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Shark Bay

World Heritage Area - Information Destination Guide

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Shark Bay World Heritage Area
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Shark Bay / Shark Bay World Heritage Area - Cities, Towns and Localities
• Coral Coast
• Denham
• Dirk Hartog Island
• Faure Island
• Monkey Mia
 
Other towns, villages and localities in the Shark Bay region include:
• Bernier Island • Dorre Island

Located on the most western point of the coast of Australia the Shire of Shark Bay is made up of the eastern coastal strip of the mainland, three large outlying islands and two peninsulas: Peron Peninsula (on the right) and Edel Land (the peninsula on the left). Edel Land ends at Steep Point, beyond which is Dirk Hartog Island.

The Shark Bay region itself covers an area of 2.3 million hectares, having achieved World Heritage status in 1991, and was the first listed as such in Western Australia, and one of 16 in Australia that fit all four selection criteria:

  • an outstanding example representing the major stages in the earth's evolutionary history
     
  • an outstanding example representing significant ongoing ecological and biological processes;
     
  • an example of superlative natural phenomena; and
     
  • containing important and significant habitats for in situ conservation of biological diversity.

In the brief description on the UNESCO World Heritage list, it describes some of Shark Bay’s features and attractions:

Its vast sea-grass beds, which are the largest (4,800 sq. km) and richest in the world; its dugong ('sea cow') population; and its stromatolites (colonies of algae which form hard, dome-shaped deposits and are among the oldest forms of life on earth). Shark Bay is also home to five species of endangered mammals.

Source: UNESCO World Heritage: Shark Bay, Western Australia

Shark Bay World Heritage Area is a must see destination for visitors both here and internationally. The shallow waters of the Shark Bay Marine Park with its bays and inlets provide a unique environment with its vast meadows of seagrass, and where you can get the chance to see dugongs, manta rays, marine turtles, dolphins and humpback whales.

Shark Bay is also home to the oldest and largest living fossils in the world, the Hamelin Pool stromatolites. The mystery surrounding their origins attract scientists from around the globe, who have compared the find to that of a zoologist discovering a living dinosaur.

The main settlement in the region is Denham, with the popular Monkey Mia just 24 km away. Access is via the Northwest Coastal Highway and Shark Bay Road.

More information can be found on the Shark Bay World Heritage official site. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre

Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery Centre & Visitor Centre

Monkey Mia Dolphin Information Centre

Carnarvon Visitor Centre

 

MSN Map of Shark Bay, Western Australia
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Shark Bay Attractions

Some of the key features, localities and attractions in Shark Bay region include:
  • Peron Peninsula
    — the peninsula is surrounded by Henri Freycinet Harbour, Denham Sound, Shark Bay, Shark Bay Marine Park, Herald Bight, and the Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve. It is divided into South Peron and Francois Peron National Park in the north.
  • Tamala & Carrarang Stations
    — these pastoral stations are located in the southern part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, and occupy a significant portion of the World Heritage Area. They provide limited access for tourism and rely on your good will to keep the property as is, and that you follow guidelines. Before entering the property you must first obtain permission from the station managers.
  • Steep Point (& Edel Land)
  • Dirk Hartog Island
    — discovered in 1616 by Captain Dirk Hartog and established in the late 1800’s as a pastoral station, this island offers a unique farmstay experience on a sheep station that covers over 152,000 acres of wilderness, and forming the western boundary of the Shark Bay World Area.
  • Henri Freycinet Harbour
    — this stretch of water lies between the two peninsulas of the Shark Bay region. There are many islands, as well as a number of smaller peninsulas knowns as 'prongs' on its northern area.
  • Shark Bay Marine Reserves
  • Francois Peron National Park
    — located in the northern half of the Peron Peninsula, the Francois Peron National Park is an area of acacia clocked red dunes and arid shrubland, surrounded by the turquoise ocean water. Most of the park is 4 wheel drive access offering remote camping sites and access to beaches and fishing spots. The park plays a key role in the Project Eden - a environmental project that is attempting to reintroduce locally extinct species to the peninsula by controlling feral predators.
  • South Peron
    — the southern part of the Peron Peninsula, the northern part being Francois Peron National Park, South Peron is divided by the Shark Bay Road, also known as the World Heritage Drive. The road provides access to four points on the western coastline: Goulet Bluff, Whale Bone, Fowler's Camp and Eagle Bluff.
  • Shell Beach Conservation Park
    — this conservation park is home to the special Shell Beach and as the name implies is a beach made of trillions of tiny shells, all of which come from one creature, known as the Hamelin Cockle. This natural phenomenon are the discarded shells of the animal, that have become heaped into one massive pile up to 10 metres thick, creating a beach stretching up to 1 km wide and many kilometres long.
  • Denham
  • Monkey Mia
    — Monkey Mia is famous for the wild bottle-nosed dolphins, who for more than 25 years have come into the shore, almost on a daily basis, to eat fish and interact with the growing number of human visitors.
  • Faure Island
    — located in the Shark Bay Marine Reserve and covering an area of almost 6,000 ha, Faure Island is now a sanctuary managed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.
  • Hamelin Pool Stromatolites
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Shark Bay Tours

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Find and book our Western Australia’s most popular sights, tours, and attractions. Booking ahead with Viator means you won’t miss out on popular tours and attractions.

Start your Shark Bay tours, Perth tours and Western Australia tours.

Many tours to nearby popular destinations start from Perth, taking you to places including Fremantle, Swan Valley, Rottnest Island, Pinnacles Desert, Margaret River, Monkey Mia, Ningaloo Reef, Broome.
Broome | Perth / Fremantle | Shark Bay | Western Australia
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Shark Bay Coaches & Tours
• DENHAM WA 6537 • Ph: 08 9948 1081 • Mobile: 0429 110 104 • Email • Prices available on-line.
• See the beauty of Shark Bay on this fabulous coach tour of Hamelin Pool, the Stromatolites, shark feeding at Ocean Park, Shell Beach, Denham town and more. Join us on an air-conditioned full day coach tour of the Shark Bay and Denham region. View many of its world famous landmarks and see why it became a World Heritage Area. Your tour includes high points such as: Ocean Park, Hamelin Pool, Shell Beach, Denham, The Stromatolites, Eagle Bluff, Shell Block Quarry.
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Shark Bay Other Links

• Shark Bay Community/Local Government Links
• Shark Bay Community Links

Sources:
Shark Bay World Heritage Official Site
Department of the Environment & Water Resources-Australian Government: Shark Bay, Western Australia
UNESCO World Heritage: Shark Bay, Western Australia
 
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