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Exmouth: Holidays on the Ningaloo Reef
Exmouth benefits from a prime position along Western Australia’s Coral Coast, fronting the colourful Ningaloo Reef. You’re likely to spend most of your holiday in, or within sight of, the water.
Lounge on pristine, untouched beaches, swim with whale sharks or discover underwater coral worlds as you dive or snorkel. On shore, there’s even an ocean-themed water park.
Further inland, national parks introduce a different type of landscape, filled with canyons. The town of Exmouth itself has quite a few restaurants and cafes where you can refuel after days of exploring.
When it comes to holiday rentals, visitors to Exmouth can opt for everything from sleek waterfront villas to fully-equipped cottages.
Observing Marine Life in Exmouth
Exmouth’s proximity to the Ningaloo Reef means that visitors have many opportunities to observe local marine life. Travellers can take a glass bottom boat tour to discover the colourful coral habitat without getting in the water.
Of course, snorkelling and diving possibilities abound, if you would like to get closer to the species who call the reef’s 250+ types of coral home. Among these are friendly whale sharks, sea turtles and tropical fish. Adventurous travellers can even go for a swim with the whale sharks.
Whale watching is another popular Exmouth activity. From June to November, hop aboard a half day or full day cruise and observe humpback whales frolicking in the coastal waters.
Exmouth Beaches and Aquatic Adventures
A number of beaches are within easy access of Exmouth. The main stretch of sand, Town Beach, is favoured by families and swimmers, with calm waters, lots of space to run around, picnic areas and a coastal walking trail for sweeping ocean views. You will often see locals out sailing or windsurfing.
As the name would suggest, the diving and snorkelling hub that is Turquoise Bay enjoys stunningly blue water and pure white sand. Reefs begin only metres from the shore, and tropical fish come up to the water’s edge. Then there’s the more secluded Pebble Beach, which can only be reached by 4WD. During your visit, you might only see the odd fisherman or two.
Exmouth Beyond the Coast
There is much to see and do beyond Exmouth’s waterfront. For a day of bushwalking, head to Cape Range National Park. Set within the park is Charles Knife Canyon, around which several walking tracks of varying lengths and difficulties depart. A challenging but rewarding track is the Thomas Carter Lookout Walk. As you wander around the park, you might spot some wallabies.
If you’re travelling with the kids, let them get rid of pent up energy at Exmouth’s Water Spray Ground. This water park is a recent addition to Exmouth, offering a myriad of ocean-themed rides, slides and games for children of all ages. While you’re here, explore a pirates’ cove and take photos with sea-inspired sculptures. The park’s various activities all carry an ecological message.
Exmouth: What to Do in Town?
Exmouth events take place year-round, with special educational activities during school holidays. To get to know the locals, join a frisbee game at Koobooroo Oval or help them clean up Exmouth’s beaches.
Head to Federation Park for Sunday Markets, where you can purchase local goods and souvenirs, as well as treats and coffee. To see what’s on during your stay, stop at the Exmouth visitors centre, where you can also hire snorkelling gear.
In the evenings, go for a stroll along Murat Road for your pick of restaurants, serving everything from Italian to Modern Australian cuisine. The streets sprouting off from Murat Road also have some cafes and bakeries.
Getting to Exmouth
Exmouth is set around 1200 km from Perth, so it takes about 13 hours to drive. The most convenient way to get to Exmouth is to fly from Perth to the neighbouring towns of Learmonth or Onslow and rent a car or hire a taxi for the remainder of the journey.