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 south.

Steep Point is the westernmost point of the Australian mainland, located at 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). It is located within the Edel Land National Park (proposed) in the Shark Bay World Heritage site within the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.

Dirk Hartog Island is immediately north of Steep Point across the South Passage, the closest named point being Surf Point (26°7′26″S 113°10′46″E / 26.12389°S 113.17944°E / -26.12389; 113.17944 (Surf Point)).

The nearest town is Denham in the area of Shark Bay, which is 232 kilometres from the point by road, with the point some 200 kilometres (120 mi) from the North West Coastal Highway.[1]

Steep Point is also one of Australia's most renowned land-based fishing, with over 320 species of fish that have been caught off the point, mackerel, sailfish and trevally the most common. Serious fishers harness themselves into the cliff, then float their baits off the cliff using helium balloons and haul their catches up using special gaffs, though it is very common that a shark takes the fisher's catch before it can get up onto the cliff.[2]

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.[3]

It is often cited as a reference point for other places and issues - for example, the location of the wreck of HMAS Sydney or other locations on the coast.[4][5]

Also the cliff-lined coast that runs south is often referred to in terms of wrecks and survivors of wrecks, being called in one book the Castaway Coast.[6]

On 17 July 2006, the largest recorded tsunami to strike Australia was measured at 7.9 m at Steep Point after being triggered by an earthquake off Java in Indonesia.[7]

Access to Steep Point is by four-wheel drive vehicle only through sand dunes. A permit is required and can be purchased at the rangers house in Edel Land National Park (proposed). Basic camping areas and facilities are also available.

The sign marking Steep Point.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Author unknown (11 March 2017). "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  2. ^ Unknown author (2013). Edel Land including Steep Point. Denham, Western Australia, Australia: Western Australia - Department of Parks and Wildlife. p. 2. 
  3. ^ White, Ethan (September 2016). "Edel Land (Steep Point)". Our Aussie Road Trip. 
  4. ^ Williams, Sheree; Warren, Jillian; Western Australian Museum; Williams, Sheree; Warren, Jillian; Western Australian Maritime Museum (1994), The castaway coast : Port Gregory to Steep Point, W.A. Maritime Museum, retrieved 5 March 2012 
  5. ^ Western Australia. Transport. Coastal Management Branch (2000). In Australia - west coast, Western Australia, Shark Bay. Transport, [Fremantle, W.A.] Scale 1:30 000 and 1:50 000 transverse Mercator proj. (E 113°08'36"--E 113°37'48"/S 25°53'00"--S 26°11'30") (1) Steep Point to Bellefin Flats. Scale 1:30 000 (2) Bellefin Flats to Denham. Scale 1:50 000. Insets: Denham. Scale 1:15 000 (30) Monkey Mia. Scale 1:50 000
  6. ^ Williams, Sheree; Warren, Jillian; Western Australian Museum; Williams, Sheree; Warren, Jillian; Western Australian Maritime Museum (1994), The castaway coast : Port Gregory to Steep Point, W.A. Maritime Museum, retrieved 29 December 2014 
  7. ^ "Australian tsunami database reveals threat to continent". Space Daily. Space Media Network. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.