On our way from Denham to Geraldton we stopped off at The Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve. This reserve is about 40 km off the highway from the Shark Bay turn off. Hamlin Pool nature reserve is a protected marine nature reserve located in the UNESCO World Heritage listed, Shark Bay, in Western Australia. Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve is one of only two places in the world with living marine stromatolites, or ‘living fossils’.
The 127,000-hectare nature reserve boasts the most diverse and abundant examples of living marine stromatolites in the world, monuments to life on Earth over 3,500 million years BP
After arriving at the free car park, we started at the Hamelin Pool and took an hour to go along the boardwalk and take a look at the stromatolites, which are thought to be the earliest form of life on this planet, expiring oxygen into the air, for everything else that followed. There are tiny fish living in the extremely salty water which can be seen from the boardwalk, together with some pretty birds which seem to live under the boardwalk.
This visit gave me a small insight into some of the history of the development of life form(s) on the planet. It was definitely a ‘wow’ experience viewing the stromatolites formations. The interpretive signage was very informative and there were many trails to explore.
A boardwalk which has been constructed out into the water to give a good view of the area is fantastic with information boards placed around the walk. While we were there, we were lucky as it was a low tide and the formations were visible above and below water.
The microbial mats and stromatolites are prehistoric life forms. To me, the stromatolites look like something out of an alien movie. The stomatolites and cockles thrive in the hyper saline waters of the bay.
The stromatolites are all over Hamlin Pool, so the raised boardwalk protects the stromatolites from damage caused by walking on them.
It was really interesting to read and understand about the formations that looks like you are in another world. Seeing and learning about stromatolites was a very new experience for me, but reading the information boards helped me to understand what I was actually looking at.
It became very apparent that I was observing something astonishing.