Guidelines and rules at Gnaraloo are necessary to protect the environment, ensure a safe experience for all and future enjoyment of this area by everyone. All or parts of this information may change or cease from time to time. It is your responsibility to regularly check for updates to these terms and conditions, by requesting a copy from firstname.lastname@example.org or as listed on our website.
Please visit our Know before you go page for more information.
All third-party visitors to Gnaraloo, who have the intention to conduct official business, operational or research purposes, require appropriate authorization before they are allowed on the Gnaraloo site. This includes (but is not exclusive to):
• Television and Filmmakers
• Government Agencies
• Sports and Event Activities
Our Commitment to your safety
Gnaraloo is committed to promoting your safety, the safety of others and to protecting the environment and areas of indigenous heritage value. To do this, we request information about your visit to ensure you are aware of, understand and comply with all site and environmental policies, procedures and rules. To help you comply, we aim to have appropriate staff member(s) available to provide any assistance that you may require while onsite.
Please be aware that all persons enter Gnaraloo at their own risk.
Request for Appropriate Authorization
14 days prior to your intended site access, contact us and provide the following information:
• the proposed date(s) for access;
• the name of your Agency/Company/Organisation and the name and position of the person(s) that will conduct the planned site work and activities;
• an outline of the planned site work and activities (include the operational purpose and scope of work);
• confirmation that all required insurances are in place regarding the planned site work and activities;
• whether there is a requirement for assistance by a Gnaraloo staff member while onsite; and
• any other relevant information.
Submitting a request for authorization DOES NOT guarantee its approval. Each request is assessed for its potential impact on Gnaraloo’s environment and sustainable use of resources.
You will be notified via email or phone of the final decision.
On site expectations
By coming onsite, you agree to abide by Gnaraloo’s site and environmental policies, procedures and rules and any directions given by staff. Any person who acts in a manner which comprises safety or the environment shall be asked to leave Gnaraloo. If you observe any safety or environmental hazards while onsite, let a Gnaraloo staff member know immediately.
Gnaraloo does not permit any vehicular access in its northern sector – the former thoroughfare between Gnaraloo, Warroora and Coral Bay.
Gnaraloo’s property North of the 6 Mile gate has been closed to public use, by Government Gazetted Order, given its poor state and unsafe condition. In order to comply with duty of care requirements, the gate has been locked for safety and operational reasons.
In addition, the Ningaloo Coast Regional Strategy (August 2004) identifies this area as an ‘Area of Environmental Management Priority’ with high conservation value that should be managed to a high status of protection, by the Ningaloo Coast Regional Strategy (August 2004).
Anyone found in the area north of the locked 6 Mile gate on Gnaraloo will be prosecuted for trespassing on which conviction carries a criminal record.
Certain Tracks on Gnaraloo are signposted “Station use only”. These tracks are strictly for the use of station staff only.
These tracks lead to stock watering points and use by members of the public will not only be detrimental to stock watering but also will pose a risk to station staff carrying out their work duties. Any guests found on these tracks will be asked to leave the property.
Gnaraloo does not allow visitors to drive any vehicles in the fragile dune system or on beaches along its coastline. This includes (but is not exclusive to): 4Wheel drives, bikes and quad bikes.
The dunes and beaches are not just sand, they are living ecosystems, full of life. Protecting them ensures Gnaraloo does not turn into a dust bowl with significant loss of biodiversity.
Negative impacts of driving on the dunes include:
– Disruption of sea turtle rookeries that nest in the beaches along the Gnaraloo coast – adjacent to the Ningaloo Marine Park.
Visit the Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation website for more information.
– Damage to vegetation that stabilizes dunes and prevents ‘blow outs’ (strong winds that remove sediment and completely cover everything in its path with sand).
– Elimination of macrobenthic invertebrate organisms (such as sea-snails and shrimp) that live in the sand. Resource: ‘Beach driving crushes critters’, Catalyst, ABCTV (Australia). Destruction of archaeological, paleontological and heritage artifacts – both known and in unexcavated areas – which hold valuable information for scientists to properly date historical fragments.
Resource: ‘Death of the Mega beasts’ by Franco Di Chiera, 2009, DVD.
Help Protect Gnaraloo’s Environment
You can help protect the Gnaraloo environment by driving only on the main, marked roads.
Enjoy exploring the sand dunes on foot, and report any visitors driving on the dunes to a Gnaraloo staff member.
To behave responsibly near sea turtles and avoid causing unintended problems, please adhere to the following two key guidelines:
No Glow, Move Slow and Stay Low
Photography and torches must not be used as these discourage turtles from emerging on the beach, make nesting turtles return to the water and disorientate hatchlings. Turtle watchers should move slowly and crouch low to the ground when near turtles to avoid disturbing the nesting.
Stop, Drop and Become a Rock
When near a turtle, stop (where you are), drop (slowly to the ground) and become a rock (stay still like a rock). If you follow these guidelines, you will not jeopardize the egg laying and hatching processes.
Details follow of current best practice for turtle observation in Western Australia, by which you are expected to abide when observing the Gnaraloo turtles:
• Walk along the beach just below the high tide mark, near the water (so the tide will wash foot prints away) looking for tracks in the wet sand or for turtles. Do not approach turtles that are leaving the water, moving up the beach, or in the early stages of nesting.
• Walk in a single file along the beach (rather than abreast of each other) in order to minimize visual impacts and distress caused to turtles emerging from the sea.
