The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park, WA. © Tourism Western Australia

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The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park, WA. © Tourism Western Australia

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Ningaloo Reef, Coral Bay, Western Australia

Ningaloo Reef

Ningaloo Reef, Coral Bay, Western Australia, 6701
Email: reservations@exmouthwa.com.au
Website: www.visitningaloo.com.au
9009999 Phone Number: 61 08 9949 1176
Fax Number: 61 08 9949 1441

Go swimming with whalesharks in the pristine waters of the Ningaloo Reef, located on Western Australia's mid north coast. The area is home to whalesharks between April and July each year. Tours from Coral Bay or Exmouth provide the once in a lifetime opportunity to go swimming with whalesharks, which are the biggest fish in the world. You can also swim with manta rays, see rare turtles, migrating humpback whales, pods of dolphins and vibrant tropical fish. Tours cater to persons of all ages who possess at least basic swimming skills. The Ningaloo Reef is one of the most reliable destinations in the world to find whalesharks, and swim-with-whaleshark tours boast success rates of close to 95 per cent.

Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Western Australia

Turquoise Bay

via Yardie Creek Road, Exmouth, Western Australia, 6707
Email: reservations@exmouthwa.com.au
Website: www.visitningaloo.com.au
9009989 Phone Number: 61 08 9949 1176
Fax Number: 61 08 9949 1441

Dive into the pristine waters of the aptly named Turquoise Bay near the town of Exmouth and you're swimming within a few metres of Ningaloo Reef. Known as one of Australia's best beaches, and amongst the top twenty beaches in the world, Turquoise Bay is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon relaxing, swimming and snorkelling. Try your hand at the popular drift snorkel by swimming out to the reef on the southern end of the beach, then letting the current wash you north to the sand bar. You'll see colourful coral and plenty of fish - more than 500 fish species reflecting every colour of the rainbow live in and around the reef. Respect for the environment is the key to keeping the coral in pristine condition. Turquoise Bay is located approximately 63 kilometres from Exmouth. Shuttle bus services from Exmouth are available. You can fly to Exmouth in about two and a half hours from Perth.

Town Beach, Exmouth, Western Australia

Exmouth Town Beach

Madaffari Drive, Exmouth, Western Australia, 6707
Email: reservations@exmouthwa.com.au
Website: www.visitningaloo.com.au
9010029 Phone Number: 61 08 9949 1176
Fax Number: 61 08 9949 1441

The Exmouth coastline offers a number of beautiful sandy beaches and the Town Beach is the most accessible and closest to the town centre. The beach is a safe place to swim, especially at high tide even with children. Drive your four wheel drive right down onto the beach and set up for a fun day out. Take a stroll along the white sand at low tide and comb the beach for many of the ocean's treasures. Windsurfing is a popular water sport at Town Beach and with a yacht club located on the beach, yachting is also a regular activity. During their annual migration from July to October, humpback whales can often be spotted close to shore at Town Beach.

Vlamingh Head Lighthouse Scenic Drive, Exmouth, Western Australia

Vlamingh Head Lighthouse Scenic Drive

via Yardie Creek Road, Exmouth, Western Australia, 6707
Email: reservations@exmouthwa.com.au
Website: www.visitningaloo.com.au
9033271 Phone Number: 61 08 9949 1176
Fax Number: 61 08 9949 1441

The Vlamingh Head Lighthouse Scenic Drive offers breathtaking views of the North West Cape as you drive up to Valmingh Head. Meander up the hill to see the grand Vlamingh Lighthouse for spectacular panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Ningaloo Reef. Be sure to keep a look out for migrating humpback whales during the migration season. Check out the interpretive displays and learn about the 100-plus year old lighthouse and fascinating history of North West Cape. Continue to the edge of the lookout to see the site of a World War II radar station and anti-aircraft positions. For a small cost you can hire binoculars to take full advantage of the magnificent views. The Vlamingh Head Lighthouse Scenic Drive is located approximately 17 kilometres from Exmouth.

Swim with the Whale Sharks, Exmouth, Western Australia

Swim with the Whale Sharks

via Ningaloo Yardie Creek Road, Exmouth, Western Australia, 6707
Email: reservations@exmouthwa.com.au
Website: www.visitningaloo.com.au
9010334 Phone Number: 61 08 9949 1176
Fax Number: 61 08 9949 1441

World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is one of the few places on Earth where you can swim with whale sharks - the world's largest fish. A face-to-fin encounter with these gentle giants is a truly awesome and humbling experience to add to your bucket list. Whale sharks can grow up to 16 metres (52.5 feet) with a mouth over a metre wide, designed to scoop up plankton and krill. Lucky for us humans, they are filter feeders and completely harmless. Globally, it's very rare to find these creatures so close to shore, but they visit Ningaloo every year between March and July. To get close to the action, join a whale shark snorkel tour from Exmouth or Coral Bay. These tours boast a whale shark swim with a success rate of nearly 95 per cent. Ningaloo's whale shark season generally runs from March to July, however, the season can often stretch through August and even September.

