Shark Bay World Heritage Area

Experience spectacular land and seascapes by 4WD

Some people wax lyrical about how well they sleep when out on a boat, the rocking motion seemingly lulling them into dreamy slumbers. Not for me I’m afraid, especially when it is my van doing the rocking and we are on solid ground with all four stabiliser legs outs. And I’m afraid the sound of flapping of canvas wasn’t doing it for me either – my personal hell on earth.

Heading north form Perth up the coast, Indian Ocean Drive provided a nice alternative to the Brand Highway with much less traffic overall and far fewer trucks to contend with. If you are meandering with time on your hands there are plenty of little coastal towns along the way to tempt you in for a rest break or even an overnight stopover. We however were on a mission, so powered through leaving these temptations for another day.

We were however enticed in for a late lunch stop in Jurien Bay. The Bay Bakery, which you’ll find along the road out to the Jurien Bay jetty, dishes up some of the best pies we have tried anywhere in Australia. The cake and pastry selection is extensive, the coffee pretty good, and to top it off they were happy to fill a thermos mug for the road for us. We would have taken a photo of the delicious display cabinet to tempt you with, but the whole time we were there the counter never cleared enough to get a clear shot – obviously the word is out.

We broke the drive at Geraldton, staying at the Batavia Coast Caravan Park which is a bit out of town to the north. It’s not the newest park around, but there were plenty of well established trees for shade and the ablutions were of a more recent vintage, clean and plenty of them.

Already being on the north side of town meant we had a relaxing start to the day’s driving, not having to negotiate any city traffic to get back out onto North West Coastal Highway. Once there though we could only cringe at the suicidal antics of some drivers as they attempted death defying overtaking manoeuvres, which given the density of traffic gained them mere seconds of progress if that.

We eventually escaped the mayhem of the Highway, turning off opposite the Overlander Roadhouse onto Shark Bay Road and into the world heritage area. We had booked a few nights in Denham as a base to explore the Shark Bay peninsula. The drive in was rather uninspiring, flat scrub with the occasional dense cone of spiderweb adorning a tree to break the monotony.

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