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Where the desert meets the sea

Gnaraloo is an important destination for nationally threatened sea turtles and migratory birds, located at the southern end of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area. It is an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Heritage Site that extends 260km down the Ningaloo Reef reaching inland to include a wetland of international significance. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added the Ningaloo Reef to its World Heritage list, stating that its ʽlush and colourful underwater scenery provides a stark and spectacular contrast with the arid and rugged landʼ.

The unique landscape of the Gnaraloo Wilderness Area

Gnaraloo comprises a number of unique landscapes, roll your cursor over the highlighted areas to learn more about our wetlands, coastal area, beaches.

Mangroves

Lake MacLeod Blue Holes and mangroves in Western Australia

The largest inland mangrove area in Australia is located around Lake MacLeod. Mangroves are complex habitats that provide homes to plants and animals that have adapted to live in harsh saline conditions. They are also considered important carbon sinks reducing levels of greenhouse gases. However these highly sensitive environments can be easily destroyed so we are working to understand more about how we can conserve them.

Lake MacLeod

Lake MacLeod

The Lake MacLeod wetland system, on the Eastern boundary of Gnaraloo Station, is a highly sensitive environmental area. It is one of Australia’s most important stop-over and drought refuges for migratory shorebirds, and it supports Australia's largest inland community of mangroves. It is linked to the Indian Ocean and the Ningaloo Marine Park through underground water channels from as far as 18km away.

Turtle Nesting Beach

Gnaraloo Bay Rookery

GNARALOO BAY ROOKERY
Every year endangered sea turtles come ashore to nest on our beaches. The Gnaraloo Bay Rookery and the Gnaraloo Cape Farquhar Rookery are some of the larger known loggerhead nesting sites on the Ningaloo coast. But these turtles are under threat from climate change, human development, pollution and fishing. So our scientists are working with the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program to identify, monitor and protect their rookeries.

Turtle Nesting Beach

Gnaraloo Cape Farquhar Rookery

GNARALOO CAPE FARQUHAR ROOKERY
Every year endangered sea turtles come ashore to nest on our beaches. The Gnaraloo Bay Rookery and the Gnaraloo Cape Farquhar Rookery are some of the larger known loggerhead nesting sites on the Ningaloo coast. But these turtles are under threat from climate change, human development, pollution and fishing. So our scientists are working with the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program to identify, monitor and protect their rookeries.

Coastal Sand Dunes

Where the desert meets the sea

Sand dunes play an important role in protecting the coastline. They act as a buffer against wave damage during storms, protecting the land from the sea. They also provide habitat for crustaceans, shorebirds and plants. Our dunes are fragile and can be seriously damaged or destroyed, by natural causes or development. With pressure to develop Gnaraloo Bay as a tourist node, the Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation is working to protect the wilderness and wildlife.

Ningaloo Reef

Gnaraloo coral - Ningaloo Reef

The Ningaloo Reef is a world heritage listed site and one of the world’s largest fringing reefs. Turtles and a huge variety of fish, sharks, whales and coral species can be found here. It is regarded as one of the last natural wonders of the ocean. But in recent years, coral reefs have come under threat from global warming and human activities. The Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation will do everything possible to keep this national treasure healthy for our future generations.

Gnargoo Range

Gnargoo Range

This area is a part of the anticline structures of the Giralia Range, Rough Range and Gnargoo Range. The geological history involved marine sedimentation, tectonic stress and the uplift and exposure of tertiary sediments. It recognised for its high conservation values, where the plateau is the sole recorded of an endemic mallee. However, very little is currently known about the Gnargoo Range and our scientists are enthusiastic to find out more.

Desert grasslands and scrublands

Scrubland at Gnaraloo

Sandwiched between the coastal dunes and Lake MacLeod, Gnaraloo has a large area of almost untouched Australian scrubland. This hot and arid environment is a home to diverse shrub, grass, and animal species, some of which are endemic and unique to the area. We know it is an important habitat for Emus, Kangaroos and Perenties. However, it has never been scientifically catalogued so there could be further undiscovered species that depend on this area to survive.

Under the ground – Karst

Underground cavern at Gnaraloo

Gnaraloo has a network of underground caves and caverns that were formed by dissolving, extending up to 18km inland. These caves provide habitat to stygofauna and troglofauna, some of which are rare and believed to face extinction. Stygofauna is an ancient group of animals dating from pre-Gondwana that live in water in the underground caves. Troglofauna is a group of animals living in air spaces in the rocks in the underground caves. Many of these species are still being identified by scientists. These underground caves sometimes form river channels and groundwater resources.

As environments are constantly changing in response to human activities, it is critically important to continue to protect these significant natural areas. Join us today, to help protect and you too can keep enjoying the Gnaraloo wilderness for future generations.

We are holding this for the next generation.

Help protect the unique Gnaraloo inland wilderness

Find out more about Gnaraloo’s magnificent geological and dynamic landscape, and how you can help our work to protect it.

Save our world heritage reefs for future generations

Home to stunning fish, corals, turtles, sharks and rays, our world heritage reef is in danger from human encroachment. Help us keep it alive for the future.

Preserve our breathtaking night skies

There are so few places in the world where you can see billions of stars, planets and the milky way. Gnaraloo is one of them. Help us keep it a dark sky area.

Help protect our local wildlife

Gnaraloo provides habitat for endangered sea turtles, echidnas, bats, native mammals and plant species. Help us protect this biodiversity hotspot.

In terms of other national heritage and cultural sensitivity, there is an Aboriginal heritage site in close proximity to Gnaraloo Bay.

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