The seaside town of Denham is on the western side of the Peron Peninsula, roughly 10 hours northwest of Perth. Part of the UNESCO Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Denham is one of the most important historic sites in Western Australia. It was the first site in West Australia when Europeans made landfall. Denham is a picturesque spot that serves as a gateway to some of Australia’s most remarkable natural wonders.
You can take Denham tours to Monkey Mia and meet friendly dolphins or visit the ancient Hamelin Pool stromatolites. Francois Peron National Park, Shell Beach, and Dirk Hartog Island, are all nearby. Part of the Coral Coast, Denham is a place of pure beauty with pristine white beaches against a deep blue ocean. Swimming, windsurfing, boating, diving, and snorkelling are all reasons tourists flock to the area.
Denham was a pearl fishing town that’s developed into a major tourist area. The gateway to Shark Bay, Denham is the traditional country of the Malgana, Nhanda, and Yingkarta people. The Malgana name for Shark Bay is Gutharraguda, meaning 'two waters' or 'two bays.’
World Heritage listed for its significant evolutionary and biological history and the abundance of rare wildlife species, the area is home to over 10,000 dugongs, as well as whales, manta rays, loggerhead turtles, and of course, sharks.
Ocean Park Aquarium at Shark Bay cares for rescued turtles, sharks and fish and offers guided tours. If you want to get closer to marine life, a host of Denham tours provide wonderful opportunities. Take a dive trip to Steep Point and explore Monkey Rock or snorkel in the clear waters off Dirk Hartog Island.
From the land, you can view turtles, rays, and large fish in the shallow waters. One of the best vantage points is Eagle Bluff, just south of Denham where a cliff face walkway provides breathtaking views. While the five-kilometre Nicholson Point trail winds from Denham to Little Lagoon across shrublands filled with fascinating plants and bird life.
Thirty minutes from Denham is Monkey Mia, famous for its friendly bottlenose dolphins who swim up to the shoreline and interact with visitors. Another place to visit is the Hamelin Pool Stromatolites, one of only two places in the world where you can view these 3,500 million years old fossils. Another curious phenomenon is Shell Beach, made of billions of tiny shells from a single species, one of only two beaches of its kind in the world.
Visit these and more extraordinary places on one of our West Australian tours.
In 1616, Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog made the first recorded European landing on the West Australian coastline at an island off Shark Bay which now carries his name. Following the European discovery of an abundance of pearl-shell oysters, the town became a large pearlers' camp called ‘Freshwater Camp.’ It was later renamed Denham after Captain Henry Mangles Denham who charted the region in 1858.
Denham has a Mediterranean climate, with warm to hot summers and mild winters. During the peak summer season from December to February, temperatures often exceed 30°C. If you enjoy beach activities and warm weather, this can be a good time to visit. Spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) offer pleasant temperatures, making them ideal for outdoor activities like wildlife spotting and exploring the natural attractions.
The most common way to reach Denham is by flying into Shark Bay Airport (located near Monkey Mia) from Perth. Alternatively, you can drive from Perth, which takes around 8-10 hours depending on the route taken.
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