Tourism Western Australia
Western Australia
Coral BayWorld Heritage-listed Coral Bay is a thriving marine sanctuary home to the region’s famous whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, spectacular coral reefs and a myriad of diverse fish….
Coral Bay is as idyllic as the name suggests. There, on white sand beaches, you're just a few steps from the world's largest fringing reef - the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef. Dive, snorkel or fish in clear turquoise waters and immerse yourself in marine life encounters. This tiny seaside town is blessed with beach weather for most of the year, and you can get there in half a day from Perth. A two and a half hour flight gets you to Learmonth Airport, then it's just a one and a half hour drive to Coral Bay. Taking it a little slower, you can drive there in two days or join an extended guided tour from Perth. At the southern end of Ningaloo's 5,000 square kilometres of diverse reef habitats, laid-back Coral Bay lets you explore its wonders at your own pace. You can even stay dry and view the coral gardens from a glass-bottom boat, or just laze on the beach with a book. But there's plenty of adventure to be found. It's one of few places on Earth where you can come face-to-fin with the biggest fish in the ocean - the whale shark. These gentle filter-feeding giants can be found off the coast there from March to July every year. Next on the visitor list are migrating humpback whales, with whale watching tours giving you a front-row seat from June to November. Other close encounters of the marine kind can be enjoyed year-round, including spotting or swimming with graceful manta rays, dugongs and turtles. Or take to the skies on a scenic flight and drink in the spectacle from above. Ningaloo also boasts the title of Western Australia's premier game fishing destination, and Coral Bay's fishing charters will put you within striking distance of your dream catch. Emperor, cod, Spanish mackerel and bream are regularly hooked, not to mention hard-fighting tuna, marlin, mahi mahi and sailfish. Just a sandy-footed stroll from the beach, the town itself offers a good choice of accommodation, cafes, shops and restaurants. Book early during peak season to secure your piece of paradise.
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Things to do
Participate in Project Manta Ningaloo Reef
Snorkel in the waters of Coral Bay to help protect the habitat of manta rays and reef sharks. Manta rays, stingrays and reef sharks are just a few of the diverse species that live in the clear waters of Ningaloo Reef - a habitat also used for fishing and tourism. Join researchers in their quest to collect ecological data to protect these important waters. By joining this expedition, you will contribute to the collection of critical information on the habitat use, movement and behaviour of manta rays, which will help to improve the management and protection of this species. You will also gather data on the impact of tourism and other human activities on other elasmobranchs, including numerous species of benthic ray and reef sharks. You will snorkel to capture photos of manta rays, identify and process images on the manta identification database, identify locations of manta cleaning stations and record their usage, conduct biodiversity surveys on these stations, conduct shark counts and observe the health of the overall marine ecosystem. Please see their website for more information.
Jump aboard Coral Bay Ecotours
The longest-running operator in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Ningaloo Reef. Providing adventure tours of a totally different nature. Whale Sharks, Turtles, Manta rays, Humpback Whales all on their custom made vessels, ensuring you have an incredible day on the reef. From the moment you enter their shop in Peoples Park to first slipping into the waters of the stunning Ningaloo Reef, their international staff will dote on you with custom fittings and proper food to keep you going during the trip. Regardless if you choose to take a Glass Bottom Boat Tour or swim with the magnificent Whale Sharks, the reef is literally steps away, providing you with the closest and best experience anywhere along the Western Australian coastline.
Go sailing
Explore the Ningaloo Reef with Sail Ningaloo and enjoy a unique, world-class eco-experience, with personalised and professional service on board the luxurious and spacious sailing catamaran 'Shore Thing'. Sail Ningaloo offers three, five and nine-night all-inclusive affordable, luxurious live-aboard tours in the pristine waters of Ningaloo Reef from March to December. Feel the sense of excitement discovering the underwater world of the Ningaloo Reef which is amongst only a handful of coral reef systems in the world that is still in pristine condition. The abundance and variety of marine life and spectacular corals is second to none in the world. It is very likely you will encounter humpback whales, dolphins, dugong, manta rays, marine turtles, giant cods, reef sharks and much more. You can spend your days snorkelling, kayaking, scuba diving or just relaxing on the deck enjoying a cool drink with friends. Why not try your hand at catching a fish for dinner; the crew will fillet and cook the fish.
Visit Bill's Bay
The tranquillity of Bill's Bay with its pristine beaches and protected waters has a wonderfully relaxed seaside holiday ambience. The bay is located in the tiny town of Coral Bay and provides easy access to the world-famous Ningaloo Reef. Snorkelers will revel in the abundance of marine life just off the shore. Dive or snorkel off the beach or visit the deeper waters to view dugongs, manta rays and the amazing whale sharks. If you plan to visit between June and October you can take a boat tour to see the migrating humpback whales. Whilst there is always plenty to do, the pretty bay is an idyllic location to just laze on the beach and soak up the spectacular coastal scenery. Coral Bay is a 12-hour drive north of Perth and is a must-see stop off on your trip around Western Australia. Try and stay at least a few days to relax and enjoy all that is on offer here.
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