About Shark Bay

The Shire of Shark Bay is made up of two peninsulas on the western most point of Australia, 1500 km of coastline, together with some 25,000 square kilometres of hinterland. The Bay’s main body of water covers an area of approximately 8,000 square kilometres with average water depth of 10-15 metres and is divided by shallow banks and many peninsulas and islands.

The town of Denham, the main settlement within the Shire, is some 833 km from Perth, 405 km from Geraldton, 330 km from Carnarvon and 129 km from the Overlander turnoff on the North West Coastal Highway. Shark Bay has a permanent population of approximately 984 people.

Shark Bay enjoys a mild climate all year round with average temperature of 26.5oC. The average annual rainfall is 228 mm, most of which occurs between May and August.

Shark Bay is a thriving community with the main local industries being tourism, fishing, salt production, pearl culturing, shell grit mining and pastoral (sheep, cattle and goats). The town boasts a wide range of local businesses providing services and goods for the local community.

Outside Denham, settlements also exist at Monkey Mia, Nanga, Overlander, Billabong and Useless Loop. Useless Loop is a “closed” mining town located 250 km from Denham by road or 25 km across the bay.

Shark Bay tourist attractions include:

  • World Heritage Listing
  • Monkey Mia (dolphins, dugongs, turtles)
  • Shell Beach
  • Hamelin Pool Stromatolites
  • Steep Point (fishing, diving and camping)
  • Cape Inscription (history of first landing)
  • Dirk Hartog Island (fishing, diving and camping)
  • Peron Peninsula (National Park)
  • Ocean Park Aquarium

The regions landscapes and habitats range from rugged sea cliffs along the coast to tranquil bays and inlets fringed with wide beaches of sand and shells.

Shark Bay has a strong community spirit with several sporting, recreational, children and educational and special interest groups, clubs and committees. Many of these groups organise annual and weekly events for residents and visitors in the Shire of Shark Bay.