FRANCOIS PERON NATIONAL PARK, WA
Camping at Francois Peron National Park, Shark Bay
Shark Bay is on a lot of people's bucket lists for their big lap because they want to visit the dolphins at Monkey Mia. We went to Monkey Mia on a previous trip and (controversially) didn't think it was worth a return visit, so we avoided the crowds and revisited Francois Peron National Park instead.
We had fond memories of this area from our previous trip, particularly all the marine wildlife we spotted and we had a similar experience this time spotting stingrays, sharks & some dolphins that came in nice & close to say hello (probably the same ones that visit Monkey Mia, but we had them all to ourselves 😉) And we actually managed to catch some fish for a change, including a couple of good sized flathead we cooked up immediately for lunch so that was a massive bonus!
There's a few different campsites in the national park all of which will set you back $11/person/night, and all of which have drop toilets (with toilet paper!! 🖒) and not much else. The only drinking water is in Denham where you can fill your tanks with desalinated water for $1/20L. There's very little phone reception through the national park.
If you choose to camp you'll probably find you don't have too many neighbours mainly because the road in is most definitely 4x4 only, so most people camp in Denham and day trip in. If you're going to tow a camper in (I wouldn't even consider a caravan) make sure you're comfortable on rough corrugations and quite soft sand. This road was definitely more challenging than the one to Steep Point so consider yourself warned! Some of the 'fond' memories from our previous trip here were of getting bogged repeatedly 🤣. Fortunately this time we had no real trouble towing the Cub Camper trailer in so hopefully that's a reflection on both our setup & our improved 4x4 skills! (I had to drive most of the way cause the road was making me a bit vommy. So Nathan missed out on most of the 4wding) The great thing is there's a compressor on the way the into the park where you can deflate/reinflate your tyres which is fantastic.
Oh and if you don't have a 4x4 you can still access the homestead on the way in & relax in the hot bore bath. Just beware the people before you may have jumped in after 3 days camping in the national park without a shower🤣
Check out our full write up about the Shark Bay area for Go See Australia here