"Coral Bay" Exmouth by Openseas
Exmouth Travel Guide: 99 reviews and 236 photos
Coral Bay is the southern gateway to the Ningaloo Marine Park and offers travellers an unique experience with its diversity of marine life.The main attraction is swimming with the Whale Sharks, which visit every year between April to July.
Ningaloo reef is one of the few places in the world which they appear regularly. Humpback Whales are also a major attraction and can be seen between June and November.
Other marine life include the majestic Manta rays, reef sharks, marine turtles, including Hakesbills and Loggerheads, plus over 600 species of fish and more than 300 species of coral. Between October to March watch the many reef sharks playing in the shallow waters of the beach.
We caught the plane from Perth and had one stop over at Monkey Mia. The airport here is just so cute, and well worth waiting for a flight that flies via Shark Bay Airport. If flying then make sure you have your camera handy, the scenery is awesome from Monkey Mia to Learmouth. I was lucky enough to have the window seat and the three hour flight seemed like two minutes.
The colours of the reef next to the red ochre terrain is just beautiful, times like this, I wished I was a famous photographer, instead I was constantly trying to get the perfect picture, to capture the essence of this beautiful scenery.
We arrived around midday and it was extremely hot and uncomfortable, luckily our hired air-conditioned Avis car was ready for us when we arrived. The drive to Coral Bay is just amazing, there is just nothing between Learmouith and Coral Bay, but the landscape is truly unique, it captures the beauty of the outback.
The terrain is rugged mixed with red ochre and desert, with hundreds of huge termite nests scattered amongst the land. There are just three huge station farms, which are blessed having prime pristine waterfront acreage.
After driving for 1.5hours we arrived at the Ningaloo Reef Resort, which sits proudly opposite Coral Bay. Our room B12, we thought to be ideally positioned on the second level with direct views of the water and reef. We also had the added advantage of being at the end of the building away from the bar area. The room was comfortable with a separate bedroom and lounge room with a small kitchenette attached. Doors lead out to the spacious balcony.
Our first decision was to go swimming and basically just have a look around. The beach is absolutely sumptuous with the most beautiful display of blues I have ever seen. It’s just so pristine, that one just falls in love with its beauty immediately. What is amazing about this little gem; is the reef is actually just meters of the shore. Hubby and I had fun just swimming, until a huge snapper wanted to befriend me, which at first, until I recognised the fish almost gave me a heart attack.
The good thing is there are no stingers here, which I found to be brillant.
The evening was beautiful and the weather divine, the interesting thing about this place is the weather. It is just so perfect, on arrival, we noticed the temperature had dropped considerably and there was a beautiful breeze. Everyone from the resort walks up the lookout and watches the sunset, which is a lovely way to meet other guests. Dinner was eaten at the resort café and was really good, hubby loved his steak and I tried the snapper!
We woke very early and decided to have a stroll along the beach and have a morning swim. The weather was again divine and the freshness of the morning sun just glistened on the water. We decided we would hire a few things for the day, so we could explore the reef to our leisure. So being totally over the top, we hired snorkels, goggles, flippers, glass open boogie boards, and an open bottom glass canoe.
Firstly, we used our canoe and rowed out to the reef, I was click, click, clicking away trying desperately to get the best photo. Hubby however, was getting extremely tired from all the rowing. I told him it was good exercise!! The canoe was a fabulous way to see the reef if you don’t like water, but we do, so we headed back to shore for our snorkelling gear.
We had a fabulous time just cruising over the reef and saw some amazing marine life. The snapper’s just seemed to like me and followed me everywhere, they are just so friendly. We snorkelled for a few hours until the thought of food overcame us. The rest of the day was spending just relaxing and going for snorkels and swims. Dinner was had at the alfresco café up the road from the resort.
Day Three. Another beautiful day doing the same thing, one could spend weeks here and live basically in the water. Glorious sunset tonight and a stroll along the beach was perfect, just awesome.
We leave today for the drive to Exmouth. After driving for about an hour or so, hubby sees a dirt road that goes to another beach. The road was solid but turned suddenly into soft sand. Yes, we got bogged, wonderful I said, its 40degrees, and we have no mobile coverage and little water. So we had to walk up to the main road, which seemed to take forever and pray for a car to come along. Luckily, after waiting for at least forty minutes a 4WD appears… (Don’t you just love praying)? To cut the story short, the young family were gorgeous and helped get us out.
We later took them for dinner at the new Novotel Hotel in Exmouth, which was lovely.This wonderful luxury hotel is situated on the waterfront in a huge new development, which is partly finished. It reminded me of the new development “Salt” at Kingscliff NSW.
The hotel itself is very modern and chic with great attention to interior design. The hotel is low rise, which is a blessing and built with consideration and awareness to the environment. This development will when finished be huge, as many home sites and allotments with private moorings are for sale. It will certainly bring many tourists into the region.
We had a lovely dinner at the restaurant and the staff are incredibly friendly and helpful.
The pool area is fabulous with a lovely deep swimming pool with deck chairs. The lobby area is also very stylish with brilliant open planning and timber floors. Novotel has done magnificent job blending the hotel into the environment. My only concern is that the development when finished could spoil this pristine region.
Day Four. – Drive to the airport for our flight back to Perth. This flight went direct to Perth and the scenery was very ordinary compared to our arrival flight. I loved our little getaway at Coral Bay.
What is wonderful about this resort, is the beautiful bay and the spectacular stunning coral reef, which lies directly... more travel advice
From Perth you can catch a coach to Coral Bay. If on a budget you have an option of catching a backpackers bus to Coral... more travel advice
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