Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve
Hamelin Pool boasts the most diverse and abundant examples of living marine stromatolites, or ‘living fossils’, in the world, monuments to life on Earth over 3500 million years ago.
- Park Entry Fees:No
- Feature:Info Shelter
Stromatolites are the number one attraction at Hamelin Pool, in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, and a visit to the boardwalk to view them is a must.
When viewing stromatolites please stay on the boardwalk to protect these delicate structures. Boating, swimming, diving and snorkelling are not permitted over stromatolites or within 300m of the shore.
This 1.4km loop track links the Old Telegraph Station with the stromatolite boardwalk, passing the old shell block quarry, a grave and remains of the old telegraph line on the way. Information signs explain the significance of these features.
Shell Block Quarry
A shell species known as the Hamelin cockle is so prolific in Hamelin Pool that the shells have become compacted into a solid mass that can be cut into blocks. Some Shark Bay buildings, such as the old Pearler Restaurant and St Andrew’s Church in Denham, were built from this material and the quarry site can be seen along the Boolagoorda Walk.
A small museum featuring relics from the days when the site was a repeater station on the Old Telegraph Line can be visited on tours run by the telegraph station staff. There is also a stromatolite display explaining the significance of these formations. A small entrance fee applies for this privately operated facility.
To visit Hamelin Pool, drive 27km along the sealed road from the North West Coastal Highway and turn right at the signs to the Old Telegraph Station (another 5km). From there it’s a short walk along a formed walktrail to reach the boardwalk and view the stromatolites.
For more information on the area, including itineraries and a virtual tour, go to
Shark Bay World Heritage Area
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This information was provided by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions: dpaw.wa.gov.au