Local Favourites: Paul Sofilas, Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

 

Local Favourites: Paul Sofilas

Live like a local.

Paul wakes up at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse every day. Surrounded by the Southern and Indian Oceans, under the tallest lighthouse in mainland Australia – this is the place that Paul calls home. Having grown up in the south west and then living away for a stint, Paul pinches himself every day that he landed the position of caretaker at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse a good 20 years ago. Paul’s knowledge of Augusta’s natural assets are second to none, and it was a pleasure to hear his tips.


Paul Sofilas

1. What’s your favourite beach ?

There are many beaches for many moods or weather patterns. We’re spoilt for choice in Augusta with two oceans and two different coastlines. Maybe a favourite would be Flinders Bay when I ride or walk along the coastal pathway.

2. Where do you always take your visitors ?

I take visitors to the Blackwood Rivermouth,  near Hardy Inlet. This area is such a showcase of why Augusta is so special and unique. Albany Terrace is a very scenic drive/cycle/walkway route. If you come from the northern end it is like a mini version of Caves Road (but more diverse), with about a kilometre of beautiful Karri trees that then winds around to a stunning view looking over Hardy Inlet. Here, you’ll often see paddle boards, fishing boats, people on the jetty, or children playing. Or sometimes there is no-one and it’s so serene. Pelicans just cruising along the calm waters of the inlet. Then after winding past the opening of the river, you head along by the shore of Flinder’s Bay. With a view (toward the end) of the Flinder’s Bay settlement. There’s great diversity in such a small area.

3. Top three local food experiences ?

I love Cafe Boranup – set amongst the forest with contemporary Aussie fare. It’s got a very relaxed vibe and is awesome as a pit-stop if you have been on the MTB in the trails nearby or just on a road bike on Caves Road. Glenarty Road Winery is a very unique winery/restaurant. Family run with a focus on fresh food with much of the ingredients from the family farm. Excellent wines – a diverse range (including the white port). The ambience is kind of rustic with a quirky fit out. The Colourpatch is also a fantastic new venue in Augusta with view, view and more view. Plus a casual but classy décor, especially the old yacht that’s been repurposed as a bar.

 4. Your favourite drinking hole?

My local, The Augusta Hotel

5. Best fun in the region without spending a cent ?

Mountain Biking off road or on road with my bicycle in the national park along the coasts. The pathway from Augusta town jetty to Dead Finish follows river, estuary, and ocean with foreshore reserves of trees and park the whole way. It’s a ride of great scenic beauty and diversity. And you’re never too far from a spot to swim at the end of a ride!

6. Favourite time of year ?

October and November (spring-time). You can see the green lush bushland, breathe in the freshest air of anywhere and see the local wildflowers. Plus the change from winter to summer brings out the varying weather creating amazing cloud formations or sunrise and sunsets. And it’s a great time to spot whales travelling south along the coast near the cape.

7. Best place to watch the sunset ?

For me – Cape Leeuwin. For the public – Waterwheel area or the coastline around Hamelin Bay.

8. You can’t leave the Margaret River region without doing what…?

Climbing to the top of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse!

Leeuwin Lighthouse Buildings
Sophie Mathewson

Author Sophie Mathewson

Sophie has a background in producing content for television and digital media. After living and working across Europe, the US, Melbourne, and Perth, Sophie made the educated decision to settle in Margaret River. She is passionate about storytelling, and delivering content in new and unique formats. Business aside, Sophie has a bit of an odd weather obsession and appreciates witty people with excellent personalities.

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