A few years ago – July 2011 to be exact – I was travelling up the west coast of Australia with my daughter, Jackie, and her partner and if we hadn’t met Dan the Man and Sharon at a bush camp beside the Murchison River, we would never have heard about the great outback station stay in Hamelin, WA.
Dan told us so much about the place that we just had to go and see for ourselves. The property is a working sheep station but the owners have converted the shearers’ quarters into comfortable rooms for guests.
The station is about 1km along a good unsealed road and is located on the Denham-Hamelin Tourist Road – the way you go to Denham and Monkey Mia about 128km away.
OUTBACK STATION STAY
John, the manager at the time of our visit, was a cheerful fellow who made us welcome as soon as he met us. He told us all about the station but in our case he was too late – Dan the Man had already told us all about the place.
This included the ablutions block, which he rightly claimed to be of five-star quality, and the way the output from an artesian bore was used to power a generator to charge a battery bank. An inverter was then used to convert the battery power into 240V, but unfortunately there were no powered sites or drinking water. The water from the bore filled a large, scenic lake with ducks swimming serenely on it.
There was drinking water from one tap in the beautifully set-up camp kitchen that lacked nothing and included a large oven.
A FIRE TO WARM YOU
Next to the kitchen was a dining room with lovely tables and a fire burning each night during the colder months of the year. It was cold and miserable when we stayed so the fire was lit early.
Next to the dining room was the barbecue area, with two large barbies and tables and chairs – just the place for a party.
If you forgot to replenish stocks at a supermarket, don’t worry, as barbecue and breakfast packs were available from the fridge.
Besides the lovely camping sites, the accomodation in the converted shearers quarters were also very reasonable, with a price range of $80-$180, depending on the number of guests and the configuration of the room.
We really enjoyed our stay at this outback station back then and I plan to revisit the station later this year – all the reviews on Hamelin Station Stay’s website are very positive – guests are particularly enthusiastic about the beautiful and modern amenities block and love the fire pits among the campsites.
MONKEY MIA DOLPHINS
With the dolphins of Monkey Mia just an hour and a half away, and being ideally positioned for a visit to Australia’s westernmost place (Steep Point), Hamelin Station makes an ideal place to spend a restful couple of nights or more.
With the site rates just $14 a person, why wouldn’t you? I seldom find caravan parks that make a reduction for someone travelling on their own, so this was a refreshing change.
BUSH HERITAGE AUSTRALIA
The outback station is a 202,000-hectare property with 32km of coastline bordering the Shark Bay Heritage area. It was acquired by Bush Heritage Australia in 2015. The reserve extends the protection of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area by a substantial 10 per cent. It also helps to protect Hamelin Pool, one of the only two places in the world where living marine stromatolites are known to occur.
Shark Bay was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1991 for its natural heritage values. It satisfied all four of the natural criteria for World Heritage listing covering 2.2 million hectares on the north-west coast of Western Australia. Complex interactions between the plants, the climate and the marine environment have allowed ‘living fossils’, stromatolites, to exist at Hamelin Pool.
Bush Heritage Australia is a national, non-government conservation organisation which, through the donations of its supporters across Australia and the world, works to protect Australia’s unique biodiversity and natural landscapes.
Where: Hamelin Station Stay, Shark Bay Road, WA
Pricing: Camping sites are $14/person/night; rooms in the converted shearers quarters are from $80-$180 per night
Bush Heritage Australia information: www.bushheritage.org.au