Carnac Island Nature Reserve
This picturesque limestone island, which is only a short boat ride from Fremantle, is a popular destination for commercial boat tours, which bring visitors to view the local sea lions.
- Park Entry Fees:No
- Feature:Boat Ramp
Australian sea-lions use Carnac Island as a haul-out area during the non-breeding season. This animal is the rarest sea lion in the world, and the only one found solely in Australia.
All the sea lions found on Carnac Island are males. Breeding takes place on offshore islands about 200km north of Perth for four to five months every 17.5 months. After the breeding season is over, the males migrate south to islands off the Perth metropolitan coast. Despite looking docile, Australian sea-lions are large, wild animals that can sometimes become aggressive if they feel threatened. Please stay well clear of them.
The tigers of Carnac
Visitors should not leave the beach and venture inland as Carnac Island has a significant population of tiger snakes, one of the world's most deadly snake species. It is one of only two islands in Western Australia where tiger snakes are found. It has been speculated that a snake showman and spruiker, ‘Rocky’ Vane, released tiger snakes on Carnac Island in about 1903, after his wife and then his partner were both bitten and died.
The island also is an important nesting habitat for seabirds such as little penguins, wedge-tailed shearwaters, pied cormorants, pied oystercatchers and Caspian, bridled and crested terns. Visitors should stay clear of any bird nesting areas to avoid disturbing birds.
Stay on the beach and don’t risk becoming the next rock fall victim.
The only access is by boat and is limited to day use only. There is a small visitor exclusion zone on the beach at Carnac Island to allow sea-lions a sanctuary area where they can escape from people if they choose. Please respect this sanctuary area, which is identified with signs.
This information was provided by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions: dpaw.wa.gov.au