Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 021 Contents January - June 2012 Scoop Traveller 275
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Lagoon are top spots. Walk off
the beach onto the Ningaloo Reef
and see several species of parrot
fish, wrasse, reef sharks, rays and
turtles. If you’re adventurous, grab
a waterproof torch and try night
snorkelling. Steep Point, Point
Quobba and Red Bluff are also great.
TIP Pick up a local snorkelling
guide from Gnaraloo Station for
tips and identification.
Great all year round, but May
to July is the most productive
offshore. Summer is ideal for
land-based game fishing at Steep
Point. Spanish mackerel is targeted,
tuna and sail fish are also caught.
Shark Bay’s famous pink snapper
comes into season in May – try your
luck at Bar Flats – and Carnarvon
north has good catches of spangled
emperor. There is a maximum size
limit in Shark Bay. BYO equipment.
TIP Take a bucket to the Shark Bay
Fish Factory for cheap local whiting
heads, great bait for the many fish
found in the area.
Nesting time is between December
and February. About 70 per cent
of the west’s loggerhead turtles
lay their eggs at Turtle Bay, on
the northern end of Dirk Hartog
Island, Shelter Bay Beach, on the
southern shore of South Passage
and Dorre Island. The Gnaraloo
coastline lies within the newly
declared Ningaloo World
Heritage Area and is also home to
significant sea turtle rookeries,
with loggerhead, green and
hawksbill turtles nesting there
from November to April annually.
Gnaraloo Station has driven some
groundbreaking research with
their Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation
Program and it’s worth enquiring
about volunteering. Never approach
sea turtles in the wild unless
accompanied by an expert.
There are 240 bird species to be
found in Shark Bay, for some it’s
the northern limit, others like
the Dorre Island rufous field wren
aren’t found anywhere else in the
world. Visit mangrove areas and
coastal waters like Little Lagoon
to spot waders.
Steep Point, Dirk Hartog Island and
Francois Peron National Park are
renowned 4WD destinations. Camp
and take days to explore the cliff
tops, beaches and sandy stretches.
Take a barge from Steep Point to
Dirk Hartog Island, and drive to
Point Inscription where the earliest
recorded European settlers landed.
Canoes at Monkey Mia (Photography Dan Paris).
Monkey Mia is a favourite to spot a variety
of birds (Photography Dan Paris).
Fishing at Shark Bay (Photography Marc Russo).
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