South Peron - Eagle Bluff, Shell Beach, Nanga
Flanked by the waters of Hamelin Pool on one side and Henri Freycinet Harbour on the other, lies South Peron, a landscape of red sand dunes cloaked with low shrubland. Once part of the Peron Pastoral Lease, Peron Peninsula was bought by the Western Australian government in 1990; the northern half became Francois Peron National Park in 1993 whilst South Peron remained as unallocated government land. In the near future South Peron is earmarked to become a conservation reserve.
South Peron is divided by the Shark Bay Road, also known as the World Heritage Drive, which is the key access point for the main sites including Eagle Bluff, Shell Beach and Nanga Bay Resort.
Including Fowler’s Camp, Goulet Bluff and Whale Bone
These four coastal sites offer access to the western side of the Peron Peninsula off the Shark Bay Road. Short gravel roads, suitable for all vehicles, link each of the sites with the main road. Eagle Bluff is the most developed of the sites with a boardwalk and carpark, whilst the other sites have no facilities.
No formal camping areas at any of these sites. They are currently managed by the Shire of Shark Bay and anyone wishing to camp here must organise it in advance with the shire. Details are provided at this website or by contacting the Shire at the address below:
Shire of Shark Bay
Postal address: PO Box 126 Denham WA 6537
Address in Denham: 65 Knight Terrace Denham WA 6537
Ph: (08) 9948 1218
Coastal scenery and wildlife watching
Eagle Bluff is one of the best places in Shark Bay to view marine life. The shallow waters below the boardwalk are teeming with life including rays, turtles, sharks and the occasional dugong, especially in the summer months. For more information on the sharks and other creatures you are likely to see from the boardwalk see our animal section.
The elevated boardwalk also gives views of two small limestone islands once mined for guano and now important breeding bird colonies. On a clear day you can also observe excellent vistas across Shark Bay to the western peninsula and Edel Land.
Although there are no walking tracks or boardwalks at Fowlers Camp, Whalebone and Goulet Bluff, you can still access the coastline by foot to explore some of the more remote beaches. Note that these coastal sites are seabird nesting areas and vehicle traffic on the beach can disturb birds and crush their nests. Keep vehicles off the beach please.
Shell Beach is a conservation park just off the sealed Shark Bay Road about 84km from the Northwest Coastal Highway and 44km from Denham.
Shell Beach, as the name implies, is not your everyday sand beach, instead it’s a beach made of trillions of tiny shells all from one type of animal. The shell, known as the Hamelin Cockle lives in prolific numbers in the area because of the super salty water and the discarded shells have heaped into massive piles up to 10m thick! It is a sight to behold; tonnes of bleached white shells forming a beach up to 1km wide and many kilometres long!
People come from all over to admire this amazing natural phenomenon. You can walk along the beach for several kilometres or take a dip in the shallow waters. Information signs explain the significance of the shells and their role in the local ecosystem. The basic facilities at the site include a toilet, carpark and information signs. Camping is not allowed.
Why are there so many shells here? See our fact sheet on the Hamelin Cockle for the answer.
Just to the south of Shell Beach is a large, electrified fence stretching several kilometres each side of the main road. This fence is a vital part of Project Eden, a conservation project recreating the natural ecosystem on Peron Peninsula by removing introduced feral predators and reintroducing locally extinct native species. Read more about the project here
Nanga Bay on the western side of Peron Peninsula is a peaceful beachside resort with access to the waters of Henri Freycinet Harbour. Once an operating pastoral station, part of the station has been converted into a tourist resort with full accommodation and recreational facilities and the remainder has been purchased for conservation.
Nanga is 50km south of Denham and 77km from the Northwest Coastal Highway. The resort is at the end of a 5km unsealed road leading off the Shark Bay Road.
Facilities & Activities
Nanga Bay Resort offers a full range of accommodation and recreational facilities including:
- A campground and cabin, motel, and backpacker accommodation
- A licenced restaurant and liquor store
- Fuel, telephone and internet facilities
- Boat ramp and access to Henri Freycinet Harbour
- Recreational facilities including a pool, hot tub and tennis court
For further details visit the resort’s website.