Situated between Port Hedland and Broome, Eighty Mile is the longest uninterrupted beach in Western Australia, extending for 220 kilometres (or almost 137 miles!). It’s a haven for anglers, shell collectors, beach fossickers and a great camping area. Thousands of migratory birds flock here on their annual migration. It’s also an important turtle nesting site.
Eighty Mile Beach is recognised as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The rich feeding grounds at Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park attract thousands of small migratory wading birds each summer, travelling from countries thousands of kilometres away. Species found at Eight Mile Beach during the migratory season include eastern curlews, great knots, red knots, Terek sandpipers, pied oystercatchers, greater sand plovers, Oriental plovers and red-capped plovers.
In the water, sawfish, dugong, dolphins and millions of invertebrates inhabit the sand and mud flats, seagrass meadows, coral reefs and mangroves.
The marine park is a major nesting area for flatback turtles which are found only in northern Australia. One of the highlights in the wildlife calendar from October to February each year is turtle nesting. Guided by primordial instincts, females heave themselves up the beach to dig a deep nest, where she will lay hundreds of eggs during her long labour. Eight weeks later tiny hatchlings start to break free and scramble out of the nest toward the sea. All marine turtles are protected, so never approach a nesting turtle or disturb the nest if you are lucky enough to see one.
Any disturbance to the turtles and migratory birds can affect their survival, so please take care and follow the Leave No Trace principles.
You can access the park via the 10 km access road to the Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park, 250 km north of Port Hedland and 365 km south of Broome.