Sugarloaf Rock

Star 4.8 (550 Google reviews)

Sugarloaf Rock

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Open 24 Hours
From Dunsborough, drive along the scenic Cape Naturaliste Road for approximately 10km then turn left onto Sugarloaf Road. Follow Sugarloaf Road for about 3 km. Sugarloaf Rock and the car park are at the end of the road.
Speak to a local expert
Sugarloaf Rock is a gigantic granite rock that emerges from the Indian Ocean extremely close to the mainland. The rock is situated within a designated nature reserve in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park just off Cape Naturaliste near Dunsborough. As you approach Sugarloaf Rock you will instantly see why this towering, sea-sculptured rock is one of the most photographed coastal landforms in the region. With its ocean side often battered by treacherous seas, and the rock separated from the coast by a narrow channel of wild water, this is an incredible seascape - best viewed from the elevated lookout.
Sugarloaf Rock is one of the region’s most spectacular coastal landforms and unique environments. It is no wonder that it is one of the hallmark images of Australian Landscape Photographer of the Year, Christian Fletcher and it has graced the cover of the Australian Geographic magazine. With its ever-changing colour, it is difficult to decide when it’s best to see it. Perhaps it is when the weather is stormy with crashing seas, perhaps it is when it is calm and sunny and the water is crystal clear. Perhaps the greatest sight is when the sun sets over the Indian Ocean and the colour of the rock changes every minute. If you wait long enough at sunset, you can even see the working Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse light up! 

Sugarloaf Rock is a bird watcher's and nature lover’s paradise. As a nature reserve, it is a haven for nesting seabirds and is home to the geographically restricted and graceful red-tailed tropic bird which nests here from September to February each year. But that’s not the only wildlife you may see. Playful bottlenose dolphins can often be seen leaping through the surf break close by, sometimes together with the surfers. Humpback and southern right whales are often seen wallowing, breaching or just cruising by on their migration (best time July - October). 

Spend a little more time and walk on the Cape to Cape Track towards the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, which is only three kilometres away. It is a spectacular walk along the cliff tops looking up to the lighthouse, with the Indian Ocean, stunning surf and beautiful bays on one side and native Australian coastal bush complete with Australian wildlife on the other side. This area provides a great example of Western Australian wildflowers which are gorgeous and plentiful in season (September – November), making for even more stunning photographs. The path itself is an easy walking path of hard limestone which then becomes a sealed path, and then an amazing boardwalk. Conveniently placed benches allow walkers to sit and gaze at the ocean, dolphins or migrating whales, or spy on fluttering wrens. (If you walk on the Cape to Cape Track coming the other way from the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse it is wheelchair and pram accessible for most of the way and offers great views of Sugarloaf Rock). 

As this is a wild environment please heed the Department of Parks and Wildlife signs and guidelines.

Location

Sugarloaf Rock

Sugarloaf Rd, Naturaliste WA 6281, Australia

Reviews

Star 4.8 (550 Google reviews)
Pay It Forward 15 January 2022

It’s a great place to visit. I liked it a lot at the start. I liked getting down to the rocks on the beach and fossicking around. Until… I saw one snake 🐍 and then within seconds… another 🐍 and just around from there… a dead dolphin 🐬 on the positive side, there must be dolphins 🐬 around and… well the snakes, they like to warm up on the rocks. If you walk with other people, keep talking and you won’t see them as they slither away before you get there. I’d go back despite these slithering guys.

ACHAL SIKLIGAR 28 January 2022

One of the most beautiful places near Perth in WA. Just couple of hours drive from the city and you'll be place far from city life. Excellent place for nature and adventure lovers and yes photographers of course. Must Visit if you're looking for a break for a day or two.

Kit Teguh 13 August 2022

Far from being a loaf of bread but the view's pretty sweet. So the name half makes sense. Pretty fun place to navigate your way around the rocks, just don't do anything silly like climbing the rocks while the tide's coming and the wind's up. I actually looked up in Wikipedia that some unlucky soul lost their life here back in 1934. But I don't think the rock's changed much since then, so be on your toes and best behaviour.

Naomi Lambert 09 November 2021

If you are an avid sunrise/sunset seeker then Sugarloaf Rock is a must. It’s a reasonably secluded area and never fails to disappoint (even in the rain). For anyone who argues against WA having the best coast line, take them here.