Sugarloaf Rock was one of these places that I just didn’t get.
So many of you were #southwestlife on your Instagram photos of Sugarloaf, it is one one of the most photographed places in the region, but for the life of me I couldn’t work out why.
That was until I thought I would stop by on the way back from visiting the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, to see what all the fuss was about.
Sugarloaf Rock is located in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in Naturaliste, about a fifteen-minute drive from the Dunsborough CBD.
When you drive down Sugarloaf Road you come over a hill before the landscape opens up and Sugarloaf Rock quickly fills it. It dominates the landscape, not only is it enormous but it is magnetic, you just can’t stop staring in awe.
There is a lot to take in, the distinctive conical shape, jagged craggy edges and curved lines shaped by the sea. One minute the water surrounding Sugarloaf looks relatively calm and then an enormous wall of water rises up and pummels into the worn rock exploding like a waterfall of fireworks. Even on the darkest wild days, the water is still the most beautiful shade of clear blue.
This colossal granite rock island was dubbed Sugarloaf Rock because it has the conical, elevated resemblance of a “Sugarloaf” – a tall rounded cone of dark molasses-rich raw sugar that was imported from sugar cane growing regions before being refined into white sugar. A Sugarloaf was the usual form in which refined sugar was produced and sold until the late 19th century before cubed and granulated sugars were produced.
Sugarloaf’s formidable presence on the landscape encapsulates the beauty and the power of nature. It is really not hard to see why the lighthouse in the distance was needed all those years ago! If Sugarloaf is what we can see above ground, what is below the surface? Nothing you would want to find out via boat anyway.
It’s much safer to view Sugarloaf from the elevated platform. You have to careful not to get too close to Sugarloaf Rock because of the freak waves but you are pretty safe from the platform.
Another reason not to climb up on Sugarloaf is because it is a nature reserve for seabirds such as the geographically-restricted Red-Tailed Tropicbird that breeds and nests there from September to February. They are highly susceptible to disturbance so for your safety and theirs please keep your distance.
From the platform, you can also see wildflowers, the working Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, bottle-nosed dolphins and from July to October Humpback and Southern Right Whales. The Cape to Cape Walk Track passes through this site and it is a beautiful spot to enjoy sunsets.
There are public toilets, wheelchair access, plenty of parking but camping and dogs are not allowed.
Now I have seen Sugarloaf Rock for myself I really appreciate how beautiful it looks in different photos. If you happen to visit be sure to take a few photos, upload them on Instagram and #southwestlife so I can see them too.