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The wonders of Waychinicup

 

Back in March, we had 3 perfect weeks of 4WDing and camping our way around the south coast of WA. One of the memorable places we stayed at was Waychinicup, just near Albany, WA. Waychinicup National Park is a truly magical piece of coastline, with plenty to see and explore. It is unique in many ways, with a small, protected inlet attached to the raging ocean, and flowing through to a river at Cheynes Beach.

Waychinicup from on high

A magic piece of coastline

Where is Waychinicup?

Waychinicup camp ground is 60 odd km's north east of Albany. To get there, just head north east along Chester Pass, then the south coast highway and turn right at Cheyne Road

Waychinicup National Park

Driving into the National Park

What does it mean?

The word Waychinicup means ‘Land of the emu’ in aboriginal, and although we didn’t see any, I guess they must be around!

Facilities

There isn't much here in terms of facilities. There is a drop toilet, and a day use area, but that's about the end of the list. Still, you don't need much; its a perfect location!

4WD Tracks around Waychinicup

The coastline around Waychinicup is truly remarkable. If you have a 4WD, you are able to access the best of it! If you head just back out of the Waychinicup camp grounds, there is a turn off on Cheyne Road that takes you through the bush and onto Cheyne Beach. You can drive up and down the beach in both directions for miles, but will eventually come out at Cheyne Beach Caravan Park. If you head to the northern most part of the tip near Cheyne Beach Caravan Park, a 4WD track starts that takes you right the way around the Waychinicup National Park.

You can see the tracks very clearly on Google Earth. The tracks are mainly sand and rocks, and you need a bit of clearance and the right tyre pressures. I wouldn't be going any higher than 18 PSI when it is soft!These tracks take you right the way around the point, and back onto Cheynes Road.

80 Series at Cheyne Beach

Enjoying Cheyne Beach in the 4WD

Don't turn around here

Helping out a fellow 4WDer who picked a bad place to turn around

Enjoying the national park

Waychinicup National Park

Animal life at Waychinicup

I would go back to Waychinicup just to see the wildlife. The birds alone are incredible, ranging from little wrens through to parrots, honey eaters and bigger birds that I’ve never seen in my life. At night time, we had a friendly Quenda visit twice, saw numerous possums and even saw a Quokka. There is a local racehourse goanna which wanders around during the day, and is a real pleasure to see.

Wrens at Waychinicup

One of many little wrens

Albany's animals

The local goanna

Quenda at Waychinicup

A Quenda on his nightly visits

Amazing wren

Look at those colours!

Waychinicup snakes

Look closely!

Possums at Albany

Noisy possums that were afraid of nothing

We were woken many times by possums. They aren't afraid of anything, and will get into the annex of your tent if its accessible to look for food. Make sure you put anything that is even remotely edible well away if you want a good nights sleep!

Waychinicup Fishing

If you have a canoe or kayak, I’d highly recommend you take it. You can easily launch it from the shore, and it will give you much better access to the better fishing locations within the river and inlet. If you don’t have one, fishing off the rocks is fine too, just make sure you don’t go too far down the river, or you will get nothing. Bream, herring, skippy and King George whiting are common from the inlet, and I imagine some bigger fish would swim in from time to time too.

Fishing at Waychinicup

We didn't have much luck, but it was fun trying

Enjoying the fishing

Plenty of places to try wetting a line

Camping sites

The camp sites at Waychinicup are very small. The biggest 2 wouldnt even be 4 metres by 4 metres, and most of them are only 3 x 3 or 2 x 2. There are about 8 camp sites in total, and many of them require you to park your car and walk down to them. Some of the sites are only a couple of metres away from the cars, but a number are over 15 – 20 metres away. These are first come, first serve, and cost $7.50 per night. The ranger collects the fees.

This means that Caravans, camper trailers and Campervans are not permitted to camp here. I must say I wasn’t overly impressed with the campsites, but I suppose the DPAW have intentionally done it to limit the impact people can have on the area.

Camping at Waychinicup

Our Oztent at Waychinicup

Is it worth a visit?

Absolutely. I highly recommend this place, but unfortunately it is limited to smaller tents. 2 sites do fit bigger tents (Oztent RV5 plus an extra room) but there is a good chance they could be taken when you get there. Campertrailers, caravans and campervans are not able to stay here, but you could go to Cheynes Beach Caravan Park instead, and travel across.

4 comments… add one
  • Life Images by Jill November 17, 2014, 10:34 PM

    We have visited but not stayed at Waychinicup, but my son used to camp here when he was living in Albany. Interesting to read what you said about the campsites. I wasn’t aware of that. Sadly then we wouldn’t be able to take our camper trailer in there by the sounds of it. I am off to scroll through your blog. I have just discovered you through Jo Castro’s Zigazag blog. Great to “meet” you. Happy travels.

  • Bonny from wildwesternaustrali November 20, 2014, 11:12 AM

    I really like your wild life photos, Aaron! And great write up on Waychinicup too.

  • Aaron November 20, 2014, 4:02 PM

    Thanks for the visit Jill. It was a bit disappointing. We were lucky to be one of two campers there, so managed to get the other big site, but you’d struggle with any big tents. Having come from a 4WDing background I am used to camping right next to the car, so it was a bit of a surprise! Zigazag is a great blog; always enjoy reading her content. Take care!

  • Aaron November 20, 2014, 4:03 PM

    Thanks Bonny! It’s a cracker place for wildlife!

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