On our last couple of trips down to the South West Cape Region, we’ve stayed in the pretty settlement of Yallingup. Perched on the hillside with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean, it has a small local population (just over 1000) swelled during holiday seasons by visitors drawn to the surfing beaches and regional attractions such as the caves, wineries and art galleries.
Yallingup is an aboriginal place name meaning, “Place of the caves” but it is also referred to as the “Place of Love”. It certainly draws lovers of the ocean to admire its wild surf and rolling waves and many famous surfers have surfed the waves of the beaches in the area including Yallingup, Smiths and Injidup.
However it is surprisingly family friendly with a more tranquil and calm lagoon perfect for snorkelling and swimming in the warmer months of the year. There is also an excellent children’s playground on the front overlooking the beach.
Although there are plenty of holiday homes and accommodation in the form of a hotel/pub (Caves House), holiday apartments (Seashells) and a caravan park, there aren’t many eateries in Yallingup itself (more about the pub/hotel next week). There is however an excellent local bakery, open daily except Tuesdays, which has a distinct German flavour. The Yallingup Gugelhupf takes its name from the distinctive cake associated especially with the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef and King of Hungary (reigned 1848 to 1916). He had the crown shaped cake (baked in special moulds, which creates an even temperature during baking) for his daily breakfast. The “King Of Cake” has become popular not only in Austria but Switzerland and Germany as well. The French also created the “Kugelhopf”, which contains walnut and speck (though I found many different versions when I did a google search!). The bakery in Yallingup has made the cake its signature dish, which can be enjoyed with all the local jams and chutneys produced in the region. They also make delicious breads freshly baked on the premises and we picked up a couple of their sourdough loaves to take back home to Perth with us.
We love the relative isolation of Yallingup, although a few kilometres down the road is the larger township of Dunsborough, which has a wider range of shops and restaurants. We feel very “away from it all” in only a few days in this part of the world and had a wonderful time exploring the attractions of the region (Canal Rocks, Cape Lavender, Cullens, Woody Nook and Bunker Bay to name just a few). More about our Yallingup base to follow in Part 2 next week!
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