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Hamelin Bay is a bay and a locality on the southwest 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.

Hamelin Bay
Western Australia
Hamelin Bay
Hamelin Bay
Coordinates34°13′52″S 115°02′49″E
Population58 (SAL 2021)[1]
LGA(s)Shire of Augusta-Margaret River
Federal division(s)Forrest

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.

Port and jetty

Hamelin Bay Jetty in 1899
Hamelin Bay Jetty in 1899

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.[2]

Tourist attractions

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.[3]

Camping area

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 on-site cabins and a handful of chalets with modern facilities. A number of camp sites have been removed to accommodate these structures. A shop and ablution blocks are located within the camping area.[4]

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.[5]

Hamelin Bay was notorious for wrecks occurring during bad weather – its exposure to prevailing weather making it a dangerous location for anchoring or mooring.[6]

Some fishing boats continue to utilize the anchorage when prevailing weather is not a problem.

The Western Australian Museum's database of wrecks[7] includes numerous vessels that 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.[8][9]

Wrecks include:

Whale strandings

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.[11]

Light station

A light station on nearby Hamelin Island was built in 1937.[12] In 1967 it was moved to the mainland, and is now known as Foul Bay Lighthouse.[13]


Railway connection with Karridale and Boranup - see also Hamelin Bay chart[14]
Railway connection with Karridale and Boranup - see also Hamelin Bay chart[14]

The M C Davies railway connected Hamelin Bay jetty with Karridale, Boranup, and Flinders Bay.

In 1925 the railway formations were incorporated into the connecting Flinders Bay Branch Railway.[15][16]

Adjacent features also named after Hamelin


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Hamelin Bay (Suburb and Locality)". Australian Census 2021 QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  2. Gainsford, Matthew (2006) Hamelin Bay Jetty [manuscript] : a study of the Hamelin Bay Jetty . Thesis (M. Mar. Archaeol.) -- Flinders University, Dept of Archaeology, 2006.
  3. "Cape to Cape Track – Track Facts". 2009. Archived from the original on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  4. Hamelin Bay Holiday Park map
  5. "NOTICE TO MARINERS". New South Wales Government Gazette. No. 290. New South Wales, Australia. 17 May 1887. p. 3333. Retrieved 15 December 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  6. Western Australian Maritime Museum (1994), Wrecks of the Hamelin Bay area, Western Australian Maritime Museum, retrieved 27 December 2011
  7. "Maritime Archaeology Databases | Maritime Archaeology Databases".
  8. "THE WEATHER". The West Australian. Vol. 16, no. 4, 490. Western Australia. 25 July 1900. p. 4. Retrieved 15 December 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  9. "HEAVY WEATHER ON THE COAST". Western Mail. Vol. XV, no. 761. Western Australia. 28 July 1900. p. 18. Retrieved 15 December 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  10. "Agincourt | Maritime Archaeology Databases".
  11. Our Foreign Staff (24 March 2018). "Rescuers' race to save whales beached on Australian coast". Daily Telegraph: 22.
  12. "RADIO BEACON FOR SHIPPING". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 17 October 1936. p. 17. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
  13. "Foul Bay (Augusta) - WA". Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
  14. "141546PD: Hamelin Bay chart of M. C. Davies' Karri and Jarrah Co.'s railways : Slwa_b3003795_1".
  15. "Margaret River-Flinders Bay Railway OFFICIAL OPENING". The South-Western News. Vol. XXII, no. 1097. Western Australia. 22 May 1925. p. 3. Retrieved 30 August 2021 via National Library of Australia.
  16. "Margaret River–Flinders Bay Railway". Group Settlement Chronicle and Margaret-Augusta Mail. Vol. II, no. 98. Western Australia. 19 May 1925. p. 2. Retrieved 30 August 2021 via National Library of Australia.
  17. "Cape Hamelin". Surf Life Saving Australia. Retrieved 24 April 2021.

Further reading

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