Some waterfalls are easy to find.
Others you stumble across when you’re sweaty and exhausted, trekking on the Cape to Cape track in Yallingup, Western Australia.
Finding the Quinninup Falls was on the top of my “To Do” list when I took a camping road trip to the South-West of WA. My friend Morgan and I were determined to find them – despite a complete lack of directions on Google, and absolutely no idea how or where to find them.
These falls are actually the reason I was inspired to make my Chasing Waterfalls blog. Well, they sparked the idea. With just our mobile phones as aid, it was really difficult to source information on where we needed to go and what we needed to do in order to get to these falls. I wanted to make it my life’s mission to make it easy for people like me, so that time wasn’t wasted driving up and down the wrong streets, or coming to an unsealed road with a shock. Things like that which would really help a budding traveller.
You see, these falls are tucked away on a segment of the Cape to Cape hiking trail along the Cape Naturalist Region – Leeuwin. Hence, we had to actually hike to find them, but which beach did we need to go to? Did we go left or right at the crossroads? That was dilemma number 1.
We started off in the complete wrong direction – at the end of Moses Rock Road, we went left and after a long dusty road, wound up in a very small carpark that backed onto huge sand dunes. We consequently thought we needed to get to higher ground in order to find the waterfall, because, well, water has to flow from up high, right?
So we hiked an unbelievably steep sand dune (photos do not do it justice but hopefully gives you some sort of idea) and aside from some pretty awesome views, we achieved nothing but losing our breath.
We aborted that mission, and decided to try the next beach (back the way we had come). See there are carparks left and right of the dusty roads, so it’s a bit of a gamble if you don’t know where you are going. (Don’t worry, I will help you out).
We followed the road we had come from and eventually pulled into another carpark – packed-full, might I add (this is Moses Rock Road Car Park on Google Maps). We stared out to the beach and argued for a second about which one of us were going to ask the local-looking surfers and oldies if we were in the right place. In the end it had to be me, so I manned up and asked, “Which way do we have to go to get to the falls on the Cape to Cape?” trying my best not to sound like a typical tourist.
They kindly gave us directions to drive right to the next carpark, and trek along that section of the Cape to Cape which was apparently clearly marked.
Road Map, Moses Rock Road Carpark, Wilyabup. Google Maps (2016).
So, to sum up. Drive to Moses Rock Road (which comes off Caves Road in Wilyabup) until you hit a fork in the road. Turn right along the white dusty gravel and park your car the first small carpark you come across. Get out, find the sign to the right of the road that says Cape to Cape, and begin the journey.
Because, a journey it is. We trekked through a thin track with barren shrub, and those small plants that smell like urine. Some sections were wet, and we got excited. But we were far from flowing water.
Which way, which way?
Word of advice – don’t get excited until you reach parts that are sandy. A steep sandy hill (which you walk down – thank the lord) winds around a curve until you find rich, red/orange Earth.
Once you walk around the corner, the falls suddenly appear, as if out of nowhere. They are small, but beautiful. Smack bang in the middle of nowhere.
We were game enough to get in – though it was absolutely freezing and the sliminess of the floor and debris, I would not recommend.
You’ve travelled such a fair way, most likely in blistering Australian heat, so you may as well cool off under the fresh, clean water.
The walk back is hot enough, so a refreshing dip might be just what you need to help aid the hike. I’ll definitely be back here in the winter time, as I’ve heard the falls get much heavier than they were during this time (September).