Ningaloo Reef

Sunset over Exmouth, Western Australia

The second largest, yet voted the most beautiful, reef in Australia is called Ningaloo. It’s about 200km long and includes several amazing snorkelling spots, that can be accessed straight from the shore.

Southern part of the reef can be explored from the Coral Bay, which btw is a perfect, whole year round, location to snorkel with manta rays. We recommend to try the drift snorkel there. The current of the ocean makes it easy to try at any age. It works like a water slide. You go along the shore with the ocean’s current enjoying the views of underwater life and then up the beach for a next round. Sounds fun, right? 😉

The gateaway to the northern part of the reef is Exmouth with variety of shopping, accomodation oportunities and an airport. As you drive up and pass the low frequency RAAF radio station (used to be tallest man made structure in the southern hemisphare) you will shortly enter the amazing Cape Range National Park. Watch out for kangaroos. There are a lof of them and can be easily spotted on the sides of the road! Unfortunately, due to reckless speeding, a death toll among them is horrifying. You can also find here countless, huge termite nests!
kangaroo maybe two and termites too
The park offers a variety of trails. We did the Mandu Mandu one that goes through the deep gorge with the possibility to spot wallabies. A steep path takes you up the gorge rim where, on your return, you can enjoy the views over Ningaloo Reef and the surroundings. Flip flops not allowed here! The trail is demanding and difficult, especially on the way back to the parking lot. Hiking in Cape Range is recommended only from April to November when temperatures are not deadly high.
Torquise Bay

Both Coral Bay and Exmouth offer whaleshark snorkelling. More information about this topic can be found here. About the beaches in the Cape Range National Park: You can choose from the variety of the ocean access. One of the best place to go snorkelling is Oyster Stacks. Make sure you go there only with the high tide as it is the only time you can do it safely. You can check for the high and low tide at the visitor centre. Another location is the Lakeside, situated a little further from the parking spot but good for sting rays and turtles. The best place to relax would be the Turquese Bay with the crystal clear, lagoon blue water and soft white sand. It’s okay to snorkel there as well, on the drift side but be aware of strong currents that may occure. Most of all – stay safe and have a good time! 😉

Oyster Stacks snorkeling
Lakeside Stingray Torquise Bay

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