Denham is located 831km north of Perth and lies on the Peron Peninsula, making it the most westerly town in Australia. The town is the commercial centre of the Shark Bay World Heritage region and the gateway to Monkey Mia.
The townsite was gazetted in 1898 and was known locally as ‘Freshwater Camp’, as it was the only location in Shark Bay with a good supply of freshwater. The town was named by the government surveyor, C.M. Denny, after the adjacent Denham Sound. Denham Sound was named after Captain Henry Mangles Denham (Royal Navy hydrographer) who surveyed an area of Shark Bay in the HMS Herald, in 1858. More history of Denham.
Things You May Not Know About Denham
There was a great protest when the area was to be declared a townsite, as the locals feared that health laws would force the closure of the pearling industry. To obtain pearls from the oyster shells the pearlers used pogey pots to dispose of the dead shell fish, creating an atrocious smell.
The streets of Denham were once paved with pearl shells but were destroyed when the local Road Board put bitumen over the top.
Over half the town’s electricity is supplied by the Denham Wind Farm.
The Francois Peron National Park at the northern extreme of Peron Peninsula was originally a pastoral/sheep station that relied on artesian bores to supply much-needed water to the livestock.