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The Shark Bay World Heritage area is located at the most western point of Australia,  just over 800 km north of Perth and is home to a unique  collection of plants and wildlife, found nowhere else I the world. With a mixture of dramatic sandstone cliffs overlooking shallow sandy bays, miles of beach made entirely of small white shells and the strange shapes of the stromatolites - the oldest form of life on earth, Shark Bay lives up to its reputation as a World Heritage area.

We have put together a list of trails, including hiking, driving and paddle trails, to take you on an epic adventure through this amazing landscape.


Boolagoorda Trail, Hamelin Pool

Photo - Kim Fawcett

Time: 1 hour

Distance: 1.4 km loop

Difficulty: Grade 2

Trail Start: The trail starts at the Hamelin Pool Caravan Park and Tea Rooms

This trail may be short but it is packed full of amazing things.

The old Hamelin Pool telegraph station is located at the trail head and open on request to the caravan park office. It is the oldest telegraph station still in its original location.

Climb the hill behind the shop and descend into the old shell block quarry, before following the trail past a lonely grave to the stromatolites boardwalk. These strange mushroom shaped rocks are not actually rocks at all but the oldest life forms on earth. Take the time to read the interpretive panels along the trail to gain an understanding of the significance of these amazing lifeforms.


Eagle Bluff Boardwalk

Photo - Kim Fawcett

Time: 1 hour

Distance: 400m loop

Difficulty:  Grade 1

Trail Start: Eagle Bluff car park

With a boardwalk perched on the top of Eagle Bluff, what this trail lacks in distance is well and truly made up for by the incredible views of the shallow waters below, where you will see sharks, dugongs and turtles meandering along.

There is a small amount of loose gravel near the car park, but once on the boardwalk the rest of the trail is suitable for wheelchairs and people with disabilities. The trail returns along a gravel path, but you could choose to return along the boardwalk if preferred.

There are a number of interpretive panels along the trail explaining how water levels in the bay have changed over time and other interesting facts.


Shark Bay World Heritage Drive

Photo - Shell Beach, Kim Fawcett

Time: Multi Day

Distance: 160 km one way

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Start: At the corner of NWC Hwy and Shark Bay Rd

The Shark Bay World Heritage Drive commences where you leave the NWC Hwy and turn into Shark Bay Rd. Look out for the signs to the Hamelin Pool telegraph station and the stromatolites. The Boolagoorda Trail can be accessed from the stromatolites car park if you feel like stretching your legs. This trail will take you right through the old shell block quarry as well.

The next bay is home to shell beach; a 60 km beach made entirely of tiny white shells. Eagle Bluff Boardwalk is another 30 km up the road and offers stunning views out towards Useless Loop. You will pass Ocean Park Aquarium and the town of Denham before finally arriving at Monkey Mia where the trail ends.


Wanamalu Trail, Cape Peron

Photo - SP Fennigwerth

Time: 1-3 hours

Distance: 3.6 km return

Difficulty: Grade 2

Trail Start: At the tip of Cape Peron on the Cape Peron Track

This trail follows the top of the cliffs between Cape Peron and Skipjack Point in the Francois Peron NP.

To access this trail at the tip of Francois Peron NP you will need high clearance 4WD and low range capacity as the track passes through areas of soft sand.

With striking sandstone cliffs, vivid red dunes, white beaches, deep blue seas and clear blue skies this trail offers the keen photographer plenty of opportunities to capture some stunning images.

Keep watch in the water below and on a calm day you will be rewarded with a parade of marine life passing by.


Wulyibiddi Yaninyina Trail, Monkey Mia

Photo - SP Fennigwerth

Time: 1 hour

Distance: 2.7 km loop

Difficulty: Grade 2

Trail Start: Monkey Mia carpark

Monkey Mia is famous for the wild dolphins that have visited the area for many years, but the nearby coastal scenery is worth a look as well.

The trail will take you along the tidal flats and beach, where you can expect to see a variety of water birds, such as pelicans and osprey, before returning through the sand dunes. The vibrant red dunes host a variety of plants and in spring, put on a colourful display.

The dunes are home to numerous species of birds, including the rare thick-billed grass wren and the beautiful chiming wedgebill. There is a bird hide located on the top of the sand dunes.


Shark Bay Kayak Trail

Photo - Mark Tait

Time: 5 days

Distance: 90 km one way

Difficulty: Difficult

Trail Start: Denham

See the Francois Peron NP from a different perspective on this epic kayak adventure. The trail starts at Denham, follows the shoreline of the Peron Peninsular, past remote beaches, before finally ending at Monkey Mia. Most of the time you will be in shallow water with a great view of the marine life below

This trail should only be tackled by fit and experienced kayakers, as you will be covering nearly 20 km a day for 5 days. You will need to carry all your food, water and camping equipment with you, because there is nowhere along the route to resupply. Limited 4WD access is available along the route, giving you the option to tackle a smaller section or arrange resupply drops.

There are more details about this epic paddle on the Trails WA website to assist with your planning.

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