Just north of Coral Bay a small bit of land sticks out like a finger into the sea. About a two mile walk along the sea shore, Pt. Maud is a crescent-shaped outcrop of land that seemed like a good hike. We looked at the map and saw that about half way to Pt. Maud is a shark nursery and even though it wasn’t shark hatching month it seemed like it would be a nice hike.
The map seemed like it was about 2 or 3 miles one way and we headed out along the beach from Coral Bay. Along the way we saw quite a few tidal pools and hundreds of little crabs. We climbed up along the bluff that runs parallel to the beach and I captured a photo looking towards Coral Bay (above) and a photo looking north towards Pt. Maud (below).
As we neared the shark sanctuary, we could see that it was a small bay that was protected by some rocks with shallow water. A large population of seagulls had inhabited the bay but we didn’t see any sharks. In the first part of the walk much of the beach was covered by rocky boulders and we could walk relatively easy but as we neared the shark bay (and after we passed it), the sand became like mud and we sank up to our ankles in it. If you take this hike, I recommend that you bring sandals or some other shoes that can be removed easily; we walked barefoot quite a bit and I don’t think that shoes would stay on in this wet-sandy muck. In the photo below, you can see the inlet to the shark sanctuary and the finger of land that makes up Pt. Maud extending off to the left over the horizon.
In springtime, baby sharks hatch here and learn their swimming and hunting skills. If you climb up on the bluff you can see them swimming around in the shallow water.
The appeal of Pt. Maud, and why I would recommend this hike/day trip to others is that the beach is completely unspoiled and almost untouched by humans. In a relatively short hike from Coral Bay you can get to an area where you won’t see many people and the beach was just loaded with shells. I had never seen so many shells in my life – and like a little kid, I ran around picking up the best that I could find. There aren’t really any shells on the beaches around Los Angeles – the millions of tourists pick those beaches clean each day. We saw big and little shells, sea sponges, sand dollars & shells of all sizes. Interestingly, the sand dollars here are not flat like in America, they are rounded and Andrea said that they aren’t called sand dollars in Australia, I can see why, they look more like sand shell puffs.
It was obvious that this outcropping of land was sort-of-a catch-net for the ocean and all sorts of debris washed ashore including the aforementioned shells, bits of kelp and plant life. But the entire area was pristine; I didn’t see any trash or beer bottles or tin cans. All we saw were tens of thousands of beautiful shells and we had quite a fun time picking through them looking for some that were just “perfect” in size and color.
The next day we had sore arches as we used foot muscles that don’t normally get used; pulling your foot out of knee-deep soft sandy-mud isn’t something that you do every day! It was a beautiful hike and I’d recommend it to anyone visiting Coral Bay.
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