Shell Beach is located about 45km from Denham in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. What makes this so unique is that there is no sand on the beach, just billions of tiny shells.
This area is home to billions of tiny white coquina bivalve shells. The coquina bivalve shellfish has no natural enemies. Over time the shells have accumulated and are estimated to be 10 metres deep in some places. The beach stretches on for about 120km.
The effect is breathtaking: blindingly white shells against a backdrop of crystal clear water. The shells go right out into the calm bay. You can walk for many, many metres through the clear water while admiring the shells underfoot. Shell Beach is one of only two such beaches in the world.
In the past these naturally cemented shell blocks were used for the construction of buildings. Today there is only one quarry still in operation and the blocks from this quarry are used for restoration purposes to historical buildings.
To the right of the bay you will see huge heaps of what appears to be sand and machinery. The machinery is used to mine loose shell since the early 1960’s. These mined shells are used locally to keep the dust down on footpaths and in car parks as well as for landscaping.
The poultry industry also utilizes these shells. When eaten the minerals in the shells helps to produce hard egg shells. It is also used in the cement industry as a source of lime.
New shells are continually being deposited; therefore it is seen as a renewable resource. More photos.
Shell beach is accessible for 2WD vehicles. Parking and public toilets available.