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Shark Bay: stromatolites, Shell Beach and dolphins

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Shark Bay is one of the Western Australian sites that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is known worldwide as one of the few where stromatolites can be seen. These ancient organisms are sedimentary structures due to the action of cyanobacteria (blue algae). These structures that look like rocks, represent one of the most ancient forms of life on earth, are real living fossils.

The Shark Bay area includes a wild coast made up of peaceful bays, islands, beaches and cliffs where you can observe the local fauna and flora. Here you will find rare plants, mammals, reptiles and birds, some of which are present only in this area of Australia. In the waters of the bay you can observe dugongs, humpback whales, giant manta rays, dolphins and sea turtles.

The area preserves natural wonders such as the shell beach of Shell Beach, the stromatolites of Hamelin Pool, and the curious dolphins of Monkey Mia. The main city in the Shark Bay area is Denham, which is located about 800 km north of Perth.


This is one of the most beautiful attractions in Shark Bay. Shell Beach is located about 40 km from Denham and is, as its name indicates, a large white beach made up of millions and millions of tiny shells of Fragum erugatum. There are so many shells that reach a depth of 8 meters.


These unusual formations are created by single-celled organisms known as cyanobacteria (blue algae) and grow at a rate of less than 1 mm per year. Stromatolites are colonies of algae that form hard, dome-shaped deposits which are known as ‘living fossils’ because these formations of cyanobacteria are among the oldest life forms on earth.


Important center for pearl fishing. Monkey Mia is now famous for being a place where dolphins can be seen coming to shore to be fed by the hands of the park rangers.

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