D'Entrecasteaux National Park - SW WA

Posted on: 12/09/2014

Natural features

Defining the coastline are thin strips of white sand that characterise many of Western Australia’s beaches, which are broken up by rocky coastal cliffs that king waves routinely smash against. A section of these cliffs on the northern side of D’Entrecasteaux are impressive due to their puzzling symmetry, and can be found at Black Point. An outcrop of black basalt columns defined by their perfect hexagonal shape stand perpendicular to the ocean, their unique feature caused by the cooling process during their formation by a lava flow from the Darling Scarp 135 million years ago.

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Inland, D’Entrecasteaux National Park is predominantly green and sandy, with dominating coastal heathlands interspersed with WA’s signature karri forest and woodlands. Amongst this are Yeagarup Dunes, a truly unique 10km stretch of sand that rises well above the forest surrounding it. A haven for four-wheel driving, what’s fascinating about Yeagarup is that the dunes are ‘mobile’, blowing slowly but surely at a rate of four metres a year to gradually engulf the forest.

A 4WD and touring map of D
'Entrecasteaux National Park in South West Western Australia

Around Yeagaurup Dunes and interrupting the domination of the woodlands are pockets of lakes and swamps, with the impressive Lake Jasper the most well known of these. Pure white beaches and dense bush surround the lake and a campsite exists on the eastern side, making it a popular school holiday destination.

Four-wheel driving and other activities

There are numerous tracks throughout D’Entrecasteaux, and they are predominantly sand. It’s recommended to lower your tyre pressure to 16-20psi to deal with the softness of the sand, with some advising as low as 10psi in some areas like around the beaches.

Trips to West Cliff Point and Warren Beach require low range and high clearance, while the drive to Lake Jasper calls for high clearance at the least. One of the main places to engage 4WD in D’Entrecasteaux National Park is obviously Yeagarup Dunes, which offers rolling expanses of dunes to have fun with, and is home to the epic Callcup Hill.

Driving in the dunes around Yeagarup

There are numerous campgrounds within the park, most close to the coast and some are often quiet due to the difficulty to reach them. You can even sleep in Banksia Camp Hut or Moores Hut near Northcliffe, which was made in 1910 from pressed tin taken from a wreck, and which accommodates 12.

Fishing is also a popular activity in D’Entrecasteaux, though beware of king waves if you are rock fishing.

INFORMATION

LOCATION: 315 km south of Perth

BEST TIME OF YEAR: Spring and Autumn, as it can get hot in Summer as well as wet and windy in Winter.

CAMPING: Banksia Camping Area, Black Point Camping Area, Crystal Springs Camping Area, Grass Tree Hollow & Snottygobble Loop Camping Areas, Lake Jasper Camping Area, Leaning Marri Camping Area, Moores Hut Camping Area. There is also walk-in bush camping at Cleave Bush Camping Area and beach camping at Fish Creek, Gardner Beach, Coodamurrup Beach and West Cliff Point.