Steep Point

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The "final sunset" in Australia, at Steep Point.
An aerial view of Steep Point and Dirk Hartog Island.
Steep Point, as seen from the north.

Steep Point (26°09′05″S 113°09′18″E / 26.15139°S 113.15500°E / -26.15139; 113.15500 (Steep Point)Coordinates: 26°09′05″S 113°09′18″E / 26.15139°S 113.15500°E / -26.15139; 113.15500 (Steep Point)) is the westernmost point of mainland Australia. It is located within the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, 670 kilometres north of the state's capital Perth, in the proposed Edel Land National Park. It is also a part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Site.[1]

Access to Steep Point is by four-wheel drive vehicles only, as tracks to the point are through sand dunes. The North West Coastal Highway is the closest sealed road and is 200 kilometres east of the point.[2] An entry permit is required to travel to the point, which can be purchased at the rangers house in Edel Land National Park, which is about 20 kilometres east of Steep Point. Camping areas and basic facilities are also available in the park and can be purchased at the rangers house.[1]

The nearest town to Steep Point is Denham, also located within the Shark Bay World Heritage Site, which is 232 kilometres from the point by four-wheel drive track and road, however only 44 kilometres north-east of the point as the crow flies.[2]

Dirk Hartog Island (26°7′26″S 113°10′46″E / 26.12389°S 113.17944°E / -26.12389; 113.17944 (Surf Point)) is 3 kilometres north of Steep Point. Access to the island is possible via a ferry from Steep Point to Surf Point, the closest point on Dirk Hartog Island to Steep Point.[2]

Steep Point is one of Australia's most renowned land-based game fishing places, with over 320 different species of fish that have been caught off the point, where mackerel, sailfish and trevally are the most common. Serious fishers harness themselves onto the point, float their baits off the cliff using helium balloons and haul their catch up uses specially designed fishing gaffs, however it is very common that a shark steals the fisher's catch before they can haul it up onto land.[3]

Steep Point is commonly known for the "final sunset" in Australia, as you cannot travel any closer towards the sunset on mainland Australia than this point.[1]

Steep Point is a reference point for other places and points of interests. For example, the location of the shipwreck HMAS Sydney is cited from the point. The novel Castaway Coast was inspired by the cliff-lined coast south of Steep Point. Also, on 17 July 2006 the largest ever recorded tsunami to hit Australia was measured at 7.9 metres high at Steep Point. The natural disaster was triggered from the Pangandaran earthquake off the coast of Java in Indonesia.[2]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c White, Ethan (September 2016). "Edel Land (Steep Point)". Our Aussie Road Trip. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Edel Land and Steep Point » Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery & Visitor Centre". www.sharkbayvisit.com.au. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  3. ^ "steeppoint". www.steeppoint.com.au. Retrieved 2017-07-18.