Stretching 300 km from the Red Bluff to the beautiful Muiron Islands, the Ningaloo Coast is home to one of Australia’s most spectacular ocean paradises. Best known for its crystal clear waters, thriving marine life and endless white beaches on the sandy shores of the Indian Ocean, Ningaloo also boasts one of the world’s largest fringing reefs.
The Ningaloo Reef is a haven for snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming with whales, turtles, manta rays and a magical array of colorful tropical fish. Close to the shoreline, you can see some of the continent’s iconic wildlife including kangaroos, echidnas and emus as you hike through the dunes or enjoy a picnic on a beach.
Despite the area’s incredible beauty and diversity of marine life, the Ningaloo Reef is a fairly well-kept secret compared to its cousin the Great Barrier Reef, on the Eastern coast, which means that it’s not flocked with tourists and sightseers. This allows visitors to truly immerse themselves in the natural wonder of the area without being swamped by the crowds.
There’s a whole range of fun and exciting adventures to take part in making the region an ideal destination for lovers of sun, sand and sea! Perfect for families, couples looking for a quiet retreat and solo travelers seeking the thrills of watersports and the ocean, Ningaloo Coast is a must-see destination in the very heart of Western Australia.
How Do You Get To Ningaloo Reef?
Located in Western Australia, there are several ways that you can reach the Ningaloo Coast. For international visitors, it’s best to fly into Perth Airport. You can catch a direct flight to Perth Airport from regional travel hubs such as Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Doha and Dubai.
Once you reach Perth you can fly onwards to Learmonth Airport, the main airport near the Ningaloo Coast. Learmonth Airport is located less than 40 km from Exmouth, a town that marks the gateway to the Ningaloo Reef and its enchanting marine parks. From Learmonth Airport you can catch the frequent shuttle bus into Exmouth, take a taxi or hire a car to drive yourself to your accommodation.
Alternatively, if you’d like to take in the vast panoramas of Australia’s Western Outback then you can hire a car and drive from Perth to Exmouth along the North West Coastal Highway before turning off down the Minilya-Exmouth Road. The drive will take between 12 to 14 hours and you’ll pass through some of the most jaw-dropping scenery on the continent.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Ningaloo Reef?
Ningaloo Coast is a great place to visit at any time of the year. But if you want to swim with Humpback Whales then you should plan your visit between late March and August when the ocean giants are migrating through the nearby waters. Of course, as a result, this is also the high tourist season in the area.
In terms of weather, the best time to visit the area is also between April and October when the conditions are hot, dry and sunny. The ocean water temperatures are the warmest as well which is great for snorkeling, swimming and scuba diving.
On the other hand, if you want to visit the Ningaloo Reef on a budget then you should visit between November and February when there are far fewer visitors and the hotel prices are much cheaper.
What Is There To Do At The Ningaloo Coast?
Snorkeling And Scuba Diving.
The Ningaloo Reef is one of Australia’s best-kept secrets despite the absolutely pristine reefs, incredible variety of marine life and beautifully clear waters. This makes the area perfect for snorkeling, scuba diving or just swimming in the waves. As you snorkel you’ll spot thousands of fish, sea turtles and even manta rays around the reefs.
One of the major advantages of the Ningaloo Reef is that it tightly hugs the shoreline. This means that you don’t need to travel by boat out into the ocean to immerse yourself in the underwater paradise that awaits you! Instead, you can simply paddle out into the waters on your own or, if you prefer, join an organized tour.
The Ningaloo Reef Snorkel and Wildlife Tour can pick you up from your hotel or accommodation, or meet you at the Ningaloo Visitor Center, before showing you around some of the most amazing parts of the reef. You can find out more or reserve your tickets here.
Hike Along The Ningaloo Coast.
If you’d like to spend a relaxing day exploring the coastal walkways of Ningaloo Coast then you won’t be disappointed. Quiet, secluded and unbelievably scenic, you’ll be sharing the views with kangaroos, emus and many of Australia’s favorite wildlife.
You can stop off at a deserted beach to have a picnic, paddle in the waters to cool down and reconnect with nature as you explore the Ningaloo Coast. Some of the most popular areas for hiking include Coral Bay, Cape Range National Park and Turquoise Bay, all of which are absolutely unforgettable.
Swim With Humpback Whales – Ningaloo Reef – 3 Islands Whale Shark Dive.
There’s nothing as magical as swimming with the gentle giants of the ocean. If you’d like to experience swimming with Humpback Whales then you can join a tour that will take you to the places where the Humpback Whales and Whale Sharks pass through on their long journeys.
The highly experienced guide will ensure that you’re safe at all times while you get to see these huge ocean creatures as they migrate through the area. As you snorkel you’ll also spot numerous sea turtles, manta rays, dugongs and even dolphins! Along the way, the tour guide will also tell you all about the ecosystem and how the local community is protecting it for future generations.
The tour includes a lovely buffet lunch, a glass of champagne and professional photographs of you and the group. You can book your place on this unique oceanic tour here.
Two-Day Trekking Adventure – Sunset Reef And Range Overnight Loop.
To truly experience the marvels of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area you can join a two-day trekking tour. In a small group, led by a local guide, you’ll discover the Cape Range, the Yardie Creek and the many magnificent beaches of the coastline. At night you’ll camp and watch the sunset over the ocean as you prepare dinner together before sleeping under the stars. You can book your spot on this trekking tour here.
Stay In Exmouth.
The ideal location to base yourself during your explorations of the Ningaloo Coast is Exmouth. Just a short drive from all the region’s top sites including all the best Ningaloo snorkeling reefs, this friendly outback town has a great selection of top-quality hotels, restaurants and local attractions such as the Ningaloo Aquarium and Discovery Center.
The Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort offers some of the finest accommodations in the area and has a lovely selection of single, double and three bedroom apartments as well as a number of private bungalows. The resort also has an on-site restaurant, bar, swimming pool and gymnasium.