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Denham Shark Bay

Visitor Centre:
Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery and Visitor Information Centre
53 Knight Terrace, Denham
Phone: 08 9948 1590
Visitor website: www.sharkbayvisit.com
General:
Shark Bay - Ningaloo is now one of the sixteen Australian National Landscapes. Shark Bay World Heritage Drive was the 2009 winner of the WA Top Trails Award. The 400th anniversary of the first European landing is fast approaching. A State Government committee has been formed to organise a commemorative 400 year celebration on 25th October, 2016.
Secure your bookings for this event.
Visitors are encouraged to look closely at Shark Bay’s unusual natural beauty. Plan to spend time exploring the pristine bays, inlets and islands. Discover for yourself some of the rare plants, mammals and birds found only in Shark Bay. The shallow waters of the Shark Bay Marine Park abound with a myriad of marine life. Vast seagrass meadows are home to the most secure populations of dugongs in the World. Around 10,000 dugongs forage in the shallow marine environment of Shark Bay. The clear waters give visitors the chance to view dugongs, manta rays, marine turtles and humpback whales, and dolphins.
History:
On 25th October 1616, Dirk Hartog, Captain of a Dutch trading ship, landed at Cape Inscription on what is now known as Dirk Hartog Island. He was the first recorded white man to set foot on Australian soil. He commemorated his visit by nailing a pewter plate on to a post.

Denham derives its name from Captain H.H.Denham, who charted the whole of Shark Bay in 1858.
In the early 1860s, the first pastoralists came to the area and by the 1870s, pearling attracted many nationalities, including Malays, Chinese and Europeans. Pearling, once the most important income earner, declined during the Depression but has now been re-established at Monkey Mia.
Attractions:
Red Bluff
A lovely picnic spot 20kms along the Monkey Mia Road. Not considered safe for swimming but good for fishing.
The Big Lagoon
A four-wheel drive is needed to get here. The waters abound with fish and oysters can be found on the western shores.
A boat is needed to access these spots.
Shell Beach
Adjacent to the main Denham Road is the stretch of unique Australian coastline known as Shell Beach, comprised of countless millions of tiny shells.
Scientists are puzzled as to why the live animals grow so rapidly and profusely in this area. The shell build up is 25-30 feet deep (8 - 9 metres).
The beach is situated about 40kms from Denham.
Stromatolites
These are also accessible from Denham (see Hamelin Pool).
Bitumen Road Access.
Eagle Bluff
Approximately 20kms south of Denham, on the Hamelin Road. Habitat of the sea eagle and a great fishing spot, also a good place to sight sharks, rays and other marine life, especially during the summer months.
From the top of the bluff, on a clear day, you can see the Useless Loop salt pile and ship loading facilities.
Little Lagoon
Turn off to the left on the Monkey Mia Road. Little Lagoon is shallow and ideal for children’s picnics. It also has BBQ areas. Good for fishing flathead and whiting.
Francois Peron
National Park
4kms north-east of Denham. A 40,000 hectare park offering rare wildlife, spectacular coastal scenery and a wilderness experience. Birds found on Peron Peninsula include fairy-wrens, scrubwrens and wedgebills. From the cliffs of Cape Peron, visitors may see bottlenose dolphins, dugongs, turtles and large manta rays.
Visitors should carry their own fresh water when visiting the park.
Dirk Hartog’s Plate
A replica of Dirk Hartog’s plate is now on display at the Shark Bay Discovery Centre.
Steep Point
This spectacular location is the most western point of Australia and is the closest land to the final resting place for HMAS Sydney and Kormoran.
Experience the  rugged Zuytdorp Cliffs which tower 200m above sea level and the sheltered waters of South Passage. Only accessible by 4WD or take a boat or scenic flight
from Denham.