What’s so Special about Shark Bay?

Time is flying by so fast lately. The days, weeks and months feel like they’re blurring into one. It’s hard to believe we’re half way through October and it’s been over three months since we left Melbourne for our big road trip. Every day this journey of ours feels more and more like an odyssey.

When you’re engaged in what you love to do, it’s like driving in the fast lane. Time flies by and more roads open up to you, alternate routes you may not have even known existed.” – T. Harv Eker

We’ve recently left the area of Denham and Shark Bay in Western Australia, a very special part of Australia’s coral coastline.

“To be listed for World Heritage by the U.N an area needs meet only one of four criteria. Of the 16th Natural World Heritage sites on our planet, only 19 meet all of the criteria. Among these sites are the Galápagos Islands, the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon and … Shark Bay.”

World Heritage places really are unique places on Earth and Shark Bay is listed because of its beauty and abundance and its evolving habitats and species. It’s a window in time and a wildlife refuge.

So, what can you experience when you visit there?

Amazing Coastal Camping

Imagine having a beach to yourself. With an endless horizon of sea and sky, sunset over the water, an alfresco dinner and stargazing with a glass of red. It’s like Heaven on Earth.

That’s how it was at Whalebone Bay near Denhan. We had no neighbours, only birds, and no noise except for the sound of waves close by. There are five coastal camp grounds in the Shark Bay area and numbers are limited to four vehicles a night at each one so you have a good chance of having the place to yourself.

When I think about the chaos and uncertainty around the world, nature reminds me to stop. To focus on what’s right in front of us. It’s all about connection. To feel sand under our feet, hear the lull of the waves and watch a golden sunset over the water. Life’s all about tuning into our senses, focusing on what makes us happy in the moment.

Place your hands into soil to feel grounded. Wade in water to feel emotionally healed. Fill your lungs with fresh air to feel mentally clear. Raise your face to the heat of the sun and connect with that, fire to feel your own immense power.” Victoria Erickson

Francois Peron National Park

What an adventurous day trip we had, with a dollop of hot tub decadence at the end. The drive into Francois Peron National Park is 4WD only and over 40kms of rough track, with plenty of emus and smaller critters to look out for along the way.

Before even unhitching the van we had to stop for this blue tongue lizard and coax him off the track, so he wasn’t squashed. The sand gets very deep on the track, especially towards the end where cars were getting bogged left right and centre. But we made it through with no dramas.

At the tip of Cape Peron the colours are dazzling. Sun burnt red cliffs back onto azure waters. It’s a mesmerising sight … the ocean shouldn’t be touching a desert but it does. Here the rust red desert sand meets brilliant white beach and the bluest water merges with eternal blue skies. It stirs my soul.

I have seen the sea when it is stormy and wild; when it is quiet and serene; when it is dark and moody. And in all its moods, I see myself” Martin Buxbaum

Nearby at the viewing platforms at Skipworth Point you can look out onto the Indian Ocean. It’s like a huge natural aquarium of sting rays, sharks, turtles, schools of fish … we can see a few on top but there’s a world of life below the surface.

Soak in an Artesian Spa

By the time we’re back at the homestead at the historic precinct, where we dropped off our van, we’re ready for the artesian spa. The water is hot, really hot at 40C, and almost too much for me but Doug, on the other hand, had to be coaxed out of it!

The hot artesian waters once supplied water to stock on the former Peron station. These days the artesian spa is a treat. It relieves any tight muscles after all that bumping around on the sandy 4WD track in.

And for the record, you don’t need to 4WD into the park to enjoy this artesian plunge at the homestead. It’s accessible at the historic precinct, at the start of the Francois Peron drive.

Eagle Bluff Lookout

Always be on the lookout for new detours, adventures and perspectives. It’s what makes life interesting.

And so it is at Eagle Bluff. This lookout and boardwalk, located off the Shark Bay Road, is perched high over the cliffs of the bay and gives breath taking views over pristine clear waters and marine life.

Sharks, turtles, manta rays and other marine life … it’s amazing what we can see. If only our photos could capture what our eyes saw in reality.

Photography begins not in the camera but in the mind and the eye. The real work is one of noticing and appreciating, seeing things clearly and differently ….”

