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Gnoocardup Beach: Locals Guide

RATING: 3.4/5 | 🌏DISTANCE FROM MARGARET RIVER: 12km |📍LOCATION: Yebble WA | Google Maps | ☀️BEST TIME TO VIST: Spring, Summer, Autumn | 💲COST: Free | 🐶DOGS ALLOWED: No | 🕰️OPEN: 24 hours | 🚗PARKING: Yes | 🚻FACILITIES: None | 🛣️UNSEALED ROADS: Yes, 4WD access only

Gnoocardup Beach is a small stretch of white sandy beach between two rocky outcrops. It’s located just north of the more well-known Kilcarnup Beach and is accessible by 4WD only.

Gnoocardup Beach is a bit of a secret spot! You’ll usually only find a small handful of locals here when the surf is breaking, otherwise, it’s pretty quiet and offers a nice spot for a picnic, a stroll along the white sand, or rock pool hopping with the kids.

If you’re looking for trustworthy and detailed information on Gnoocardup Beach, look no further than this guide by a local expert (that’s me!)

view of track as you drive into Gnoocardup Beach
View of track at the end of Kilcarnup Road, as you drive into Gnoocardup Beach

Locals Guide to Gnoocardup Beach

Where Is Gnoocardup Beach?

Gnoocardup Beach is located about 15 minutes north-west of Margaret River (sometimes longer depending on the track) in an area commonly referred to as Kilcarnup. It is approximately 15 minutes drive south-west of Cowaramup.

Gnoocardup beach is accessible by the same track used to access Kilcarnup Beach, often referred to as “Joey’s Nose” and it is easy to visit both beaches in one day.

How To Get To Gnoocardup Beach

Gnoocardup Beach is 4WD access only but it’s easy to find! From Margaret River, head west on Wallcliffe Road until you reach the Caves Road intersection. Turn right (north) and after about 4km take a left on Kilcarnup Road.

Kilcarnup Road will veer through a small residential pocket until you reach a gravel area. This is the 4WD track entrance for Gnoocardup and Kilcarnup Beaches. This is also a good spot to pull over and let your tyre pressure down.

Here you head right and literally just keep following the track as it works its way through natural bushland and scrub. The track changes seasonally and with frequent use so it’s never going to be the same conditions each time.

The track can be quite busy especially in warmer months so be sure to drive slowly and if you encounter an oncoming vehicle be prepared to reverse into one of the many available spaces to pull off the road and let them pass. A friendly wave never goes astray either.

When you start to see the coastline you’ll come to a T-junction, head right again. You’ll meander along the coastline, with spectacular ocean views before coming up to a rustic wooden lookout. This is Gnoocardup.

There’s plenty of space to park safely near the lookout and enjoy the view. Or you can walk down a steep 70m path to the white sand.

As with any 4WD adventure we recommend ensuring someone knows your whereabouts and expected time to return. Have Max Trax on board as well as tyre pressure gauge, air compressor, a first aid kit and water.

view of wooden entry at Gnoocardup Beach
Gnoocardup Beach from the top

Things To Do In Gnoocardup Beach

Gnoocardup Beach Camping

Unfortunately, you can’t camp at or on Gnoocardup Beach. If you’re looking to camp in the National Park your closest options are Conto’s, Jarrahdene and Boranup campgrounds.

Gnoocardup is easily accessible from Margaret River town, Augusta, Cowaramup and Gracetown so there are plenty of options for places to stay nearby.

Here’s a list of the Best Camping Spots in Margaret River. Or, if something a little more comfortable is your thing, here’s a list of the Best Accommodation in Margaret River.

4WD Track into Gnoocardup Beach
4WD Track into Gnoocardup Beach

Gnoocardup Beach 4WD Track

Gnoocardup Beach 4WD track is a relatively easy track. It is generally sandy, however can hold water in spots during our long Margaret River winters.

We recommend letting your tyres down and taking it slow. Driving slowly also helps to keep the track in good condition for other users.

The track can get busy on summer weekends or when the surf or fishing is good. Visibility around a lot of the corners is poor so it’s important to drive slowly and be aware of potential oncoming vehicles. There are plenty of pull-in bays along the track so be courteous and back up until you can safely pull over.

Check out some more Margaret River 4WD adventures here and a run down on our basic 4WD safety tips.

Kids running along beach at Gnoocardup Beach
Kids running along beach at Gnoocardup Beach

Gnoocardup Beach Fishing

You can fish off the beach at Gnoocardup. Keep in mind it’s about a 70m steep walk down from your parked car though so you’ll have to carry all your gear. (And hopefully, carry your fish back up!)

You can get Herring and Sand-Whiting in the shallows. Skipjack (Skippy), Tailor and Salmon during the annual Salmon run can all be caught from the beach.

Whilst there are rocky outcrops to both the north and south of Gnoocardup Beach, we don’t recommend rock fishing here. The rocks are slippery, the swell can be large and unpredictable with consistently strong rips so it is not safe to rock fish.

However, the rocky outcrops make it the perfect hunting ground for free diving and spearfishing. There are lots of cray holes not far off the coastline as well as abalone on the rocks.

Spear-fishermen can also target the coveted WA dhufish in these waters. Please ensure to respect the demersal ban and only take these species in their open season. You can stay up to date here.

View of rocks at Gnoocardup Beach
View of rocks at Gnoocardup Beach

Gnoocardup Beach Surfing

There is a surf break here. The wave breaks almost directly in front of the lookout and pathway down.

This isn’t a consistent wave and is only popular on a really good off-shore day. If conditions aren’t perfect it’s a hard grovel in a bit of washing machine.

A couple of my mates like to surf here though because it’s generally just a handful of locals out.

Gnoocardup Beach Swimming

Gnoocardup Beach is not recommended for swimming. We love a stroll along the beach and a bit of rockpool hopping with the kids. That’s a safe way to enjoy the ocean here as Gnoocardup generally has waves 1m-1.5m and has a quick drop off.

The white sandy beach is positioned between two rocky outcrops and whilst it looks idyllic it has a consistent rip in the main section that can take you out quickly. The beach is not monitored by lifeguards or beach patrols so it’s not a safe swimming beach.

For a kid-friendly swimming beach option check out nearby Gnarabup Beach.

Information about the Hooded Plover at Gnoocardup Beach
Information about the Hooded Plover at Gnoocardup Beach

Is Gnoocardup Beach Dog-Friendly?

No, it isn’t. Gnoocardup Beach is located in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. There are no dogs permitted in the National Park. This is to protect native flora and fauna. Dogs are permitted to travel in your car along Caves Road provided you don’t stop and let them out anywhere in the national park.

There are heavy fines if you are caught by DPAW park rangers so leave your pooch behind. There are local options for dog sitters if you are staying in the region.

If you’re keen to explore with your dog here are some Dog-Friendly Beaches In Margaret River.

View back up the stairs at Gnoocardup Beach
View back up the stairs at Gnoocardup Beach

Wrapping Up: Gnoocardup Beach

Gnoocardup Beach is a little-known beach popular with locals escaping the crowds. It offers spectacular views over a remote section of our pristine Margaret River coastline.

Facilities are limited at Gnoocardup so you really need to be prepared by taking any food, water and equipment with you.

It is a fun 4WD outing suitable for beginners and isn’t far from Margaret River town so is a really accessible day out.

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!