Ningaloo Reef is on the Western Australian coastline and is home to some of the most amazing marine life in the world. There are 500 species of tropical fish and 200 varieties of coral reef, making this nearly as beautiful as the better-known Great Barrier Reef. It is also the only place on the planet where you’ll see the most whale sharks so close to the land. Not only this, you’ll also see thousands of humpback whales migrate here from July to October, as well as manta rays, turtles and dolphins year-round.
Exmouth, which is a two-day drive north from Perth, is the closest hub town to the Ningaloo Coast. If you’re self-driving, there are plenty of great places to stop and visit along the way. Drive through Cape Range National Park and spot the rare black-footed wallabies. From hundreds of years of erosion, the gorge is now beautifully multi-coloured. Walk along the many trails, join a safari tour or see it all on a cruise boat.
Ningaloo Marine Park is World Heritage-listed and there is no question as to why. The turquoise water is home to the world’s largest infringing reef. Its 260-kilometre coral reef is wonderful to see up close; do this by snorkelling or go on a guided glass-bottomed boat. If you’re a scuba diver, be sure to go the Navy Pier, as it’s one of Australia’s top ten dive sites. Ningaloo Reef is best known for the many harmless whale sharks that visit every year from April to July. Nowhere else in the world do they swim so close to land.
Merge with what is affectionately known as the humpback highway. During the second half of the year, thousands of humpback whales migrate along the Western Australian coastline. You can even swim with them as they playfully swim along. While only five people can go at a time and must keep 30 metres between yourself and the whales, if they approach you it’s a welcome experience. Along with the humpback whales, you’re likely to see turtles, dolphins and plenty of other friendly sea-inhabitants.
There are so many amazing things to see and do between Exmouth and the Ningaloo Coast, as well as their surrounding areas. With the convenience of self-driving, you can be sure to lay your eyes on some of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever see. You can easily spend plenty of time here getting to know the unique marine life.