Tourism Western Australia
Western Australia
Exmouth and The Coral CoastHere, red dessert meets the vibrant blue waters of the world’s largest fringing reef. Where wildflowers bloom, bottlenose dolphins congregate, and one of Australia's most iconic experiences awaits, swimming alongside the whale sharks.
Welcome to the enchanting shores of Exmouth and the mesmerizing Coral Coast of Western Australia. This captivating region is a haven for nature enthusiasts, offering a tapestry of remarkable experiences that will leave you lost for words. The journey begins on Ningaloo Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its vibrant coral gardens and abundant marine life. But it is the awe-inspiring experience of swimming with the majestic whale sharks that steals the spotlight. From March to July, these gentle giants grace the waters of Ningaloo, and lucky visitors can share the ocean with them. As you plunge into the crystal-clear waters, a sense of anticipation and exhilaration takes hold. The moment you spot the distinctive silhouette of a whale shark gliding gracefully through the depths, time seems to stand still. These magnificent creatures, the largest fish in the world, captivate with their sheer size and tranquil presence. Swimming alongside them, you'll be mesmerized by their elegant movements, the dappled patterns on their backs, and the humbling experience of being in their presence. From Ningaloo Reef, venture north along the Coral Coast to the renowned Monkey Mia. Nestled against a backdrop of golden sand and turquoise waters, this iconic destination offers a unique opportunity to meet wild dolphins. Each morning, as the sun casts its warm glow over the bay, dolphins gracefully approach the shore, forming a magical connection with visitors. Under the watchful eye of rangers, a select few are given the chance to wade into the water and hand-feed these friendly creatures. The soft touch of their sleek bodies, the intelligence shining in their eyes, and the playful interactions are truly unforgettable. Monkey Mia allows for a rare and heartwarming encounter, forging a bond between humans and marine life that echoes for a lifetime. Leaving the coastal delights behind, take to the skies for an extraordinary adventure. A scenic flight over the Abrolhos Islands unveils a hidden paradise. The islands, with their kaleidoscope of colors and pristine waters, form a sanctuary for diverse marine and bird life. Gaze down upon the teeming coral reefs, spot playful seals frolicking in the waves, and marvel at the untouched beauty of this remote archipelago. Back on the mainland, the wonders of Exmouth and the Coral Coast continue to unfold. Kalbarri National Park beckons with its rugged gorges, sweeping river valleys, and dramatic coastal cliffs. Hike through the ochre-hued landscapes, navigating trails that lead to breathtaking lookout points. Stand at Nature's Window, a natural rock formation framing a panoramic view of the Murchison River, or marvel at the powerful force of Nature's forces at the mesmerizing Kalbarri Skywalk. No journey along the Coral Coast is complete without a visit to the mystical Pinnacles Desert. As the golden light of dawn or dusk casts an ethereal glow over this otherworldly landscape, the limestone pillars rise from the sands like ancient sentinels. Stroll among the towering formations, wondering at their mysterious origins and the forces that shaped them. The Pinnacles are a photographer's dream, offering a surreal backdrop for capturing memories that will last a lifetime. The Coral Coast, most importantly, holds a rich indigenous history that stretches back thousands of years. The land was home to various tribes who thrived along the coastal region. These tribes, such as the Yamatji, Nanda, and Bibbulman, possessed deep knowledge of the land and sea, sustaining themselves through hunting, fishing, and gathering. There are many opportunities to hear their stories and learn their traditions through organised tours, storytelling sessions, workshops and cultural performances. Exmouth and the Coral Coast weave a tale of natural wonders and unforgettable encounters, and we think you'll love it as much as we do!
