Things To Do in Ningaloo
Exmouth is 1270km north of Perth at the northern end of Ningaloo Reef.
It sits between the world-class Ningaloo Reef Marine Park on one side and the rugged ranges of Cape Range National Park on the other.
There is so much to do in and around Exmouth because Mother Nature is so generous and accessible. Kids can have great fun just playing outdoors.
Here are some of our favorite things to do:
Swim with Whale Sharks
Whale sharks visit Ningaloo Reef between March and July. They are attracted by the plankton which comes to feed on the mass coral spawning in March and April. Seeing and swimming with Whale Sharks is an unforgettable experience.
Whale shark tours operate from March to June. Tours available include:
- Ningaloo Blue‘s Whale Shark and Manta Ray Eco Tour (from April to July)
- Ningaloo Ecology Cruises‘ Reef Viewer Glass Bottom Boat
- Ningaloo Whaleshark n Dive Humpback and Whaleshark Watching ( April to October).
Take yourself snorkelling above the Ningaloo Reef coral at Turquoise Bay and see amazing multi-coloured fish and underwater features. Most dive schools also have snorkelling tours over the reef from Coral Bay or Exmouth. It’s fun just snorkelling from the beach, plenty of fish to look at.
Check out the reef without getting wet: www.bundegi.com.au will show you all the sights on the Ningaloo Coral Explorer – a great glass bottom boating experience.
Or Ningaloo Ecology Cruises will give you all the information on their glass bottom boat, followed by a snorkel to check it out up close www.ecology.com.au
See The Turtles
The Jurabi Turtle Centre is situated between Hunters and Mauritius beaches. It is adjacent to a rookery for Green, Loggerhead and Hawksbill turtles.
It’s best to see the turtles with qualified guides who know where the turtles are and how to avoid disturbing their important baby business. The turtles mate in October. The turtle nesting season goes from November to March.
Swim & Surf
With beaches on both sides of the peninsula you are spoilt for choice. Swimming snorkelling and diving can be had all along coast lines. For the surfers, a 15 minute drive is all it takes to the hot spots. Head out to Vlamingh Head for the best surf.
Kayaking, diving and snorkelling in Coral Bay is well recommended www.coarlbaytours..com.au will help you book.
Big kids need to visit Ningaloo Kite and board, for the adrenalin junkies. ring them on 9949 4050. They are located on the main road into Exmouth for all your kite boards, quad bikes and windsurfing toys.
Boat ramps are available at three destinations along the peninsula. One just out of town is situated at the new marina complex. Lighter craft can be launched from the beach, gulf and ocean side.
Or Hire a boat from Aspa and Wog (yes they are their names!) at Exmouth Boat and Kayak Hire. From 4m – 6m boats, with daily and weekly rates…excellent off season discounts. Ring Aspa on 0438 230 269. You can also hire a kayak from them and paddle down Yardie Creek or over the reef.
Ningaloo Reef is an internationally renowned dive site. Explore by diving from a charter vessel or snorkel off the beach at some of the many accessible coral reefs dotted along he peninsula.
Practice in the calm waters of the gulf if you like, and then do ‘the drift’ at Turquoise Bay. The coastline is abundant in whale sharks, marine turtles, coral fish and manta rays.
There is no other experience like this in the world. Some of the dive specialists include:
Tour The Gorges
Explore the the magnificent Cape Range National Park on your own or with a tour company. Yardie Creek Tours offers one-hour tours to look at the geology, plants, birds and wildlife including the rare black-footed wallaby. Native flora and fauna is abundant in these spectacular limestone gorges.
Visit Coral Bay
Approximately 150km south of Exmouth is the small town of Coral Bay. It is worth visiting for its beautiful main beach alone. Local small fish come to the shallows each day at 3.30pm for their afternoon feed. Accommodation is scarce so plan ahead if you intend to head to Coral Bay for the night, or stay an extra night in Exmouth!
There is a great bike trail that circumnavigates the Exmouth townsite and also links to the trail that leads to the Naval Base.
When the kids need jsut a bit more stimulation…take them to Exmouth Minigolf. You can hire your bikes and Kayaks, there are inground trampolines and an 18 hole mini golf course. Gifts and refreshments galore. www.exmouthminigolf.com.au for more information.
From the Vlamingh Head Lighthouse you can see whales as the migrate to and from the area. At certain times of year you can see them from any beach in the gulf. Pack your binoculars!
Fishing is the big thing in Exmouth, whether it’s big game fishing on a charter, or just a family in a tinny, crabbing or trawling for squid. Lot’s of people like to have a picnic on the beach and fish for sand whiting or snapper.
Within two kilometers of the shore, big game fish provide a challenge to those seeking the adventure. If you are in to high quality eating fish this is certainly your place for a holiday.
The highlight of the years fishing calendar is Gamex (March-April)
This annual fishing competition has been running for over 30 years. Gamex incorporates social evenings, scientific studies, educational sessions and product information.
All of our holiday houses are located in the townsite of Exmouth and are easy walking/cycling or a short drive to the main town site.
The town provides seven day a week trading at two supermarkets, a pharmacy, newsagent, outdoor sporting/camping shops, cafes, restaurants, bank and various specialty shops.
Exmouth doesn’t have that many restaurants but you can still get great coffee at the organic cafe.
For a night out you can have a wonderful Italian meal at the little pasta place called Pinocchio. If you’re celebrating a special occasion there’s the top of the range Ninglaoo Novotel Resort.
Our favourite is Whalers restaurant for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. We live there! Great wine list: Lamonts, Dukes, all great Western Australian labels. Make a booking, it is the most popular restaurant in town!