WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Ningaloo Reef is just as famous for its spectacular marine wildlife as it is for its pristine turquoise water and long empty white sandy beaches.
The word Ningaloo belongs to the Gnulli people, traditional owners of the coast surrounding the North West Cape of WA. It is a sublimely beautiful stretch of coast between Exmouth and Carnarvon with a promontory that stretches 200 km long jutting into the Indian Ocean.
In these parts, you can get up close to whale sharks, the gentle giants of the sea, as well as manta rays, turtles, dolphins, sharks and even dugongs. Swimming with whale sharks is an unforgettable experience, not least because of their mammoth size and it’s easy to see why a close-up encounter is on most people’s bucket list.
Whale sharks are the world’s biggest fish and grow up to 12 metres long and have 1.5m-wide mouths with over 300 rows of teeth. Weighing in between 15 and 20 tons, they are covered in a pattern of spots that is unique to each whale shark much like human fingerprints.
But it’s not just whale sharks that draw people to the region. The Ningaloo Reef Marine Park is the nation’s longest fringing coral reef. Famous for its reefs, surf breaks and fishing, the sun shines 320 out of 365 days a year here and in the hotter months the temperatures can soar to 45 degrees Celsius.
Unlike the Great Barrier Reef where the rainforest meets the sea, this is where the desert meets the sea, with a wild coastline made up of spinifex and sand dunes.
The Ningaloo coast is also home to the sleepy towns of Exmouth (population of 2,400) and the even sleepier town of Coral Bay which has one main store, one bakery and two dive shops.
Now, as more people go in search of adventure, a growing number of tourists are making the journey to this incredible destination. For those travelling from inter-state, the best way to break up the trip is to enjoy a stop-over in Perth. The brand-new Vibe Hotel Subiaco is the perfect place to stay as its just five minutes from the CBD.
Subiaco itself is a vibrant suburb with plenty of shops, restaurants, and a bustling café culture. Insider tip: This hotel has the most magnificent views across Perth’s cityscape.
Situated close to the famous Regal Theatre and Kings Park where you can explore the magnificent Western Australian Botanic Garden. Stretching 400.6 hectares, Perth’s biggest park displays over 3,000 species of the State's unique flora.
From fauna to flora, combining a trip to Perth with the scenic Ningaloo Reef is without doubt a winning combination.
Peace of mind when you stay with us: Introducing Clean Touch. Note some activities listed may be subject to Covid restrictions.
Special thanks to our guest blogger, Robyn Foyster from The Carousel.