This was a quick one night stop to visit the ancient stromatolites at Hamelin Pool. Stromatolites are microbes that survive in this highly saline environment. It is believed they date back 3 billion years. Not these ones obviously, which are believed to be a measly 3000 – 5000 years old. Fascinating in theory – less impressive in real life (Sam summed it up after about 3 minutes, “can we go now?”).
Hamelin Station was a lovely spot (flies galore of course). Julian went for a sunset walk to a local bird watching area at Hamelin Station, and I think the flies on board weighed more than his camera gear!
The next day on the way to Denham we stopped in at another natural wonder in this world heritage area – Shell beach. The same hyper-saline water that allows the stromatolites to thrive also allows tiny (Fragum cockle) shells to live and breed without predators.
They exist in numbers up to 4000 per square meter resulting in a beach composed purely of cockle shells rather than sand. The boys of course insisted in being buried up to their chins in shells but at least shells are easier to brush off than sand.
Just before Shell beach we drove over a cattle grid with tall fences on both sides. We learnt later that this forms the boundary of Project Eden. They have fenced off the Peron Peninsula at it’s narrowest point (a mere 3.4km) to create a 1050sqkm conservation area. There has been systematic baiting of feral foxes and cat since 1991 and native animals are being reintroduced. The difference in vegetation alone was remarkable (no grazing or hoofed animals to wreck it).