About this place
Located close to Broome, Clerke Reef is the most frequently visited area in the Rowley Shoals Marine Park.
Gorgonians and soft corals crowd on the deeper parts of the ridges on the outer reef slope. The lagoon system of Clerke Reef is more complex and shallower than that of Mermaid Reef. The deepest basin is no greater than 10m and is connected to the sea by three narrow passages. This and an adjacent crescent-shaped basin have numerous coral knolls and patch reef that increase in number towards the south. The largest and shallowest basin contains many living coral pinnacles and extensive staghorn coral.
Bedwell Island, a small sandy cay inside Clerke Reef, is home to one of only two colonies of red-tailed tropicbirds in WA. The tropicbirds nest on the island, along with wedge-tailed shearwaters, white-bellied sea-eagles, various terns, eastern reef-egrets and even a pair of white-tailed tropicbirds.
Visitors may not camp on the island but are welcome to land and look around. Bookings are required to use the public moorings at Clerke Reef (both inside and outside the lagoon).
Plan when to visit. Consider travelling with a personal location beacon (PLB). In the event you need to be rescued it could save your life!
Plants, wildlife and fungi
Visit the Atlas of Living Australia for a list of species recorded within a 5km radius of Clerke Reef Marine Park.
We recognise and acknowledge Aboriginal people as the traditional owners of Rowley Shoals.