⭐RATING: 4.7/5 | 🌏DISTANCE FROM MARGARET RIVER: 38km |📍LOCATION: Gnarabup WA | Google Maps | ☀️BEST TIME TO VIST: Spring, Summer, Autumn | 💲COST: Free | 🐶DOGS ALLOWED: No | 🕰️OPEN: 24 hours | 🚗PARKING: Yes | 🚻FACILITIES: Toilets | 🛣️UNSEALED ROADS: Yes, the last part of the journey in is gravel
Are you interested in learning more about Foul Bay in the Margaret River Region? You’ve come to the right place because I live in Margaret River! That’s right, I’m a local and I can point you in the right direction to all the best beaches and hidden locations, including Foul Bay and Foul Bay Lighthouse. I bet you’ve never heard of either.
Foul Bay (also known as Stinkies to the locals!) is a beautiful, diverse bay, located in the Margaret River Region of Western Australia.
It is a great spot for swimming, surfing, fishing, and hiking. There are also some stunning 4WD tracks nearby that are perfect for exploring the area, and as the Cape to Cape Track passes by here, there are plenty of interesting walking trails here too.
Everything You Need To Know About Foul Bay WA
Where Is Foul Bay Beach?
Foul Bay is located in the Margaret River Region of Western Australia, a 3-and-a-half-hour drive from Perth, 38km southwest of Margaret River, and 18km northwest of Augusta. It is just south of the far more well-known Hamelin Bay and its famous stingrays, and just north of Cosy Corner.
The bay itself is made up of 7 small beaches, (read more about my favourite beaches here!) as well as an irregular rocky shoreline dominated by granite and calcarenite. It is backed by vegetated dunes and bordered by Knobby Head to the north and White Cliff Point to the south.
While the bay faces west the shore is moderately sheltered by a series of reefs extending 2km south of Hamelin Island to South West Rock.
How To Get To Foul Bay?
There are three ways to get to Foul Bay, and all require a car and your feet if you are traveling from Margaret River or Augusta.
- The easiest way, which will get you to a carpark with a short walk down to the beach on the southern end, is to head along Cosy Corner Road toward Cosy Corner and take the sign-posted right-hand turn as you near the end of the road. There is also a drop toilet here. Cosy Corner Road isn’t sealed but it’s fine for 2wd cars, as it is regularly graded.
- You can also take Cape Hamelin Road to reach the northern side of Foul Bay. You will find Cape Hamelin Road just past the Karridale Cemetry, and it is a 4WD track with an unsealed parking area at the end, near a spot known as Salmon Holes. Remember, if you’re heading along a 4WD track, go with another vehicle, and have all the correct recovery gear.
- Park your car at Hamelin Bay Boat Ramp, and at the jetty ruins, take the path up to the headland on the left, and follow it until you get to a small beach in about 400m. This is the northern section of Foul Bay.
Things To Do In Foul Bay
Foul Bay Camping
Unfortunately, you cannot camp at Foul Bay. However, there are several great camping options nearby, including Boranup, Contos, Jarrahdene, and Point Road Campgrounds. To learn more about the best bush camping spots in the Margaret River region click here.
Foul Bay 4WD Track
To get into the northern part of Foul Bay, you can take a 4WD track called Cape Hamelin Road, which starts just past the Karridale Cemetry. The 4WD track ends near the Salmon Holes (not the ones near Albany!) and has an unsealed parking area at the end of it. Remember, if you’re heading along a 4WD track, it’s a good idea to go with another vehicle, and to have all the correct recovery gear. For more information on 4WD tracks in the Margaret River Region, read my post here.
Foul Bay Fishing
Foul Bay, just like other parts of Margaret River, is a great place to go fishing, with plenty of good Herring, Tailor, and Skippy biting regularly. You can even target Mulloway in the deeper channels. This is also a great beach for catching Salmon during the annual Salmon run. Click here for more Margaret River Fishing Spots.
Foul Bay Surfing
Foul Bay has a 750-meter-long beach situated at the southern point, accessed by a small carpark near Cosy Corner. This west-facing beach is relatively straight and is exposed to waves averaging 1.5 meters high. Three rips, located at the end and center of a 70m wide bar controlled by rocks, produce waves that crash across a mixture of rocks. Click here for more Margaret River surfing locations.
Foul Bay Swimming
Be very careful if you are considering swimming at Foul Bay. The currents and rips can be incredibly dangerous, and since it’s an unpatrolled stretch of beach far from any help, you could find yourself in a very bad situation if something goes wrong.
Is Foul Bay Dog-Friendly?
Unfortunately, Foul Bay is not dog-friendly as it requires going through Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park to get there, and dogs are not allowed in national parks. However, you are allowed to drive along Caves Road with a dog in your car within the boundaries of the park – just don’t try and stop inside the park boundary or else you’ll be fined by a Park Ranger. Click here to find out some beaches you can take your dog in the Margaret River Region.
Where Is Foul Bay Lighthouse?
To reach Foul Bay Lighthouse, the forgotten third lighthouse of the Cape to Cape Track, there is a little-known walk that you can take that is about 3.5km in length, return.
First park your car at the Foul Bay Carpark, near Cosy Corner. From here, walk up towards Cosy Corner Road, and head back towards Caves Road. About 600m along, to your left you will see the Cape to Cape Track which is well signposted. Take this track to the left, and walk about 1km, until you come to the Foul Bay Lighthouse.
Foul Bay Lighthouse is just 6.1m tall and has an elevation of 92.4m, and it is much less grand than Cape Naturaliste or Cape Leeuwin, due to its more simple design and short height. Here, you can enjoy the views of the coastline which stretch for many kilometers to the north and south, before returning down the path you came to get back to your car.
Wrapping Up: Foul Bay Margaret River
Foul Bay is a great spot for fishing, surfing, and 4WDing, but it’s important to be careful as the currents can be very dangerous. It’s also not dog-friendly as you have to go through a national park to get there. If you’re looking for an easy walk with great views, you can also walk to Foul Bay Lighthouse.
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Australia Travel Planning Guide
🚑Should I buy Australian travel insurance?
100% YES! — Australia has “free” healthcare but it’s only for citizens and permanent residents. Foreigners visiting need travel insurance in case anything happens on their visit. I like SafetyWing – their Nomad Insurance starts at just $1.50 USD a day!
🚗Should I rent a car in Australia?
Yes — Renting a car is a necessity in most of Australia! If you want to go on road trips or adventures outside of the major cities, and even if you’re staying in a major city, you’ll want to rent a car. If you are visiting Margaret River, it will be even more important that you hire a car, you’ll need it to be able to get around and see all the great attractions and wineries!
🏨What’s the best way to book my Australian accommodation?
My go-to for Australian hotels is Booking.com. Pretty much all registered accommodation use Booking.com (but not necessarily any of the other major booking platforms), and even most of the holiday homes and caravan parks use Booking.com too!
If you’re planning a trip to Australia where you will stay at multiple locations, it’s super handy to have all your accommodation listed in one place, and accommodation owners like Booking.com because it’s easy to contact the guests using the messaging platform if the guest has an international phone number.
I sincerely hope you enjoy your visit to Margaret River!