Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Shark Bay, Australia

Zuytdorp Cliffs, Shark Bay, Western Australia
Zuytdorp Cliffs, Shark Bay, Western Australia
Author: Kevin (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Shark Bay is a major nature conservation area in Western Australia, Australia. This sparsely populated area, covering an area of 10,000 square kilometers with over 1,500 kilometers of coastline, has spectacular sceneries and landscapes. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 15th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Carthage, Tunisia, from 9 to 13 December, 1991.

Shark Bay World Heritage core zone, covering 2,197,300 hectatres, includes Peron Peninsula, Carrarang Peninsula, Bellefin Prong, Heirisson Prong, Dirk Hartog Island, Dorre Island, Bernier Island, Dorre Island, Charlie Island, Small Islands, Kok Islands and Faure Island. Within this area are Francis Peron National Park, Shark Bay Marine Park, Shell Beach Conservation Park, Zuytdorp Nature Reserve and Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve. The main town in Shark Bay is Denham. It is however excluding from the world heritage area.

Photos from Shark Bay

Stromatolites growing in Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve in Shark Bay
Stromatolites growing in Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve in Shark Bay
Author: Paul Harrison (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Zuytdorp Cliffs, Western Australia
Zuytdorp Cliffs, Western Australia
Author: Zamphuor (public domain)

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: S 25 29 10 E 113 26 10
Inscription Year:
Type of Site: Natural
Inscription Criteria: VII, VIII, IX, X

What to See in Shark Bay

Shark Bay has the largest and richest area of sea-grass beds in the world, covering some 4,800 square kilometers. It is a major sanctuary for dugongs, or sea cows. There are about 10,000 dugongs living in Shark Bay, accounting for 10% of the dugongs in the world. It is also where one can view stromatolites, a primitive form of algae that are among the oldest lifeforms on earth. The stromatolites form hard lumps along the coast.

Perhaps the most popular site in Shark Bay is Monkey Mia, a tourist destination where Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins come to be fed daily. Other places of interest include Zuytdorp Cliffs and Hamelin Pool.


Shark Bay is located in Gascoyne, on the westernmost point on the Australian continent, about 1000 km north of Perth. The Shark Bay World Heritage Site includes the islands, peninsulas and bays around this area.

Location Map

View Shark Bay in a larger map

Visiting Shark Bay

Your base for visiting this World Heritage Site is Perth. From there, you can make arrangement or select an appropriate tour package to Shark Bay. It is very far from Perth, so you probably will need to fly there. To prepare for a stay in Perth, here's a list of hotels in Perth with online booking facility.

Getting there

If you go by flight, you will land at Shark Bay Airport (MJK), which is about 8 km from Denham and 16 km from Monkey Mia. Skywest flies there from Perth.

If you think of driving there, Shark Bay is 1,000 km north of Perth and 5,000 km from Sydney.

Book Hotel Rooms in Australia and Worldwide

Click here also for a full list of hotels in Australia or hotels worldwide. If you prefer budget accommodation in hostels, guesthouses or inns, check out hostels worldwide for budget accommodation providers with online booking.

Tour Australia

As you plan your trip, consider all the local tours of Australia that you may want to include.

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