10 outstanding outdoor things to do at Prevelly and Gnarabup

 

Prevelly & Gnarabup

10 outstanding outdoor things to do

Prevelly - Photo Elements Margaret River (Archival)-1As you wind down the hill towards the Margaret Rivermouth and Prevelly you’ll see a little white Greek Chapel on the hillside overlooking the ocean.

It’s a Hellenic Chapel built, and then opened in 1979, by Geoff Edwards as a way of saying “Thank You” to the Preveli Monastery and surrounding villages and villagers of Crete, who helped shelter him and other Allied Servicemen in the grim days of the Second World War.

Years later after the war and back in Australia, Geoff came to Prevelly to live.

In Geoff’s memoir I read …

It was a cold winters’ day in 1953 when Geoff, his wife and their daughter drove their truck along a narrow, winding, badly corrugated gravel strip past historic Wallcliffe House and onto a fishing track leading down to Gnarabup. At the foot of the hill the truck and caravan sank down into black sand, at the place where Geoff would later build a shop and residence – which would form the beginning of his dream; Prevelly Park, a holiday resort, and the surrounding village we know as Prevelly today.

What a different world it must have been back then. When Prevelly first opened as a holiday park I’m thinking that kangaroos were probably more prevalent than people, and rutted tracks took the place of bitumen for a long time to come.

So when you visit Prevelly, and maybe camp at the camp site, perhaps taste wine at the store, or buy snags for your sunset barbie, don’t forget to visit the little old chapel on the hillside and learn more about the interesting history that goes with it.

Pic above and right: Elements Margaret River

Map: Find your way around Prevelly and Gnarabup

The beaches

Gnarabup and the Margaret Rivermouth have beautiful sandy beaches located about a 10 minute drive from Margaret River township.

Gnarabup offers a boat ramp should you wish to launch a boat, and the Rivermouth is great if you’d like to launch a canoe on the river. Both are considered reasonably safe swimming beaches and have car parks.

Fast facts

Looking out to sea from Gnarabup you can spot the surf breaks The Bombie and Boatramps, which hold big swell and attract professional surfers. The name ‘Bombie’ comes from Bombora, an Indigenous term for an area of sea waves breaking over a shallow area.

Further along the coast, Surfer’s Point is known as one of Australia’s big wave hot spots and is home to the world renowned Margaret River Pro Surf Competition, held every March/April.

The White Elephant Beach Cafe

Part of Gnarabup beach is tucked away beside a rocky outcrop immediately behind which you’ll find, conveniently placed, a gorgeous beach café called the White Elephant.

The cafe began life as a beach kiosk, gaining notoriety amongst the locals as a place for a bite and a bit of shade shelter after a swim or surf.

A few years ago it was nearly shut down, but recently it’s had a renaissance and a revamp, and it’s in the capable hands of Margaret River Hospitality Group; Anthony Janssen, Alex Brooks and local celebrity chef Tony Howell.

With uninterrupted views as far as the eye can see, a beach directly below you, and great dining, it’s not surprising that this little café is often really busy and a new indoor dining area has recently been constructed.

“Our new indoor space with glass bi-fold doors and an open fire place means even on the cold, windy days you can keep dry and warm and still soak in the stunning views!”

Fast facts

The White Elephant Beach Cafe is located at the Gnarabup Beach Boat Ramp, right on the beach. It offers casual cafe style food, quality coffee and a fun friendly service.

It’s open 7 days a week from 7:30am till 3pm-ish.

It’s a great place for breakfast, lunch or just a quick catch up. How about a cool drink after a surf, or a quick shake after a sun-bake. Take away a cappuccino for the road, catch up on Facebook (free internet with password), indulge in a refreshing sundowner, or maybe indulge in something sweet as reward for a run?

