#ParksforPeople – Three Bays Walkway

Like many natural places around Australia, Green Head’s ‘Three Bays Walkway’ has its own very distinctive features.

Green Head is located 288km North of Perth and features three separate coastal bays, which were created when an extraordinary limestone cliff escarpment approximately 2 kilometres long was eroded by the Indian Ocean. The Three Bays Walkway includes the sweeping South Bay, the picturesque Dynamite Bay, and the charming yet peaceful Anchorage Bay.

The white sandy beaches, rocky inlets and headlands, and rich limestone reefs provide an unmatched habitat of coastal heath land and nesting sites for a wide range of native fauna. The southern half of the escarpment forms the northernmost section of the Jurien Bay Marine Park, emphasising the importance of this unique coastal environment on West Australia’s truly remarkable Turquoise Coast.

The Walkway was designed to let people immerse themselves into the landscape, experience its natural beauty, learn about the Aboriginal and European history, and give them an opportunity to engage in repairing the coastal ecosystems and provide access for recreation.

The wildlife in this area is abundant with visitors being able to see Sea Lions and Dolphins in their natural habitat. The walk along the cliff allows visitors to see White-bellied Sea-eagles (Haliaeetus leucogaster), Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Pacific Gulls (Larus pacificus), Crested Terns (Sterna bergii) and many other intriguing bird species in close proximity. During the spring months, the coast is covered with wildflowers. To help visitors better understand the area, the Three Bays Walkway is divided into sections each with its own unique sense of place.

Green Head is located in Yued country and the area contains ancient midden sites and hunting grounds. It also formed an important environment for the livelihood of Traditional Owners. For thousands of years the Yued people have seasonally visited the three bays to hunt and collect fish, other marine life and access the natural foods and freshwater in the surrounding coastal vegetation.

The earliest known European visitors to the Turquoise Coast were seafarers who visited while attempting to reach settlements in Indonesia. One of these voyages was by the Vergulde Draeck (Gilt Dragon), which in 1656, was wrecked on the WA coast and led to Abraham Leeman’s two epic voyages in open boats to Java. There is a belief that the Gilt Dragon met its fate at Dynamite Bay. A more recent shipwreck in the area was that of the SS Cambewarra which foundered in 1914 off Green Head and is commemorated in the naming of the northern headland of Dynamite Bay (Cambewarra Head).

During World War 2 the Australian Army was in the area for troop training and coastal surveillance for enemy seaborne activity. From the 1950’s cray fishing developed as an industry with Anchorage Bay providing a safe harbour for the fleet. This led to the fishermen living in ‘squatters shacks’ and in 1967 the gazetting of the town of Green Head.

The initiative to develop the Three Bays Walkway has been driven by the Green Head Coastcare Group, with assistance from the local Green Head community, the Shire of Coorow, the Northern Agricultural

Catchments Council and the West Midlands Group.

 

Information source: Shire of Coorow http://www.coorow.wa.gov.au

 

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