Cape Range to Ningaloo Reef

Roaming Range to Reef

Cape Range and Ningaloo Reef, near Exmouth, is located on the North West coast of Western Australia. Exmouth is a small community surrounded by remote snorkelling locations and stunning beaches. Explore where the Range meets the Reef, discover some of the best snorkelling spots in Australia and hike ancient gorges containing fossils!

Exploring the Reef

Exmouth is well known for the Ningaloo Reef, a 260 kilometre (162 mile) long coral reef World Heritage listed marine site. The coral structures stretches from ‘Red Bluff’ just north of Carnarvon, all the way north to Bundegi Beach in the Exmouth Gulf.

The coral reef is the longest near shore reef in the world, making the Ningaloo Reef accessible without a boat trip.

The waters around the Ningaloo Reef support over 500 fish species, 300 coral species, 600 molluscs species and many other marine invertebrates, the area is unique and alive.

Exmouth’s 2,500 population swells to around 6,ooo people visiting during the busiest times of year, in the winter months. This is compared to the Great Barrier Reef, which has over a whopping 2 million people visiting each year! This makes Exmouth a little known, hidden holiday gem!

Best Spots to Snorkel at Ningaloo Reef

With reef just a few meters off the shores edge, there’s plenty of spots to snorkel along the Cape. Both sides of the Exmouth Cape Range offer ideal snorkelling locations to suit all abilities and ages. Here’s a list of the top 5 spots to snorkel…

  • Turquoise Bay
  • Turquoise Bay Drift
  • Oyster Stacks
  • Lakeside
  • Bundegi Beach

Roaming Around Cape Range

Exmouth has an amazing amount of life living in the ocean, however it also boasts a diverse eco system in the dry gorges. The Cape Range National Park occupies the western side of the North West Cape peninsula over an area of 47,655 hectares.

The range has had gorges carved out by much wetter rainfall systems that occurred over 2.5 million years ago. Today the gorges only have water during the heavy rains that mostly occur when a cyclone crosses the area. Cyclones occur in Exmouth on an average of every four years, mostly during the months from October to March.

Cape Range offers visitors another area to explore while on holiday and there’s a few walking tracks and lookouts. The tracks range in difficulty to suit all ages and abilities. Vlamingh Head Lighthouse is a ‘drive to’ lookout, where as Mandu Mandu is a 3km walking track, both spots are popular to do during the morning or early evening.

Explore Cape Range Exmouth, Western Australia
Exploring one of the many gorges in the Cape Range, Exmouth

Walking Tracks & Lookouts

Here’s a list of the top 6 lookouts and hiking tracks in Exmouth.

  • Mandu Mandu Gorge
  • Charles Knife Canyon
  • Badjirrajirra Loop Trail
  • Shothole Canyon
  • Yardie Creek
  • Vlamingh Head Lighthouse

Visiting Exmouth During Summer

Nature puts on a show of colours during the summer months in the North of Western Australia. With more and more people choosing to visit during the summer months, Exmouth is becoming a popular holiday destination all year round. Try visiting Exmouth during the off season when the air is warmer and you can have the whole of Turquoise bay mostly to yourself.

All of our Exmouth Holiday Homes are air-conditioned and comfortable during the warmer months, with many of our homes having pools! Make the most of summer and enjoy watching a West Australian sunset over Cape Range from our Fern holiday home.

Exmouth Ningaloo Centre

Ningaloo Centre – Visit Exmouth’s Information Centre

Looking for something to do while in the Exmouth region? Like to find out some local information, thinking of booking a tour or like to pick up a few brochures? Exmouth Ningaloo Centre has all the local tourist information and heaps more!

Thing to see at the Ningaloo Centre

Ningaloo Visitor Centre

When visiting Exmouth drop in to the Ningaloo Centre for some free and unbiased advice, tour bookings, free maps and area guides. A perfect place to discover whats on offer in the Ningaloo region.

Aquarium – Coming Soon!

See the reef come to life in the 55,000-litre Aquarium tank! The tank will be home to more than 100 fish species, ten invertebrates (like clams and starfish), and thirty different corals. Interpretive and interactive displays will display the unique ecology of the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef.

See the Three Visitor Galleries

Each gallery contains photos, interactive artefacts and educational interpretive displays showcasing the region’s diversity and natural appeal.

