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15 Unique Things To Do In Yallingup: Surfing, Cave-Exploring, Whale-Watching And More!

Yallingup is known for having one of the most famous (and reliable) surf breaks in the region, but there’s much more to do there than riding waves.

As part of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Yallingup boasts turquoise rockpools, beautiful lookouts, and bucket-list hikes.

The town is also home to the intriguing Ngilgi Caves, which are near the unique Caves House Gardens.

Plus, this corner of paradise is less than a 3-hour drive from Perth! Making for an excellent weekend trip from Western Australia’s capital.

And with the South West Region on its doorstep, there are endless activities to choose from! Here are 15 to choose from:

Jewel Cave in Margaret River. Image by Salt and Charcoal
Jewel Cave, Margaret River

1) Explore the ancient Ngilgi caves

Previously known as Yallingup Cave, the Ngilgi Caves are a 500.000-year-old limestone cave system. They are a short distance from Yallingup Beach.

Entering these underground caves takes you to a separate world!

Some sections reach depths of +35 metres, with stalactites and stalagmites adorning each chamber – it’s an experience you will never forget.

If you’re not claustrophobic, visiting this geological marvel is a must. It has many steep stairs going through tight spaces, so bring comfortable shoes.

To enter the caves, you have to do a Ngilgi Cave tour. This is the one we recommend.

Note: Please, do not touch the crystals! They are extremely rare (they take 100 years to grow 1 centimetre) and the natural oil from our hands damages them.

2) Bathe at Injidup Natural Spa

Injidup Natural Spa is a beautiful hidden rock pool, created by the swell of the Indian Ocean. It has a small natural waterfall too, where you can sit and let it wash over you (you have to try it, it’s so, so relaxing).

This paradisiac spot is not a hidden gem anymore, though – it’s one of the most renowned tourist attractions near Yallingup.

We wrote an entire guide on this attraction, sharing the tips we used to avoid crowds. We shared the spot with just one tourist (a nudist German, but I digress!).

Whatever time or month you choose to visit, please make sure to double-check Injidup’s tide chart. For safety reasons, it’s best to avoid this spot during a high tide, or during high seas.

Injidup Beach Local attractions injidup yallingup southwest Australia
Injidup Beach is great for surfing and fishing.

3) Check out Injidup Beach

This rugged beach is famous for its surf breaks, amazing snorkelling, and excellent fishing from the shore.

It’s a quick 5-minute drive south of Injidup Natural Spa and, thankfully, not as crowded – the beach is long enough for everyone to have a spot.

There are public toilets and a carpark, but it’s unpatrolled. So, if you want a beach that’s 100% safe for the family, go to Yallingup Beach instead.

4) Swim at Yallingup Beach

Yallingup Beach is a 2-minute walk from the heart of town, and it’s perfect for everyone – from families looking for a tranquil spot to surfers in search of the perfect wave.

It’s one of our favourite beaches in the area, as it has two distinct sections:

  • To the left is Yallingup Lagoon, a kid-friendly shallow section of the beach. Swim and snorkel on the crystal-clear water!
  • To the right, excellent surf breaks for surfers of all levels.

The beach has facilities like public toilets, showers, BBQ and a picnic area.

5) Smith’s Beach

Smith’s Beach is one of the more secluded areas of Yallingup. But don’t let this fool you. It’s very accessible, at a 7-minute drive from Yallingup Beach.

It’s an excellent spot for fishing from the shore, snorkelling, swimming, and surfing. There are also a few great hikes around, like Smith’s Twins.

6) Go Snorkelling at The Aquarium

This is a snorkeler’s paradise, with crystal-clear turquoise waters and several rock pools to explore! It gets between 1-3 metres in depth, so it can be enjoyed by kids and adults of all levels of experience.

There aren’t any toilets or other facilities nearby, though. Bring at least water and a rubbish bag to leave no trace of your visit.

To get there:

  • Drive through Canal Rocks Road to get to the nearest car park, this one.
  • Once there, hike north for 10 minutes, following the Cape to Cape markers.
  • You’ll get to a crossroads, where you can either keep walking north or turn to your left, down to a wide track that ends in the ocean. Turn left!

The carpark is near Kathleen’s seat lookout, so make sure to check that spot before or after your snorkelling session.

7) Explore Canal Rocks

Further down the road from The Aquarium, sits this unique natural formation – a canal between the rocks, carved by the Indian Ocean through millennia.

Come here to take in the jaw-dropping views and, if you’re a confident swimmer, do some snorkelling!

There are wooden bridges to cross over the canal safely. It’s mindblowing (and a bit scary) to stand over the canal, as the ocean flows through it beneath your feet.

