One of the things to do when you are at Shark Bay is to go out to Steep Point. It’s the most westerly point on mainland Australia and marks one of the entrances to Shark Bay. Dirk Hartog Island lies across the channel. It was a full days drive from Denham, 430 km return. Now the first 85 km on the bitumen takes you almost back to the turnoff from the NW Coastal Hwy and on to what is called Useless Loop Rd. From here it is about another 100 km of gravel as the road loops around the bottom of Shark Bay and then up the coast to Steep Point. This section contained what could only be described as some of the worst corrugated road Allthego has driven on, bone jarring shaking for km after km, even with the tyres down to 20 psi. One stretch of about 8 km was just unbelievably bad, used by trucks going to and from a salt mine operation. Glad to get past it. The last 30 km is along a one lane sandy track that traverses the sand dunes and the shoreline out to Steep Point.
We didn’t see any cars on these tracks and all up saw only half a dozen all day and they were parked at Steep Point. National Parks say to allow 3 hours for the trip along Useless Loop Rd and the final section out to the point. It took us 3 and half. There were quite a few tent campers spread out along the foreshores, mostly fishing I would guess.
It was a great view from the Point, certainly a wild and woolly coastline. A post in front of the Most Westerly Point sign allows you to attach a camera to get the memento photo of the trip’s destination. We sat down here on a rock and had some lunch gazing across the channel to Dirk Hartog Island and the surf crashing against its cliff lined shore.
The return trip to Denham took just as long and it was sunset before we got back along Useless Loop Rd, returning in the dark to Old Farts Lane at the camping ground. A sleep in was forecast for the next morning!
Posted on September 12, 2016, in Western Australia 2016. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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