Renowned as one of the world’s great windsurfing locations because of the strong summer winds which whip this part of WA’s coastline about 270km north of Perth, Leeman is first and foremost a crayfishing town.
When the winds aren’t blowing - a climatic rarity - the beaches are wonderful, and the fishing’s great all year around.
Leeman townsite lies adjacent to the small Snag Island, which gave the town its original name. In 1972 the name was officially changed to Leeman in honour of Abraham Leeman van Santwits, navigator of the vessel sent to rescue the survivors of the Dutch ship Gilt Dragon, which went down near here in 1656.
His ship, Waekede Boey, was wrecked in the attempt – a victim, historians suspect, of those notoriously fickle winds. Leeman van Santwits subsequently made his way to Batavia after an epic voyage in an open lifeboat.
About 35km inland from Leeman is the interesting little mining town of Eneabba whose outskirts are networked by caves which are haunted by speleologists. A word of warning, however, to amateur cavers: Many of these caves are rarely visited and, if you get into trouble, it might be a very long time before anyone happens along to find you. That aside, inland from Leeman is very special wildflower country.