The Shark Bay World Heritage area is about 750km north of Perth. It is an area of great natural beauty rich in marine life. There is no shortage of things to do in Shark Bay. Popular places to visit are Shell Beach, Dirk Hartog Island National Park and the Francois National Park and Monkey Mia. It’s where the turquoise water meets vibrant red desert earth. Denham is the main town in the region.
Francois National Park
Just a short drive from Denham is Francois National Park. It is well worth heading out to the park for a day trip or to spend a few nights at one of the many campgrounds. The Park is accessible by 2WD to the Peron Homestead where the Hot tub in the artesian waters which sits at 40 degree temperature year round. You can also get a insight of what life was like and learn the history of the area. The rest of the park is accessible by a high clearance four wheel drive. The four wheel drive tracks are single lane soft sand and are not suitable for caravans or large boat trailers. Reduce your tyre pressure to 20 psi or less. If you don’t own a 4WD or are not confident on sandy tracks there are also tours out into the National Park. Click Here for more information. To enter the national park it is $15 per day.
There is picnic facilities including BBQ’S and there is also a camping ground for $11 per person per night (July 2023). You can kayak, Stand up paddle board on the lagoon.
Gregories and south Gregories Beach
Gregories beach at high tide snorkel and explore one of the most accessible reefs in Shark Bay. South Gregories is a great place to spot dolphins and wildlife, take a picnic and go for a walk along the beach. There is also campgrounds at both Gregories and South Gregories.
See the line where the ocean and bay waters meet. You can also walk to the top and see the beach below. You also get great views of the red sand and turquoise blue waters. From here you can also walk along the wanamalu trail to skipjack point. The trail is 3km 1.5hour return walk.
Is just 5 minute walk from the carpark to the lookouts along a boardwalk. Keep your eyes out for dugongs, dolphins, turtles, sting rays, mantra rays and sharks.
Eagle Bluff Boardwalk and lookout
About a 20 minute drive south of Denham, Eagle Bluff Lookout and Boardwalk is a great spot to take in the amazing views across the turquoise water of Shark Bay. Make sure to keep your eyes out for sting rays to sharks and dugongs. The warmer the weather, the more you are likely to see more wildlife below.
When you arrive at Eagle Bluff lookout there is the main carpark but to the left take the unsealed road to the end where there is a carpark. There is a track that leads you to the elephant rock. The track is defined in the sand, make your way close to the edge of the cliff to find the elephant rock, Its also marked on google maps. Also make sure to keep your eyes out for reef sharks below.
The name describes exactly what you’ll see – a beach of shells. Take a walk along Shell Beach which is made up of billions of tiny white cockle shells instead of sand. They thrive in the super salty Shark Bay water where they have no natural competition or predators. The beach stretches for 60km, the shell cockles are between 7 to 10 metres deep. Shell Beach is about 30 minutes from Denham.
Hamelin Pool Stromatolites
The stromatolites are 100 km from Denham located in Hamelin Pool. Although the boardwalk out to the stromatolites has been closed since April 2021 since cyclone seroja. There is still a trail and information boards where you can view the stromatolites.
Low Cost Camping
There are 4 campgrounds accessible by 2WD along unsealed roads. Fowlers camp, Eagle Bluff, Fowlers camp and whalebone campground. It is $15 per night and you must be fully self contained. To buy a permit, contact the Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery & Visitor Centre in person or via the telephone (9948 1590) to pay via credit card. Make sure to call as soon as the information center opens at 9am as there is only 4 permits given out per day per campground. Permits are for 24 hours and restricted to one night only at any of the four campsites. For example if you stay at Eagle Bluff one night, you cannot stay at Fowlers camp the following night. The campgrounds are regularly checked by the rangers so make sure you display your permit number.
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