One of the places we were most looking forward to visiting along Western Australia’s Southwest Coast were the Elephant Rocks. A beach surrounded by HUGE boulders, with some of the most beautiful blue water and a quite little patch of sand.
As we started planning a little bit of what we wanted to see and do while we were in Denmark, Google Maps gave me a very upsetting piece of information. Williams Bay National Park – the park where Elephant Rocks is found – is temporarily closed for redevelopment works until the end of July. After almost a week of non-stop rain, being trapped in the van, and also finding out that several of the other places we wanted to visit around Albany and Denmark were closed for some kind of works or the other, this was just some really shit news.
A wonderful couple who were also travelling in the area came to our rescue on Instagram and told us about this sneaky little work around, so you can still visit the Elephant Rocks Beach without going through the national park. In fact, we didn’t even pass a sign that said “closed” in any way, which makes me feel like it’s okay to share with you!
Here’s everything you need to know to visit the Elephant Rocks, even if you’re planning to visit before July.
Where are the Elephant Rocks
Found right in the heart of Williams Bay National Park, the beaches in this park are known for their shimmering turquoise water, pristine white sandy shores and huge granite rocks that sit both in the water and on the beaches.
The sheltered beaches here offer some of the best swimming conditions in Southwest WA, with plenty of opportunities for snorkelling as well. One of the special things about Williams Bay is that wildflowers can often be found here all year round, even in the hottest months of the year.
The Elephant Rocks were named due to the uncanny resemblance between the granite boulders in the water and a heard of elephants lumbering out to sea. Before making your way down the staircase and onto the beach, make sure you stop to take a look from the top as well. Every angle of this beach is just so unique.
Rather than taking the pathway, you can also walk to Greens Pool along the rocky cliffs.
How to get to Elephant Rocks
Normally, it’s very easy to get to the Elephant Rocks. Just follow the signs for Williams Bay National Park turn off on the South Coast Highway, and follow the road until you get to the car park.
However, while Williams Bay National Park is closed, it’s a little bit trickier to access, but still possible. Head towards the Parry Beach Campsite, which has vehicle access to the beach. From the campground you will need to drive alllll the way along Mazzoletti Beach until you get to the sign that says “no cars beyond this point”. It’s a long beach, and while the sand at the beginning is quite hard, it does get significantly softer as you drive along. This is really only a beach drive for 4WD vehicles with high clearance underneath – we saw many backpackers get bogged along the way.
Park your car here and then you will need to walk the rest of the way. It’s not too long, the walk will take you around some of the granite boulders and then along the beach all the way to Greens Pool, one of the other highlights of Southwest WA. From Greens Pool you can then follow the walking trail that will lead you around the cliffs, through the tall boulders and out to the secluded little beach.
And there you have it, Elephant Rocks!
If you are visiting this way, make sure that you don’t take any pathways that have been gated off for the construction work that’s happening. There is no access to toilets or the car park or any other facilities, it’s simply you and the ocean, and some of the prettiest beaches Denmark has to offer.
The other highlight of this area is without a doubt Greens Pool. It’s kind of a big rock pool, with the calm water in the pool protected by large boulders which form a kind of barrier, keeping out the biggest wave and harsher ocean conditions.
Inside the pool the water is still and peaceful, perfect for swimming or snorkelling, with plenty of starfish and other colourful fish swimming around in the shallow water.
Where to stay near the Elephant Rocks
We stayed for the night at Parry Beach Campground, right on the beach. Unfortunately, there is a 2.7 metre high restrictions on vehicles staying in the campsites at Parry Beach, since most sites have trees arching over the top of them. They are actually very pretty campsites, I was disappointed we couldn’t fit into one. However, they do have an overflow area and allowed us to park our van there for the night. which was great.
You can’t make a booking or reservation at Parry Beach, it’s first come first serve for campsites. Each site costs $17 per night for two adults (or $100 for a week), which needs to be paid in cash at the small office near the entry to the beach when you arrive. There are no eftpos facilities available here.
It was a great campsite though, with toilets and solar heated showers (shower during the day for the warmer water), phone reception, a BBQ and a boat ramp. It’s also pet friendly, so you can bring your dog with you for your stay!