Yardie Creek, Cape Range National Park, Exmouth, Western Australia

Yardie Creek, Cape Range National Park

Yardie Creek car park, Cape Range National Park, Exmouth, Western Australia, 6707
Email: milyering@dec.wa.gov.au
Website: www.trailswa.com.au
9132790 Phone Number: 61 08 9949 2808
Fax Number: 61 08 9949 2541

The Yardie Creek Top Trail is located in the spectacular Yardie Creek Gorge, one hour drive from Exmouth. The ancient gorge has deep blue water, red limestone cliff faces and a wonderful array of birds and wildlife including the rare black-footed wallaby and red kangaroos. From the top, the views into the creek and out to the Ningaloo Reed are purely spectacular. Starting at river level, the 1.5 kilometre walk trail slowly climbs up the red rock cliffs over a flat path which then becomes harder as it narrows and requires navigation of rocks and small creek line gullies. The trail follows the gorge, becoming more difficult as you ascend the range; however the views into the gorge are well worth the effort. From the top of the gorge walls, look out for the wide variety of birds and yellow footed rock wallabies that inhabit the rock walls. All activities start at the Yardie Creek carpark where there are toilets and picnic areas. Camping in Western Australia's natural areas is a special experience. Selected campgrounds from across the state are now bookable online for a trial period.

Dampier Salt Mines, Carnarvon, Western Australia

Dampier Salt Mines

via Gnaraloo Road, Carnarvon, Western Australia, 6701
Email: info@carnarvon.org.au
Website: www.carnarvon.org.au
9066745 Phone Number: 61 08 9941 1146
Fax Number: 61 08 9941 1149

Located on Lake Macleod, the Dampier Salt Mines are an impressive sight from the road. Whilst not usually open to the general public tours can be organised through the Carnarvon Visitors Centre, if there are a sufficient number of people interested in viewing the operations. Learn about the salt mining process and how the 2,070 square kilometre salt lake was formed. Witness the salt being harvested and transported to Cape Cuvier for shipping. The mines are a one hour drive north of Carnarvon and 11 hours drive north of Perth. Carnarvon offers a plethora of activities to keep the whole family entertained and forms an excellent base to explore the region. If you enjoy seeing natural attractions, include a trip to the Bibbawarra Bore and the Blowholes which are both north of Carnarvon.

Humpback Whales, Exmouth, Western Australia

Humpback Whales

Ningaloo Marine Park, Exmouth, Western Australia, 6707
Email: reservations@exmouthwa.com.au
Website: www.visitningaloo.com.au
9010338 Phone Number: 61 08 9949 1176
Fax Number: 61 08 9949 1441

One of the best places in Western Australia to see migrating Humpback Whales is Ningaloo Marine Park off the coast of Exmouth and Coral Bay. You can see these giants of the ocean on their journey between summer breeding grounds in the North West shelf and winter feeding grounds in the Antarctic. The best time to go whale watching at Ningaloo is between June and November. The babies of the family, humpback whale calves are also often seen in this area. Mothers with new-born calves usually stay the longest in the waters of Ningaloo Marine Park and travel more slowly so their calves can grow. Humpback whales are massive - they can grow up to 19 metres in length and way up to 40 tonnes. You can spot them from shore at vantage points such as Vlamingh Head or Town Beach in Exmouth, or get up close on a whale watching boat tour from Coral Bay or Exmouth.

Kingsford Smith Mail Run, Carnarvon, Western Australia

Kingsford Smith Mail Run

The Old Post Office, Robinson Street, Carnarvon, Western Australia, 6701
Website: www.trailswa.com.au
9132851 Phone Number: 61 08 9334 0265

The 800 kilometre Kingsford Smith Mail Run drive trail gives the traveller a real feel for Western Australia's outback with a smattering of history to make things even more interesting. The moderate Top Trail takes you from Carnarvon on the west coast, inland to Meekatharra. Commencing in 1924, Charles Kingsford Smith (Smithy, as he was known), once trundled along this very route on his mail run. It can be a lonely road, but the highlights are worth the trip. Start in Carnarvon, the vegetable growing area of the Gascoyne providing bananas, mangoes and vegetables (indulge in one of the banana smoothies from the plantations). From there, travel to Gascoyne Junction where the pub is the centre of town (especially in the blistering summer heat) before heading to Bangemall Inn, established in 1896 for gold prospectors and today a place to unhitch the caravan or stay in one of the station rooms. The world's biggest monolith, Mount Augustus is worth a stay of a few days before heading to old Mount Gould lockup. Manned from 1888, a few policemen were stationed here to imprison the sheep rustlers (pastoralist's scared away native animals so the Aborigines had to eat the occasional sheep).

Red Bluff at Quobba Station, Carnarvon, Western Australia

Red Bluff at Quobba Station

via Macleod, Carnarvon, Western Australia, 6701
Email: info@carnarvon.org.au
Website: www.carnarvon.org.au
9130407 Phone Number: 61 08 9941 1146
Fax Number: 61 08 9941 1149

The stunning coastal cliffs of Red Bluff at Quobba Station provide a spectacular location for the ardent surfer where waves can reach up to 2.4 metres in height. There are also a number of calm secluded beaches and some exceptional game fishing on offer. Located at Quobba Station, an authentic outback working station, Red Bluff offers panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and if you are lucky you may spot migrating Humpback whales or Bottlenose dolphins surfing the waves. Take a walk trail to see the beautiful wildflowers in season and observe wildlife in its natural environment. Believed to be 400 million years old, the rock formation provides for a spectacular and memorable sunset. North of Carnarvon, Red Bluff is a 12 hour drive from Perth. Alternatively visitors can take a three hour flight to Carnarvon and a two hour drive north. Accommodation is available at Quobba Station.

Information provided by the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse