Whether you were lucky enough to have parents who took you further south than Margs to go camping as a kid, or just drive the extra hour these days, Hamelin Bay is a special part of WA’s coastline.
It’s become world famous for the remarkably friendly stingrays that swim right up to the shore on any given day, but there’s plenty to discover further offshore and inland at this little bay just a short trip south of Margaret River.
What is it?
Hamelin Bay used to be a small port servicing timber mills of the southwest between Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste, but turns out the waters were too difficult to navigate (and as such there’s a heap of wrecks off the coast in the area).
Nowadays it’s a tourism hotspot thanks to beautiful beaches with the potential for excellent snorkelling, diving, fishing and of course, intimate moments with stingrays sometimes as big as 2m across!
Where is it?
These days if you’re coming from Perth it’s only a 3hr 15min drive straight down the Kwinana Freeway and Forrest Highway before it becomes Bussell Highway. From there stay inland along Sues Road before heading west along Brockman Highway and joining back up to Caves Road.
If you’re coming from Margs it’s just a half-hour drive down Caves Road (coast) or Bussell Highway (inland), and if you’ve got some time up your sleeve you can head further south to the beautiful township of Augusta.
What to do:
Head to the beach for some serious stingray frolicking! It’s best to get there earlier in the morning before the crowds, tide and wind potentially come in.
Stingrays aside, Hamelin Bay beach is a great spot to park up for the day for some swimming and snorkelling, along with beach fishing if you’ve got the rods, and you can launch off the boat ramp if you’re sea faring.
For the more adventurous, there are a bunch of wrecks off the Hamelin Bay coast great for diving, or if conditions permit a couple you can access with snorkelling gear.
Hamelin Bay is also part of the Cape To Cape walk, which you can jump for some excellent views around Cosy Corner and the Hamelin Bay observation deck. Keen bird spotters will also discover some cool species around the freshwater lake near the caravan park and on the costal headlands.
Hamelin Bay Holiday Park is a fully-serviced caravan and camping area so you can set up for a couple of days, just make sure you book ahead as it gets popular during the peak periods.
What not to do:
Harass your new stingray pals! Stingrays on the beach will come up to you if they feel comfortable, so don’t force the issue and don’t harass these creatures in their natural environment.
If you’re walking along or near some of the limestone cliff areas please be mindful of the dangers involved with doing so, and try stick to marked paths.
As with all visits to our natural spaces, adhere to the Leave No Trace Principles: meaning don’t leave any rubbish out there, don’t pick wildflowers and try your best to look after the surrounding area. Make sure you also adhere to any fire restrictions or bans that might be in place.
As mentioned above the town of Augusta is just a short 15 minute drive further south of Hamelin Bay, and well worth your time to do some exploring.
Keep your eyes peeled for migrating whales at the right time of year too!