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Shell Beach | Coral Coast
It’s called Shell Beach, but did you know it really is made from shells? The
shells on the beach extend down 10m and stretch along 120km of coastline
(80km is accessible to all, and the rest is 4WD or limited access only). It’s
created from billions of tiny shells of the coquina bivalve shellfish, which
have existed here in huge numbers for thousands of years. After dying
a natural death (these shellfish have no predators), they wash up on the
shore. This beach’s unusual composition makes it one of only two in the
world that shares its characteristics – the other being in South America.
So, it’s one of the rarest beaches of its type in the world. Shell Beach is
45km south-east of Denham along Shark Bay Road.
DID YOU KNOW You’ll see these shells used in nearby Denham in the
walls of buildings, such as the Old Pearler Restaurant.
Turtle nesting season | Pilbara
Thousands of marine turtles nest at
night on the Pilbara beaches from
October to February each year.
The beaches near Port Hedland are
likely spots to see them. Several
species nest there, including the
hawksbill – of which WA has
the only big population left in
the Indian Ocean – and the big
loggerhead, which can get up to
150kg in weight. Sea turtles may
live up to 100 years but no one’s
sure, and it can take up to 50 years
for them to reach sexual maturity.
Females lay 40-125 eggs at a time,
so when the hatchlings emerge
about seven weeks later, the scene
is absolutely spectacular.
TIP Turtles are protected, so
don’t disturb them. Find the
Turtle Watcher’s Code of Conduct
Rowley Shoals | The Kimberley
Want to see some of the world’s most untouched coral gardens? Rowley Shoals
Marine Park is considered one of the world’s most pristine diving areas. It’s
300km west of Broome (to get there you go through some of the State’s prime
game fishing zones), and rises spectacularly from the edge of Australia’s
continental shelf where it experiences five-metre tides. These three coral
atolls have been hailed as near-perfect examples of atoll geomorphology
(Google it) and are home to 600 species of fish, including two-thirds of the
tropical species found in Australia. Boat tours are available.
TIP The water’s so warm you’ll need only a thin wetsuit or a rash vest.
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