A coast to explore Coastal Habitat

Lapping waves, sandy beaches and sand dunes... this is the coastal zone of Rottnest Island.

Hear all about it!

Rottnest’s coastal habitat is made up of the sandy beaches, sand dunes and limestone cliffs.

Limestone Cliffs are distinct in their structure and are made from sea shell particles and mainly quartz sand which were blown into sand dunes. These dunes then solidified and the original overlapping curved layers of the dunes can be clearly seen today in the solid limestone. Tamala limestone occurs over most of Rottnest and the oldest has been dated to 140,000 years old.

There are two types of sand dune. Mobile sand dunes that migrate across the land through the process of sand erosion and stationary dunes that start as mobile dunes but become stable as they move inland. Stationary sand dunes allow plants grow which further stabilises the dunes.

Blowouts are features which can be seen on Rottnest’s sand dunes. Blowouts are saucer-shaped sandy depressions which are caused by wind erosion. They tend to form when wind erodes into patches of exposed sand on dunes otherwise covered by plants. Blowouts are a natural process but human activities on the dunes make this phenomenon more likely to happen.

This habitat is home to a variety of birds including Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, Cormorants, Terns and the impressive Osprey.