Shark Bay

The first place in Australia to be designated a World Heritage Area (in 1991), Shark Bay is a pretty unique place, home to the oldest lifeforms on earth, 10,000 dugongs (sea cows), shore fed dolphins, and beaches made entirely of shells.

Eagle Bluff was a beautiful lookout over shallow waters inhabitated by a few sharks and lots of birds. The reflections of sky and cloud on the sea were rather gorgeous.

The oddly named Monkey Mia is home to a nice beach, though there are plenty of those around Western Australia, and more uncommonly wild dolphin feeding. Every morning there are 2-3 feeds for several families of dolphin in the area. Started in the 1960s accidentally by fisherman, it now attracts 100,000 people a year. Personally I thought it was an open water Sea World, and though there are plenty of rules to try and mitigate the impact on the habits of wild animals I wasn’t entirely convinced.

Shell Beach
Aptly named for a beach literally made of cockle shells, millions of them 9-10 metres deep and stretching for kilometres, pretty impressive!

The oldest continuous lifeform on the planet, with fossils dating back 3.5 billion years, Stromatolites are microbes that have formed these 6,000-9,000 year old structures. They only remain in six places in the world, five in Western Australia, and one randomly in the Bahamas. The contrast of red rock and turquoise blue waters was pretty special.

There was also an attractive heritage telegraph station nearby.

There wasn’t much in town but it did provide a nice sunset.

Author: jontycrane

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