Discover dazzling UNESCO treasure
In 1991, shimmering Shark Bay on the Coral Coast was Western Australia’s first destination to receive UNESCO World Heritage status. It’s not hard to see why: this natural wonderland is one of the world’s wilderness treasures, home to an abundance of animals and plants – some of which are only found here. Colourful and varied landscapes, rare flora and fauna and world-class examples of our planet’s ecological processes all contribute to Shark Bay’s magnetic marine allure. The eight-hour drive from Perth to Shark Bay is an adventure in itself, showcasing some of the country’s most impressive and diverse scenery.
Interact with friendly dolphins – and maybe even feed them a fish or two – at Monkey Mia, which is famous for its friendly pod of wild bottlenose dolphins. The pod makes three daily trips to shore to the delight of two-legged locals and visitors, who can swim alongside them. Swap sand for shells at the aptly named Shell Bell, a pearl-white beach made up of millions of tiny shells, stretching for more than 70 kilometres. Nearby, gawp at the Hamelin Pool stromatolites – the oldest and largest living fossils on earth – from eco-conscious viewing platforms. If you’ve got time, don’t miss the local dugongs (aka sea cows) and Dirk Hartog Island, too…
Connect with Australia’s Aboriginal past
Along with its natural beauty and ecological diversity, Shark Bay is rich in Aboriginal history. Do as Monty did and join a tour with Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Adventures. Pick from outdoors experiences such as kayaking, 4WDs, SUP tours and more; whatever you opt for, you’ll learn all about the region’s first people and their ancient cultural ties to the land. Continue your Aboriginal education in Western Australia by signing up for a twilight didgeridoo cave tour in Margaret River with Josh ‘Koomal’ Whiteland, or join Uptuyu Aboriginal Adventures and tour sacred and historic Aboriginal sites in the Kimberley.