Water Activities in Shark Bay
The waters of Shark Bay are generally safe for swimming. In the inner gulf areas around Monkey Mia and Denham there is no swell so swimmers will find plenty of safe places to take a dip. Swimming is most popular in the summer months and the shallow waters around Denham and Monkey Mia are great for cooling off.
Snorkelling and SCUBA diving
Much of the sea bottom inside of Shark Bay is either sand or seagrass, not overly attractive for most snorkellers and SCUBA divers. Coral is restricted to small and often remote patches, making access to these areas restricted to boats or 4WDs. A list of potential sites with comments on each are outlined below. Contact local tour operators in Denham and Monkey Mia for more information on tours and transport options.
- Surf Point – A sanctuary zone at the southern end of Dirk Hartog Island with good coral cover and abundant fish in shallow water making it good for snorkelling.
- Gregories – Francois Peron National Park – a shallow coral wall just offshore which is perfect for a drift snorkel.
- Gudrun Shipwreck – lying in about 6 metres of water about 10km north of Cape Peron in Francois Peron National Park this wreck is in a sanctuary zone and home to a stunning proliferation of marine life including spotted groper, lionfish, pilotfish, batfish, sweetlip, trevally and mackerel. Divers are welcome to explore the wreck but be aware that currents can be very dangerous and it should only be dived on a turning tide (preferably a neap tide). Novice and visiting divers should dive with an experienced operator.
- Sandy Point – Dirk Hartog Island – some of the best coral in the bay is found here just off the east coast of the island.
Windsurfing and Kite-boarding
Wind is one thing that Shark Bay has plenty of, a nuisance to some but not for windsurfers and kite boarders! These activities are becoming increasingly popular and sites like the Denham foreshore, Little Lagoon and Monkey Mia attract a small band of dedicated boarders especially in summer.
The large inner gulfs of Shark Bay are almost totally protected from the powerful Indian Ocean swells and are therefore great for sea-kayaking. The best time of year is during the winter months when the winds drop and there is no surface chop to contend with. With scenery that includes limestone islands, rich red sand dunes, massive sea grass beds and abundant wildlife it is no surprise sea-kayakers rave about Shark Bay. Contact sea-kayak companies in Perth for itineraries that include Shark Bay or if you have your own kayak discuss trip options with local Department of Parks and Wildlife staff.