Places, Places we went
Comments 6

Gutharraguda – Colours of Shark Bay

Shark Bay Western Australia

In my previous posts I have written about some of our inspiring encounters with the magnificent wildlife of Shark Bay. The Malgana people used to call this land ‘Two Bays’ or Gutharraguda – referring to the shallow waters of Hamelin Pool between Peron Peninsula and the mainland in the North and Henri Freycinet Harbour between Peron Peninsula and Dirk Hartog Island in the South. The old map of French navigator Henri Freycinet shows this piece of remarkable Australian shoreline best.

Map Freycinet Shark Bay

Shark Bay is a unique area with vast beds of seagrass, forming massive meadows in the shallow and warm waters. Seagrasses provide both food and shelter for the stunning array of marine life, but also bind sediments moved in through tides and currants. Accumulated sediments have formed the numerous banks, sills and channels that have turned some of the bay’s waters hyper saline – the area around Hamelin Pool is twice as salty as the open ocean! Although hostile to many animals, the extreme salinity of Hamelin Pool forms the perfect habitat for Stromatolites – single celled cyanobacteria that were the only evidence of life on earth until around 500,000,000 years ago. The history, wildlife and beauty of this place is simply unique, and we are therefore sure we will return soon to the land of where the red desert meets the blue ocean.

6 Comments

  1. The Stromatolites are certainly fascinating and so are the shellgrit blocks you see in some of the old buildings but I guess depending on your viewpoint that could be considered vandalism of the natural environment.

  2. Girl Gone Expat says

    Amazing colours, the red and blue really makes this place stand out. But with a name like Shark Bay I guess this is no place for swimming? 😉

    • Swimming is no problem Inger. The water is too warm for White Pointers while there is plenty of food for the Tiger Sharks – so luckily humans are not on the menu 🙂 Getting lost without water in this harsh environment is a much bigger danger I guess.

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