Visit the Travelling Exhibition Gallery

Short-term and long-term displays are open to visitors and change depending on what’s visiting the region. Come in and check out what’s been shown while your on holiday.

Memory Room

Locals worked with the WA Museum to record their own personal memories of the last 50 years. They share their stories, photos and memorabilia for visitors to learn about. Discover what life in Exmouth was like during over the years. Visitors can leave their own Exmouth experience for everyone to enjoy too!

Library

The Ningaloo Centre has a modern library space for visitors and locals to enjoy. Find your quiet space and relax with a good book, learn about the local history or just find a good novel to hire while on holiday.

Research Centre

The Research Centre will be the ‘Ningaloo Alliance’ base. Ningaloo Alliance is a collaborative partnership between the University of Western Australia’s ‘Ocean Institute’, various tertiary and research bodies, state and local government departments, and local organisations.

Facilities Include

The Ningaloo Centre has a range of facilities for convenience while visiting the Exmouth region. Here’s a list of current facilities –

  • Toilets
  • Cafe – Coming soon!
  • Caravan Parking
  • Water
  • Local Information

Opening Hours

April – November

7 days a week | 8.30am – 5pm

November – March

Monday – Friday | 8.30am – 5pm

Saturday & Sunday | 9am – 1pm

Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day, Labour Day & Good Friday.

Location

To visit the Ningaloo Centre here is the address.

Murat Road, Exmouth, Western Australia 6707, Australia.

Phone Number

To call the Ningaloo Centre directly please call this phone number.

+61 (08) 9949 3050

Website

To find out what local events are on at the Ningaloo Centre or for more information please visit the Ningaloo Centre website.

https://www.ningaloocentre.com.au/

Booking Accomodation?

Check out our Exmouth Accomodation page for our list of accomodation in Exmouth. We have places to suit all budgets and holiday styles. Being local we are always here, check out our blog for self-guided holiday itineraries and ideas.

 

Swim Snorkel with Manta Rays

Swim with a Manta Ray & Help Protect the marine ecosystem!

Swim with Manta Rays! Snorkel or swim with one of the largest creatures in the ocean! Is it a ‘must do’, ‘bucket list’ kind of thing to do?

Best Place to Snorkel with Manta Rays

  • Bills Bay, Coral Bay
  • Sandy Bay, Ningaloo Marine Park
  • Bundegi Beach, Exmouth
  • Mauritius Beach, Exmouth
  • Town Beach, Exmouth

Some of the best spots to snorkel with Manta Rays are around the Ningaloo Marine Park in Western Australia where Manta Rays come close to the shore in search for food. Unlike East Coast Manta Rays where they spend most of their time in more than 10 metres of water. Along the West Australian Coastline Manta Rays can be seen close to shore allowing people to easily snorkel with this huge animal!

We have a few tips and some useful information to help you plan a trip to swim with Manta Rays … We even have some information on how to become a volunteer and help research the patterns and behaviour of these fish … Yep! A Manta is a fish!

Manta … a Fish?

A Manta Ray is a close relative of all sharks and rays, cartilaginous (meaning a skeleton made of cartilage) elasmobranch fish (sharks, rays, and skates … sub category of Chondrichthyes). Manta rays belong to the taxonomic family Mobulidae and research suggests they can live up to 100 years old! A manta (scientific name) can’t breathe air, instead their gills respire underwater, just like any other fish.

In conjunction with ‘Project Ningaloo Reef’ and ‘The University of Queensland’ about 800 Mantra Rays have been identified by their individual dots on their bellies. Coral Bay and the Ningaloo Reef has a resident population of Mantra Rays.

Some of these playful animals have even been given names by the Coral Bay locals… Swim with Isobel, Grace, Ouch and Whoopi just to name a couple of friendly favourite locals.

The Manta Ray identification program has now been expanded to include the northern part of the Ningaloo Reef, around Exmouth in Western Australia. Focusing their research in 2018 on how some environmental factors are affecting the movement of these large creatures in the ocean.

Best Time to Book a Holiday to Swim with the Manta Ray in Exmouth

Swimming with Manta Rays is safe, unlike a sting ray Manta Rays are completely harmless and can grow up to a huge 5.5 metres in length! Manta Rays are filter feeders, they eat zooplankton and coral spawn, just like a Whale Shark.

