The ever-famous Hamelin Bay stringrays are a ‘must-see’ when you’re in the Augusta-Margaret River region. There’s nothing more amazing than getting up close and personal with and seeing these beautiful creatures in the wild. Particularly within the stunning clear waters that Hamelin Bay is known for.
When going to visit the Hamelin Bay stingrays ourselves we struggled to find much information on them. So we decided to put together this guide to answer frequently asked questions and cover everything you need to know about the Hamelin Bay stingrays.
Where Can I See Stingrays in Hamelin Bay?
You can see the Hamelin Bay stringrays within the Ngari Capes Marine Park in the shallow waters of Hamelin Bay. The best spot to see them is at the Hamelin Bay Boat Ramp (click here for the Google Maps link) by the jetty pylons. However, they can be spotted anywhere along this beach.
There’s a parking lot directly next to the ramp that you can park at. It has a lot of available parking spots that are free of charge. Public toilets and showers are also located at the parking lot.
When Can you See Stringrays in Hamelin Bay?
The Hamelin Bay Stingrays can be seen consistently in Summer (December-February). They can occasionally be seen outside of Summer, including during the winter months, however you’re much less likely to see them in these months.
The best days to see the Hamelin Bay stingrays are calm, clear days when the stingrays come close to the shore and jetty pylons to search for food.
We have visited Hamelin Bay twice. When we visited Hamelin Bay in September a couple of years ago we didn’t see any stingrays, but it’s important to note that we did visit on a cloudy day. When we visited Hamelin Bay in December on a clear day we saw 4 of the Hamelin Bay stingrays.
What Time do the Stingrays Come Out in Hamelin Bay?
Historically, the Hamelin Bay stringrays can be best seen in the morning, typically between 9am-10am. We’d actually recommend heading to the beach a little earlier when the beach is quieter. The later you go in the day the busier the beach will be.
The stingrays can also be seen in the afternoon as the boats are coming back in. The stingrays follow the boats close to shore in the afternoon in hopes to get some scraps.
We visited the Hamelin Bay stingrays on a clear, sunny day in the first week of December and arrived at 6:30am. By 7:00am 1 stingray was swimming along the shore, by 8:00am 3 stingrays were swimming along the shore and by 9:00am there were 4 stingrays swimming along the shore and interacting with visitors. When we arrived at 6:30am there was only a couple of other people on the beach, in comparison at 9:00am the beach was pretty packed with big groups of people.
Are the Stingrays Always at Hamelin Bay?
No. The Hamelin Bay stingrays can be seen all year round however this doesn’t mean that they will be there all year round. Stingrays are wild so there is no guarantee that they will be there when you visit but don’t feel disheartened, the beach is still a beautiful place to visit.
Do the Hamelin Bay Stringrays Come Close to the Shore?
Yes, this is the main draw of visiting the Hamelin Bay stingrays. They often swim in the shallow waters, close to the shore, giving you a unique, up close and personal experience with them.
They are surprisingly inquisitive and confident. When we visited all 4 of the stingrays came up close to us and one of the larger stingrays kept swimming over our feet and bumping into our legs.
How Much Does it Cost to See the Hamelin Bay Stingrays?
Seeing the Hamelin Bay Stingrays is completely free! Entry to Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is free and parking at the Hamelin Bay Boat Ramp is free.
Are the Hamelin Bay Stringrays Hard to Spot?
No, when swimming in shallow waters the Hamelin Bay stingrays are quite easy to spot. The clear, blue waters of Hamelin Bay and the dark colour and large size of the stingrays make it easy to spot them.
Can I Touch the Hamelin Bay Stingrays?
Yes and no. Don’t approach and touch the Hamelin Bay stingrays but let them come to you if they want to. Stingrays are docile and curious creatures so if you are respectful of their space they’ll likely come over to you and swim by your feet anyway. During our visit the Hamelin Bay stingrays were very inquisitive and friendly, they came over to us immediately and swam over our feet and by our legs. When placing our hand in the water they would swim by us and brush up against our hands.
If visiting with children make sure to educate them on how to treat wild animals and to be mindful of their space. Stingrays can be dangerous if they feel threatened.
Note: The stingrays at Hamelin Bay are protected and should not be harmed. Take care of these beautiful creatures and if you see anyone acting inappropriately, report them.
Is it Safe to Swim Near the Hamelin Bay Stingrays?
It is safe to swim and snorkel in the water at Hamelin Bay however stingrays are wild creatures, so if they’re in the water you’ll need to maintain a safe distance from them and be respectful of their space. When swimming be aware of your location and surroundings, and any stingrays that may be nearby. Stay several metres away from them and don’t approach them.
We swam in the water during our visit to Hamelin Bay and made sure to keep a safe distance from the stingrays however they were very inquisitive so we found that when we entered the water they would approach us. This is best shown in the image below, as I (Lydia) entered the water and while I was floating on my back for a photo all 4 of the stingrays approached me.
Are Stringrays Dangerous or Aggressive?
No, stingrays are not aggressive creatures, they are naturally docile, gentle and curious. However stingrays will defend themselves if they feel threatened with the dangerous barb on their tail. Hence the importance of maintaining a safe distance from the Hamelin Bay stingrays and being respectful of their space, making sure not to scare or upset them.
Can I Feed the Hamelin Bay Stingrays?
No, don’t feed the Hamelin Bay Stingrays. They are wild creatures so it’s recommended you treat them as such, don’t feed them and interfere with their natural behaviours, enjoy them from afar.
The stingrays are very comfortable with people and are happy to swim close to you, you don’t need to lure them with food.
What Stringrays Visit Hamelin Bay?
There are three types of stingrays that visit Hamelin Bay, these are: smooth stringrays, black stringrays and eagle rays.
Smooth stingrays (also known as short-tail stingrays) are the largest of all Australian stingrays as they can grow up to 4.3m in length. They are dark grey or black in colour and are round in shape. The smooth stingrays are the most likely to swim close to the shore and approach you on the beach.
Black stingrays (also known as the thorntail stingray) are also large, have a similar body shape and are green/brown to black in colour, resulting in them often being confused with the smooth stingray. However the black stingray has a much longer tail and has sharp thorns on it’s back.
Eagle rays have a smaller body with a long tail. They are typically paler also, appearing blue/grey in colour. Eagle rays have a diamond-like shape with pointed wings, making it easy to distinguish between them and the other stingrays.
Why do Stingrays Come to Hamelin Bay?
Stingrays move over the ocean floor foraging for buried molluscs and crustaceans. Boat ramps and jetties are prime locations for Stingrays to forage as fisherman discard their scraps. This is why the boat ramp at Hamelin Bay is a prime location for the stingrays as they follow the boats and stay close to the shore near the boat ramp in hopes to get some scraps.
Is Hamelin Bay Dog Friendly?
No, unfortunately dogs (and all other pets) are not allowed in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park which Hamelin Bay is within. You’ll have to leave your furry friends at home if you’re planning on seeing the Hamelin Bay stingrays.
Enjoy Your Trip to See the Hamelin Bay Stingrays
That’s our full guide on everything you need to know about the Hamelin Bay stingrays. We hope you enjoyed this post and found it valuable. Please let us know how your trip to see the Hamelin Bay stingrays goes!
Watch Our Experience with the Hamelin Bay Stingrays!
If you’d like to watch our experience with the Hamelin Bay stingrays you can in our YouTube video below.