|Yallingup from the nearby sand dunes
A true get-away-from-it-all resort which is inhabited by surfers and fishermen
Located on the coast 264 km south of Perth via Busselton, Yallingup is a true get-away-from-it-all resort which is inhabited by surfers searching for the perfect wave and fishermen who, in May and June, fish for the salmon who make their spawning run along this section of the coast. If you are of a romantic disposition you will probably believe that Yallingup really was the local Aboriginal word meaning place of loveš.
Yallingup is one of those retreats which caters for many different levels of tourism. At one level there are the surfers sleeping in their panel vans and 4WD vehicles while on the hillside overlooking the huge dunes and the beautiful beaches are the people seeking an alternative lifestyle and funding it by running restaurants, potteries, wholefood shops, small vineyards, brasseries, and exclusive chalets.
The great appeal of Yallingup is its location. The hills tumble towards the sea, the dunes rise up the hills, the beaches are edged with wildflowers, the granite foreshores set a sharp contrast to the white beaches. It is easy to imagine that some of the residents of this tiny, new settlement really believe that they have found paradise.
The major attractions of the area are the Caves House, a superb building which dates to 1901. It nestles into the hillside surrounded by trees and with excellent views over the Indian Ocean. In the early days visitors were transported to the hotel by horse and buggy from Busselton. Fire destroyed the original hotel in 1938 and it was rebuilt surrounded by terraced gardens and offering an air of elegance and comfort.
|Bottle brush 'blooms' on the coast near Yallingup
On the Caves Road, just before the turnoff to Yallingup, is the turnoff to Yallingup Cave. The cave was discovered in 1899 by Edward Dawson who stumbled upon it while searching for missing horses. The following year he conducted visitors through the cave. The guided tour became so popular that the Caves House was built to meet the demand for accommodation. Electricity was connected to the cave in 1904 and Dawson continued to guide people through the cave until his retirement in 1937.
The area to the south of Yallingup is characterised by alternative lifestyle people who survive by craft activities or mixed farming with an emphasis on beef and vineyards - an unusual combination.
Things to see:
Today tours of Yallingup Cave are self guided with visitors passing through the First Chamber, Main Chamber and Amphitheatre. The cave is noted for its impressive shawls which have been coloured red and orange by iron and manganese.
Yallingup Cave is also known as Ngilgišs Cave after an Aboriginal legend which recounted the origins of the cave in terms of a vicious fight between a bad spirit who lived in the cave and a good spirit (Ngilgi) who lived in the sea. The cave is open for viewing from 9.30 am - 4.30 pm every day.
The Water Wheel
5 km south of the turnoff to Yallingup on Caves Road is a 4.5 m diameter water wheel which is reputed to be the largest in Australia which is still working. The water wheel was originally constructed to power a sawmill which it did until 1938. Now it is a tourist attraction.