Hamelin Bay is a bay and a locality on the south-west coast of Western Australia between Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste. It is named after French explorer Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin who sailed through the area in about 1801. It is south of Cape Freycinet.
To the north, the beach leads to the Boranup Sand Patch and further to the mouth of the Margaret River, while south leads to Cape Leeuwin. The nearest locality to the east is Karridale on the Margaret River to Augusta road.
It was also a small settlement and port in Western Australia on the coast of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge.
The jetty was established to service the timber milling operations of M. C. Davies, at the same time as utilising a jetty at Flinders Bay just south of Augusta. One of the Davies timber railways extended onto the Hamelin Bay Jetty, which was built in 1882 and extended in 1898. Only a few piles of the original jetty remain on site.
The Cape to Cape Track runs across the beach to the west of the town making Hamelin Bay one of the few settlements located along the track.
Although most of the adjacent land is now vested in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, small amounts of land nearby are freehold. In the 1950s the local camping area utilised the shells of a large number of decommissioned Perth Trams. None remain, and in addition to unpowered and powered camp sites there are now a small number of onsite cabins and a handful of chalets with modern facilities. A number of camp sites have been removed to accommodate these structures. A shop, and ablutions are located within the Camping Area.
Due to the nature of the camping area and the local weather conditions there are frequently total fire bans in the camping area.
Hamelin Bay was difficult to navigate due to reefs and rocks in the vicinity.
Hamelin Bay was notorious for wrecks occurring during bad weather – its exposure to prevailing weather making it a dangerous location for anchoring or mooring.
Some fishing boats continue to utilize the anchorage when prevailing weather is not a problem.
The Maritime Museum of Western Australia's database of wrecksincludes numerous vessels which foundered in or near Hamelin Bay. An anchor from one of the wrecks was retrieved and is now situated in the beach car park at Hamelin Bay.
The storm of 22 July 1900 was a serious event at Hamelin.
Hamelin Bay and environs have been the site of a number of whale strandings, some of which are listed below:
Attempts to save the mammals have usually failed.
In addition to concerns for the animals themselves, the strandings are considered to increase the risk of shark attack, due to the attraction of the dead whales.
A light station on nearby Hamelin Island was built in 1937.In 1967 it was moved to the mainland, and is now known as Foul Bay Lighthouse.
Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is a national park in the South West region of Western Australia, 267 km (166 mi) south of Perth. It is named after the two locations at either end of the park which have lighthouses, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste. It is located in the Augusta-Margaret River and Busselton council areas, and is claimed to have the highest visiting numbers of any national park in Western Australia. The park received 2.33 million visitors through 2008–2009.
The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is a local government area in the south-west corner of the South West region of Western Australia, approximately 270 kilometres (168 mi) south of Perth. The shire covers an area of 2,243 square kilometres (866 sq mi) and had a population of over 14,000 at the 2016 Census, about half of whom live in the towns of Margaret River and Augusta.
King George Sound is the name of a sound on the south coast of Western Australia. Originally named King George the Third's Sound, it was referred to as King George's Sound from 1805. The name "King George Sound" gradually came into use from about 1934, prompted by new Admiralty charts supporting the intention to eliminate the possessive 's' from geographical names.
Cape Leeuwin is the most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian continent, in the state of Western Australia.
Augusta is a town on the south-west coast of Western Australia, where the Blackwood River emerges into Flinders Bay. It is the nearest town to Cape Leeuwin, on the furthest southwest corner of the Australian continent. In the 2001 census it had a population of 1,091; by 2016 the population of the town was 1,109.
Flinders Bay is a bay and locality that is immediately south of the townsite of Augusta, and close to the mouth of the Blackwood River.
St Alouarn Islands are a group of islands and rocks south-east of Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia, approximately 11 km south of Augusta in Flinders Bay.
Geographe Bay is in the south-west of Western Australia around 220 km southwest of Perth.
Baron Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin was a rear admiral of the French navy and later a Baron. He commanded numerous naval expeditions and battles with the Royal Navy as well as exploratory voyages in the Indian Ocean and the South Seas.
Cape Naturaliste is a headland in the south western region of Western Australia at the western edge of the Geographe Bay. It is the northernmost point of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge which was named after the cape. Also the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and the Cape to Cape hiking track were named after this location.
Cape Freycinet is a point on the coast between Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste in the south west of Western Australia.
Over 1400 ships have been wrecked on the coast of Western Australia. This relatively large number of shipwrecks is due to a number of factors, including:
Whaling was one of the first viable industries established in the Swan River Colony following the 1829 arrival of British settlers to Western Australia. The industry had numerous ups and downs until the last whaling station closed in Albany in 1978.
The Baudin expedition of 1800 to 1803 was a French expedition to map the coast of New Holland. Nicolas Baudin was selected as leader in October 1800. The expedition started with two ships, Géographe, captained by Baudin, and Naturaliste captained by Jacques Hamelin, and was accompanied by nine zoologists and botanists, including Jean-Baptiste Leschenault de la Tour, François Péron and Charles-Alexandre Lesueur as well as the geographer Pierre Faure.
Karridale is a small township in the south-west of Western Australia. It is located just north of Augusta and south of Margaret River between Caves Road and Bussell Highway. A newer township was built a short distance north east of the original Old Karridale following fires that destroyed the town in 1961. At the 2006 census, Karridale had a population of 285.
The Freycinet Map of 1811 is the first map of Australia to be published which shows the full outline of Australia. It was drawn by Louis de Freycinet and was an outcome of the Baudin expedition to Australia. It preceded the publication of Matthew Flinders' map of Australia, Terra Australis or Australia, by three years.
Most surf breaks in the Capes region – from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin – within the larger area known as the South West region of Western Australia tend to have the name Margaret River attached, despite the wide geographic range of locations where the breaks are located.
The Ngari Capes Marine Park is a marine protected area on the lower south west coast of Western Australia, located approximately 250 kilometres (160 mi) south of. The 123,790-hectare (305,900-acre) marine park was gazetted on 12 June 2012 and the park's western and southern boundaries are the limit of coastal waters of Western Australia, abutting the South-west Corner Marine Park located within the Australian Commonwealth exclusive economic zone.
Cape Hamelin is a headland seven kilometres south of Hamelin Bay in the capes region of south western Western Australia.
Hamelin Island lies north of Cape Hamelin, just out to sea from the former Hamelin Bay Jetty, on Hamelin Bay, on the south west coast of Western Australia, about 7 km north of Cape Leeuwin.