Read More
Things to do
An Australian gem renowned as a mecca for water sports enthusiasts, ranking among the country's top destinations for surfing, kite surfing, windsurfing, diving, snorkelling, boating, and fishing. Nestled on the mesmerizing Batavia Coast, this hidden treasure promises an unforgettable journey into nature's playground. Just a scenic five-hour road trip or a swift six-hour coach ride from Perth, Geraldton's accessibility is unparalleled. If time is of the essence, a quick one-hour flight from Perth will whisk you away to this aquatic wonderland. Geraldton's consistent wind and enticing swells make it a veritable playground for water sport enthusiasts year-round. Located a mere 60 kilometers from the coastline, the coral-fringed Abrolhos Islands beckon adventurers to embark on fishing, diving, or snorkeling charters, providing unforgettable encounters with marine marvels. Take to the skies on a scenic flight to witness the splendor from above, combining your Abrolhos escapade with awe-inspiring vistas of the marine-rich Shark Bay World Heritage Area or the breathtaking gorges of Kalbarri National Park. From July to October, the spotlight shifts to the enchanting outback, as Geraldton becomes the gateway to a mesmerizing wildflower extravaganza. Delight in the vast expanse of everlastings and a kaleidoscope of vibrant blooms that stretch as far as the eye can behold, immersing yourself in nature's resplendent palette. For a glimpse into Geraldton's rich cultural tapestry, delve into its captivating heritage. Explore the ancient Yamaji culture, absorb the poignant tales revealed by relics of shipwrecks at the Western Australian Museum - Geraldton, and pay homage to the courageous souls lost in 1941 at the magnificent HMAS Sydney II memorial. Marvel at the awe-inspiring architectural prowess of Monsignor John Hawes at St Francis Xavier Cathedral, transporting yourself to the era of Spanish missionaries. Beyond its natural and cultural marvels, Geraldton offers a buzzing modern foreshore teeming with shopping, dining, and live entertainment options. Choose from an array of accommodation, ranging from luxurious hotels, cozy motels, and self-contained houses and apartments to serene caravan parks and charming bed and breakfast establishments. Your stay in Geraldton will be nothing short of extraordinary. Embrace the allure of Geraldton, where adventure, heritage, and serenity intertwine to create an unforgettable travel experience.
Coral Bay
Here, on pristine white-sand beaches, you'll find yourself just a few steps away from the awe-inspiring Ningaloo Reef, the world's largest fringing reef and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear turquoise waters, whether diving, snorkeling, or fishing, and be captivated by enchanting encounters with a vibrant marine ecosystem. Blessed with beach-worthy weather for the majority of the year, this charming coastal town can be reached from Perth in just half a day. A two-and-a-half-hour flight to Learmonth Airport followed by a scenic one-and-a-half-hour drive will transport you to the magical Coral Bay. For those seeking a more leisurely pace, a two-day road trip or an extended guided tour from Perth can be a delightful way to soak in the journey. Nestled at the southern end of the sprawling 5,000 square kilometers of Ningaloo's diverse reef habitats, Coral Bay invites you to explore its wonders at your own rhythm. Experience the coral gardens without getting wet by taking a glass-bottom boat tour or simply unwind on the sun-kissed beach with a captivating book. However, be prepared for an abundance of adventures. Coral Bay holds the distinction of being one of the few places on Earth where you can come face-to-fin with the majestic whale shark, the largest fish in the ocean. From March to July each year, these gentle giants, known for their filter-feeding behavior, grace the coastal waters. Additionally, from June to November, migrating humpback whales take center stage, offering awe-inspiring opportunities for whale watching tours. Year-round, you can revel in close encounters with other mesmerizing marine creatures, including graceful manta rays, dugongs, and turtles. Take to the skies on a breathtaking scenic flight and marvel at the spectacle unfolding below. Ningaloo Reef also boasts its reputation as Western Australia's premier game fishing destination, and Coral Bay's fishing charters will bring you within striking distance of your dream catch. Emperor fish, cod, Spanish mackerel, and bream are commonly hooked, along with the thrilling battles against mighty tuna, marlin, mahi-mahi, and sailfish. Merely a leisurely stroll from the beach, Coral Bay itself offers a delightful array of accommodations, charming cafes, enticing shops, and delectable restaurants. During the peak season, it's advisable to book early to secure your own slice of this heavenly haven. Coral Bay beckons with open arms, inviting you to discover your very own piece of paradise.
Swim with the Whale Sharks on Ningaloo Reef
Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, this magnificent reef showcases unparalleled biodiversity and holds a coveted spot on every adventurer's bucket list: the opportunity to swim alongside the majestic whale shark, the largest fish in the ocean. To embark on your Ningaloo adventure, set your sights on Coral Bay or Exmouth. From Perth, swift flights of 2.5 hours transport you to the nearby Learmonth Airport. Alternatively, embrace the journey with a 2-day drive from Perth or join an extended tour, savoring the anticipation of your impending rendezvous with Ningaloo Reef. Extending nearly 20 kilometers seaward and spanning an impressive 5,000 square kilometers, this vibrant ecosystem unveils a mesmerizing tapestry of over 500 fish species, graceful manta rays, and serene sea turtles, all amidst a captivating backdrop of 300 coral varieties. For those who prefer to keep their feet dry, glass-bottom boat tours offer an enchanting window into this underwater wonderland, allowing you to marvel at the vibrant marine life without getting wet. However, for the true adventurers, nothing compares to the exhilaration of swimming alongside the awe-inspiring whale sharks, which grace Ningaloo between late March and mid-July. These gentle giants can reach lengths of up to 16 meters, creating an unforgettable encounter. As if that wasn't enough, from June to November, Ningaloo welcomes another magnificent visitor as humpback whales embark on their annual migration, providing an awe-inspiring spectacle. Whale watching tours depart from Coral Bay and Exmouth, but if you happen to miss the boat, you may still catch a glimpse of the turtle nesting and hatching season, which takes place from late January to February. For a different perspective, venture into the rugged red canyons of Cape Range National Park, traversing the terrain in a four-wheel-drive or exploring on foot. Embark on a guided walk up Mandu Mandu Gorge, pausing to spot native wildlife, and be sure to conclude your day with a visit to Vlaming Head Lighthouse, where a breathtaking Ningaloo sunset awaits.
