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Hamelin

Established:
2015 
Area:
202,644 ha
Location:
250km N of Geraldton
Traditional Owners:
Malgana people

Abutting the shore of Hamelin Pool and the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Hamelin Station Reserve is a former sheep station of exceptional conservation importance.

Hamelin adds a conservation buffer to the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, extending a corridor of nature reserves from Shark Bay via Toolonga Nature Reserve, through crown land to our Eurardy Reserve and then Kalbarri National Park – a span of over 200km.

The Shark Bay area supports some 240 bird species (about 35% of Australia’s total), as well as many plants, reptiles and mammals.

Covering 202,644 hectares, Hamelin is in a transitional zone for flora and supports species characteristic of both the South West (Yalgoo) and the Eremaean (Carnarvon) bioregions.

Most vegetation communities in the Carnarvon bioregion on the property are Acacia dominated shrublands on sandplains, which are poorly represented in the National Reserve System. Areas close to the Hamelin Pool shore support samphire shrublands. The south of the property features eucalypt woodlands with a spinifex understorey.

Mallee and spinifex country. Photo Marie Lochman / Lochman Transparencies.

Stromatolites

Hamelin Pool is one of only two locations Worldwide where active marine Stromatolites occur in diversity and abundance.

Stromatolites are created by colonies of microbes called cyanobacteria (blue green algae) which trap and bind sand and sediment grains. They’re found in fossil records dating back to 3.5 billion years, which are the earliest fossil evidence of life.

Hamelin Reserve is a research base for studying the Hamelin Pool stromatolites, providing support for Australian and international scientists, students and volunteers. Such research has the potential to advance our understanding of early life on Earth.

Marine stromatolites at Hamelin Pool. Photo Jiri Lochman / Lochman Transparencies.

What Hamelin Reserve protects

Animals: Hamelin Skink (endemic to Hamelin Station and a neighbouring property), Western Spiny-tailed Skink, Western Grasswren, Malleefowl.

Plants: Beard’s Mallee (Eucalyptus beardiana), Ashby’s Banksia (Banksia ashbyi).

Vegetation communities: Shrubland tree heath, Eucalypt woodland over hummock (spinifex) grassland, Temperate and subtropical coastal salt marsh (vulnerable), Diverse shrubland on sandplain.

Hamelin Pool: Stromatolites and microbial mats are fragile. Hamelin Reserve protects 30kms of Hamelin Pool shore from the impacts of people, stock and soil degradation.

What we’re doing

Motion sensor cameras have recorded two Western Quoll, multiple Malleefowl, Bush Stone-curlew, and Spinifex Hopping Mice. Some of the regular species include Echidna, Emu, Kangaroo, Chiming Wedgebill, Crested Bellbird, Chestnut Quail Thrush and Goanna.

Through Small animal monitoring we’ve identified four species of dunnarts, three native mice, and 57 species of reptile.

Motion sensor cameras allow us to identify feral animals and enable targeted and measured pest control programs.

Crimson Chat male. Photo Georgina Steytler.
Crimson Chat male. Photo Georgina Steytler.

We’ve constructed 84km of a stock-proof fence, which will reduce the number of goats and sheep migrating onto Hamelin. Those that do are trapped and moved offsite to minimise impact on vegetation and soil recovery. A Human Induced Recovery carbon project is also supported by fence construction.

We are decommissioning man-made water points, removing internal fences, closing degraded tracks, and healing erosion sites with the help of Malgana Rangers.

We’ve welcomed the Malgana community back on country by hosting: cultural workshops; Ranger training and employment; family gatherings; cultural activities; social visits and through protection of cultural sites.

We are protecting historical infrastructure by renovating the unique Coquina Shell Block Homestead, maintaining the shearing shed and highlighting historic pastoral machinery.

Hamelin Homestead Field Station accommodates: Researchers (Stromatolites, Western Grasswren, Sandalwood, Seagrass); University students, CSIRO, state government (DBCA), Bush Heritage staff, volunteers and Malgana community. We’re all working together to understand and heal our environment.

Hamelin Outback Station Stay

Hamelin Station provides a base for people to experience the extraordinary natural gifts and cultural story that this reserve, Hamelin Pool and the wider Shark Bay region have to offer.

We proudly operate the Hamelin Outback Station Stay accommodation. Along with the restored shearers’ quarters and 30 unpowered camping sites, it’s a throwback to the days when Hamelin was a working sheep station and provides a truly authentic ‘Aussie’ accommodation experience.

Hamelin Station Stay at twilight. Photo Cineport Media.

Cultural heritage

Shark Bay is the traditional home of the Malgana people, who have lived in the region for over 30,000 years.

There are around 130 registered Aboriginal heritage sites within the Shark Bay area including, including rock shelters, quarries and burial sites.

In the late 1880s Hamelin Pool became an important transport and communication hub. The Hamelin Pool Telegraph Station was built in 1884 and linked the telegraph line between Perth and Roebourne. Initially named Flint Cliff Telegraph Station, it was active until the mid 20th century.

Ecologist Ben Parkhurst with a Smooth Knob-tailed Gecko at Hamelin Station. Photo Annette Ruzicka.