|Population||849 (SAL 2021)|
|Elevation||9 m (30 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Shark Bay|
|State electorate(s)||North West|
Denham is the administrative town for the Shire of Shark Bay, Western Australia. At the 2016 census, Denham had a population of 754. 831 kilometres (516 mi) north of Perth, Denham is the westernmost publicly accessible town in Australia, and is named in honour of Captain Henry Mangles Denham of the Royal Navy, who charted Shark Bay in 1858. Today, Denham survives as the gateway for the tourists who come to see the dolphins at Monkey Mia, which is located 23 kilometres (14 mi) northeast of the town. The town also has an attractive beach and a jetty popular with those interested in fishing and boating.Located on the western coast of the Peron Peninsula
The Denham region was the second area of the Australian mainland discovered by European sailors, after the western coast of Cape York Peninsula.
On 25 October 1616, Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog and crew came unexpectedly upon "various islands, which were, however, found uninhabited." He made landfall at an island now called Dirk Hartog Island off the coast of Shark Bay. Hartog spent three days examining the coast and nearby islands. He named the area Eendrachtsland after his ship, but this name has not endured. Finding little of interest, Hartog continued sailing northwards charting this previously undiscovered coast to about 22° South. In 1696 the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh landed on the island. Later explorers included William Dampier, and the Frenchmen Freycinet, Hamelin and Baudin in the early 19th century.
The coast remained uninhabited by Europeans until the middle of the 19th century. The first pearls found in Western Australia were discovered in Shark Bay in 1854 by a Lieutenant Helpman, the so-called 'Admiral of the Swan River Navy', who found the dense beds of pearl-shell oysters that are abundant there.[ citation needed ]
The earlier name to that of Denham was "Freshwater Camp" when it was a pearling camp.
In the 2016 Census, there were 754 people in Denham. 72.1% of people were born in Australia and 84.7% of people spoke only English at home. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 38.3%, Anglican 22.1% and Catholic 18.7%.
There is a Crisis centre, two Churches, a unit of the Red Cross, Returned Services League (RSL), plus the normal amenities / facilities / social organisations to be found in any small Australian rural town; for example, two grocery shops, hardware, hairdressing salon, two hotels, three caravan parks, various types of holiday accommodation, butcher, tourist and souvenir shops. There is also the unique Old Pearler Restaurant by reservation and B.Y.O. Social organisation include a bowls club, golf club, speedway, arts society, film club, pistol club, bridge club, crafts group, youth association and facilities for various sports, for example netball, cricket, football. There is no resident Doctor but a full-time Nurse in charge of the local Silver Chain Nursing post. Currently a medical practitioner flies in for two days once a week. Emergency services are operated entirely by volunteers (Fire Brigade, Ambulance, State Emergency Service (SES) and Marine Rescue). Electricity is provided by a wind-diesel power plant. In 2020, Western Australia’s remote energy provider Horizon Power embarked on a ground-breaking hydrogen demonstration project to replace the diesel generators.
The tourist industry - which functions mainly from April until September - witnesses an influx of over 250,000 people passing through the Shire on the main North West Coastal Highway of which approximately 110,000 actually come into the communities including Denham and Monkey Mia. The 150 km stretch of road linking the highway with Denham is known as World Heritage Drive .
A number of tour operators have land and water based operations using both Monkey Mia and Denham as their base.
Ocean Park Aquarium is located 10 kilometers south of Denham, and has Western Australia's largest shark lagoon. It is one of the very few places in the country where tiger sharks can be seen, the daily shark feedings are a major visitor drawcard.[ citation needed ]
There is an all-weather airstrip, Shark Bay Airport (also known at times as Denham Airport), which has Regional Express Airlines operating regular services as the main tourist fly in location for Denham and Monkey Mia.
Twinned with Denham, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Denham has a semi-arid climate typical of the Gascoyne. Summers are warm but not as hot as areas further inland due to coastal influence. The majority of Denham's rainfall falls in winter due to cold fronts moving in off the Indian Ocean; however, the town receives far less rainfall from these systems than areas further south such as Geraldton and Perth. The period from September to March is largely rainless apart from possible erratic thunderstorms or influence from tropical cyclones.
|Climate data for Denham|
|Record high °C (°F)||46.5|
|Average high °C (°F)||30.7|
|Average low °C (°F)||22.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||14.0|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||7.6|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||1.0||1.4||1.5||2.1||4.9||7.0||7.1||5.6||2.9||1.9||0.9||0.5||36.8|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology.|
Francois Peron National Park is a national park on the Peron Peninsula in Western Australia, 726 km north of Perth, and located within the boundary of the Shark Bay World Heritage area. The nearest towns to the park are Denham, which is found on the southern edge of the park and Carnarvon which is found about 80 kilometres (50 mi) to the north.
Dirk Hartog was a 17th-century Dutch sailor and explorer. Dirk Hartog's expedition was the second European group to land in Australia and the first to leave behind an artefact to record his visit, the Hartog Plate. His name is sometimes alternatively spelled Dirck Hartog or Dierick Hartochszch. Ernest Giles referred to him as Theodoric Hartog. The Western Australian island Dirk Hartog Island is named after Hartog.