Visit the Pinnacles
A short drive along the Indian Ocean Drive from Perth are thousands of towering spires emerging dramatically from the golden desert sands, casting eerie silhouettes against the azure sky. The Pinnacles are nature at its finest. As you wander through this ethereal landscape, a sense of wonder takes hold. Shaped over millions of years by the forces of water and wind, their origin is fascinating. Seashells, long buried beneath the Earth's surface, have been meticulously transformed into these captivating limestone formations, creating a scene that is unlike anything you've ever seen. You can either follow the scenic drive or leisurely walk throughout, stopping at the various look out points, where the silence is broken only by the whispers of the wind, adding to the ethereal ambiance that permeates this extraordinary place. To delve deeper into the secrets of the Pinnacles, pay a visit to the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre. Here, engaging displays unravel the story of this geological marvel, offering insight into the processes that shaped the landscape and the remarkable flora and fauna that call this unique habitat home. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a moment of awe-inspiring tranquility, the Pinnacles beckon you to embark on a journey into a realm unlike any other. Prepare to be captivated, for this is a destination that will leave an indelible imprint on your soul.
Kalbarri National Park
A sanctuary of untamed beauty that captivates the senses and ignites the spirit of adventure. The true crown jewels of Kalbarri National Park are the Murchison River Gorges, an awe-inspiring testament to the power of nature's sculpting hand. Here, sheer sandstone cliffs rise dramatically from the expansive Sand Plain, as if defying gravity itself. The Loop, Z Bend, Hawkes Head Lookout, and Ross Graham Lookout beckon you to witness panoramic vistas that stir the soul and leave an indelible mark on your memory. As you stand amidst these towering giants, let your imagination soar back through time, 400 million years ago, when these very walls emerged from the tidal flats of a primordial sea. Traces of that ancient era still linger, revealing themselves through fossil tracks and sea remnants scattered along the riverbanks. It's an invitation to unravel the secrets of Earth's history, to connect with the wonders of a bygone era. Venture closer to the coast, and you'll encounter the Coastal Gorges, a realm of rugged grandeur and captivating beauty. Allow yourself to be spellbound by the sheer magnitude of Red Bluff, Pot Alley Gorge, Rainbow Valley, Eagle Gorge, Shell House, Mushroom Rock, and the majestic crown jewel, Island Rock and the Natural Arch. These towering cliffs, reaching heights of approximately 100 meters, bear the scars of an eternal dance between the ocean's relentless forces and the steadfastness of the land. Secluded beaches and intricate rock formations adorn this coastal paradise, their vibrant hues echoing the passage of time and the stories engraved within their very essence. While the landscapes of Kalbarri National Park captivate the eye, it is the abundant flora and fauna that breathe life into this natural sanctuary. Banksia and Eucalypt thickets paint the landscape with hues of green, while the majestic River Gums stand as guardians of this wilderness. The park teems with wildlife, from the graceful Red and Grey Kangaroos and Euros that roam freely, to the small Marsupials, Echidnas, Feral Goats, and Pigs that add a touch of untamed charm. And from July to October, the park transforms into a botanical wonderland as wildflowers burst into a vibrant symphony of colours. Picture yourself surrounded by a tapestry of nature's brushstrokes, where every step reveals a new floral masterpiece. So, embrace the call of the wild and immerse yourself in the untamed beauty that awaits in Kalbarri National Park.
