Ningaloo Reef Travel Guide
Famous Australian author, Tim Winton, described it as “a rugged and beautiful wilderness“. Sound like your cup of tea? Let us introduce you to the wonder of Ningaloo Reef.
Ningaloo Reef is a beautifully unique World Heritage-listed site on the Western Australian coastline. The world’s largest fringing reef, spreading 260 kilometres, and frequently inhabited by some of the most majestic sea creatures in the world, you will struggle to find anything else quite like it.
A not-so-short 12 hour drive from Perth (or two hour flight, yes please) will land you in Exmouth, the most popular town of the Ningaloo Reef region. Once in Exmouth you’ll find yourself immersed in all things nature and ‘eco-adventure’, spoilt for choice by the National Parks, Marine Park and reef; glorious blue waters and an abundance of Australian wildlife.
Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef
A luxury campsite located in the dunes of Cape Range National Park sound good? Sal Salis is the ideal place to experience the beauty of the Ningaloo Reef region while soaking up in all things ‘bush and beach’. The stay includes walking tours, ocean-kayaking and offers snorkeling and swimming with Whale Sharks. Wake up to the call of native birds and the sun rise; fall asleep to the sound of serenity – exhausted by a day of exploring, fine food and, obviously, a wine or two… This exclusive eco-luxe campsite also houses a resident chef, providing modern cuisine options using the outstanding local produce. There’s also a huge Western Australian wine/beer/spirit range on offer, what more do you want?! Needless to say we’re sold on Sal Salis.
Cape Range National Park, Western Australia, 2707 – Website
Surely the best way to experience the reef is to live in it for a few days? Sail Ningaloo offers a stay on ‘Shore Thing,’ a 51 foot purpose built catamaran. The luxury catamaran offers a sundeck and trampoline area, accommodation for 10 and an outstanding crew who offer endless snorkeling, outstanding food, whale watching and a world-class front row seat to the reef. Sail Ningaloo is the perfect option for those after an adventure experience, while compromising nothing on luxury.
1 Robinson Street, Coral Bay, WA, 6701 – Website
Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort
Fancy a relax at the only resort on Sunrise Beach of Ningaloo Reef? Mantarays is the beautiful resort that offers all that Ningaloo has to give, situated in the Cape Range National Park the resort boasts stunning views and direct, roll out of bed; no-shoes-required, access to the beach. The accommodation speaks for itself (everything is ocean view!), king and superior rooms, self-contained apartments and bungalows with, wait for it, OCEAN VIEW BATHTUBS. It continues to get better, the resort offering facilities for days, including an amazing pool, gym, restaurant and bar; lounge and terrace area and – did we mention? – direct access to the beach. Mantarays offers everything, we’re sold, we know you are too.
Lot 900 Madaffari Dr, Exmouth WA 6707 – Website
Known as the best seafood in Exmouth, one cannot miss a trip to Whalers Restaurant. With a massive choice of seafood and options for vegans and vegetarians we understand if you’re here for both breakfast and dinner. Apart of the Exmouth Escape Resort, Whalers offers live music and a poolside, garden view eating area. Whalers is here to perform above and beyond the everyday seafood restaurant, the perfect place to ‘eat a horse’ after a sunsoaked day of adventure.
Murat Rd and Welsh St, Exmouth WA 6707, Australia – Website
The Short Order Local
Also located in Exmouth, The Short Order Local is a family-owned and operated food truck, boasting absolute beachfront cafe options and some fabulous themed dinners. Feeling a burrito bowl or smoking hot curry? Short Order got you. Feeling a Spanish fiesta? Saturday night at Short Order Local is your new happy place. If the great coffee, muffins, pastries, B&E rolls, burrito bowls, nachos (omg), brownies; gourmet Reuben sandwiches, curries and brekky bruschetta somehow doesn’t convince you, don’t worry. The charming van, delightful family and ocean views will.
Town Beach (3,855.40 km), Exmouth, 6707 WA – Website
Prepare your taste buds, because Froth Craft is here and ready to wow. New to the scene, Froth Craft is a restaurant, micro-brewery and music venue with a whole lot of heart, amazing dishes and drinks that are worth a try. Having won 2017 Best Start-Up Business at the Western Australian Regional Business awards, Froth Craft have made a name for themselves that’s backed by their local-produce-made-food, artisan craft beer (brewed on-site), awesome service and upbeat atmosphere. Naturally, we recommend.
5 Kennedy Street, Exmouth, WA, 6707 – Website
Swim with the Whale Sharks
Forget looking at Whale Sharks. Try swimming and snorkeling with them. Swimming with Whale Sharks along the WA coast is a growing global attraction and totally understand why. These ‘cool, calm and collected’, majestic creatures are in and around Ningaloo Reef from March – September every year, so get cracking. We don’t know about you guys, but taking a dip with a Whale shark is on our bucket list!
Cape National Park, Ningaloo Reef, WA – Website
Turquoise Bay is an exceptionally beautiful bay in the Cape Range National Park, that gets its name (we think quite obviously) from the stunning colour of the water. Known as one of Western Australia’s best beaches, Turquoise Bay is home to more than 500 exotic fish species, turtles, squid and ofcourse, coral. Snorkeling and swimming are encouraged in the bay for inexperienced and experienced snorkelers alike. Take it from us, Turquoise Bay is going to take your breath away, most likely several times.
Cape Range National Park WA 6707 – Website
If swimming and water is not your thing (*cricket noise*), don’t worry. You don’t have to be a fish in the sea, try being a bird in the sky. Helicopter your way around the reef! Yes it’s magical and with potentially better views. From above, there’s no limit on the marine creatures you might sea. (Haha, get it?) Dugongs, dolphins, sharks; manta rays, turtles, coral and SO. MANY. FISH. Viewing the magical kingdom that lies beneath from the air is breathtaking and a must do experience – plus, imagine all those gram worthy piccies!
Coral Bay Arcade, 8/46 Robinson St, Coral Bay, WA 6701 – Website