Named Steyle Hock but Willem de Vlamingh in 1697, the English translation is Steep Point. The most westerly point of mainland Australia, Steep Point is a popular fishing destination as well as for those seeking to visit each of the extreme cardinal points of the continent. More than 900km from Perth, it is located within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area and is renowned for some of the best land based fishing anywhere in the world. The rugged coastline, with its sheer cliffs, would have presented an almost impenetrable obstacle for early seagoing explorers who had been blown off course.
This is a National Park and you will either need to have a Park’s Pass or pay for your stay.
Regardless of the type of adventure you are embarking on, keeping the basics in your vehicle means that you should be able to deal with most situation that may arise.
When you get onto the gravel, engage 4WD (high range) and only disengage 4WD when you get back to the bitumen. Doing so reduces the damage caused by driving in two-wheel drive and ensures that the track needs less maintenance to keep it open. You will also need to reduce your tyre pressure due to the extreme corrugations.
Great for getting yourself out of a sandy situation when launching your boat from the beach.
You never know when you are going to have to dig yourself out of trouble or when there is a call of nature that requires a hole.
You don’t always need this equipment BUT when you do, you do. Best to ensure that it is always in your vehicle.
Much better than a stick and a lot more accurate. To reduce damage caused by corrugations, drop your tyre pressure down. A quick check you can do it to stop and feel each shock absorber. If it is really hot then you need to either slow down and/or reduce tyre pressure some more.
You will need to let your tyres down so you are going to need a method of pumping them back up again.
The track has been known to be very unforgiving on tyres so taking a second spare for your vehicle and your trailer is well worth it.
If you are towing a camper or boat in then ensure that they have been built for rough roads. Allow extra driving time so that you are not putting undue stress on your vehicle and what you are towing. The last thing you want is a weld or suspension to fail out here.
We might sound like a stuck record but we think having a UHF radio installed in your vehicle is a must-have accessory. It makes communicating with others in your group much easier than trying to master the art of smoke signals when the mobile network is not available.
Make sure you let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be home. Mobile phone coverage should not be relied upon. This could impact how well Google Maps (or equivalent works) and you should either invest in a good quality GPS unit or ensure you have a map of the area.
Something to deal with minor cuts and scrapes as well as compression bandages to treat snake bite.
Make sure you have some sunscreen and insect repellant with you.
This is a remote location with no potable water available. Ensure you have enough for everyone in your group for your entire stay, allowing for any unexpected delays.
It is recommended that you allow a minimum of 10 litres of drinking water per person, per day.
We use and recommend HEMA’s HX2 GPS navigator. The unit does not require mobile phone signal to operate, shows you exactly where you are and what is around you (including points of interest and facilities). The HX2 also gives you turn by turn navigation when back on the bitumen if you need it.
Your other option is to grab a copy of one of HEMA’s maps or 4WD atlas relevant to your area of travel.
If you have a smart phone or an iPad (preferably one that can take a mobile SIM card – you don’t need a SIM installed) you can look at HEMA’s CamperX or 4×4 Explorer.
Keep a roll in the car, along with hand sanitiser and maybe some wipes. Make sure you have a rubbish bag handy and bring all of your rubbish home.
There are long drop toilets at each of the camp sites.
You don’t want to be making the 4 hour drive into Denham for supplies unless you absolutely have to. Make sure you have everything you need for your stay, allowing for unexpected delays.
When you stop and sit for a little while you will be amazed at the amount of wildlife that you will spot. The cliffs are a great place to spot migrating whales. You might even catch some dolphins playing in the waves.
Take a camera and try your hand at some scenic shots or even some macro. It’s also a great spot to get some nice portrait shots of friends and family or even a candid shot of the natural surroundings.
Take care around the edges of the cliffs and don’t put yourself in danger just to get that great instagram pic. It’s not worth your life.
Make sure you take some time before or after to visit Denham and Monkey Mia.
Unless you are heading over to Dirk Hartog Island on the barge, Steep Point is a fishing mecca. Cliff fishing yields Spanish Mackerel, Tuna, Wahoo, Sail Fish and sharks. You can also expect to catch Baldachin Groper, Pink Snapper, Spangled Emperor, Coral Trout and Rankin Cod.
Cliff fishing can be extremely dangerous. Take all safety precautions and don’t risk your life for your catch.
Boat fishing is extremely popular with many towing their boats in and launching from the beach. Once you are away from the beach, expect to be visited by plenty of sharks.
The rugged beauty of the cliffs with breaking waves over the rocky shoreline makes for some amazing footage and images. Getting imagery from above is proving to be a very popular pastime for many who visit Steep Point. The white sandy beaches found inside the passage between the point and Dirk Hartog also produce some stunning imagery.
Make sure you know the rules around operating your drone before you fly.
There are some great spots around the shoreline that are perfect for taking your SUP for a spin. Get an entirely new perspective of the coastline from the water while getting some exercise at the same time.
This is a remote location and you should ensure that you spend some time researching Dirk Hartog before you make the trek north (or south). Booking are essential and you will need to factor in the cost of getting your 4WD across on the barge. Camper trailers and off-road trailers are fine but you will not be wanting to try and take your caravan across.
The track out to Steep Point does get closed after rain so you will need to check with DBCA’s Shark Bay District Office in Denham on (08) 9948 2226
Campsite bookings are essential with fees starting at $3 per child per night (over 5 and under 16), $7 concession and $11 per adult. This is on top of your national park entry fee.
You can book your site here.
More information on Steep Point can be found here.
You can get a National Parks Pass from here.