Big Lagoon at Shark Bay; great camping or a day trip
There’s a lot of reasons to visit the Shark Bay region, and one of them is Big Lagoon inside the magnificent Francois Peron National Park. You can camp at Big Lagoon, or visit for the day to flick a few lures around, swim, take your boat out to the ocean or just appreciate the truly incredible views.
Where is Big Lagoon?
From Denham, head out on the Monkey Mia Road until you’ve gone past the wind turbines, and then take a left towards Francois Peron National Park. Drive past the check in station (as long as you have a national park pass), and then the Peron Homestead, and take your first turn left towards Big Lagoon.
In total, its about 23km from Denham on mainly good roads, except for the last part which can be soft and corrugated.
Do you need a 4WD to get to Big Lagoon?
Ah, the million dollar question. Most AWD’s will get to Big Lagoon with no issues. I certainly wouldn’t be taking a 2WD vehicle there, and you should be prepared for a short (10km) section of sandy track that can be fairly rough.
You can tow big caravans in here, but you need to deflate accordingly, and be prepared to meet on coming traffic.
If you haven’t taken an AWD vehicle off road, I’d seriously consider not going; check out Little Lagoon instead, which doesn’t require a 4WD!
If you want more 4WD tracks in the area, check out the post we wrote on Shark Bay 4WD Tracks.
Big Lagoon Camping and Day Use Area
There are 12 sites at Big Lagoon. None are bookable just yet, although that will be coming soon. All of the sites are in a big loop near the lagoon, with some having much better views than others.
Some sites are only suitable for camping with a tent, and others are suitable for bigger setups like off road caravans and 4WD’s. There’s a couple of toilets, and a fantastic picnic area that anyone can use.
To camp at Big Lagoon, you need a national parks pass, which you can purchase upon arrival, or if you can, do it prior and through RAC for half price (we always get the annual one).
It can get quite windy here, so come prepared, and if you get great weather then lucky you!
Camping is $11 per night ($3 for children between 5 and 16, and $7 for concession), and is money well spent.
Fishing at Big Lagoon
Much like Little Lagoon, you can fish at Big Lagoon, and do quite well. A boat ramp (beach launching) is commonly used for smaller boats to fish the lagoon, and to head out to the open ocean.
We could see significant fish activity when walking around the lagoon, and particularly in the deeper channels.
What’s nearby that’s worth a look?
You really can’t go too wrong anywhere at Francois Peron National Park. The hot tub is well worth a dip or two, and Skipjack Point and Cape Peron are worth a visit. We like the other camp grounds too, in particular Gregories and Bottle Bay, but you can also camp at South Gregories and Herald Bight too.
Other than that, you have plenty to see around Monkey Mia (but you have to pay $15 each to access it!), along with Denham, and all of the amazing beaches just south of Denham.
If you haven’t been to Big Lagoon or Francois Peron before, check it out; it’s a magic place.