Denham, Shark Bay, Western Australia
AREA10,000 km²
LOCATIONAustralia
STATEWA
COORDINATES25.9848°S, 113.7849°E

Denham, Shark Bay, Western Australia

Shark Bay is a World Heritage site situated in the Gascoyne region at approximately 800 km north of Perth in Western Australia. The Shark Bay area is the westernmost point of the Australian continent and was the first Australian site to be classified on the World Heritage list.

A UNESCO World Heritage site

Shark Bay’s waters, islands and peninsulas have a number of exceptional natural features, including one of the largest and most diverse seagrass beds in the world. However it is for its stromatolites (colonies of microbial mats that form hard, dome-shaped deposits which are said to be the oldest life forms on earth), that the property is most renowned. The property is also famous for its rich marine life including a large population of dugongs, and provides a refuge for a number of other globally threatened species.

The fauna in the Shark Bay area is of major zoological importance. It is home to about 10,000 dugongs (‘sea cows’), which represents around 12.5% of the world’s population. You will find many bottlenose dolphins that have been particularly friendly since the 1960’s.

The Shark Bay area, with a superficy of 2.3 million hectares, supports 26 threatened Australian mammal species, more than 230 species of bird, and close to 150 species of reptile. There are about 325 fish species, many of them being sharks and rays. It is also an important breeding and nursery ground for fish, crustaceans, and coelenterates.

Humpback and southern right whales use the waters of the bay as migratory staging post. The threatened green and loggerhead sea turtles nest on the bay’s sandy beaches. The whale shark gathers in the bay during the April and May full moons.

Location on the map