A wonderland of world-class natural attractions, the Shark Bay World Heritage Area was the first location in Western Australia to receive UNESCO status in 1991. The area meets four of the ten required natural criteria and remains one of only a handful of places in the world to achieve this high criteria status level.
The colourful and diverse landscapes, rare flora and fauna and world-class examples of Earth’s ecological processes all contribute to the region being World Heritage listed. The area contains plant species that are unique and considered new to science, five of Australia's 26 species of endangered Australian mammals, as well as 35% of all of Australia's bird species.
The 12 species of seagrass found in Shark Bay cover over 4,000 square kilometres (approximately the size of the Perth metropolitan area), and support a high diversity of fauna such as dolphins, fish, turtles and crustaceans. This sea grass is a vital food source for one of the most stable dugong populations in the world, with over 10,000 dugongs inhabiting the Shark Bay region.
Shark Bay is approximately 850 kilometres north of Perth (10 hours drive) or a 2-hour flight to Monkey Mia airport with Regional Express (REX) which is a 10-minute drive from the popular holiday destination of Denham.
Did you know: Shark Bay is Australia’s largest bay! It boasts over 1,000 kilometres of pristine beach and calm, inviting waters.
* Top Ten *
- See: Oldest living fossils on Earth; the Hamelin Pool Stromatolites and world-famous Shell Beach
- Meet: World’s smartest wild dolphins at Monkey Mia
- Drive: Francois Peron National Park by 4WD
- Learn: History of the Indigenous Malgana people
- Experience: Dirk Hartog Island offering stunning natural beauty and untamed wilderness
- Meet: the Dugongs of Shark Bay on a wildlife cruise
- Enjoy: a hot tub at the Peron Homestead in Francois Peron National Park
- Wonder: at the marine life in Ocean Park Aquarium
- Count: the thongs at quirky Thong Shack on the Denham foreshore
- Visit: the Shark Bay Discovery Centre to learn more about the region.