Dirk Hartog Island is an island off the Gascoyne coast of Western Australia, within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. It is about 80 kilometres long and between 3 and 15 kilometres wide and is Western Australia's largest and most western island. It covers an area of 620 square kilometres and is approximately 850 kilometres north of Perth. It was named after Dirk Hartog, a Dutch sea captain, who first encountered the Western Australian coastline close to the 26th parallel south latitude, which runs through the island. After leaving the island, Hartog continued his voyage north-east along the mainland coast. Hartog gave the Australian mainland one of its earliest known names, as Eendrachtsland, which he named after his ship Eendracht, meaning "concord". The island is now the location of a major environmental reconstruction project, Return to 1616, that has seen all introduced livestock and feral animals removed, with eleven native species now in various stages of reintroduction.
Shark Bay is a World Heritage Site in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The 23,000-square-kilometre (8,900 sq mi) area is located approximately 800 kilometres (500 mi) north of Perth, on the westernmost point of the Australian continent. UNESCO's official listing of Shark Bay as a World Heritage Site reads:
The Gascoyne region is one of the nine administrative regions of Western Australia. It is located in the north west of Western Australia, and consists of the local government areas of Carnarvon, Exmouth, Shark Bay and Upper Gascoyne. The Gascoyne has about 600 km (370 mi) of Indian Ocean coastline; extends inland about 500 km (310 mi); and has an area of 135,073.8 km2 (52,152.3 sq mi), including islands.
The Shark Bay Marine Park is protected marine park located within the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Shark Bay, in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The 748,725-hectare (1,850,140-acre) marine park is situated over 800 km (500 mi) north of Perth and 400 kilometres (250 mi) north of Geraldton.
Coral Bay is a small coastal settlement located 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) north of Perth, in the Shire of Carnarvon in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.
Monkey Mia is a popular tourist destination located about 900 km north of Perth, Western Australia. The reserve is 25 km northeast of the town of Denham in the Shark Bay Marine Park and World Heritage Site.
Steep Point is the westernmost point of mainland Australia. It is located within the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, 670 kilometres (420 mi) north of the state's capital Perth, in the proposed Edel Land National Park. It is also a part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Site. The point was named Steyle Hock by Willem de Vlamingh in 1697.
John MacGillivray was a Scottish naturalist, active in Australia between 1842 and 1867.
The Shire of Shark Bay is a local government area of Western Australia in the Gascoyne region. It has an area of 25,423 km² and a population of about 950. It is made up of two peninsulas, located at the westernmost point of Australia. There is one town in the Shire of Shark Bay, Denham, which is the administrative centre for the Shire. There are also a number of small communities; they are Useless Loop, Monkey Mia, Nanga and Hamelin Pool. The Overlander and The Billabong are roadhouses.
Yalgoo is an interim Australian bioregion located in Western Australia. It has an area of 5,087,577 hectares. The bioregion, together with the Avon Wheatbelt and Geraldton Sandplains bioregions, is part of the larger Southwest Australia savanna ecoregion as classified by the World Wildlife Fund.
Shell Beach is a beach in the Shark Bay region of Western Australia, located 45 km (28 mi) south-east of Denham.
Useless Loop is a town located on the Heirisson Prong on Denham Sound in the Southern Region of UNESCO World Heritage Site Shark Bay, Western Australia. The town of Denham is on the opposite shore of the sound and the more famous Monkey Mia near Denham. Useless Loop is a closed company town, with 70 employees and their families servicing the Solar Salt Operation Shark Bay which was established in 1962 by Shark Bay Resources Ltd. A joint venture was formed in 1973 with Mitsui & Co. Ltd which acquired full ownership in 2005, incorporated as Shark Bay Salt Pty Ltd. In 2015, Useless Loop's salt exports were running at a rate of 1.4 million tonnes per annum.
Walga Rock, also known as Walgahna Rock and Walganna Rock, is a granite monolith situated about 48 kilometres (30 mi) west of Cue, Western Australia. It is one of the largest granite monoliths in Australia.
The Seagrasses of Western Australia are submerged flowering plants found along the coast, around islands, and in Estuaries of Western Australia. The region contains some of the largest seagrass meadows in the world, and is the most diverse in the number of species. The variety of habitats along its western and southern coasts is often soft sands in shallow subtropical waters, ideal for these plants.
Tourist Drives in Western Australia are routes through areas of scenic or historic significance, designated by route markers with white numbers on a brown shield. Tourist Drives were introduced into Western Australia while Eric Charlton was the state government Minister for Transport in the 1990s. The 28 numbered routes collectively traverse more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) across the state. In addition to the Tourist Drives, there are unnumbered routes such as the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail, and local governments may designate and maintain local scenic drives, generally unnamed and unnumbered.
Main Roads Western Australia controls the major roads in the state's Gascoyne region. North West Coastal Highway, a north-south route near the coastline, is the main highway the region. A series of main roads connect coastal towns to the highway, and local roads provide additional links and access to the inland portion of the region. Roads are often named after the towns or areas they connect.
Edel Land National Park is a proposed national park located in the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia, located 670 kilometres (420 mi) north of the state's capital Perth.