Wilyabrup Cliffs

Discover the Wilyabrup Cliffs

One of the Margaret River's best-kept secrets just got easier to discover. Here are five ways to experience the incredible Wilyabrup Cliffs.

You never forget your first glimpse of the Wilyabrup Cliffs. Standing 40 metres proud, they glow red against the whitewash of the surging ocean. The amazing thing is few people know they exist.

The cliffs are naturally stunning, and it’s easy to see why Natalie Imbruglia chose to spend her one day off in the South West here, why Jeremy Clarkson didn’t want to leave, and why it’s the place to propose…

Here are five ways to experience the incredible Wilyabrup Cliffs for yourself.

1

Get on a Discovery Tour with Margaret River Discovery Company

Sean Blocksidge has been taking his wine and adventure tour guests to Wilyabrup for years, with his tour company Margaret River Discovery Company.

“It’s my favourite place in the world. So much so, I got engaged out there! It’s thrilling on a winter day when the storms are blasting off the ocean and wind roars up over the cliffs” says Sean.

Sean takes guests to the north side of the cliffs for a spectacular view. This section lights up with wildflowers during spring and makes for an epic whale and dolphin spotting point with cliff top views.

I asked Sean about memorable moments at the cliffs. “I once flew over it in a helicopter and watched a Southern Right Whale giving birth and being harassed by a Great White Shark. We herded the shark off with the helicopter and then a pod of dolphins turned up to manage the maternity ward for the night.“

“I once had Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear out there and he refused to move for about 30 minutes. Just sitting watching dozens of passing whales while he was sucking up the fresh air and purifying his cigarette filled lungs.”

Wilyabrup Cliffs
Photo credit Sean Blocksidge.
2

Go Abseiling with Margaret River Climbing Co

Experience heart-pounding heights by lowering yourself backwards over the edge with the abseiling experts. I loved that white-knuckle minute as you go from upright to horizontal, when the roar of the ocean is amplified as it echoes off the rock face.

Mick Dempsey from Margaret River Climbing Company takes groups climbing and abseiling at Wilyabrup Cliffs, and beginners are welcome. Starting at the bottom, you’ll climb four routes on the wall, then hike up and abseil down – once, twice, maybe three times if you’re keen.

Asked about unforgettable moments, Mick recalls the day Natalie Imbruglia came for a private tour and taught him to take a selfie. “Nat was challenged and sweating and swearing at me, but she triumphed and had a ball.”

Mick also helped Sean Blocksidge (above) propose to his now-wife, Erin, midway through an abseil. Stranded on a ledge on the pretext of getting a photo, Sean popped the question. “Of course, trapping her on a ledge was a pretty good way to ensure he got the answer he wanted!” laughs Mick.

Wilyabrup Cliffs
Image Credit: Sean Blocksidge, Margaret River Discovery Tours
3

Join an 8 Day Guided Tour with Cape to Cape Explorer Tours

Gene Hardy from Cape to Cape Explorer Tours offers an 8-day guided Cape to Cape Track walk with accommodation, meals, cave and winery visits. Guests see the cliffs for about 3 hours, as they hike in from the north.

I asked Gene what he loves best about the Wilyabrup Cliffs; “I actually love the staircase that heads up the north end of the cliffs, the way the stainless steel and jarrah construction complements the granite and the lovely outlook from there. We sit and have morning tea on the staircase and just take it all in.”

Surprisingly, Wilyabrup’s not Gene’s favourite part of the Cape to Cape; “My favourite part of the track is between Redgate Beach and Boranup Forest. The amazing beach, cliffs, caves and forests combine to give an incredible diversity in this walk, no kilometre is the same!”

Gene and his team picked up a swag of awards last year in ecotourism and Chinese tourism, and it’s easy to understand why.

Cape to Cape Wilyabrup
Image Credit: Rhonda Oshanek
4

Get an Exhilarating Aerial View with Scenic Helicopters

Hands down the most exhilarating way to check out this glorious coast line is from a helicopter. It’s even more fun with the doors off – better photo opportunities, too.

Jackson McLeod from Scenic Helicopters takes guests over the Wilyabrup Cliffs most days. “You can usually see a team of abseilers or rock climbers testing their skills against the rock as you fly over. Nearby Wilyabrup beach is a hangout for pods of local dolphins, which are also amazing to see from above, playing in the surf, cavorting and rolling belly side up or herding schools of migrating salmon to feed on.”

Sadly, Jackson McLeod’s R44 helicopter is in Broome during winter, ferrying guests to and from Willie Creek Pearl Farm. He’ll be back in Margaret River in spring, so put this at the very top of your list come September.

Cape to Cape Track Wilyabrup
Image Credit: Paul Morton
5

DIY the Cape to Cape Track

Another great way to see the Wilyabrup Cliffs – and the whole 135km stretch of coast – is to do your own Cape to Cape Track walk.

There are two excellent resources both with detailed maps and instructions. The Cape to Cape Track Guidebook which you can buy at Visitor Centres in Busselton, Dunsborough, Margaret River and Augusta and both the Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin lighthouses. Secondly, the Cape to Cape Track Guide app on the App Store and Google Play come in more than handy – it’s the one with a white boot on an orange background.

App co-founder Rhonda Oshanek says the Moses Rock to Gracetown section is one of the most picturesque, a great reward after a challenging beach walk. “If you can time your hike to be at the Wilyabrup Cliffs for a nice sunset, the change in colour on the orange cliff faces is really special.”

If you can time your hike to be at the Wilyabrup Cliffs for a nice sunset, the change in colour on the orange cliff faces is really special

Cape to Cape Track
Image Credit: Sean Blocksidge, Margaret River Discovery Tours