This trek has two trek destinations in one. The trek starts from Overlander Roadhouse to Steep Point
via the main junction at the airstrip
. After returning back down to this main junction, the trek then heads towards the second trek destination which is Crayfish Bay
Although known to most as Steep Point
, the point itself is located at the western tip of the peninsula. The official name for the area is Edel Land and soon it will become known as Edel Land National park. The very sandy track to the point tends to follow the eastern side of the peninsular. Steep Point
gives the traveller the opportunity to see a pristine environment and enjoy superb ocean vistas from beaches, bays and high cliff tops. Views from Cloughs Bar to Steep Point
include secluded bays, salt pans or birradas, scrub covered dunes, glimpses of Dirk Hartog Island and across the bay to the Peron Peninsula. If you are keen to fish, there are plenty of opportunities to catch a big fish from the beach or the rocks. You can camp near beaches in a tranquil bay and explore some fascinating and rigged sand dune country. You will also find many opportunities for some serious and challenging 4WDriving.
On the western side of the Steep Point
area are the Zuytdorp Cliffs (pronounced Zurtoff), these in places
are up to 170 metres high. The Indian Ocean smashing against these cliffs provides sightseers with fantastic photography opportunities at almost every turn. On the eastern side (Shark Bay
side) are numerous sandy beaches, where one can see fish swimming in the shallows or rock pools. From a fishing point of view, Steep Point
itself, is arguably the best rock fishing platform in Australia
, with the main catch being mackerel and snapper.
Interactive Route Map
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Steep Point From:
This trek supports moving map, to take a virtual tour click on the Play button.
The Steep Point
area is now managed by the Department of Environment and Conservation. You will need to complete a camping permit request form to book campsites before entering the area. A copy of the permit request and information on fee's that apply is available here
Things to See & Do
The nearest points for fuel or other supplies is Denham
, limited supplies may be available at Nanga Station. Ensure you have your own recovery gear because it is quite remote and you may not be found for days.
Ensure you book in advance and let the Ranger know where you are going, if you are going to remote parts of the peninsular. He is very helpful and will provide lots of local information.
The track to Steep Point
can be accessed by 2WD vehicles as far as Cloughs Bar, after that it is 4WD only. There are large and often very soft sand dunes to cross. Make sure you have a quality tyre pressure gauge and pump. The Ranger requires all tyres to be let down to 20 psi, so have a gauge and pump with you. Failure to reduce your tyre pressure will not be tolerated by the Ranger and you will be asked to leave the park. The reason you must reduce the tyre pressure down is because hard tyres damage the track.
Fuel Supplies & Usage
||Diesel||4cyl 43 litres
||ULP||4cyl 50 litres
||LPG||4cyl 61 litres|
|6cyl 47 litres||6cyl 55 litres||6cyl 54 litres|
|8cyl 47 litres||8cyl 51 litres|
There is also fuel available at Denham
, whilst limited fuel supplies may be available at Nanga Station.
Services & Supplies
The following locations have various services and supplies: Overlander Roadhouse
Supplies are obtainable at Denham
with limited supplies at Overlander Road House and Nanga Station. Useless Loop is a closed mining town and access is not permitted.
Camp Sites & Accommodation
Camping is available at Steep Point
but if you are not fishing, its best to camp back towards the rangers house. These camp spots are on the beach and each one has a bit of space between them.
There are no facilities at the point itself except two unreliable Enviro Loos and the two toilets often exude a most unpleasant aroma at times. Camping at the point is shoulder to shoulder and there is no room for privacy.
The terrain is rugged sand dune country and in places
is very sandy and the risk of getting bogged is high. In places
tracks are overgrown, vehicle scratching will occur.
As you are leaving Cloughs Bar and heading towards Steep Point
, the very first sand dune is probably the most difficult. It’s often very soft and seems to go forever and many people have had to reverse all the way to the bottom and start again. You will experience superb views as you slowly make your way to the point. The track is self made and wanders left and right, average driving speed is around 15 to 20 kph.
As you approach the point, the track leaves the tranquil bay on the northern side of the peninsula and heads for the steep cliffs facing the Indian Ocean, the cliffs are very high and plummet almost vertically into the ocean, the views are breath taking. Take special care here, the cliffs are dangerous and falling off will result in almost certain death. This is not an exaggeration, the cliffs are dangerous, there are no barriers or signs and sections could break off without warning. Keep a very close watch on any children. The main track heads north passed the light house and about fifty metres passed the light house it forks. About a hundred metres along the left fork you come to the most western point of the Australian main land, people have built dozens and dozens of rock cairns
to commemorate their visit.
The right fork leads down to the rock fishing platforms. Here up to 50 people camp and using lures or baits to catch fish. Spanish Mackerel are the most often sought after fish. Steep Point
is one of those rare places
where land based anglers can target large pelagic fish. Some fisherman use helium filled balloons and use the prevailing breeze to take their baits 100 to 150 metres out to sea. If intending to fish, talk to fisherman there about what spots are available. Each spot
is closely guarded and the best spots are taken in a pecking order of who has been fishing the area the longest at that time. You will find most of the fishermen are helpful. Also note they leave their fishing gear on the rocks, don’t touch any of it because it could be worth many hundreds of dollars.
Evidence of aboriginal occupation has been found going back to around 30,000 years.
Dirk Hartog was the first recorded explorer to visit the region, it was in 1616. He was followed by others including de Vlamingh in 1697, Dampier
, who named Shark Bay
, in 1699, St. Alouaran in 1772, Baudin in 1801 and 1803, De Freycinet in 1818, King in 1822, Grey in 1839 and Denham