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Penguin Island

A brief boat ride from Mersey Point, the southern extremity of the Shoalwater Bay locality, is Penguin Island. Penguin Island is the largest of a number of islands and rocky-outcrops which exist in Shoalwater Bay. The island's name is descriptive, derived from the colonies of penguins which call the island home. From the island to the mainland is a submerged sandbar which, as low tides, can be navigable on foot but tides and weather can cause treachery


 
 
   
 
 

Penguin Island - Ferry Arrival

Well, here we are on Penguin Island and this is the ferry that brought us here. Only about a 5 minute gentle ride from the 'mainland' over no more than about 2 -3 metres of water at the deepest. There is no shop of the island, so bring your lunch and drinks. Ferries generally run hourly between 10am and 3pm and only in the summer months. February 2012. Photos Ref: PENG001

 

Penguin Island - Resource Centre

A walk up from the jetty en route to the Discovery Centre and picnic area you pass this wooden building. It is the WMC Research and Management Centre. February 2012. Photos Ref: PENG002

 

Penguin Island - Discovery Centre

Inside the Discovery Centre is this pool and ten Little (or Fairy) Penguins. They put on a good swimming show and have feeding sessions three times per day. You need to pre-book admission when you buy your ferry ticket at Safety Bay. February 2012. Photos Ref: PENG003

 

Penguin Island - Lizard

Outside the Discovery Centre is a pleasantly treed and lawned picnic area with quite a few picnic tables. The picnic area faces east and is adjacent to a safe beach. Here is one of many long-tailed lizards which live here and they are quite bold and cheeky and will eat just about anything you drop. Sort of reptilian seagulls which I have never seen anywhere off the island. February 2012. Photos Ref: PENG004

 

Penguin Island - Sheltered Beach

A little north of the picnic area is this lovely beach with shallow, sandy waters with hardly a ripple, ideal for little kids. In the background you can see the jetty and across the water to Safety Bay. February 2012. Photos Ref: PENG005

 

Penguin Island - East Side Caves

And a little further north up the above beach are these exquisite wave-crafted caves. Entry is not permitted lest one collapses. Hmm, footprints in the sand in there? Nah, I can't see them. Must be a local then - Penguin Friday? February 2012. Photos Ref: PENG006

 

Penguin Island - Ocean Side Beach

A short walk along wooden walkways brings you across to the ocean, or western, side of the island. Here is open sea with larger waves dashing the white beaches. February 2012. Photos Ref: PENG007

 

Penguin Island - Ocean Side Caves

On the 'ocean' side of the island are also limestone caves. This rather fine structure has probably taken eons to craft as wind and waves etch out the softer limestone leaving the harder materials behind. February 2012. Photos Ref: PENG008

 

Penguin Island - Lookout

Now we're on a small sheltered beach on the south side of the island, not far from the jetty and Discovery Centre. You can see the lookout up on top of that sand dune. Ok, ready to go on up. February 2012. Photos Ref: PENG009

 

Penguin Island - Walkway to Lookout

The climb to the lookout is easier than I anticipated. Here is a section of the walkway and you can also see the ocean. Those walkways really help to protect the dunes and plant-life whilst making for a far less arduous walk. February 2012. Photos Ref: PENG010

 

Penguin Island - Southern Headland

At the top of the lookout, here is a fine view across the southern promontory of the island. As with its northern cousin, this headland provides a safe breeding ground for pelicans, seagulls etc. A sharp eye might glimpse Mandurah over on the horizon. February 2012. Photos Ref: PENG011

 

Penguin Island - View to Jetty and Sandbar

Another view from the lookout, this time looking down on the eastern sand bar and jetty. You can see the sandbar under the water on its stretch back to Safety Bay. February 2012. Photos Ref: PENG012


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