Originally settled by whalers and sealers seeking protection from storms, Augusta has retained its maritime roots. Located at the mouth of the beautiful Blackwood River, the charming town of Augusta is a fisherperson’s haven. While the town was originally just a summer holiday hamlet, the town population grew due to its mild climate and vicinity to the coast.
One of the main drawcards to Augusta is its proximity to Cape Leeuwin, where Australia’s tallest lighthouse stands. The historic Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse sits on the tip of the spectacular peninsula where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. Visitors can enjoy the rare opportunity to climb the working lighthouse that guards one of the world’s most dangerous shipping lanes. Close by, the Old Water Wheel was constructed in 1895 during the building of the lighthouse when a spring was tapped to provide fresh water for the workers.
Keeping with the maritime theme, Augusta’s world-class boat harbour is the departure point for whale watching tours, which leave daily (weather dependent) between June and September. Wildlife enthusiasts will love the opportunities to watch the humpback and southern right whales from a boat during their migration.
Top things to do in Augusta and surrounds
- Climb to the top of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, and see the point where the Southern and Indian Ocean collide. The guides also provide quirky stories and anecdotes about the lighthouse’s history.
- Go back in time at the Augusta Historical Museum, which is highly rated by visitors as one of the best small museums, with displays that include details of families involved in what was the third European settlement in Western Australia.
- Take time out to visit the enthralling limestone caves near Augusta. Jewel Cave is Western Australia’s largest tourist cave and boasts intricate formations and beautiful ‘decorations’ in its enormous chambers. It is home to a frozen waterfall and one of the world’s longest straw stalactites to be found in any tourist cave.
- Visit nearby Hamelin Bay, another boating location, and home to resident smooth stingrays and eagle rays who interact (almost) daily with wading guests in the shallows near the boat ramp.
- Explore the beaches around August, where some of the region’s most beautiful swimming spots are located. Try Grannies Pool and Foul Bay, or take the four-wheel drive tracks to Boranup Beach and Deep Dean where endless, squeaky white sand awaits.