Caves Road (Western Australia)

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Caves Road

Caves Road (Western Australia)
General information
TypeRural road
Length111 km (69 mi) [1]
Maintained by Main Roads Western Australia
Tourist routesAustralian Tourist Drive 250.svg Tourist Drive 250 (south of Cape Naturaliste Road)
Major junctions
North-east end Bussell Highway, Abbey
  • Australian Tourist Drive 250.svg Cape Naturaliste Road (Tourist Drive 250)
  • Cowaramup Bay Road
  • Wallcliffe Road
  • Boodjidup Road
  • Bushby Road
South endAustralian state route 10.svg Bussell Highway (State Route 10), Augusta
Major settlements Dunsborough, Yallingup, Margaret River

Caves Road is a 111-kilometre-long (69 mi) [1] scenic route in the South West region of Western Australia. It connects western Busselton with Augusta, running along or to the west of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste ridge, and is an alternative route to Bussell Highway. Caves Road is also a major component of the route from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, in what is known as the state's Capes Region.


Route description

Starting at Bussell Highway in Abbey, west of Busselton, Caves Road initially heads west passing the Locke Nature Reserve or "Holy Mile" through Dunsborough to Yallingup. From there the road travels southwards, between the coast and Bussell Highway, which it rejoins at the northern edge of Augusta. [2] [3]

Caves Road forms the majority of Tourist Drive 250, which is named Caves Road Tourist Drive. The route runs from Cape Naturaliste, north-west of Dunsborough, to Cape Leeuwin, south of Augusta. [4]

Most of the surfing locations that are on the coastline between Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste are accessed via Caves Road.

It is a narrow winding road in most parts, and much has been made of its picturesque quality [5] and passage through Karri forest. [6]


Caves Road was named due to it being a way to access the caves of the region, [7] [8] though it was sometimes referred to as Margaret Caves Road. [9] It has since also been considered as a tourist route within the road network, and designated as such in the 1990s. [4]

The road for a long time was a gravel road only, and in the 1930s to 1960s its condition was a problem. [10] A few sections run for only short straight alignments; its upgrading and maintenance is an ongoing issue. [11] [12]

See also

Related Research Articles

Margaret River, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Margaret River is a town in the South West of Western Australia, located in the valley of the eponymous Margaret River, 277 kilometres (172 mi) south of Perth, the state capital. Its Local Government Area is the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park Protected area in Western Australia

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is a national park in the South West region of Western Australia, 267 km (166 mi) south of Perth. It is named after the two locations at either end of the park which have lighthouses, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste. It is located in the Augusta-Margaret River and Busselton council areas, and is claimed to have the highest visiting numbers of any national park in Western Australia. The park received 2.33 million visitors through 2008–2009.

Busselton City in Western Australia

Busselton is a city in the South West region of the Australian state of Western Australia. As of the 2016 census, Busselton had a population of 25,329. Founded in 1832 by the Bussell family, Busselton is 220 km (140 mi) south-west of Perth, the capital of Western Australia. Busselton was voted Western Australia's top tourist town in 1995, 1996, and 2005.

The South West region is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is so named because it is located in the south-west corner of Western Australia. The South West region has an area of 23,970 km², and a population of about 170,000 people, which is predicted to rise to 217,000 people by 2023. Bunbury is the capital of the region.

Shire of Augusta–Margaret River Local government area in Western Australia

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River is a local government area in the south-west corner of the South West region of Western Australia, approximately 270 kilometres (168 mi) south of Perth. The shire covers an area of 2,243 square kilometres (866 sq mi) and had a population of over 14,000 at the 2016 Census, about half of whom live in the towns of Margaret River and Augusta.

Bussell family family of early settlers in colonial Western Australia

The Bussell family were a family of early settlers in colonial Western Australia. The four brothers John, Joseph, Alfred and Charles emigrated from England on the Warrior, arriving at Fremantle on 12 March 1830. Lennox, Frances and Elizabeth arrived at Fremantle on the Cygnet on 27 January 1833, and Mrs Frances Louisa and Mary arrived at Albany on 19 June 1834.

Augusta, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Augusta is a town on the south-west coast of Western Australia, where the Blackwood River emerges into Flinders Bay. It is the nearest town to Cape Leeuwin, on the furthest southwest corner of the Australian continent. In the 2001 census it had a population of 1,091; by 2016 the population of the town was 1,109.

Dunsborough, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Dunsborough is a coastal town in the South West of Western Australia, 254 kilometres (158 mi) south of Perth on the shores of Geographe Bay.

Hamelin Bay, Western Australia locality on the south-west coast of Western Australia, named after the nearby bay

Hamelin Bay is a bay and a locality on the south-west coast of Western Australia between Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste. It is named after French explorer Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin who sailed through the area in about 1801. It is south of Cape Freycinet.

Cape Naturaliste Western Australia

Cape Naturaliste is a headland in the south western region of Western Australia at the western edge of the Geographe Bay. It is the northernmost point of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge which was named after the cape. Also the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and the Cape to Cape hiking track were named after this location.