Meet the resident dolphins of Monkey Mia
For over four decades, the shoreline of Monkey Mia in the esteemed Shark Bay World Heritage Area has been graced with the presence of wild dolphins virtually every day, establishing it as one of the world's finest and most reliable destinations for dolphin interaction. Embark on a captivating 30-minute drive from Denham to Monkey Mia, where you'll encounter a magical rendezvous with these gentle creatures, the bottlenose dolphins. Denham itself can be reached via a two-hour flight from Perth, a day's drive, or the option to join an extended guided tour. The captivating tale of the Monkey Mia dolphins dates back to the early 1960s when these magnificent marine beings began making regular appearances in the crystalline waters of the bay, enchanting visitors with their intelligence, playfulness, and elegance. As wild creatures, the dolphins' numbers and visitation times may vary from day to day, but they generally grace the shore multiple times, with a higher frequency during mornings. Today, dedicated rangers regulate the dolphin interactions, selecting a fortunate few to hand-feed the dolphins a small amount of fish. While the dolphins are occupied with fishing or engaging in playful antics offshore, take a moment to explore the Dolphin Information Centre, where captivating displays offer insights into dolphin biology, behavior, and the remarkable Shark Bay World Heritage Area. Please note that swimming with and touching the dolphins is strictly prohibited by law. Venture beyond the beach, and you'll discover a rich tapestry of diverse wildlife and avian wonders in close proximity. To gain a profound understanding of this unique environment, consider joining an Indigenous cultural tour, experiencing the land through the lens of one of the world's oldest surviving cultures. Entrance to Monkey Mia Reserve incurs a visitor fee. Should you choose to extend your stay and relish the opportunity to breakfast with the dolphins, an array of accommodation options, facilities, and activities await you in Monkey Mia. Alternatively, some visitors opt to establish their base in the nearby haven of Denham, where the tranquil cerulean waters of the sweeping bay provide ideal conditions for swimming, fishing, boating, and water skiing.
Abrolhos Islands
Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Abrolhos Islands, an archipelago comprising 122 islands adorned with vibrant coral communities and teeming with diverse marine life. Nestled off the Western Australian coast, this remarkable marine environment is a paradise for snorkeling, windsurfing, bird watching, and stands proudly among the world's top fishing destinations. Formerly known as Houtman Abrolhos, these jewels of the Indian Ocean lie a mere 60 kilometers west of Geraldton, offering convenient access for an unforgettable day trip. Glide across the azure waters aboard a charter boat, embark on a fishing expedition or eco-tour from Geraldton or Kalbarri, or opt for a scenic flight from Dongara, Kalbarri, or Geraldton, treating yourself to a captivating aerial perspective. Spanning a stretch of 100 kilometers from north to south, the Abrolhos Islands are divided into three main clusters: the Wallabi Group, Easter Group, and Pelsaert Group. Bathed in the warm currents of the southward-flowing Leeuwin Current, these islands serve as a rendezvous point for a remarkable array of tropical and temperate marine species. Keep your senses alert and binoculars at the ready, as you are likely to spot over 90 seabird species that call this area home. Marvel at vast breeding colonies feasting on schools of pelagic baitfish and witness majestic white-breasted sea eagles gracefully soaring through the skies, hunting smaller seabirds. If the allure of the Abrolhos Islands entices you to include them in your itinerary, consider basing yourself in Geraldton, Kalbarri, or Dongara, each offering a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets. And to conclude your Abrolhos Island adventure on a high note, indulge in the exquisite local delicacy of fresh crayfish, savoring the flavors of the region in style.
Take it a scenic flight
Take to the skies for a scenic flight over Kalbarri National Park, where nature's wonders unfold beneath you. As your aircraft ascends, a bird's-eye view reveals the true scale and beauty of the Murchison River Gorges. The sheer sandstone cliffs, carved over millions of years, stretch out before you in a magnificent display of nature's artistry. From The Loop to Z Bend and beyond, each twist and turn of the river offers a new perspective, showcasing the raw power of erosion and the striking contrast between the vibrant green vegetation and the rugged red cliffs. As you glide over the coastal gorges, the mesmerizing coastline unfolds beneath you. Behold the towering cliffs that guard secluded beaches, their hues shifting from deep reds to subtle pastels as the sunlight dances upon the rocks. From above, you'll witness the crashing waves meeting the land, forming intricate patterns of foam and spray. Throughout your flight, keep a keen eye out for the park's diverse wildlife. Spot kangaroos bounding through the bush, marvel at the graceful flight of birds, and perhaps catch a glimpse of other elusive creatures that call this park home.
Related tags
Passionate about local travel experiences
Australian Bucket List
© 2024 ABL All rights reserved Terms Privacy Contact Us
Handcrafted by ABL, in partnership with PWG
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community.We pay our respect to them and their cultures and to the elders past and present.