Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 020 Contents 176 Scoop Traveller July - December 2011
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SHARK BAY TO
hark Bay’s main
has safe swimming
beaches and plenty of
accommodation and tour options.
While you’re there, check out
the Shark Bay World Heritage
Discovery Centre, and the ancient
stromatolites at Hamelin Pool.
Join an Indigenous tour, scenic
flight or yacht charter, or picnic
at Little Lagoon. Monkey Mia is
famous for a band of bottlenose
dolphins that swim to shore
each morning. Take a camel trek
along the beach, hire a kayak or
quad bikes, or join an astronomy
tour. You’ll pay a fee to enter
Monkey Mia. Head north to the
region’s main town, Carnarvon.
Ideal for restocking supplies,
repairs and refuelling, there’s
plenty of accommodation and
things to do. About 30km north
of Carnarvon on the North West
Coastal Highway is the Blowholes
turn off that leads to Quobba and
Gnaraloo. There, you will find
some of the best surf breaks
and wind-and kitesurfing
conditions in the world, not to
mention the fishing.
Chinamans Pool (near Carnarvon,
right in town) has honeyeaters,
plovers, terns, stints and
sandpipers. Miaboolya Beach,
just north of town at the mouth
of a small tidal creek, is where
you might find kestrels (check
the lamp-posts along the road for
nests), egrets, hooded plovers,
stilts, osprey, brahminy kites,
striated heron and sea birds.
Rocky Pool on the Gascoyne
River is quite scenic and may
have fairy martins nesting in
the cliffs, kestrels, blue-winged
kookaburras, plovers and black-
tailed treecreepers. Carnarvon
is also home to Australia’s rarest
thornbill, the singing bush lark.
Spot them at Bush Bay.
They pass Shark Bay from July
to October, mostly skirting the
islands in the bay’s west, so are
best seen on a coastal cruise, or
you might get lucky and catch a
glimpse from coastal cliffs.
Keen campers and hikers should
make the 150km journey east
of Carnarvon on sealed roads to
Kennedy Range National Park – a
huge ancient plateau of sandstone
battlements, gorges and towering
cliff faces. The park has many
stunning walk trails ranging from
easy 15-minute strolls to more
challenging hikes, and is best
seen after good winter rains when
thousands of delicate wildflowers
blanket the dusty red landscape.
Camping is permitted in certain
designated areas, and fees apply.
Head further east to visit Mt
Augustus, the world’s largest
monocline. At 8km long, it’s about
twice the size of Uluru and is the
largest rock in the world. The
surrounding area has more walk
trails, swimming holes, waterfalls
and Aboriginal engravings.
Camping is not permitted.
Islands and beaches
Fishing in Carnarvon is extremely
popular, and great fishing spots
are in abundance for all skill
levels. From the beaches at
Pelican Point, Miaboolya and
Dwyer’s Leap, to the one mile
jetty or the small boat harbor,
the choices are endless. There
are sunken wrecks, and Bernier
and Dorre Islands for those with
a substantial boat or choosing to
take a charter. Canoe or kayak the
mangrove creeks at the Gascoyne
River’s mouth. Dirk Hartog
Island off Shark Bay is perfect for
families. Swim, snorkel or dive
the reefs and beaches. Go fishing,
spot dolphins, dugongs, turtles,
humpback whales and sharks.
“This is true wilderness territory,
famous for one of the best breaks in
Australia and a mecca for wind- and
kitesurfing, fishing and diving”
Red Bluff, Quobba Station
(Photography Tourism WA).
Feeding dolphins at Monkey Mia.
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