I thought I would write up a quick guide and a couple of tips after a wonderful weekend camping in Guilderton, around the Moore River estuary. For such a short drive, this is a great spot to head up to for the weekend where you can grab yourself a couple of great WA landscapes.
Guilderton itself is an easy spot to reach if you are travelling from Perth. It is around 1hr 15mins or so north of the city, just past Yanchep. The town itself, like most WA holiday towns is mostly holiday homes, a general store, servo and a cafe. We stayed in one of the two campsites called Guilderton Caravan Park(LINK), which was well facilitated and extremely reasonably priced. Be careful though as it can get VERY full during public holidays. The town is built around the Moore River estuary river bend, so expect to spend your days swimming, kayaking and fishing. Its a fantastic spot for families, and as the river is separated out from the sea, it makes for a safe swimming spot for kids.
Moore river estuary is also great spot for photographers and has a natural sand-bar separating it from the ocean, providing a great photo subject as the blues of the river water contrast nicely against the ocean and sky. The sand bar, is also as a great fishing/ surfing spot for the other 23 hours in the day!
There are also plenty of 4x4 only tracks which work they way outwards from around the Guilderton area, which will likely take you to other remote areas of the beach for extra photo spots.
As for photography,there is a wooden lookout point on the Northern bank of the river, just above the caravan park which is a very short walk, but provides a stunning 360 view of the river. The platform is solid, and a little bit sheltered from the wind, so its a great spot to set up your tripod if you are looking to take some longer exposures. If you are packing light, I think a circular polariser is almost a necessity as it will help to improve the contrast in the ocean and sky.
This spot is fantastic for panoramas as well, multi-shot panoramas pictures are likely going to be needed if you want to get the full river bend into your picture. Fortunately due to the platform, this is very easy to do, and the image below is an example of a 3-shot panorama, which I took just before sunset.
Best Time of Day:
Of course the answer is the same as usual, "sunrise and sunset" however there are a couple of things to be aware of. Firstly, as you are standing on the platform looking south, the sun sets over to your right hand side, which is likely out of frame if you are focusing on the sand bar, so it may be important to focus on a composition that does not include the setting sun. The wooden viewing platform also naturally gets very busy at sunset, so its important to get a good spot early, but also important to try not to get to many people in your frame.
We had almost cloudless weather the whole weekend, and I would love to go back when there is a little more cloud in the sky to get some nice dramatic long exposures over the river bend. I am very happy though with how these pictures came out in the end, especially the contrasting blue hues in the sea, river and sky.
All in all, this is a gorgeous little corner of WA, which is easily visited over a weekend, and is a photographers dream due to the picturesque landscape and easily accessed viewing platform.