Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve is most famous for the stromatolites that can be found there. Stromatolites are the oldest organisms on earth. They are the results of primitive organisms that lived 3.5 million years ago.
This unusual life form grows because of hypersalination created by the low tidal flow. Hypersalination is when the salt level is twice that of normal seawater.
Although the stromatolites look like mere rocks, they are actually built by microscopic living organisms with densities of 3 000 million individuals per square meter. Stromatolites can reach heights of up to 60 cm high. Now keep in mind that they grow at a rate of less than 1mm per year!
Hamelin Pool is a very tiny section of the 1 270 square kilometres that is protected by Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve, Western Australia’s only marine nature reserve. The pool is a landlocked marine basin.
Hamelin Pool is one of only two places in the world with living marine stromatolites. All care is being taken to protect the stromatolites, therefore a boardwalk was constructed in order for us to view the stromatolites without harming them. There are information boards along the boardwalk with information presented in an entertaining fashion to help even children to marvel at the beginnings of life on earth. Please take note that no swimming is allowed.
A short distance from Hamelin Pool is Hamelin Pool Telegraph Station. It is currently privately owned and operated. The Telegraph Station and Post Office was built in 1884. The original building is currently a museum while the old Postmaster’s residence is a tearoom serving Devonshire, light meals and refreshments.
A caravan park, picnic area and camping facilities are also available. A short walk over the dunes will bring you to the only operational shell block quarry left. Blocks are removed to maintain historical buildings. More photos.