Bussell Highway highway in south-western region of Western Australia

Bussell Highway is a generally north-south highway in the South West of Western Australia. The highway links the city of Bunbury with the town of Augusta and is approximately 140 kilometres (87 mi) in length. The highway is signed State Route 10, except in Busselton where the construction of the Busselton Bypass in 2000 resulted in this stretch being changed to Alternate State Route 10 with the Bypass signed State Route 10.

Karridale, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Karridale is a small township in the south-west of Western Australia. It is located just north of Augusta and south of Margaret River between Caves Road and Bussell Highway. A newer township was built a short distance north east of the original Old Karridale following fires that destroyed the town in 1961. At the 2006 census, Karridale had a population of 285.

Cape to Cape Track long-distance walk trail in Western Australia

The Cape to Cape Walk Track is a long-distance walk trail located in the far south-west corner of Western Australia, 250 kilometres (160 mi) south of Perth. It meanders along the whole length of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, which forms the backbone of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. Its start and finish are the lighthouses at the tips of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. The Track extends over 123 kilometres (76 mi) of coastal scenery, sheltered forests and pristine beaches, and is in close proximity to the caves, vineyards and other features and attractions of the "South West Capes - Margaret River Region".

Yallingup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Yallingup is a town in the South West region of Western Australia, 256 kilometres (159 mi) south of Perth. Yallingup is a popular tourist destination because of its beaches and limestone caves, and proximity to Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.

Coastal regions of Western Australia

Western Australia has the longest coastline of any state or territory in Australia, at 10,194 km or 12,889 km. It is a significant portion of the coastline of Australia, which is 35,877 km.

Boranup, Western Australia locality in Western Australia

Boranup, in the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, is the site of a large coastal dune blow out known as the "Boranup sand patch" as part of the Boranup beach, and the site of a former M. C. Davies timber company mill. The sand patch area and sand blows affected the alignment of the Busselton to Flinders Bay railway.

Surfing locations in the Capes region of South West Western Australia surfing locations between Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia and Cape Naturaliste, Western Australia

Most surf breaks in the Capes region – from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin – within the larger area known as the South West region of Western Australia tend to have the name Margaret River attached, despite the wide geographic range of locations where the breaks are located.

Ngari Capes Marine Park Protected area in Western Australia

The Ngari Capes Marine Park is a marine protected area on the lower south west coast of Western Australia, located approximately 250 kilometres (160 mi) south of Perth. The 123,790-hectare (305,900-acre) marine park was gazetted on 12 June 2012 and the park's western and southern boundaries are the limit of coastal waters of Western Australia, abutting the South-west Corner Marine Park located within the Australian Commonwealth exclusive economic zone.

Tourist Drives in Western Australia are routes through areas of scenic or historic significance, designated by route markers with white numbers on a brown shield. Tourist Drives were introduced into Western Australia while Eric Charlton was the state government Minister for Transport in the 1990s. The 28 numbered routes collectively traverse more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) across the state. In addition to the Tourist Drives, there are unnumbered routes such as the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail, and local governments may designate and maintain local scenic drives, generally unnamed and unnumbered.

Cape Clairault is located south of Yallingup in the coastal region between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin.


  1. 1 2 "Road Information Mapping System". Main Roads Western Australia. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  2. South West Region map (PDF) (PDF). Version 1.0. Cartography by Main Roads Western Australia. Main Roads Western Australia. 13 August 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 August 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  3. Doyle, Pippa (22 February 2010). "800 percent lease hike for 'Holy Mile'". ABC News . Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  4. 1 2 Main Roads Western Australia; Western Australian Tourism Commission; Royal Automobile Club. "Tourist Drives of Western Australia" (PDF). Main Roads Western Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 April 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2013.Additional archives: 11 April 2015 .
  5. "On the Picturesque Cave-road, near Margaret River". The Sunday Times . Perth: National Library of Australia. 25 April 1926. p. 3 Section: Third Section. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  6. "Dappled shadows". The Australian Women's Weekly . National Library of Australia. 21 March 1979. p. 66. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  7. Augusta-Margaret River Tourist Bureau (1997), The caves of Augusta Margaret River, Augusta-Margaret River Tourist Bureau, retrieved 15 December 2013
  8. Stafford, Tatum (30 June 2020). "10 of the best caves in WA". Perth: The Royal Automobile Club of WA. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  9. "DISTRICT NEWS". Bunbury Herald . WA: National Library of Australia. 22 May 1903. p. 3. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  10. "ROAD CONDITIONS". The Daily News . Perth: National Library of Australia. 14 May 1932. p. 7 Edition: FINAL SPORTING EDITION. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  11. "Country Road Allocation". The West Australian . Perth: National Library of Australia. 18 August 1951. p. 6. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  12. ERM Mitchell McCotter Pty. Ltd; Western Australia. Main Roads (1998), Caves Road planning strategy. Stage C, final report, Main Roads Western Australia, retrieved 15 December 2013

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