Busselton, Western Australia

Sugarloaf Rock

On the rugged coast a few kilometres south of Cape Naturaliste in the Margaret River Region, a gigantic granite rock-island looms up out of the ocean. As you approach Sugarloaf Rock you will instantly see why this towering, sea-sculptured rock that emerges from the Indian Ocean is one of the most photographed coastal landforms in the region.

The rock is situated within a designated nature reserve in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park just off Cape Naturaliste near Dunsborough.

Sugarloaf Rock and the sometimes treacherous seas that pound it are best viewed from the platform. With its ever-changing colour, it is difficult to decide when it’s best to see it. Perhaps it is when the weather is stormy with crashing seas, perhaps it is when it is calm sunny and the water is crystal clear or perhaps the greatest sight is when the sun sets over the Indian Ocean and the colour of the rock changes every minute. If you wait long enough at sunset, you can even see the working Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse light up!

Its ocean side is battered by treacherous seas and the rock is separated from the coast by just a narrow channel of wild water. This has created a unique environment which is home to much wildlife.

The best place to view the rock and the crashing seas is from the elevated lookout. It is easy to get to the top with only approximately 20 steps. Due to the narrow channel of water you are quite close to the rock. But you can even get a good look from the car!

Take a closer look. Sugarloaf Rock is a bird watchers and nature lover’s paradise. As a nature reserve it is a haven for nesting sea birds and is home to the geographically restricted and graceful red-tailed tropic bird which nests here from September to February each year. But that’s not only the wildlife you may see. Playful bottlenose dolphins can often be seen leaping through the surf break close by, sometimes together with the surfers. Humpback and southern right whales are often seen wallowing, breeching or just cruising by on their migration (best time July-October)