Western AustraliaSouthwest Free All Year Outdoor
Rock Formation

Sugarloaf Rock

A pristine example of raw, untouched nature located within the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. Sugarloaf Rock's beauty was exemplified on a cover of Australian Geographic magazine, and captured by Dunsborough's Christian Fletcher, winning him the coveted Australian Landscape Photographer of the Year award.

Sugarloaf Rock is exquisite to behold at any time of the year. During winter, waves savagely crash into the rock, sending white sea spray sky high. In summer, sunrays dance in the calm, crystal-clear water. The view is most spectacular during sunset, when the waning light bounces off the rock's reddish-brown base, giving it a regal ambiance.

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Price

Free

Time Spent

15-30minutes

Fitness level: Easy

Hours

24 hours7 days

Look Around

Sunset sunbeams behind Sugarloaf Rock.Sunset sunbeams behind Sugarloaf Rock.
North facing view with Cape Naturaliste in the distance.North facing view with Cape Naturaliste in the distance.

Who Will Like Sugarloaf Rock

Nature Lover

Witness the uniquely shaped rock that resembles a lump of sugar up close. The rock’s lookout point is also a popular place to spot Humpback and Southern Right whales, dolphins, and sea birds. Wander through the surrounding national park to see Western Australia’s wild flowers burst into color in Spring.

Outdoor Trailblazer

Tackle the 270 km hiking trail from Dunsborough to Sugarloaf Rock. The walk should take approximately 2.5-3 hours depending on your speed and fitness level.

Photography Whiz

Park your tripod on the observation deck from the beginning of golden hour until the end of sunset to capture unique details in the rock’s formation as sunlight slowly shifts across its surface.

Road Tripper

Pull into the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park during your next Southwest road trip to admire the spectacular rock while you stretch your legs after a long drive.

Insider Tips For Sugarloaf Rock

  • Rare red-tailed tropic birds can be spotted in the national park between September and February.
  • Whales can be seen near Sugarloaf Rock during migration season between July and October. Bring binoculars for the best chance of spotting one.
  • Do not go past the boundary fence near the observation deck. Several fishermen have lost their lives by getting too close to Sugarloaf Rock due to unpredictable waves.
  • Download offline Google Maps of the region before leaving WiFi access in case you lose cellphone reception on the way.

Video

Where Is It

Sugarloaf Rd, Naturaliste WA 6281, Australia

Open map...

How To Get There

Car

Free • Large public carpark available. A wooden path to the observation deck is visible from the carpark - follow signage.

Driving directions... Walking directions from car...

What To Bring

Do:
  • Binoculars for whale, dolphin, or bird watching.
  • Snacks and drinks to enjoy while watching the sunset.
  • Camera and tripod.
Don't:
  • Dogs. Pets are not permitted in Western Australia's national parks.

Tech & Photography

Wifi

Public wifi access: None

Photography

Photography allowed: Yes

Tripod allowed: Yes

Selfie sticks allowed: Yes

Best time to shoot: Golden Hour

Tips: Use a 3 or 9 stop ND filter to capture wave motion at a slower shutter speed and achieve an artistic blur. Bring a microfiber cloth to clean salt and sea spray from your lens. Particularly in winter, strong winds can blow sea spray long distances, resulting in fine dots on your camera lens and undesirable dark spots on your beautiful photo. When shooting into the sunset, use a bracketed exposure and blend the shots using HDR software (such as Lightroom).

Drones

Drones allowed: Yes (subject to national/regional rules)

Bags

Backpacks allowed: Yes

Secured bag lockers available: No

Backstory

Only local fisherman braved the bush track through coastal shrubs to access the oddly shaped rock until a limestone rock roadway was constructed in the 1930s. The rough unpredictable ocean conditions have claimed the lives of several fishermen. A danger sign was erected to stop visitors venturing too close to the rocky coastline.

Etiquette

Do:
  • Follow and obey signage. 
  • Wear suitable clothing including wind-proof jackets and comfortable shoes. 
  • Visit in summer when rough winds are less likely.
Don't:
  • Walk off dedicated pathways into the bush.

Scorecard

Best Parts:
  • Opportunities to view wild animals like dolphins, whales, and birds.
  • Quiet, uncrowded site where you can feel close to nature. 
  • Beauty of site during golden hour and sunset. A playground for photographers. 
Could Be Better:
  • Lack of shelter from the potentially-fierce wind.
  • No food options or restrooms.
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