Coordinates: -34.78 34° 46' 60 S 118° 25' 0 E
Postcode: 6328Cheynes Beach is a small coastal settlement of fishermens’ shacks, holiday homes and a caravan park, 65km east of Albany and 470km south of Perth. The settlement is surrounded by Waychinicup National Park which offers an array of landscapes from rugged coastline to inland boulder strewn hilltops and wooded valleys. The park is home to some of the rarest animals in Australia including quendas and ring-tailed possums and has one of the few mainland quokka populations.
Waychinicup National Park forms part of the Two Peoples Bay and Mt Manypeaks Important Bird Area, identified as such by Birdlife International because of its significance in the conservation of several rare and threatened species. Seven pairs of the extremely rare noisy scrub-bird were translocated to the park from Two Peoples Bay Nature Reservein 1983, followed by another 16 in 1985. By 1994 it was estimated 223 male birds had been heard singing in the area.
Whalers were first recorded at Cheynes Beach during the 1840s, but it was not until the 1920s that the Westerberg family pioneered commercial fishing from the bay. In 1946, Charlie Westerberg built the first of the present day houses at the beach, while simultaneously holidaymakers began coming to the area, building ‘squatter shacks’ along the beach front. During the 1970s the shacks were removed and a caravan park established. Later, blocks were released for holiday home settlement and the road in from the highway was sealed.
In the early 1950s a group of local fishermen and business people recommenced whaling from the bay and the Cheynes Beach Whaling Company was formed. Soon after, they relocated to Frenchman Bay, building what became Australia’s last commercial whaling station on the site of present-day Whale World. Whales visit Cheynes Beach bay during spring and winter and southern right cows can be seen quite easily from the beach. Large schools of salmon run from February to May attracting commercial and recreational anglers.
Services at Cheynes Beach are limited. There is a small shop at the caravan park which supplies groceries, fuel, bait, ice, gas, liquor and basic takeaway food.