The Wilson Inlet, Denmark

The Wilson Inlet is a special place

The Wilson Inlet is fed from the Denmark and Hay Rivers and is less than a kilometre south of town. Embraced by the Nullaki peninsula on the southern side, this majestic water is divided from the ocean by a sandbar which covers the opening much of the year. Denmark Town, about a kilometre up-river along the Denmark River is on the northern side of the inlet.

For walkers and bikers, the Heritage Rail Trail along the northern side of the Wilson Inlet offers incredible views of the inlet while surrouned by native forests.

The Wilson Inlet is over twenty kilometres long and covers an area of 2,263 sq. km. The quiet and peaceful Inlet has many places to sit and enjoy the view.

Wilson Inlet facing North

Home of the State Emblem

Black Swan - Western Australia FlagKnown as Koorabup (Kwoorabup) "The Place of the Black Swan" by the Noongar, the Wilson Inlet is a haven for these majestic birds which are the Icon (on the flag>>) of Western Australia.

The Sandbar & Digging the Channel

The sandbar, for most of the year, divides the inlet from the Southern Ocean, however (almost) every year a channel is dug to reduce the water level of the Inlet (which if left unchecked will flood roads and properties). More information on the sandbar and digging the inlet channel can be found below.

Not too deep

The Inlet has an average depth of 1.8 m below mean sea level, and a maximum depth of about 4 metres below mean sea level. The relatively shallow but expansive size of the Inlet makes it perfect for many species of fish to thrive.

Tree-lined banks

The coastal plain has dense woodland, heath, Jarrah and swamp lands and many species of plants are native only to WA. The soils is made up of clays, gravel, silts and sand with approximately twenty species of mammals, numerous reptiles include tiger snakes and skinks living along the banks of the Wilson Inlet.

Wilson Inlet Bird Tracks Wilson Inlet facing North

Birds along the Inlet

The Wilson Inlet suports much birdlife, in fact 240 species of land, water and marine birds can be seen throughout the year. The Purple Crowned Lorikeet, Port Lincon Ringneck, Western Rosella, New Holland Honeyeater, Tawny Frogmouth, Silvereye and Red Capped Parrot all live here.

Find out more about the migratory and resident shorebirds of the Wilson Inlet from, who created this fantastic resource for bird-loving visitors to Denmark WA. The waterbird species that are regularly seen in this region throughout the year are the Australian Pelican, Little Black Cormorant and Little Pied Cormorant, Black Swan, Grey Teal, Australian Shoveller, Blue Billed Duck, Red-necked Avocet and Silver Gull.

Western Australian Pelican

Western Australian Pelican

Place of the Black Swan

Using the Updraft

Fishing on the Wilson Inlet

The Wilson Inlet is home to many species of fish. Sandy Sprat, Cobbler, Pink Snapper, Yellow-eye Mullet, Sea Mullet and Blue Mackerel all in the Inlet. For those who love to fish, this is one of the best locations in Denmark. Take a trip fishing on the Inlet, the Denmark River and Little River with Madfish Charters

Madfish Charters

Madfish Charters

Wilson Inlet, Denmark

Madfish Charters is your ticket to exploring the spectacular waterways in Denmark WA.

Join John Taylor, an experienced local fishing guide, aboard the "Iona V" a recently launched and custom-made Charter Vessel for a memorable and unforgettable day out on Denmark's pristine inlet and river waterways. Access the Pristine South Coast Estuarine and River Environments (the Wilson Inlet and Denmark River) in the heart of Denmark, WA. Morning or afternoon family-friendly fishing tours (all equipment provided). Bird Watching and Eco Tours. River Cruises. ALL ages welcome. 7 Days a week. The Skipper (your captain) can take up to 5 additional passengers onboard. John has the local knowledge and extensive experience along the south coast to provide you and your family a sensational day out!

Telephone: 0497 199 004
Address: Ocean Beach, Denmark, 6333 WA


The Wilson Inlet is the perfect place to take a boat trip or paddle a kayak or canoe. It is so peaceful out on the inlet, it exudes a sense of calm.

Wilson Inlet Activities

Crusoe Beach, (above) on the northern side of the Inlet, is along the Denmark Heritage Rail Trail. This trail can be followed by foot or bike 6.5 kilometres to the mouth of the Denmark River. The trail hugs the northern side of the Wilson Inlet and leads to Crusoe Beach at the eastern end. More information can be found about the Rail Trail at:  Denmark is located a few kilometres up-river on the northern side of the Inlet.


Map of the Wilson Inlet & Surrounds

Opening the Wilson Inlet Channel through Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach Channel Digging

The Wilson Inlet is periodically opened by digging a channel through Ocean Beach to the ocean. Ocean Beach Lookout is great for seeing the sand-bar opened or closed offering spectacular views of the Wilson Inlet and the Great Southern Ocean.

Prawn Rock Channel, Flood Levels

An OPEN Channel at Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach Channel Open = Turquoise Waters

When the channel is open, and the tide is HIGH, the ocean is flowing INTO the inlet, turning the waters a beautiful turquoise blue. At LOW tide, the Inlet is flowing into the Ocean, and the tannin-stained waters flowing out into the ocean are brown.

Ocean Beach Channel Digging

Rising Waters

The water level can peak at any time during winter. A big deluge and it can rise quickly and needs to be released... by digging a channel through Ocean Beach.

The Prawn Rock Channel curve (with a fence) is almost underwater in this photo, as the footpath is just becoming submurged.  In mid-summer, the water is well below this high-water line.

Prawn Rock Channel, Flood Levels

Peak Water

The rivers keep on flowing, the rain keeps on coming, and the Inlet keeps on rising, and falling as channels are dug.

During an open-channel time, the ocean exchange is important to the ecosystems of the inlet. Getting fresh ocean water INTO the inlet injects new life into the Wilson.

Once in a while we get a BIG RAIN before the expected opening and things get a little... over-full. This is the carpark at the northern end of Prawn Rock Channel. As you can see, it's flooded and looks like part of the inlet!

Prawn Rock Channel, Flood Levels
Accommodation Denmark Western Australia Accommodation
An inspiring selection of quality Denmark holiday accommodation type set in and around Denmark. Find your Accommodation in Denmark.
Shopping in Denmark Western Australia Shopping in Denmark
The small quaint town atmosphere coupled with the exquisite range of fabulous boutique stores will have you coming back just to shop. Go Shopping in Denmark.
Eating in Denmark Western Australia Eating in Denmark
Enjoy great value, delicious food in a variety of cafes, restaurants, bakeries, gelateries, wine bars and cellar doors in and around Denmark Town. Eat in Denmark.
Wine in Denmark Western Australia Denmark Wineries
Denmark has been a major producer of red and white cool climate wine for over thirty years. Perfect for the wine lovers out there! Visit the Denmark Wineries.
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This is a website sharing the beauty of Denmark Western Australia from a local's perspective. Photographs of Denmark have all been taken by local photographers and are copyright protected, editorial in nature and are NOT for sale and may NOT be used without written permission of Rainbow Coast Web Design. Denmark WA Maps are coded using technology from Google. Videos are intended for educational and documentary purposes and are streamed using YouTube technology. Website Design and photography by our family of five living in the heart of the Rainbow Coast. This site is for informational purposes only and is a travelogue, weblog and a web resource for visitors to the South Coast, the Great South West Edge of Western Australia. We are not affiliated with the Shire of Denmark. We are not affiliated with the official Denmark Visitors Centre.

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