Coolimba Coast

Map of coastline

The Coolimba Coast, west of Eneabba and just north of Leeman, is a fisherman's paradise. Limestone outcrops and long beaches offer fishermen a bounty of opportunities for catching that elusive "big one". For the non-fisherpeople, the coastline offers a multitude of flora and fauna to watch and enjoy while the others fish; mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and frogs are abundant in the area, and the coastal scrub is home to beautiful coastal wildflowers and trees. Birdlife alone in the coastal region consists of over 180 species, including the Fairy Wren and Honeyeater.

Access

There are three (3) access points to the Carnamah Shire Coast; Coolimba, Gum Tree Bay and Illawong.

  • Coolimba access is located opposite the Coolimba-Eneabba Road junction with the Indian Ocean Drive.
  • Gum Tree Bay is approximately 12kms north along the Indian Ocean Drive from the Coolimba access road, and
  • Illawong a further 10kms (approx.) north.

Climate

The Mediterranean climate of the Central Coast is hot, dry summers; mild, wet winters and a low number of days of rain annually. This makes Coolimba suitable for outdoor activities throughout the year. The most comfortable seasons in Coolimba are Spring (August to November) and Autumn (March to May).

Flora

The vegetation of the coastal area is covered with an Acacia-Meleleuca heath, common to the Cliff Head System, a narrow belt of limestone along the coast from Lancelin to Port Denison.

Fauna

This coastal heath is inhabited by a wide range of mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and frogs. Both native and introduced species are present, and some rare species requiring protection have been identified. Bird life in the coastal region consists of over 180 species, including the Fairy Wren and Honeyeater. 17 species of seabird breed on the offshore islands of the central coast, including the Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, White-faced Petrels, Pied Cormorants, Bridled Terns, Rock Parrots and Roseate Terns. Western Grey Kangaroos, Honey Possums, Southern Bush Rats and Ash-Grey Mice are also present in the Carnamah Shire coastal area. Reptiles such as geckoes, dragons, monitors and legless lizards are also rich in the area with over 66 species in habitation.

Tides

The Coolimba area has a low tidal range and has average wave heights of less than 0.5m. As such, it is a suitable swimming and snorkelling environment.

Settlers

Settlement in the Coolimba area occurred through the uncontrolled establishment of squatter communities. Farmers escaping to the coast after the summer harvest in the early 1900s built the first squatter shacks. Professional fishermen started building their own shacks around the 1950s with the growth of the Western Rock Lobster industry. The shacks at Coolimba have now been removed, however tracks and old sites are still being rehabilitated.

Camping

Currently, there is no camping permitted on the Shire of Carnamah coast. There are caravan parks located in Dongara, Leeman and Green Head, as well as a short-stay facility (maximum stay allowable of 72 hours) for campers at Eneabba (current fee is $5.00 per person/per night).  Free camping is available at Lake Indoon (17km east along the Coolimba-Eneabba Road, maximum stay allowable of 72 hours).