Hamelin Bay, Western Australia

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Coordinates: 34°13′52″S 115°02′49″E / 34.231°S 115.047°E / -34.231; 115.047

Hamelin Bay

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.

Port and Jetty[edit]

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.[1]

Tourist attractions[edit]

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.[2]

Camping Area[edit]

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 [3]

Hamelin Bay was notorious for wrecks occurring during bad weather – its exposure to prevailing weather making it a dangerous location for anchoring or mooring.[4]

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

The Maritime Museum of Western Australia's database of wrecks [5] includes 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.[6][7]

  • Agincourt, 1863 [8]
  • Arcadia, 25 April 1900 – Barque, Wooden
  • Aristide, 25 October 1889 – Barge, Wooden
  • Chaudiere, 4 July 1883 – Barque
  • Else (formerly Albert William), 2 September 1900 – Barquentine
  • Glenbervie, 20 June 1900
  • Hokitika, 2 November 1872 – Barque
  • Katinka, 22 July 1900 – Iron
  • Lövspring, 22 July 1900 – Barque, Wooden
  • Nor'wester, 22 July 1900 – Barque, Iron
  • Tobar, 1945 – Lugger
  • SS Waterlily, 31 January 1903 – Steamer screw, Clinker

Light station[edit]

A light station on nearby Hamelin Island was built in 1937.[9] In 1967 it was moved to the mainland, and is now known as Foul Bay Lighthouse.[10]

Adjacent Features also named after Hamelin[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Marchant, Leslie R. French Napoleonic Placenames of the South West Coast, Greenwood, WA. R.I.C. Publications, 2004. ISBN 1-74126-094-9
  • Edward Duyker François Péron: An Impetuous Life: Naturalist and Voyager, Miegunyah/MUP, Melb., 2006, ISBN 978-0-522-85260-8
  • Fornasiero, Jean; Monteath, Peter and West-Sooby, John. Encountering Terra Australis: the Australian voyages of Nicholas Baudin and Matthew Flinders, Kent Town, South Australia, Wakefield Press, 2004. ISBN 1-86254-625-8
  • Frank Horner, The French Reconnaissance: Baudin in Australia 1801—1803, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1987 ISBN 0-522-84339-5.
  • Cape to Cape Walk Track – Section 5 – Hamelin Bay to Cape Leeuwin 29 km Pamphlet. CALM. Busselton. n.d.


  1. ^ Gainsford, Matthew (2006) Hamelin Bay Jetty [manuscript] : a study of the Hamelin Bay Jetty . Thesis (M. Mar. Archaeol.) -- Flinders University, Dept of Archaeology, 2006.
  2. ^ "Cape to Cape Track – Track Facts". 2009. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  3. ^ "NOTICE TO MARINERS.". New South Wales Government Gazette (290). New South Wales, Australia. 17 May 1887. p. 3333. Retrieved 15 December 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  4. ^ Western Australian Maritime Museum (1994), Wrecks of the Hamelin Bay area, Western Australian Maritime Museum, retrieved 27 December 2011 
  5. ^ http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/maritime-archaeology-db/
  6. ^ "THE WEATHER.". The West Australian. 16, (4,490). Western Australia. 25 July 1900. p. 4. Retrieved 15 December 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  7. ^ "HEAVY WEATHER ON THE COAST.". Western Mail. XV, (761). Western Australia. 28 July 1900. p. 18. Retrieved 15 December 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  8. ^ http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/maritime-archaeology-db/wrecks/agincourt
  9. ^ "RADIO BEACON FOR SHIPPING.". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 17 October 1936. p. 17. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  10. ^ http://www.seasidelights.com.au/au/wa/foulbay.asp?fState=WA
  11. ^ http://beachsafe.org.au/beach/wa0632