Monkey Mia

They say no trip to Shark Bay is complete without a visit to Monkey Mia. It’s where, for 40 years, three generations of wild bottlenose dolphins have been visiting the beach, and it’s one of the best places for dolphin interaction in the world. Visitors can watch them play as they’re being fed. It’s a very popular, touristy place and pricey too, so I wasn’t sure whether we’d visit or not.

Well, that was decided for us when we stopped to check out the Welcome to Denham signs. I started chatting to a woman and somewhere along our conversation she offered me her Monkey Mia 24 hour pass which still had five hours left on it. How lucky!

Although we missed the main dolphin feeding time we still saw a few playing in the water. They’re such joyful creatures. They remind us to glide through each day with ease and how important it is to be curious and play. I could have watched them for hours.

Stunning Shell Beach

Shell beach is one of only two beaches in the world consisting entirely of shells. No sand, just shells. It’s a pearler of a beach, literally.

This dazzling white beach is made up of billions of tiny cockle shells and was named a Top Beach by National Geographic. On a still day the ocean at Shell Beach transforms into a palette of intense greens and blues and the cockle shells sparkle. Like a child, I couldn’t resist throwing a handful into the air.

The water is incredibly salty, making it very easy to float, but we came late in the afternoon when it was windy and so we didn’t swim. I marvelled at the sight of this beach. It was dazzling.

What have I missed?

We didn’t get to the untamed wilderness of Dirk Hartog Island or drive the iconic 4WD trip to West Australia’s most western point at Steep Point.

Within the Hamelin Marine park are the oldest living fossils on earth, the Hamelin Pool Stromatolites, apparently a great sight to see. Sadly, Cyclone Seroja in April caused damage to the boardwalk out and over the stromatolites so the car park and boardwalk are currently closed.

The tide recedes but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand. The sun goes down, but gentle warmth still lingers on the land. The music stops, And yet it echoes on in sweet refrains. For every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.

Author unknown

So that’s a snapshot of Shark Bay. This pristine, wild, remote part of Western Australia with all of its incredible marine life and coastal beauty, has left yet another indelible imprint on my soul.

Wherever you are in the world, keep looking up and seek that treasure in your own backyard. We live in such a wondrous world. Remember to look out for those detours, time might be flying but it’s up to you to be the navigator.

Sending love and light

Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing. – Dr. Seuss

57 thoughts on “What’s so Special about Shark Bay?

  1. 3 months already! I remember when you started, wow! The places you have visited are wonderful, paradise for me, I love beaches and deserts. Australia is beautiful, thanks for sharing all of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brad, the situation in our home state is so dark and dire right now that, for the moment, I feel like we’re exactly where we’re meant to be. One day at a time for now, we’ll see what happens.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Miriam, lovely blog again. I love the quotes you find to meld into your stories. We havn’t made it to Shark Bay yet, but it is certainly on our list. Your stories and photos have reminded me to keep it near the top of the list! If you end up in Margaret River during your travels south, we’d love to catch up for a coffee and a chat if you have time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bob, that’s very kind of you and there’s every likelihood we’ll end up in Margaret River at some stage. Don’t know when but yes, we’ll keep you in mind. Would love to catch up!


  3. This is so true “Always be on the lookout for new detours, adventures and perspectives. It’s what makes life interesting.” I will also be putting Shell beach in my bucket list. It looks beautiful, and something I must see in person. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Has it been three months already since you left Melbourne? I love when you said, focus on what’s right in front of us. It’s all about connection. It’s so true. I love bottle-nose dolphins. Hubby swam with the dolphins on one of his diving trip in Hawaii. Another of his diving trip in North Carolina, a school of dolphins swam under our boat. Thank you for sharing these amazing photos, Miriam. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Miriam, how wonderful to swim with these gorgeous creatures of the sea. It really is all about connection and it doesn’t get much better than that. And yes, it’s been over three months. Amazing really. But time doesn’t stand still. 💙


