Rolling on from the FJCC State Summit at Murchison Offroad Adventures we headed for Denham, Shark Bay.
The last time we stayed in Denham was in 2013, around the same time of year. The kids love it, we all love it. Such a great place to relax, fish, camp, etc.
We stayed at the same park as last time, the Denham Seaside Tourist Village. I can’t recommend this place enough, the location is awesome (right on the beach), and the place is super tidy. Another great experience. Our site (44) was huge and right near the amenities, ideal for the kids.
Setup at Denham was quick and easy, I’m becoming quite the pro at this now, this was the sixth camp for our camper trailer since we bought it earlier this year! Certainly getting used as it should. The campground here has a super hard ground, hard packed earth and shell. The office lets you borrow a drill to pre-drill your peg/stake holes! This year I was equipped with the incredible Snow Peak forged stakes and copper-head hammer. No pre-drilling required, these things will penetrate anything!
Day one we hit up Little Lagoon, a great place to relax and unwind and perfect for the kids to swim and play. Had a bit of a fish, and as per our trip a couple of years earlier, hooked up a longtom. Ugly fish.
Back at camp, Quentin took off on his kayak and managed to hook up a good 55cm pink snapper on a stick bait. It made great finger food for the whole tribe back at camp.
We visited Ocean Park, another awesome spot for everyone, lovely spot nestled up on the cliff tops just south of Denham, excellent marine tour, shark feeding, and great food/drink. On the way back we decided to explore a few tracks not far out of town, we found ‘thong shack’, a shack with a heap of thongs (flip flops) nailed to it, and followed some trails around the beach soon coming to a really fun hill climb, the crew all had a crack and we made it up and headed back to camp
Monkey Mia is something the kids really look forward to. In 2013 we were very fortunate to be picked to feed the dolphins on our second visit. It’s not easy when there is anywhere between 100-300 people standing on the beach! Only a few will be selected! Amazingly we were chosen again, during the first feeding we attended. I wonder if my choice of attire had anything to do with it? Pro tip, if you want to feed dolphins, wearing something outrageous will increase your chances of being selected. See pic
A trip to Shark Bay absolutely must include a day spent up in Francois Peron National Park. You need to pay to get in, unless you have a ‘parks pass’, it’s only about $12/car/day. There are several stunning beaches all the way to the tip of the cape (Cape Peron), and getting to them is half the fun, the trails are boggy and some great four wheel driving. (please respect this area and air-down your tyres when heading in, there are even ‘pump up’ stations on the way in/out!) We hit up one of my favorite (and secret) fishing spots at Bottle Bay, didn’t catch much, but enjoyed the day relaxing and enjoying the beautiful beach. After Bottle Bay we continued another five or six kilometers up to the top of Cape Peron, the views here are spectacular and the sight of the reddest earth mixing with the whitest sand is very special.
We watched as several packs of stingray and sharks swam by in the shallows.
The blokes decided it would be a great idea one night to go for a fish about 20km south of Denham at a rather rocky and fishy looking spot. We headed off about 9PM and didn’t return until about 1:30AM, yeah, the fishing was great! We hooked up a number of gummy sharks, a shovel nose, spangled emperor, yellow grunter, and good-size mulloway. A handful of good size fish were kept and eaten the next evening for dinner. Great fun, nothing quite like hooking up a shark in ankle-deep water and fighting a screaming reel.
The time spent in Shark Bay was magical, everyone really enjoys this place, no doubt we will be back again in a couple of years.
It was soon time to pack up and head off to our next camping location at Lynton Station, I’ll write about that in a new post!by