HEMA Map reference 74/E2


Lake Clifton - Western Australia


GPS 32 48 53 S 115 40 53 E



Where is this?


Toilets available Wheel chair access provided Tables and / or seats and / or shelters provided Sight seeing area Walk trails Day use site only - no camping





Lake Clifton is a good rest stop between Mandurah and Bunbury on the Old Coast Road. The lake was named in honour of Marshall Waller Clifton.

The WA Portland Cement Co. mined lime in the area and a railway was constructed to Waroona. The mine only operated for a short time and the line was taken up and used as part of the Newdegate to Lake Grace line.

A townsite was gazetted in 1921 as Leschenault but this caused confusion with the area near Bunbury. Other names were suggested including Fouracre, (after the earliest settler), Peppermint Grove (after the Fouracre's Homestead) and 'Garbanup' (a native name associated with the area.)

The name Garbanup was eventually chosen but in 1923 the Railway Department raised objections as this new name sounded similar to Dardanup. Finally Lake Clifton took on its current name in 1923 - the year mining ceased. A year later the railway closed.

The nearby Yalgorup National Park contains a number of tunnels (13 is the number most often quoted), that have been dug into the side of a limestone formation. No one, so far, seems to know who created the tunnels or why they were dug in the first place. The tunnels are about 50 metres long and appear to have been dug by hand (as opposed to by machines). Dates carved in the walls of the tunnels go back to at least 1927. Some of the entrances were intentionally blocked during World War Two but others remain open even if they are not that easy to find.

Lake Clifton is used as a stop over for migratory birds like the Sharp Tailed Sandpiper, Red Necked Stint and the Rainbow Bird. These birds migrate from places as far away as the Solomon Islands, New Guinea and even Siberia. At times there are also large flocks of black swans here.


A 'reef' of Thrombolites stretches 6 kilometres along the shores of Lake Clifton and in places is up to 160 metres wide. It is believed to be the largest reef of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

Thrombolites look similar to stromatolites in that they produce large round rock like structures. The two species differ in the way they lay down the sediment that makes up their homes.

These organisms are among the first to evolve on Earth and are thought to be responsible for producing much of the oxygen that we depend on today. This process took millions of years and transformed the planet. (Organisms similar to the Thrombolites are thought to have been the dominant life on Earth for over 2,850 million years.)

A boardwalk has been constructed over the lake to make viewing of these structures easy. Access is from Mount John Road.

Lake Clifton Wines

An excellent range of fruit wines and ports are available from this winery at very reasonable prices and wine tasting is the best way to pick your favourite. Our personal favourites, mango wine, apricot wine, white port and plum port.

Ph. 0457 166 300 or email


link to website

NPW Website for more information



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