Compare the Capes

Capes Naturaliste and Leeuwin

SW West Map
Capes Naturaliste and Leeuwin, WA Source: Google Maps

In the south west corner of Western Australia, best described by Easterners as the Margaret River region are two similar lighthouses. On the northern tip near fashionable Dunsborough is Cape Naturaliste. The lighthouse here is 20 metres tall and was built in 1903. We visited on a sunny spring day and as we stood at the top of the light our guide insisted that there were whales out at sea. Well the best that I can say is that we have become better at spotting whales since then.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

On the southern tip is Cape Leeuwin near the commercial fishing town of Augusta. The lighthouse was built in 1895. When we visited Cape Leeuwin it was autumn and raining. It rained for days on end, we got soaked and ducks took up residence in the puddles around our caravan but at the lighthouse we did get to see where the two oceans, the Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean, meet and even in the rain we didn’t need a sign to see the turbulence in the water. The lighthouse is an impressive 39 metres high. This cape was named by navigator Matthew Flinders in honour of the first known ship to visit this cape, the Dutch ship Leeuwin (Lioness) in 1622.

Cape Leeuwin
Cape Leeuwin lighthouse, impressive even in soaking rain


Can you see the pale line of turbulence stretching out towards the horizon to the right of the sign?

There is a lesser known attraction at Cape Leeuwin, The Waterwheel at Cape Leeuwin  is in itself worthy of a visit.

10 thoughts on “Compare the Capes

  1. 6 years ago Deb and I walked the Cape To Cape Track, 130km along the coast and Karri forest between these two lighthouses. It was the start of our love affair with WA and Margaret River in particular. The Cape Leeuwin lighthouse is a beautiful lighthouse with great views from to top!


  2. Great photos and we too love a lighthouse. Not sure why but perhaps it’s their position as the last building somehow defending the shore? Who knows, they’re cool whatever.


      1. You’re so right, always makes you think of what they had to go through to build the lighthouse in that location and also the fate of all the ships that passed that way.


  3. When I was young I always used to think it would be marvelous to live in a lighthouse. I suspect that was something to do with not having to go to school, lighthouses being so remote (usually). I wouldn’t fancy it now, but still love them.


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