• Do not use any form of lighting in any circumstances (including ‘white’ or ‘red’ torch light). Some turtle species found in WA, including Hawksbills, are highly sensitive to light, noise and human presence and will abandon a nesting attempt at the slightest disturbance. Repeated disturbances can cause a turtle to release her eggs in the water. As these are critically endangered species, it is important that you comply with these guidelines, even if they seem extreme. While you may find it difficult to navigate the beach at first, your eyes will adjust to the dark within 15 – 20mins and it will become much easier to see. Do not worry about missing tracks without appropriate light, as they are very conspicuous in natural light.
• Avoid talking loudly, making noise and sudden movements at all times.
• When approaching a nesting turtle, stay at least 15m away. Always position yourself behind the turtle and stay low (sit, crouch or lie on the sand).
• You may crawl up behind a nesting turtle on your stomach (‘commando crawl’), but do not approach nearer than 15m.
• Be patient. The nesting process may take 20 to 40 minutes as she may abandon the nest and dig another one for a variety of reasons, including hitting an obstacle or the sand being too dry.
• Wait until she has commenced laying her eggs before moving any closer. She will be still and quiet when laying her eggs – if sand is spraying, if she is using her flippers or making noise, she is not yet laying her eggs. Only three people at a time, staying at least two meters away, may move closer to her once she is laying her eggs. It may take her 10 – 20 minutes to lay her eggs.
• Give her enough space to camouflage the nest. Stay at least 2m away from her at all times. It may take her 20 – 40 minutes to camouflage the nest.
• Let her return to the ocean without interruption or getting between her and the ocean. Stay at least 2m away from her at all times. It may take her 5 – 10 minutes to reach the ocean.
• At all times, stay behind the turtle. If necessary, you should change your position so that you are never within the turtle’s field of vision.
All the processes that a hatchling endures from the time it hatches from its egg, to emerging from the nest and making its way to the ocean are important to its development. It is extremely important that hatchlings are not handled or interfered with in any way during this time. Doing so will interrupt the completion of various developmental stages of the hatchling, thereby threatening its chances of survival. When hatchlings are observed to hatch from a nest or are encountered on the beach you should:
• Stand back from the nest – do not compact the sand in the nest area. This will make it more difficult for hatchlings to emerge from the sand and may even trap them.
• Do not use lights as this disorientates the hatchlings.
• Do not get between the hatchlings and the ocean, stand on the side.
• Let the hatchlings make their own way down the beach. Hatchlings can get stuck in footprints so stand to the side rather than crossing their path.
Interfering with Turtles
All sea turtles are protected in Western Australia under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950. Any activity that may interfere, disturb or harm sea turtles may be illegal if conducted without approval. If you observe any activities which you consider are of concern, please report this to the Department of Environment and Conservation. For information about the Gnaraloo turtles, please visit the Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation.
A $400 fine per person will apply to anyone found camping outside of either 3Mile Camp or Gnaraloo Homestead. If details cannot be obtained from each person involved, the responsibility will rest with the owner of the vehicles recorded at the infringement. A first will attract a Misconduct restraining Order which will prevent access to Gnaraloo for any reason for a period of 12 months. Any subsequent offences will be dealt with by Trespass which if found guilty will include a criminal record.
Gnaraloo does not allow the burning of Snakewood, A. xiphophyll for firewood; whether collected on Gnaraloo property or not.
Snake wood – whether standing or fallen – fulfils critical ecological functions including habitat, vegetative and soil disturbances and destruction. Its removal here, and in other areas of Australia, is considered a ‘threatened ecological processes’, as human removal of the wood has contributed to loss of biodiversity.
Negative impacts from repeated removal of local wood include:
• Loss of habitat and food source for invertebrate, vertebrate and microbial species that live off decay and recycle nutrients back into the soil.
• Loss of invertebrate, vertebrate and microbial species that are a food source for ground-dwelling mammals, snakes, goannas, frogs, beetles, bats, birds, etc.
• Loss of wood decay that contributes to regeneration of associated plant communities.
• Loss of a natural wind barrier that protects plant cover and the soil microclimate.
Help Protect Gnaraloo’s Environment
You can help protect the Gnaraloo environment by bringing your own pre-chopped and pre-bagged wood. Alternatively, you can buy dry jarrah at the 3Mile Camp shop, or heatbeads/firelighters are also available.
No firearms are to be brought onto or used on Gnaraloo. This includes Rifles, Pistols, Bows or Cross Bows. If you are travelling with firearms please declare them to the site Managers on your arrival to avoid prosecution.
Gnaraloo is a wilderness tourism destination and is not a rubbish tip. We are happy to accept your camp rubbish but we do not want to have to process hard rubbish. Please do not leave items such as broken surf boards, broken deck chairs on site. Take them home with you or please take them to the rubbish tip in Carnarvon. A fine of $50 will apply for each item of hard rubbish left behind.
Nearly all caravan parks and National Parks prohibit bringing your family pet on their sites. Gnaraloo has decided to permit guests to bring their dogs on site and, in order to maintain this policy and to minimize the risk of the authorities preventing us from doing so, we ask that you abide by the following guidelines. This will ensure we continue to have a strong argument for allowing dogs on site.
You may be evicted without a refund, if any of the following are not adhered to:
• Your dog must be on a lead at all times and secured at night.
• You must clean up after your dog.
• Dogs to be kept under control.
Campers, wildlife or stock being harassed by your dog will result in immediate eviction.
Please be advised that 1080 baits have been laid as part of the Gnaraloo Feral Animal Control Program and therefore can be a threat to your dog.
Sanctuary zones provide total protection for marine life. They allow visitors to observe marine life in its natural state. No extractive activities are permitted in these zones, which means no recreation or commercial fishing is allowed. See detailed map and info on Ningaloo Marine Park sanctuary zones.