Road trip day 17 & 18: Exmouth, the Getaway to the Ningaloo Reef!

Exmouth is a small beach town and the getaway to the famous Ningaloo reef. It is the perfect place for snorkelling, diving and swimming with whale sharks. A must visit when you are in the west coast!


Exmouth is famous for being the place where you can snorkel with whale sharks, the world’s biggest fish. The whale sharks are only around Exmouth from April to September and that is the time that the town get’s really busy. If you travel outside those months, it is a very sleepy town with nothing really going. But of course the snorkel and dive activities are endless year round! We were there in March so not the best month to be in Exmouth but still beautiful to visit. Read here what you can all do around Exmouth.



Snorkelling in Ningaloo Marine Park

The Ningaloo reef stretches 300 KM and some even say that it is better than the Great Barrier reef. It is the most accessible reef of Australia which means that you can just snorkel there from the beach. So snorkelling around the Ningaloo reef is definitely a must do when you are around Exmouth. The best snorkel spots are located in the Cape Range national park, roughly 45 minutes north of Exmouth.


Turquoise bay: When you jump into the waters of Turquoise Bay you are only a few meters of the Ningaloo Reef, so it is perfect for snorkelling! Besides that, the bay is also perfect for swimming or just relaxing as the water is really calm. If you go snorkelling here, make sure that you do the drift snorkel. Park your car at the “drift” car park for direct access, or park at the Bay car park and walk about 300 metres south on the beach. Swim out a few metres (about 10 meters) and let the current push you north, till you get to the sand bank. The water is so clear here and there are so many fish and reef sharks! Simply beautiful… I think we did the drift snorkel 3 times as we loved it that much!




Lake side: This was definitely our favourite snorkel spot! It is not the easiest one and definitely only suitable for average/good swimmers as it is pretty far out in the sea. From the carpark you have to walk 400 metres south along the beach to the marked entry point. Snorkel out for about 150 metres and than follow the reef. It is incredible how many fish, huge marble stingrays and sharks we saw here!



Oyster stack: This place is only good for snorkelling if the tide is high, otherwise it is very shallow. We didn’t go as it was low tide when we were there but we heard great stories of people who have been there.


Swimming with whale sharks

Exmouth is the perfect place to book a tour to swim with whale sharks. A beautiful experience and definitely on peoples’ bucket lists when you are there in the right season with the right budget. We decide not to do it this time as we were just in the beginning of the season so we wouldn’t get the full experience of swimming with a few whale sharks as there are just not many at the end of March. Also, the tour isn’t cheap ($395) so you need to have the budget to do it. We did walk around the town to get some information about the different tours and these companies appealed the most to us: Kings Ningaloo and Eco adventures as they are both eco friendly and good quality tours. Also, with both tours you can go the next time for free if you didn’t see a whale shark.

Turtles, Turtles, Turtles

Sea turtles can be seen around the Ningaloo Reef all year round, but the hatchlings on the beaches around Exmouth can only be seen during turtle nesting season between November and April. There are 3 types of sea turtles found in Exmouth area; the Green turtles, Loggerhead turtles and Hawksbill turtles. If you are in the right season, you can take a tour to try to find the turtles nesting and the hatchlings. We visited the Jurabi Turtle Centre (13 KM from Exmouth), which is a  centre which explains to you more about the turtles. I recommend visiting a visitor center to check if you are in the right season and to book a tour to see the turtles.

Where to stay in Exmouth

During our Australia road trip we have just been sleeping in our car on the free camp spots. I have to say, it is impossible to find a free camp spot in Exmouth and especially in the high season the rangers check a lot. I recommend staying a night in Cape Range National Park (where all the snorkel spots are) for $12 per night, stay a night at the campground in Exmouth (roughly $35 a night) or it is possible to free camp south of Exmouth if you don’t mind 40KM to 50KM drive in.





How to get to Exmouth

We drove from Karijini National Park to Exmouth (680 KM) in one day. There is not much else to see along the way so you might as well just drive straight up there. Just keep in mind that there are kangaroos and sheep everywhere along the road in the night so I wouldn’t recommend driving in the dark or very early in the morning.


If you Liked this Post go Ahead and Pin It!


The following two tabs change content below.

Leave a Reply