. Boasting the picturesque Hamelin Bay and Boranup Forest on its doorstep, there is more to this town than meets the eye! Karridale was built on the back of the majestic Karri and Jarrah trees that now border its western edge along the Leeuwin -Naturaliste Ridge, the wood of which once paved the streets of London. Timber was transported by rail to nearby Hamelin Bay for export, but a major storm in 1900 destroyed the Hamelin Bay jetty and the last mill was closed in 1913. Today Karridale is a peaceful, idyllic stopover - perfect for a quiet forest getaway amongst the trees.
Hamelin Bay is a serene, open sandy bay located a short drive south-west of Karridale. Famous for its abundance of friendly eagle rays which will glide up to greet you as you paddle in the shallows, Hamelin Bay is the perfect spot for swimming, snorkelling, diving or just relaxing on the beach. Beach fishing is also popular in the bay, and there is also a boat ramp if you want to explore the open ocean or the many waterways of nearby Augusta.
What to do
- Hang out with an eagle ray: paddle with the friendly rays at Hamelin Bay or grab a snorkel for a better view – there’s also some cool shipwrecks a bit further offshore for those avid snorkelers and divers.
- Caves: Jewel Cave is seriously awe-inspiring, and is less than 10 minutes drive from Karridale or Hamelin Bay.
- Beach it: the calm waters at Hamelin Bay are perfect for swimming, or bring your fishing rod if you want to catch some herring or salmon.
- Hit the forest: drive the scenic stretch of Caves Road through the Boranup Forest, or trek the Cape to Cape Track from Conto’s to Hamelin Bay.
- Discover food, art and wine: just a short drive along Brockman Highway you will find a rich collection of local artisans and wineries, as well as outstanding galleries and cafes nestled amongst the Karri trees on Caves Road.
- How the water sparkles at Hamelin Bay on a clear day.
- Everything about the Boranup Forest. What’s not to love?!
- Picnicking in the forest - Boranup and Conto’s campgrounds are great picnic spots amongst the trees.
Useful to know
- Late afternoon is the best time to drive through the Boranup Forest – that’s when the sun shines through the trees and it looks just like the postcards.
- Conto’s campground is particularly popular and tends to fill up in peak season – first in best dressed!
- Boranup Drive (the dotted line on the black and white map) is long and bumpy – best attempted in a four-wheel drive only. Take Caves Road for a smoother drive.
How to get there
Hamelin Bay is 6km south-west of Karridale – from Bussell Highway, follow Bushby or Chapman Roads which will lead you to Hamelin Bay Road - it’s well signposted. If you’re heading down Caves Road from Margaret River, it’s about a 30 minute drive. Look out for Hamelin Bay Road on your right.