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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.

The purchase of Hamelin extends the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, completing a connected corridor of nature reserves from Shark Bay via Toolonga Nature Reserve, through crown land to Bush Heritage’s 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, Mallefowl.

Plants: Beard’s Mallee (Eucalyptus beardiana), Asby'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.

What we’re doing

On purchase our initial focus was to remove sheep and goats, decommission water points, and repair infrastructure. After this, fauna and flora surveys have helped provide baseline information for conservation management planning.

Remote sensor cameras have recorded Malleefowl, Bush Stone Curlew and Spinifex Hopping Mice, suggesting cats and foxes (while also present) haven't had it all their own way. Other species recorded include Echidnas, Mulga Parrots, Bronzewing Pigeons, Emus, Kangaroos, Ravens, Willie Wagtails, Crested Pigeons, Galahs and Crimson Chats.

Small animal monitoring has uncovered many skinks, monitors, blind snakes and even a disorientated Chestnut Quail Thrush, a pretty and usually difficult bird to see.

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.