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.
The Wilson Inlet is home to many species of fish, and for those who love to fish, this is one of the best locations in Denmark. We recommend a fishing tour with John Taylor of Madfish Charters for the best fishing in town.
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.
Known 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 Wilson Inlet is over twenty kilometres long. Home to a variety of fish and bird life, the quiet and peaceful Inlet has many places to sit and enjoy the view. 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).
It is periodically opened by digging a channel. 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.
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.
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.
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!
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: www.railtrails.org.au Denmark is located a few kilometres up-river on the northern side of the Inlet.