Just 1½ hours south of Exmouth, Coral Bay is a fantastic spot for snorkelling. The Ningaloo Reef at Coral Bay is very close to the shore and it is possible to swim out from the beach.
The small town is also a good spot to see whalesharks. These 12m-long fish are the world’s largest. They arrive on the reef in April, but you must travel out past the reef with a licenced operator to snorkel with them.
Each year between October and February, around 200 reef sharks visit an area 1km from the main beach at Coral Bay.
As Coral Bay exists for tourism, food can be quite pricey. Some backpackers solve this problem by stocking up on groceries before they get here.
Greyhound’s (tel 1300 473 946) Perth-Broome service stops at the Minilya Roadhouse, 100km from Coral Bay. A shuttle bus meets the coach at Minilya and goes to Coral Bay and Exmouth. The Coral Bay bus stop is at the Ningaloo Club hostel.
46 Robinson Street, Coral Bay
Tel (08) 9948 5100
Manta rays live in the water off Coral Bay year round and Coral Bay Adventures (tel (08) 9942 5955) run half-day boat trips where you can snorkel with manta rays. These trips also give you the opportunity to see dolphins, dugongs and turtles. Trips cost $140.
Growing up to around 12m-long, whalesharks are the world’s largest fish and late Mar to mid-Jun they visit the Ningaloo Reef near Coral Bay. Coral Bay Adventures (tel (08) 9942 5955) run full-day snorkelling experiences where you can snorkel with whalesharks and these trips also give you the opportunity to see dolphins, dugongs and turtles. Trips cost $350.