Madfish Bay is yet another stunningly beautiful beach (or more accurately, a set of beautiful beaches) in the William Bay National Park near Denmark.
This safe swimming beach with its calm, bright blue water also happens to be a place of great adventure…
There are two separate swimming areas and several different beaches to choose from in the bay. Some of these beaches are over on a rocky island, which can be reached by wading across a shallow sandbar.
The Beaches of Madfish Bay – Different Aspects
Madfish Bay has lots of small beaches in amongst the rocks and also over on the island. You can always find one that’s nice and sheltered. These beaches have some of the squeakiest, most powdery silica sand you’ll find on the south coast. And unlike the more popular beach at Greens Pool, Madfish Bay almost never gets too crowded with people.
The westernmost path from the carpark takes you down onto some flat rocks on a small east-facing beach. This beach is sometimes submerged, depending on tides.
From here, you can walk to the left across the rocks to another smore spacious beach (which can also be reached by the path down from the eastern end of the gravel carpark), or around to the right where the sandbar of shallow water extends out to the island.
If you’re the exploring type, you’ll be able to find many more secret beaches. Firstly, there’s one in a long cove to the west that you can swim around into from the sandbar beach.
There are also two beautiful calm beaches over on the island, facing back towards the mainland. One meets up with the sandbar, and is strewn with boulders. The other one is around to the west on the other side of the vegetated hill.
Swimming and Snorkelling at Madfish Bay
Madfish Island provides shelter from the wild waves of the Great Southern Ocean. The channel between the island and the mainland has small waves and gentle currents that flow towards the sandbar and the beach.
Although Madfish Bay might not be as perfectly calm and protected as Greens Pool, it’s nonetheless one of Denmark’s best and safest swimming beaches, and is suitable for little kids to splash around and have fun.
The water in the channel to the west gets deep quickly. From here you can go for a swim into a long cove, or snorkel out along the rocks of the headland. There are even more fish to see snorkelling along the island’s sheltered shoreline. See the Snorkeling at Greens Pool page for pictures of the sorts of fish you’ll see when snorkelling at Madfish Bay.
Madfish Island lies parallel to the coastline about 200 from the shore. Together with a line of smaller rocks, the island creates a protective barrier against the huge crashing waves of the Great Southern Ocean. The biggest waves break against the outer edge of the island and the rocks, whilst smaller waves roll into the channel between the island and the mainland from two different directions, clashing in the middle.
The shallow sandbar has been built up where the two sets of waves meet. It provides a walkway out to Madfish Island and is a safe place for kids to swim and paddle.
When the waves clash over the sandbar, they slap together sending seawater high into the air, which can be exiting and alarming when you’re walking across the sandbar when it’s rough or windy!
Exploring Madfish Island
You can get to Madfish Island by wading through the water along the sandbar, but be warned: you can’t walk across the sandbar without getting splashed and soaked!
At certain times of the year, and especially at high tide, you might have to swim a short distance across a section of deeper water towards the very end as you near the island. Unfortunately, this usually occurs in winter when swimming in the ice-cold water isn’t much fun.
Once on Madfish Island, you’ll find it’s quite big. There’s a small sandy beach at the end of the sandbar, from which you can walk over the boulders, past a series of interesting rockpools and onto the flat expanse of barren granite which forms most of the island. Continuing around to the west past the low vegetated hill, you’ll eventually reach another beautiful little beach – my favourite beach in all of Madfish Bay.
It might seem odd, but Madfish Island is one of my family’s favourite picnic spots around Denmark, despite the effort of lugging picnic baskets across the sandbar.
It’s also a good spot for rock fishing, if you’re extremely careful and stay away from the dark, wave-washed rocks.
Where to From Here?
Last Updated: 29th May, 2015.
First posted on 21st October, 2013 by Bonny.
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