Our coastline is made up mainly of bioclastic carbonate and quartz sediments, composed mostly of the skeletal remains of marine organisms. The yellow sands forming the sand dunes are composed of yellow quartz which sits on the Tamala limestone formation thought to have been deposited in the Quaternary period.
Jurien Bay's climate is a fairly sedate one with mean maximum temperatures ranging from about 35 degrees during the Summer months to a mean maximum temperature of around 19 degrees during the Winter months. Sea breeze occurs throughout Spring, Summer, and even Autumn dominating the coastal wind climate developing in the late morning through to the afternoons, with wind speeds of 10 to15 ms-1 mainly from the westerly to southwest. The tides and the other climatic factors affect the width and condition of the beaches and the sand dunes. The beaches can sometimes be washed out during bad weather or high swells overnight.
The shire of Dandaragan boasts approximately 900 species of native flora making Jurien Bay one of the most wildflower rich areas in the world. The area is home to an an array of fauna including at least 124 bird species with the area being critically important to the survival of hole-nesting species such as Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo. Jurien Bay also boasts its very own colony of seals as well as the native Kangaroos, Echidnas and Emus. Several species of snakes can be found throughout the region including the deadly Tiger Snake, Dugite and Gwarder.
The Jurien Bay Marine Park was created to protect and conserve the unique array of tropical and temperate species found here. The park stretches from Wedge Island to Greenhead. The marine park houses a diversity of environments from sandy beaches to seagrass meadows to rocky ledges and limestone reefs.
There is Anthropological evidence that suggests the Amangu and Yued clans of the Noongar people lived in and occupied the Jurien Bay region from around 30,000 years ago. The formal registration of sacred and culturally important sites has been undertaken by the Government of Western Australia in order to recognise the traditional value of the area to Indigenous people. There are many registered Indigenous heritage sites in the area. Archaeological evidence also suggest Indigenous occupation of several limestone caves in the area and the use of coastal dunes as burial sites.
The Coastal area between Green Head and Jurien Bay has one of the largest concentrations of Midden deposits on the south-west coast of the State, with the deposits containing remnants of marine shells and fish remains. These finds indicate the importance of the coastal environment and its resources for the Indigenous people of the region.
Jurien Bay has a fantastic and interesting history dating all the way back to the 1600’s. It boasts a rich history of shipwrecks, cattle farming, a RAAF and Army base during WWII and is surrounded by legend.
Between 1801 and 1804, three ships the Geographe, the Naturaliste and the Casurina explored and surveyed the WA coast on an exploratory and scientific expedition. Commander Baudin of the Geographe was in charge of the expedition and named Jurien Bay (le Bai de Jurien) in honour of Charles Marie Jurien of the French naval Administration. North Head was mapped by Philip Parker King in 1822, but due to the inaccuracy and the maps being rather unclear it was remapped by Lt. Arthur Preston during 1830. It was remapped and renamed again when Commander Archdeacon remapped the area in 1875 and officially named the area North Head.
The wrecks that are up and down the WA coast are of particular interest to Turquoise Safaris as the stories are exciting and educational for our patrons. A Wreck of particular interest is the ship fondly referred to as the “grog” ship due to the nature of its cargo, its actual name was the Europa. It was wrecked south of Jurien Bay in 1897. Another interesting wreck is the Lubra who was damaged when she ran up on some reef about 43km south of Dongara after setting sail from Geraldton in 1898. She refloated from the reef but had sustained considerable damage and began taking on water. After another night on board the ship, the captain brought her into within 5kms of the mainland and after an unsuccessful attempt at signaling another ship The Sultan, Captain Denyer used the anchor and chain to bring her closer to the breakers after unsuccessfully trying to run her aground. Another steamship the Waroonga was sighted and the Captain signaled to her that he must abandon ship and her passengers were unloaded onto the Waroongas’ lifeboat. Today, the Lubra lies approximately 3kms due West of the Jetty on a reef between Osprey and Favourite Island with the boiler still visible between the navigation lights.
Walter Padbury was the first person to own land in the Jurien Bay area in the mid-1950s. The property was later bought by Walters’ nephew, John Grigson in the early 1870’s. The Grigsons are still in the area.
Jurien Bay Jetty was constructed around 1885 and was approximately 33 metres long. Its purpose was to facilitate the loading of wool onto ships and also to receive goods. Early in 1930’s a fire ravaged the jetty.
Another interesting story is the story of Mrs. Lindsay. Her story ties in very closely with the happenings in the area around WWII. Lots of legends surround her and surround the area during the wars. Mrs. Lindsay was a remarkable woman with a huge vision for Jurien Bay. She saw it as a tourist Mecca but unfortunately her dream wasn’t to come to fruition during her lifetime. Mrs Lindsay Built the first church in Jurien Bay which was later blown up by the Australian Army as it was thought to be used by the Japanese Submarines as a landmark and legend has it they were often heard breaching and running their diesel generators to charge the electrics in the subs.
Mrs. Lindsay passed away in 1960 after getting a scratch on her leg in the Bay and suffering from blood poisoning.
An airstrip was constructed in a paddock at Cockleshell Gully Farm while Jurien and the adjacent areas were occupied by the Army and RAAF. The radar bunkers at North Head were constructed and the cement shelters that housed the diesel motors for electricity generation still exist today. Spot lights and guns were set up on the beach to the north of these bunkers. There are many unexplained legends surrounding this period in time and one of these legends is lights were often seeing flashing and moving in the foothills east of Jurien Bay and rumours of Japanese Morse being picked up , indicators pointing to it being transmitted through Mrs. Lindsays’ Church, hence its destruction.
Jurien continued to expand and along with it, the crayfish industry. This boosted the towns’ population and its economy, leading to Jurien's development as a community. The school was opened in 1966 along with the Dandaragan Shire Council developing a caravan park in 1967.
After numerous vessels and pleasure crafts being washed ashore and suffering damage during the storms being moored in the open water, the Jurien Boat Harbour Project Team was formed in 1984 and the Boat Harbour was officially opened in 1988.