Lookouts & Walking Trails
The Cape Range National Park boasts several fantastic walk trails, many of which offer spectacular views over the range, canyons, Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth Gulf. However, caution should be exercised when bush walking the Cape Range National Park, especially around canyon areas which have steep walls and can be dangerous due to loose surfaces.
Between December and March, days of extreme temperature exceeding 40°c (104ºF) are common. Walking the trails of the Cape Range National Park is not recommended during this period. Don’t go on your own - always let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Cave areas are unsafe due to oxygen deficiency - for your own safety please remain on existing walking trails. Always carry plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
The lookout at the base of Vlamingh Head lighthouse offers one of the best ocean views on the Ningaloo coast. A full panorama of the tip of North West Cape can be enjoyed here, which includes the Harold E Holt Communications Station VLF towers, Muiron Islands, offshore oil rigs, Ningaloo Reef and the township of Exmouth. Vlamingh Head is also a favorite place for visitors to watch the sun set over the sea or spot humpback whales during their annual migration from June to November.
Mandu Mandu Gorge
Mandu Mandu Gorge has a 3km walking trail which allows access into this dry gorge. The trail starts at the end of the Mandu Mandu track and follows the northern ridge of the gorge, offering stunning panoramic views of the gorge and the Ningaloo Reef.
The trail leads down into the creek bed from where you follow the base of the gorge back to the car park. Please be aware this is a class 4 trail that is often rough and requires walkers to possess a moderate to high level of fitness.
Yardie Nature Trail & Yardie Creek Gorge Trail
The Yardie Nature Trail/Yardie Creek Gorge Trail is a 2km, two part trail that starts with a 1.25km, class 2 trail that requires no particular level of fitness. The Yardie Nature Trail follows a gentle, well defined path that winds along the edge of Yardie Creek, offering views of Yardie Creek and the Ningaloo Reef.
At the end of the Yardie Nature Trail, the 750m Yardie Gorge Trail begins. This is a class 4 trail that is often rough and requires walkers to possess a moderate to high level of fitness. The Yardie Gorge Trail takes walkers high above Yardie Creek with views over the gorge and Ningaloo Reef.
Charles Knife Canyon
Charles Knife Canyon is accessed via Charles Knife Road, 21km south of Exmouth off Minilya-Exmouth Road. The mostly gravel road follows the razor-backed ridges of the range and provides breathtaking downward views into the stark, multicoloured gorges. There are several lookout points that provide fantastic photo opportunities and a marked walking trail from Thomas Carter Lookout.
Badjirrajirra Loop Trail
Badjirrajirra Loop Trail begins at the Thomas Carter Lookout, off Charles Knife Road. This is an 8km, class 4 trail that is often rough and requires walkers to possess a moderate to high level of fitness. A moderately difficult loop trail traversing the top of the Cape Range, the Badjirrajirra Trail winds its way through rocky gullies, small gorges and open spinifex bushland. The walk also offers views of Shothole Canyon and Exmouth Gulf.
The access road into Shothole Canyon is located off Minilya-Exmouth Road, 14kms south of Exmouth. Shothole Canyon was named after the shot holes left by seismographic charge explosions during oil searches in the Cape Range during the 1950s.
The 4WD only gravel road here follows the base of Shothole Canyon, offering close up examination of the colourful, fossil laden rock layers of the sheer canyon walls. At the end of the 12km road there is a picnic area and short walking trail.