Prevelly & Gnarabup
10 outstanding outdoor things to do
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
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.
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!”
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
- Visit the beautiful old Greek chapel on the hillside at Prevelly
- Paddle up the Margaret River – ask at the visitor centre where and how to hire a canoe.
- 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.
- Learn to paddle board or go snorkeling at Gnarabup beach.
- Launch your paddle ski, grab your surfboard or go ocean kayaking.
- Take a relaxing walk along the beach.
- Amble on an art walk and discover the interesting sculptures near the little park in Prevelly.
- Please take time to go watch the heartbreaking sunsets, and gutsy surfers at Surfer’s Point.
- Walk the dog, or just go for a gentle walk, or cycle from the beach into Prevelly along the sea front trail.
- Have breakfast or lunch or grab a cappuccino at the lovely White Elephant Beach Café.