10 outdoor things to do

  1. Visit the beautiful old Greek chapel on the hillside at Prevelly
  2. Paddle up the Margaret River – ask at the visitor centre where and how to hire a canoe.
  3. Walk a section of the Cape to Cape Track; either from the Margaret Rivermouth at Prevelly towards Cape Mentelle or from Gnarabup towards Redgate Beach.
  4. Learn to paddle board or go snorkeling at Gnarabup beach.
  5. Launch your paddle ski, grab your surfboard or go ocean kayaking.
  6. Take a relaxing walk along the beach.
  7. Amble on an art walk and discover the interesting sculptures near the little park in Prevelly.
  8. Please take time to go watch the heartbreaking sunsets, and gutsy surfers at Surfer’s Point.
  9. Walk the dog, or just go for a gentle walk, or cycle from the beach into Prevelly along the sea front trail.
  10. Have breakfast or lunch or grab a cappuccino at the lovely White Elephant Beach Café.
Johanna Castro

Author Johanna Castro

A gypsy heart and a geologist husband brought travel writer Johanna Castro from Cape Town to Bunbury in 2008. Exploring the South West region soon became a passion which led on to writing for The West Australian, Fodor’s Travel Guide and various tourism agencies. In 2010 she began blogging and created ZigaZag (focusing on South West Australia) and Lifestyle Fifty. Jo’s contributed to over 40 publications and lived in 11 different countries but her gypsy heart is now content as she continues to discover and write about the fabulous produce, fine wines and beautiful scenery of WA. www.zigazag.com | lifestylefifty.com | Facebook (ZigaZag) | Facebook (Lifestyle Fifty)

13 Comments

  • I have never seen this little white church. I will certainly look out for it next time I am down this way. Aren’t we the luckiest having all this on our doorstep. Summer here we come!

  • Jo Jo says:

    The chapel has such a poignant history, Jill. Well worth investigating. Oh I know. So lucky are we … That Sea! That Colour and So Much To Do!

  • Avatar Diane Buchanan says:

    Hello Jo

    We are locals my husband John and I, so very lucky its such a gorgeous place to live, not only are we surrounded with beautiful scenery everywhere, we have excellent produce, wineries , and the people are lovely, we are so thankful to live here. Thanks Jo for your wonderful insight on so many subjects, its always a joy to read them, have a happy day .

  • jo jo says:

    Hello Diane, thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad you enjoy my articles. And yes, I wholeheartedly agree with your comments about the region. You are indeed lucky to live in Margaret River.

  • I live about as far away from Prevelly and Gnarabup as one can without starting to come back around the world. Surprisingly, I’ve been to Western Australia twice, including a Margaret River wine tasting tour that was just the thing to get us ready for the enormously long flight(s) back to Philadelphia. I’d love to go to Prevelly and Gnarabup one day because of their lovely names—-not to mention your fine suggestions of things to do there. 🙂

  • Jo Jo says:

    Hey Suzanne, Thanks for popping by from so faaaarrrrr away 🙂 Here’s hoping you get back to this lovely part of the world one day and visit Prevelly and Gnarabup as well.

  • What a delightful find! As a Grecophile and living in Greece, I love the old Greek chapels. How lovely to come across one in the Prevelly and Gnarabup region. I’ve never been there before, but have visited Australia. Maybe if I make it back, I will make the effort to visit this region. The Margaret River sounds divine.

  • Jo Jo says:

    Hi Rebecca, definitely you now have an added reason to visit the Margaret River region. Look forward to welcoming you soon 🙂

  • Oh, this sounds so lovely for at least the ten reasons you’ve given here. But we’d be happy just seeing the coast around Prevelly and Gnarabup. It’s possible we’ll be in the area in 2016!

  • I was only to Margaret River once and didn’t allow the time to do it justice so hope to return. I would love to try the snorkeling and The White Elephant Beach Cafe. That looks like a great place to spend a relaxing but active day or two. Thanks for the info!

  • Jo Jo says:

    It really is, Kay. To kick back at the Cafe, and dip into the sea every now and then on a sunny summer’s day … bliss. Hope you return one of these days.

  • A beautiful part of the world. I love standing and watching the surfers catching waves at Prevelly Beach. I can do this for hours. I could easily see myself having a coffee at that amazing cafe – what stunning views!

  • Hi Kathy, yes watching the surfers at Surfer’s Point at Prevelly is always pretty spekkie! Next time you come over, head down the road turn right, right and right again and you’ll get to Gnarabup and the lovely little White Elephant! Thanks for popping by today 🙂

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