Ningaloo Reef - Where is it & What does it have to offer?
The Ningaloo Reef is Australia’s largest fringing reef system. It is located approximately 1200km north of Perth in Western Australia, and spans some 260km in length. It is the only coral reef system positioned on the western side of a continental land mass and although only a fraction of the size of it’s big brother, the Great Barrier Reef, the Ningaloo Reef still has plenty to offer.
What makes it so special?
Ningaloo was recognized by UNESCO as being of World Heritage significance in June of 2011. On the other hand the huge diversity of marine life together with the pristine coral gardens means that those that make the effort to explore the reef are handsomely rewarded. The remote location of Ningaloo means there are fewer tourists there and as a result you don’t feel like part of a big crowd. Visitors rate it just as good….if not better… than the Great Barrier Reef!
You can see everything!
Ningaloo really does have it all, well not Polar bears! It’s got Whale Sharks, Humpback Whales, marine turtles, sharks, Manta Rays, Dugongs, Dolphins, Orcas and over 500 different species of fish and over 300 different species of coral. At certain times of the year you can see all these things in just one day!
We’ve even seen seals and crocodiles at Ningaloo!
It has something for everyone
The reef is not far from the mainland, in actual fact it is only meters from the shoreline. You can just snorkel from the shore and you can explore the coral gardens and even see a turtle or a reef shark. Inside the reef is perfect for snorkeling and diving so there really is something for everyone.
For the divers out there, you have a number of options available to dive Ningaloo. The two main locations to access the reef are from Coral Bay and Exmouth. Both have a number of tour operators and boats available to explore the reef. The inside of the reef provides calm protected water diving to 10m, and on the outside of the reef you can get down to 30m (or more) and see pelagics, sharks and huge turtles... Don’t forget to look up every now and then and keep an eye for a whale shark, manta or even a humpback whale….it does happen!
If you have the time one of the most popular options available these days is to stay out overnight on the reef. You can see and do more on a live aboard and it’s one of the most popular ways to explore this amazing reef. Tours depart twice a week and access the most remote areas of reef.