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.

Big Lagoon in Shark Bay
Big Lagoon is a magnificent place

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.

Francois Peron Entry
Entering the Francois Peron National Park

In total, its about 23km from Denham on mainly good roads, except for the last part which can be soft and corrugated.

Big Lagoon access
At 23km from Denham, its the perfect day trip, or camping destination

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.

Soft tracks at Francois Peron
Big Lagoon is the easiest to access camping in Francois Peron, but further north its much worse

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.

Little Lagoon in Shark Bay
Little Lagoon is 2WD accessible and also magnificent

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.

Camped at Big Lagoon
Stunning views from the camp sites

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.

Day use area at Big Lagoon
The day use area at Big Lagoon is really well done
Stunning views at Big Lagoon
The views from the day use area are brilliant

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.

Big Lagoon from above
Amazing channels going out to the ocean

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.

Fish jumping at Big Lagoon
We saw a number of fish jumping at Big Lagoon

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.

Kicking back in the hot tub
Enjoying the hot tub at the start of Francois Peron
Enjoying Skipjack Point
Skipjack Point is nothing short of spectacular
Francois Peron Beaches
Look hard enough and you’ll find some of the best places in the country

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.

Enjoying Eagle Bluff
Eagle Bluff is another magic location

If you haven’t been to Big Lagoon or Francois Peron before, check it out; it’s a magic place.

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