Stunning Shelley Beach is a lovely swimming spot and a good place to throw a line, or head to The Steps for great rock fishing.
West Cape Howe National Park
This park between Denmark and Albany is the most southern point in WA and its seacliffs and wild beaches draw rock climbers, beachgoers, bushwalkers, hang-gliders, surfers and fishermen. 2WD vehicles can access the park via Shelley Beach Road, but almost all the other sites within the park require a 4WD. There are a few camping bays at Shelley Beach (the winding gravel road should not be attempted by anyone towing a caravan) along with the only toilets in the park.
Experienced rock climbers will find kilometres of high quality climbing routes at West Cape Howe, but be careful of loose rock towards the top, and changing sea conditions at the base (always check conditions before attempting). There are a handful of 4WD tracks through the park; one of the most challenging is the track to Broholm Beach (don’t even attempt it unless you have a serious 4WD, a tyre gauge, pump, radio and supplies). Always check with the Denmark or Albany visitor centres to see which tracks are open and if you’re equipped to handle them. Golden Gate Beach (4WD only) averages 2m waves, and is a popular surfing spot, but be cautious of the rocks scattered through the inner surf. Australian salmon, shark, groper, mulloway, whiting and herring can be caught across the park. Stunning Shelley Beach is a lovely swimming spot and a good place to throw a line, or head to The Steps for good rock fishing (wear a life vest and check sea conditions). Easterly winds make the best conditions, particularly in summer, for hang-gliding and paragliding. The take-off spot is at the Shelley Beach lookout and you must register with the Department of Parks and Wildlife (08 9842 4500) before taking to the skies.
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