The Marine Park Ningaloo Reef


Snorkelling | Image courtesy of australiascoralcoast.com

Located at Western Australia inside the Ningaloo Marine Park is Ningaloo Reef. The Marine Park covers an area of ocean 260kms long and 20kms wide, covering 5,000 sq kms, starting at Emherst point close to Coral Bay, up to Bendegi Beach close to Exmouth. Being one of the biggest fringing reefs within the world allows for amazing access to many beautiful spots to explore solely a short distance from the beach.


Whale-sharks | Image courtesy of Sylke Rohrlach 

A good place to base yourself while exploring Ningaloo Reef is Exmouth which locates around 1,300 kms north of Perth and at the northern end of the reef. The climate at Exmouth is good year round, with no wet season, and summer maximum temperatures averaging thirty seven degrees Celsius, and winter maximum average temperature is twenty four degrees Celsius. Exmouth has many tour choices available for exploring the reef, from coral viewing to snorkeling, whale looking and skin-dive. There are many tour operators that operate out of Exmouth if fishing is your game, as well as game fishing.


Lakeside beach | Image courtesy of Robert Young

The Ningaloo Marine Park is home to over 500 species of fish and more than 250 species of Coral. During March to June and measuring up to 18 metres long, the huge Whale Sharks inherit the reef to feed on the plankton. Between May and Oct the Humpback Whales are often spotted inside the reef as they migrate to their breeding grounds, and every one year spherical lookout for the dolphins and turtles. If you time your visit right then about 10 to 12 days after the full moon throughout March and April you may witness something really spectacular as the coral spawns.


Gullivers' in Lighthouse Bay (Exmouth) | Image courtesy of peter boer

There are many stunning beaches on the Marine Park where you can relax and revel in the sunshine, and for people with a four wheel drive then there are many tracks you'll be able to explore a little more and find that excluded beach. For snorkeling try lakeshore, Turquoise Bay, Turquoise Bay Drift Snorkel and Oyster Stacks. If you're after nice swimming beaches, visit Turquoise Bay, Coral Bay, and Bundegi Beach. As always, take extreme care once swimming in the beaches. Contact the Exmouth visitor Centre and they can point you in the right direction and provides you advice on tours etc.

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