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7 Reasons to Explore the Ningaloo Coast Immediately

Autumn is one of the best times to visit Perth and drive north along the coast to the Ningaloo Reef. And while the view out your window will be nothing short of incredible, this time around it’s all about the water – namely, getting in it, and checking out the incredible coral just below the surface.

Australia’s largest fringing coral reef, the Ningaloo Reef extends for 260km, just off the coast of north-west Australia. It’s home to more than 200 species of coral and 500 species of fish – and during the autumn, it’s also the temporary home of another memorable resident: the Whale Shark.

Ready for adventure? See the best bits of the Ningaloo Coast at your own pace when you pick up a budget car rental in Perth.

Experience Whale Shark season

Well-timed visitors who take the plunge below the surface of the Ningaloo Coast will be rewarded with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with the world’s largest fish. Growing up to lengths of 12 metres, you’d think this underwater colossus would have a hard time hiding away. On the contrary, Whale Sharks are an elusive breed, only popping up in a few choice spots across the globe at particular times of year. Lucky for us, they picked Western Australia (we don’t blame them), where they feed on the spawned coral between April and July every year. Get in on the action with a Whale Shark snorkel tour that lets you swim alongside these gentle giants in their natural habitaty

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Copyright: Krzysztof Odziomek

Go diving in the Ningaloo Marine Park

Missed Whale Shark season? No problem – there are still plenty of incredible natural wonders to enjoy inside the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Marine Park. Go diving and snorkelling, kayaking, swimming or glass-bottom boating and discover the other marine wildlife that’s native to the reef. Tropical fish, sea turtles, dolphins and manta rays are just a few of the special creatures you can expect to meet throughout the year.

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Copyright: Rich Carey

Stay on the seaside in Exmouth

Exmouth is a pretty seaside town in the Ningaloo region and a great base for exploring. There’s plenty of charming beachside accommodation nearby, plus camping and caravanning options if you want to stay close to nature. Great restaurants, beach expanses and cultural attractions mean it’s easy to get away from it all and spend a few precious days relaxing amidst the incredible natural scenery of Western Australia.

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Copyright: Aneta Waberska

See the wildflowers

The colourful corals aren’t the only place to experience nature’s rainbow here on the Ningaloo Coast. Cape Range National Park is home to an incredibly vivid array of wildflowers – more than 630 species (that we know of). The best way to experience it is on four wheels. Drive the stunning Cape Range wildflower trail – this 100km stretch from Minilya Roadhouse to Coral Bay is the perfect taster if you only have an afternoon to spare. Alternatively, leave from Perth and drive the full trail all the way up to Cape Range National Park, exploring the stunning Western Coast along the way.

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Copyright: Aneta Waberska

Kick back in Coral Bay

Situated just past the Tropic of Capricorn, Coral Bay is home to the kind of wide white-sand beaches and turquoise waters that dreams are made of. Stop for a day or two to relax and enjoy the laid-back vibe and the colourful corals situated just off shore. Coral Bay is also the place to pick up a number of interesting adventure tours of you’re the type who can’t sit still for a second.

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Copyright: Gerardo Borbolla

Discover Yardie Creek Gorge

The red limestone cliffs of the gorge overlooking Yardie Creek provide one of the most rugged landscapes in the Ningaloo region. Visitors can walk the short trail around the gorge, which offers a stellar vantage for picture taking. If you’ve had enough exercise, there’s also a nearby riverboat tour that will give you a view of the gorge from another direction. Whatever option you choose, keep your camera ready – the area is home to the rare black-footed wallaby and red kangaroo.

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Copyright: Aneta Waberska

Explore the Muiron Islands

Nine nautical miles off the coast of Exmouth you’ll find the beautiful Muiron Islands – a remote outpost surrounded by nothing but bright, crystal blue waters. This is a popular recreation spot and a great choice if you want to take a day trip and do a little bit of everything. Enjoy a boat ride over across Indian Ocean waters, swim and snorkel near the shore, explore the flora and fauna then stretch out on the soft sands. Incredible dive spots like ‘The Spit’ and ‘The Cod Hole’ offer the chance to see rare corals and swim with manta rays. Feeling really adventurous? Pitch a tent and stay the night – there’s camping seasonally on the South Island.

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Copyright: Aneta Waberska

Have you ever visited the Ningaloo Coast? Let us know your favourite bits in the comments below!

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