Visit Cape Range Park and Ningaloo Reef Tours
Exmouth is the gateway to Cape Range National Park and Ningaloo Reef and there are a number of amazing things to do in Exmouth. Ningaloo stretches 260km along the WA coast, making it one of the longest fringing coral reef systems in the world, and the unique experience of diving on it, plus the allure of the whale sharks, is what draws people to Exmouth.
Not highly developed and the reef comes close to the Shore
Exmouth Backpacker Tours Things To See Whale Shark Tours
From the beginning of April to July every year huge but gentle whale sharks, the Whale sharks can be between four and 12 meters long, begin to appear in large numbers. Scuba diver is not necessary to dive and swim with the whale sharks. Tours leave from Tantabiddi and Coral Bay.
Cost of a Whale Shark tour
Costs vary from around $380 for a child and $450 for adults
Ningaloo is much less developed for tourism than the Great Barrier Reef on the east coast, and it comes really close to the shore in some places; Just a few kicks from the beach brings you to the wall of the reef, with its 500 species of fish and 220 species of colorful corals. Swim close to the beach in the shallow waters of the protected lagoon.
Exmouth is backpacker friendly
Exmouth is backpacker orientated and operators are competitively priced. Shop around for bargains but remember that cheapest is not necessarily the best. There are several hostels and caravan parks around Exmouth, plus a selection of restaurants, shops, cafes and two pubs – Friday night discos at the Tav really go off. Exmouth is quite spread out and tends to be hot for walking around, so most accommodation centers provide frequent bus services or bike hire.
Camping in and around Exmouth
Campsites are allocated by CALM Rangers at the entrance of the park on a first come first served basis, but the only time you may have trouble finding a place is during school holidays. You can also fish at several of the sites, check with CALM (www.calm.wa.gov.au). Bring all your water and supplies from Exmouth, as there are no shops close by. For those seeking a few creature comforts with their camping, check out Eco Camps, who have safari tents just meters from the sea. Various boat trips and tours can be booked at Exmouth Visitor’s Centre, Ph: 9949 1176.
Water Sports in Exmouth
If you’re in Exmouth, then you’re here to get wet, and what a place to do it. With an array of water-based activities on offer, miles of beach and pristine reef, you will be spoilt for choice in terms of surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and boating, or just relaxing on the beach. Friendly local companies will take you snorkeling with whale sharks and fishing with the best. Whale sharks pass by from April to August, but the best time is late March-early July; check with your operator about what you can see at any given time.
Attractions Cape Range National Park
Check out Cape Range National Park, a short drive or bus-ride away. Here you will find spectacular rocky gorges, carved by ancient rivers, and rugged scenery – a striking contrast to the clear blue seas, coral reefs, and white, sandy beaches of Ningaloo Marine Park. Take a boat trip along Yardie Creek and look out for rock wallabies, Kangaroos, and birds of prey.
Turquoise Bay fine beaches
On the way back be sure to visit Turquoise Bay, one of the finest beaches in WA, with pristine white sand, clear blue water and coral reef just meters from the shore, or just laze on the beach at Sandy Bay. The coastline that stretches between Yardie Creek and Lefroy Bay is one of the world’s major breeding areas for sea turtles, whose nocturnal nesting activity occurs between October and February, with the hatchlings emerging from their nests from mid-January to late April. The best beaches for turtle watching are the Mauritius, Jacobsz, Jansz beaches, and Turquoise Bay.
There are also some great surf breaks in the region, which the turtles, rays, and dolphins sometimes even join in on. There’s a reef break off-shore by the Vlamingh Lighthouse and a beach break near the Mildura Wreck. For the really keen, there is a wave about 1km off-shore from Yardie Creek – boats are recommended for this one. When driving through the Cape Range National Park lookout for emus, giant termite hills and kangaroos; for the sake of the wildlife, and your car, go slow and avoid driving at night. For a small fee, you can camp at selected sites along the beach, which are basic, with little shade and no fires allowed – but what a location.