Thursday, 30 September 2010


Although Denham is only 100 kilometers away from Carnarvon as the crow flies, those of us who can't fly have to make the trip by road which is over 300 kilometers. The ride certainly wasn't boring. We came across a feral cat and goats, and had to slow down when a group of cows crossed the road in front of us and again for a couple of crossing emus.

It was SUCH a hot day, reaching 38 degrees just after 11am. We got out of the car to take a photo of the surrounding scenery and it was like stepping into an oven.

As we approached shark bay the mercury mercifully dropped a few degrees.

The scenery improved too!

After getting settled in we spent some time going to the visitor's center and having a look around the town. We booked a "mermaid cruise" where they focus on spotting dugongs for later in the week at Monkey Mia, and they were running a special where they included a sunset cruise which should be a nice way to wrap up our visit.

This area has one of the greatest concentrations of sea grass in the world, which is part of the reason it's heritage listed.  Dugongs, who feed on the sea grass, are also known as "sea cows"  We're really hoping to get a chance to see one of the gentle giants.

We spent the past couple of days enjoying the beach and some of the sites in and around Denham.

Shell Beach is made of of millions of cockle shells.  The cockles reproduce at an amazing rate and the shells are about 9 meters deep and growing!  Some of the buildings in Denham have been constructed using bricks made of the shells.

We also visited Eagle Bluff.  We walked along the boardwalk where they have informational signs and fantastic views.   Fish and various sea life (including dugongs if you're lucky - we weren't) can be seen frolicking in the clear water.

The areas that look like land are actually the sandy bottom of the sea
as seen through the clear water.  The dark patches are sea grass.
Ocean Park was well worth a visit, and the guides were terrific.  We saw a shark feeding and learned a lot about all sorts of fish in their aquarium.  Did you know that moray eels actually have a second jaw that they jut out to grab their prey?  Shades of Alien...

Lunch Time!

We drove into Francois Peron National Park and took a self guided tour of the Peron Homestead which gave us an idea of what life was like when the homestead was a working sheep station.

Old Sheep Shearing Shed
The artesian hot tub was a big draw to the homestead.  After visions of a resort-style spa, the metal tank was a surprise, and the green water a bit confronting.   We hesitated, but we had so looked forward to a hot soak.  Can you blame us?  It's been three months since we've had a proper bath! 

In the end we reminded ourselves that this wasn't the chlorinated spa we were used to, but rather water being pumped up straight from the ground, and more akin to swimming in a river. We couldn't resist taking the plunge.  It was quite hot (40 degrees C), and a bit difficult to get into at first, but once in was wonderful.

Having said that, I'm off to hit the showers.  Tomorrow we move on to Monkey Mia.

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