Useless Loop is located on the Heirisson Prong on Denham Sound in the Southern Region of UNESCO World Heritage Site Shark Bay, Western Australia. The town of Denham is on the opposite shore of the sound and the more famous Monkey Mia near Denham. Useless Loop is a closed company town, with 70 employees and their families servicing the Solar Salt Operation Shark Bay which was established in 1962 by Shark Bay Resources Ltd. A joint venture was formed in 1973 with Mitsui & Co. Ltd which acquired full ownership in 2005, incorporated as Shark Bay Salt Pty Ltd. In 2015, Useless Loop's salt exports were running at a rate of 1.4 million tonnes per annum.
Useless Loop received the 2001 Banksia Gold Award for its initiation of the Heirisson Prong Project in 1989 to protect and relocate the Burrowing Bettong, an endangered Australian mammal.
The first half of Useless Loop's unusual name was bestowed upon it by French explorer Henri-Louis de Saulces de Freycinet, brother of the more famous Louis de Freycinet, during the Baudin expedition to Australia. Henri-Louis dubbed the area "Havre Inutile" ("Useless Harbour"), because he believed the inviting harbour to be entirely blocked by a sandbar.