Hidden Beach

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Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park

Hidden Beach: Hellfire Bay, Australia

August 05, 2009
by Sarah Amandolare
A road trip along Western Australia’s southern coast will bring travelers to Cape Le Grand National Park, home to secluded beaches, including the remote Hellfire Bay. Wear comfortable walking shoes, pack a fishing pole, and prepare for the lengthy but rewarding coastal walk to the Bay’s glimmering turquoise waters.

Cape Le Grand

Known as Sand Plains, the Cape Le Grand National Park in Western Australia is about 500 miles from Perth and about 30 miles from Esperance, a pretty coastal town renowned for its beaches. The Park is a geologist’s dream, with sandy plains, shrubby coastal heath, and outcrops of granite and gneiss interspersed with swampy waters and freshwater pools. Such diverse and opposing natural features are tied together by the area’s snow-white sand and vivid blue water. Believe it or not, kangaroos tend to sprawl out on the beaches here, as well.

The Coastal Hike to Hellfire Bay

From Cape Le Grand, after paying the $10 park fee, follow Coastal Trail signs to Hellfire Bay. The twisting trek is between two and three hours long, with superb views of the coast.

It’s possible to drive to Hellfire Bay, albeit along remote, dusty roads. Though the beach feels far removed, small crowds can build, sometimes with barbeques in tow.

View photos of a trip to Cape Le Grand featuring Hellfire Bay, a fishing spot, and coastal scenery that combines elements of the country’s outback and surf cultures. The remoteness of Australia’s West Coast is reminiscent of a Pacific or Caribbean island, but the sand-colored rock that crops up around beaches and the lounging lizards set the area apart.

These pictures of one traveler’s trek along the coast from Le Grand Beach to Rossiter Bay showcase glimpses of Hellfire Bay. The rocky, untamed landscape in shades of blue, green and clay is the picture-perfect Australia: rustic and tough, but with a soft side.

The Sporting Scoop

Lazing is an activity favored by many (including the kangaroos and lizards), but bushwalking, beach camping and rock climbing are also popular pursuits in this West Coast haven. For rock climbing, head to the southwest corner of Cape Le Grand, where “massive granite outcrops form a chain of peaks.”

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