Bring comfortable shoes as there’s a bit of rock climbing involved. There’s a public boat ramp available, a huge car park, and toilets.

8) Hike the Cape to Cape track (or a section of it)

The Cape to Cape walk track is a beautiful, grade 4, 125km hike.

It goes from Cape Naturaliste lighthouse, through Yallingup and Hamelin Bay, all the way down to Cape Leeuwin lighthouse.

The path is gorgeous, taking you through cliff-top lookouts to pristine beaches. It takes 5-8 days to complete.

But you can hike parts of it! For example, the track between Yallingup Beach and Injidup Beach is 10km long.

For the average hiker, it takes around 2.5 hours (non-stop) and passes through some awesome spots mentioned earlier, such as:

  • Smith’s beach
  • The Aquarium
  • Canal Rocks
  • Injidup Natural Spa
  • Injidup Beach

If you want to try hiking the entire Cape to Cape track, here’s an awesome guide with tips to prepare you for it. There are also tours for this, the most popular provider is Cape to Cape Tours.

Whale Watching Yallingup

9) Go whale-watching

In Western Australia’s southwest, whale season is between June through December.

You can see them breaching from the shore or one of the lookouts! For those wanting a closer look at these gentle giants, booking a tour is the best choice.

Most whale-watching tours depart from Dunsborough, a quick 10-minute drive from Yallingup.

Recommended whale-watching tour: Whale Watching Eco Tour from Dunsborough

10) Learn about the Aboriginal history

The traditional owners of Yallingup and its surroundings are the Wadandi and Bibbulman people, who are part of the Noongar people.

They’ve walked these lands for tens of thousands of years, shaping it with their stories and ancient traditions.

And thankfully, we can learn more about their beautiful culture through tours, operated by them.

In Yallingup, you can book these cultural tours with Koomal Dreaming. Your tour guide will be Josh “Koomal” Whiteland, a Wadandi custodian.

11) Find your way out of the Yallingup maze & mini-golf

The Yallingup maze is perfect for kids and adults alike, as there are varying levels of difficulty. It’s made out of timber panels, which are reconfigured every 3 months!

If you’d rather not get lost in a gigantic maze, why not play mini-golf? There are 18 holes, with 6 cascading waterfalls – it’s spectacular.

But the best part is the cafe. It has free puzzles and games to play while you have a snack… It’s the place to be if you want to switch off your brain.

12) Have a picnic at Caves House Gardens

The Caves House gardens are both beautiful and massive! You can explore them through one of their many walking trails, or just chill on the grass with a picnic to laze away the day.

It has plenty of luxury accommodations with direct views of the gardens, like Caves House Hotel and Seashells Yallingup.

13) Try the local foods and wineries

During your visit to Yallingup, you have to visit at least one of these places:

  • Cape Lavender Tea House. Here’s where you get the Insta-famous lavender ice cream – it’s purple!
  • Gabriel Chocolate. For a luxury experience at a 5-minute drive from Yallingup, visit this chocolate factory. They bring cacao beans from all over the world.
  • Swings & Roundabouts. This is a winery, where you can try some of the famous wines of the Margaret River Region. They have two venues, the one in Yallingup is here.

14) Try one of these bucket-list tours

There are things you can only do in Yallingup (like the Ngilgi Caves), but sometimes it’s hard to commit to a tour if you’re not 100% sure you’ll be able to visit.

So, most of the tours below have a “Reserve Now & Pay Later” feature, as well as a lowest price guarantee.

This allows you to plan your tours while having wiggle room for any change of plans! Check them out:

Ngilgi Cave Ancient Lands Experience

This semi-guided tour is required to access the Ngilgi caves. You’ll learn about the history of the caves, the Aboriginal legends surrounding them, and much more.

Margaret River: Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse Guided Tour

In this immersive 30-minute tour, you’ll learn all about the history of the lighthouse and peak into the life of a lighthouse keeper. And the panoramic views you’ll get are unparalleled.

Plus, when you book the tour, you just have to choose the day. Take the tour anywhere between 9:30 am to 4:30 pm to easily fit your itinerary.

Dunsborough: Whale Watching Eco-Tour

If you visit between September and early December, book this tour.

It’s 2.5 hours long and your tour guide will be a marine biologist, who’ll share everything about these incredible creatures.

Plus, the price is truly a bargain compared to other whale-watching tours!

Organic Vineyard/Farm Tour in Windows Estate

Windows Estate is a certified organic vineyard 10 minutes from Yallingup. Chris and Jo, the owners, will share all the intricacies of winemaking, followed by a private tasting.

15) Explore other nearby towns and attractions

Yallingup is a short drive from other popular towns you should definitely check out as well, such as:

  • Dunsborough
  • Busselton
  • Margaret River
  • Hamelin Bay
  • Augusta
  • Quinninup Falls

These are some of the many things to do in the Southwest! Try including at least one of them in your itinerary, you won’t regret it.