  5. wow wow and wow Miriam, what a treat … your narrative, exotic pics and brilliant quotes! It doesn’t get much better than this, thanks for taking us along with you 🙂

    hey Doug is losing weight … and your posts are getting even better. Difficult when they were already perfect 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a wonderful comment! Thanks so much my lovely friend. I do feel incredibly blessed to be where we are and I love sharing our travels via my posts. So glad you’re enjoying them. Much love your way. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing photos Miriam, I particularly loved the red cliffs. Again you’ve showed me another campsite, even if it’s only a 24hour one. I knew those sites were there, but we’ve always been on our way to somewhere else. Next time we will take a day or two out to camp on the beach and listen to the waves as we sleep. I’m so enjoying your posts. They’re reminding me to slow down and take the time for the little places. You are showing me my own back yard!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Chris, yes it’s definitely worth a stopover at those coastal camps. There’s something particularly special about camping so close to the ocean. You live in such a beautiful state. 💙


  7. The whole of Australia is beautiful Miriam, but I do love my own state best. It’s been such a blessing to be living in this big state in these troubling times. We’ve have such a vast area and the relative freedom to roam about almost wherever we choose as long as we don’t cross borders. We’re off down to south west next week to catch the last of the wildflowers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Miriam, what the hell? Every time I think I can’t be any more wowed, you come along and post something like this! HOW IS IT EVEN REAL? Wow!! It’s like the world is being punked by Australia. Honestly, I am looking around right now, and it’s like I’m seeing the inside of a trash can compared to the wondrous world you are currently enjoying! I mean, I am stunned. I cannot imagine what it must be like to witness it in person. Gahhh. One day I will go there, but I will NOT attempt floating in any water associated with the name Shark Bay. 😩 Just saying. I love all of this and am so happy you are living your dream, my beautiful friend. 🤗❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tanya, my lovely friend, yep, honestly it’s like there’s two realities in play here in Australia at the moment. On the east coast and especially in Victoria where I’m from there’s tyranny, mandates, coercion and so much angst and fear. It’s devastating to see, especially when it affects my family back home. But it’s different where I am and I honestly believe I’m over here at this time for a reason. I don’t know what the future holds but for now my focus is on the wonder around me and making the most of this journey we’re on. Oh, you’ll get here one day and there’ll be no shark diving just star gazing and drinks on the beach! Thank you so much for sharing in my travels and joy. Wishing you much love always. xx ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, Miriam!! I sit here stunned, in awe, and totally moved by what you shared with us here. The beauty blows me away and for you and hubby to be able to experience this first hand, OH what a Gift you are being given!!! And I mean that! Australia is so huge and so beautiful with so much diversity. How do you plan on where to go? You have so much to choose from that to me I wouldn’t know where to go next. What kind of guide do you use? I remember the days of paper maps and that I am familiar with and still to this day prefer. Good luck on finding paper maps though. I am amazed and enthralled that the world you see is the REAL world. I’ve been here a long time just looking, drinking deeply and wanting with all my heart to be on the road seeking adventures. Thank you so much for sharing this post. Bless you and your husband as you continue on your adventures. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Amy, I’m so touched by your words and so very happy to be able to share my pictures, our journey and experiences as we travel. You’re right, it’s a gift this journey and every dry I give thanks for it all. As for the planning, I actually use a combination of resources, online and internet browsing, brochures and visitor information centres and yes, paper maps. They’re still widely available which is great and honestly my best friend on the road, I have so many maps! Yes Amy, this is the real world for sure and my wish is that one day you’ll also experience a road trip of your own. But I know you also find the beauty in your own backyard. Huge thanks again and love and blessings to you too dear friend. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh YAY paper maps still exist!! SO you basically are following the bread crumbs which is something I do. Oh my gosh! No plans just as you go. OH just love this! Hubby is just the opposite which makes me grind my teeth but hopefully once we are out and about, that too shall change. Anything is possible, isn’t it? As for beauty …. I’m longing for oceans and water. I live near Lake Erie but it is a real hassle to get to a good site and I don’t feel comfortable going alone. So, I wait. Your pictures!! I drooled!! LOL xo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yep, we’re planning as we go Amy, with our maps and phones and inner guidance. Every day is the unknown though at the moment we’re staying put in a bigger town for awhile as I have to try and get some dental work done, groan.
          Yes, wait and you’ll see, your day will come when you’ll be able to explore further. In the meantime I’ll take you with me virtually! Big hugs to you. xxx

          Liked by 1 person

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