The Contos to Bob’s Hollow Hike is a must-do if you enjoy terrific views and easy walking. This 1/2 day hike is part of the 135 km long Cape to Cape Track. If you don’t know it, it runs between the two lighthouses–Naturaliste in the north and Leeuwin in the south. Over a thousand people walk it in one continuous go from end to end (5-7 days) each year, but thousands more go for day hikes. I’m one of those day hikers (who has the intention of someday walking it end to end!).
The track is managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife in conjunction with the Friends of the Cape to Cape. Together they organise group walks, track realignments and infrastructure upgrades. The Friends also do a lot of pruning of all of that dense scratchy coastal scrub to keep the track open and accessible.
It’s the perfect time of year to go for a hike. The cooler weather and more dramatic skies and ocean make a walk along any of the track very pleasant. The light is softer, the sun less harsh and the flies have disappeared. Our favourite section is the one from Conto Springs out to Bob’s Hollow and back. You can either walk it out on the Cape to Cape Track which follows along the clifftops, then cut down to the beach and come back along it, or reverse your path.
Contos has good surfing for experienced surfers only. It’s also a popular place to take a dip or throw in a line. As you meander along the track, you will notice the vegetation changes from short, scrubby bush to areas with peppermint trees and back to scrubby bush again. If you are a lover of wildflowers, then it’s a walk you should also put on your to-do list in spring (plus you’re likely to see whales migrating south).
The path is generally flat with a few gently rolling sections. It’s a combination of firm sand and old limestone rocks that were clearly part of a cave that existed long ago. There are a few benches where you can sit and contemplate life, and several small lookouts.
The track starts to drop at about the 3.5 km mark. Here you should go both to the left and to the right (the right is the continuation of the Cape to Cape Track) and explore the base of the interesting limestone cliffs. To the left you may see a few rock climbers. There is also a small grove of peppermint trees here that makes a good lunch spot if it’s a bit warm.
If you would like to come back along the beach, then follow the path down the dunes between the two cliffs, kick off your shoes and enjoy looking up at the cliffs you just walked above.
Along the way you may encounter a few of the charming locals!
There is a path from Contos Campground that will bring you on to the Cape to Cape–ask the camp hosts for details. If you are driving and planning on walking out and back on the track, you can park on the road about 1 km up from the springs, where you see the Cape to Cape cross the road. Or if you are doing the whole loop, you can park at Contos Spring and walk back up the road to pick up the track. The road is a bit dull and dusty, so we think it’s best to do it at the start of the hike, not at the end.
Get the App
This screenshot is from the Margaret River Find the Fun Android App. If you download it you can use it to help find your way along the track. Because it uses GPS and doesn’t use the internet, it will always show your location on the map, even when there is no internet coverage. And as a bonus, it’s free because it’s not using your data!
If you have an Android phone or tablet, you can download it here.