Top accommodations in Yallingup

Yallingup is a small town, but there are PLENTY of accommodation options! From caravan parks and luxury resorts to cozy guesthouses and self-catering apartments.

The cheaper options are around $170-$200 (AUD) per night. There’s no free camping available in Yallingup.

With that in mind:

  • Choose a place that suits your budget and preferences, while giving you easy access to the attractions you want to explore.
  • Book your stay as soon as you can. We can’t stress this enough!

Take advantage of “Reserve Now & Pay Later” and fully refundable properties to plan your trip (we included some of them below).

That said, here are our favourite Yallingup accommodation options:

Tasman Holiday Parks ($)

There are two Tasman Holiday Parks in Yallingup – one in front of Yallingup Beach, and another near Caves House Gardens.

We prefer the one on the beach, as it’s literally in front of it! Just cross the street and you’re in the lagoon.

There are cabins for couples and families, and the caravan/camping sites are dog-friendly.

Smiths Beach Resort ($$-$$$)

This aparthotel is only a short walk from Smith’s Beach. It’s perfect if you want a luxury experience without breaking the bank.

There are rooms and beach shacks (with options for up to 8 people), two pools, a spa, a restaurant, and a tennis court.

Chandler Smiths villas ($-$$)

This is another option near Smiths Beach. It’s a collection of private villas that accommodate up to 4 people. All of them have stunning views of the gardens and the ocean!

Staying here feels very luxurious, although it doesn’t show in the price.

Caves house hotel ($-$$)

This hotel overlooks the Caves House gardens and it’s within walking distance from the Ngilgi Caves.

Apart from offering a wide variety of rooms (from budget to luxury options), the Caves House Hotel has an excellent restaurant and hosts live music events.

RAC Busselton Holiday Park ($-$$)

Busselton is less than a 30-minute drive from Yallingup. It’s a bigger town with plenty to do, that’s why some visitors prefer staying there instead.

If that sounds like something you’d want, we recommend staying at RAC Busselton Holiday Park.

This caravan park is on the outskirts of Busselton, so it feels secluded enough to enjoy nature while being close enough to Busselton’s town centre to check out the main attractions.

When is the best time to visit Yallingup, Western Australia?

For us, the best time to visit Yallingup is September. It coincides with wildflower season and whale season, plus the surfing conditions are excellent.

The weather is great for hiking, too. Although for some people, it may be still a bit cold for water activities

Some accommodations also offer low-season prices in September, increasing them in October.

Plus, there are very few people during that period, as most tourists visit between December and January.

That said, Yallingup has a mild Mediterranean climate. So, any month is a good one!

How to get to Yallingup?

Yallingup is a 2.5-hour drive south of Perth. This road trip takes you through Bunbury and Busselton, which make for great stops along the way.

The nearest airport is Busselton Margaret River Airport, a 35-minute drive from Yallingup.

At the moment of writing, it hosts mostly charter flights, although Jetstar offers flights to and from Melbourne 3 times a week.

Top tips

Yallingup is very touristy, so try booking the tours you’d like to do as soon as you can. Some operators like Viator or Get Your Guide have special features like “reserve now & pay later” to plan your trip. Take advantage of that to create a flexible itinerary.

Did you know?

The Traditional Owners of this area are the Wadandi people.

They follow a 6-season calendar based on the changes in nature, including the flowering of plants, fertility cycles of animals, hibernation of reptiles, the direction of the winds, and more.

By paying attention to nature and its seasons, they’re able to live in harmony with their environment.

FAQ

What is Yallingup known for?

Yallingup is known for the quality of surfing, as it has very consistent surf breaks. It’s also known for its rich aboriginal history and unique attractions, like the Ngilgi Caves.

Can you swim in Yallingup Beach?

Yes, you can swim in Yallingup Beach. On the left side of the beach, there’s a lagoon that’s perfect for swimming and snorkelling, while the right side is ideal for surfing.

Where to stop between Yallingup and Perth?

Between Yallingup and Perth, stop in Bunbury, Busselton, and Dunsborough. On your way back, you could also stop in Harvey and Waroona to explore other lesser-known spots of Western Australia’s south-west.

The bottom line

With its awe-inspiring beauty and deep-rooted Aboriginal history, Yallingup is an excellent destination for everyone – families, couples, and solo travellers.

Whether you’re a surfer chasing the perfect wave or a hiker yearning to explore ancient forests, Yallingup has it all! No wonder so many people choose it as their summer escape.

It’s also one of the many spots to check out on any road trip through the south-west! Don’t miss the opportunity to explore it.

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