Francois Peron National Park
Where Red Desert meets Clear Blue Sea
After exploring the Edel Peninsula of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, we headed towards the Peron Peninsula. This is where you’ll find places like Shell Beach; with millions of tiny fragum cockle shells layering meters and meters deep, instead of sand, to create the shore line. These shells thrive on the super salty waters of the area. As well as the ever popular Monkey Mia, where you can see ‘wild’ dolphins come to shore and be fed for a $15 entrance fee. Maybe you will even get lucky enough to be the chosen one from the long line of hopefuls lining the beach to help feed the dolphins.
WE ARE HERE
Denham is the epicentre of the Shark Bay area, and actually a really nice town. Beautiful water, not too crowded considering the expanse of treasures that surround it, and some great displays and information at the Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery and Visitor Centre. From here, further north you’ll reach Francois Peron National Park. This place gives some crazy beautiful views where colours of nature that don’t usually sit together, mash in a kaleidoscope of pigments. The red rust dirt of the desert, meets the clear deep blue of the ocean, with only a ribbon of white sand tying the two together. And the best bits can only be reached by 4WD!
When you first enter the park a 2WD track leads to Peron Homestead, where you can learn about the pastoral history of the area as a sheep station. Stroll around the old shearing sheds and shearers quarters before having a dip in the natural artesian hot tub! What’s a ‘natural artesian hot tub’? Good question! We can only describe it as a bore dug during farming days, that struck hot water, which is now pumped into a big round hot tub! It was a fairly hot day already, but we still made sure we dipped our legs in, and boy oh boy, it was hot! Maybe a midnight dip under the stars would be a more civilised choice.
Just past the homestead you’ll find a tyre compressor station. This is where the 2WD have to turn back, and the 4WD fun begins! We camped at Big Lagoon, and almost had the place to ourselves (lucky timing after a couple of weeks of the campground having a full house!) With sunset decks and calm water through the inland bay, we were set. An afternoon fishing didn’t provide us with any dinner, so good old baked beans and egg on toast was on the menu and sunset views for the win. The next day we made the pilgrimage to Cape Peron, the point at the northern tip of the peninsula. This was spectacular. It was worth the venture down the bumpy sandy track, to stand atop the red cliffs looking down to the white sand edging the ocean. Cormorants lined the shore as if waiting to get into an exclusive nightclub! Stunning views from Skip Jack Point lookout also surprise and delight with a birds eye view of the ocean and its creatures below
In the end we spent so much time exploring the National Park, and seeing dolphins truly wild, we didn’t have the time or feel the need to spend our money going to Monkey Mia. Maybe next time…although we’ll probably be too busy exploring more 4WD tracks and secluded spots!
Our next blog will be from: The Coral Coast! Ningaloo here we come!
Until our next update - see you on / off the road 😉
Cassie and Micky