One of the few disappointing experiences of our trip down the coast of Western Australia was a side trip to Hamelin Pool on the road out of Shark Bay. This tourist stop had attracted our attention by the promise of seeing stromatolites, ancient life-forms that are believed to have been involved in the production of the oxygen that triggered off life on earth. Our disappointment arose with the apparent lack of care of the site and the neglect of the area where the stromatolites attempted to survive in the saline water of Hamelin pool. We did not expect to get another opportunity to examine these ancient life forms so we were surprised by Lake Thetis when we arrived at Cervantes. The turnoff to Lake Thetis was off the road into the Cervantes and it was a place that had been expertly developed and cared for and was a pleasure at so many levels to visit.
The boardwalk ensured that visitors could walk and appreciate this beautiful lake at the back of the coastal dunes and know that they we were not damaging the sensitive environment. The information boards gave great information to ensure we appreciated what we were seeing.
The photographs of Stromatolites below were taken on our visit and I was happy that I could be sure that they were the real deal. The explanation of the processes occurring in this unusual salty lake were well covered by information boards like the one below.
Our day around Cervantes was an unusual one, visiting sites that were environments that were not the average places that tourists encounter on a day out. The pinnacles and the stromatolites of this area were fascinating reminders of the complexity of our continent’s environment and the importance of it being protected and nurtured for generations to come.