During the middle of May to around the middle of September Mantra Ray numbers increase in the waters around Exmouth and they become playful and curious towards divers and snorkellers.

When in the mood the Manta will often put on a show for a willing audience, swimming close by, breaching and sometimes these huge 5 meter animals will launch themselves flying out of the water and through the air … a David Attenborough wildlife moment!

Often the Whale Shark tours will locate Mantra Rays to swim with while on the Whale Shark tours. Ask when you book!

Volunteer for Project Ningaloo in 2018

The locals who live in Exmouth all year round cherish the delicate marine ecosystem that surrounds the beautiful Cape Range National Park. Scientific research leads to education and a better understand of the majestic Manta Rays that grace the waters.

Project Ningaloo Reef is asking for volunteers to help identify environmental risks these majestic creatures face. Snorkel as a volunteer and help protect the Manta Ray. Help gather information to build on an existing database of knowledge to support informed decisions on management. Signing up means you can help to protect the overall marine ecosystem and life that depends on the Ningaloo waters and reefs.

Calling all Ocean Photographers!

The Project Ningaloo expedition is perfect for volunteers who are interested in underwater ocean photography of marine life. As part of the 7 days expect to be …

  • Snorkelling with Manta Rays … Make sure you’re familiar and comfortable with ocean snorkelling.
  • Have the opportunity to capture many photos of Manta Rays
  • Help with the Manta identification database by identifying and processing images
  • Record usage and identify locations of manta cleaning stations
  • Conduct biodiversity surveys on the cleaning stations
  • Conduct shark counts
  • Observe the health of the overall marine ecosystem

When: Mar 25 – Mar 31, 2018 OR Oct 21 – Oct 27, 2018
Where: Coral Bay Ningaloo Reef
Duration: 7 Days
Cost: $2665
Includes: Accommodation, food, and all related research costs.

On all expeditions Manta rays will be seen. Volunteer tasks will vary, depending on the abundance of each species.

If you decide to join the research team and would like to extend your stay in Exmouth to spend time exploring the area we offer a range of accommodation options.

For more information on Project Ningaloo Reef  visit the Earthwatch Group and sign up to become a volunteer during March and October.

Plan a trip to Swim with Manta Rays

Book ahead! Each year we see an increase in tourists and visitors from all over the world planning to swim with a Manta Ray. Tours and accommodation are booked out in advance. To ensure your spot, plan and book ahead of your stay. We offer self contained accommodation to suit all budgets. We live in Exmouth and can help you plan a snorkel with the Manta. Check out our list of tours available or contact us directly for more information.

 

Taste Exmouth Beer!

Something’s got the town talking… Yep everyone’s mouths are watering! The weather is heating up and the air is drying out and there’s something new to do in Exmouth that we all want to taste!

Whalebone Brewing Company is brewing boutique Exmouth beers and cooking up a storm with their yummy pizza!

Perfect for warm weekend summer sessions spent on holidays with family and friends in Exmouth.

Beers on tap include ‘Session Ale’, ‘Amber Ale’, ‘Wheat Bier’ and an oldie but a goodie ‘Ginger Beer’.

Excited Exmouth locals and visitors are queuing up for a sip of locally brewed Exmouth beer and a taste of freshly cooked pizza!

Best Exmouth Beer In Town!

Gecko68hoopla on Tripadvisor sums up his experience at Whalebone Brewing Company …

“Just opened and the boys are brewing their own beer from the shed and serving the best pizza in town. Beers are chewy and full, and pizza is thin and funky. Hung out with some mates on a sunny arvo, sitting on kegs and had a chilled time. Very casual, no service, just good beer and pizza. Its in a parking lot at the back of a shed, so don’t expect anything fancy, but do expect good beer”.

Something wet and tasty is sure to please the visitors to Exmouth during the warmer months of the year… With warm weather on the way how nice would a cold beer go down? After all how many excuses does one need to consume a good feed of local hospitality?

So you’re thinking… Show me the beer!… Right? Get yourself down to 27 Patterson Way on Friday and Saturday from 3pm until late.

If you’re feeling hot and need to cool off after a day out exploring and enjoying your poolside accommodation …This summer season be sure to drop in and have a locally brewed Exmouth beer and slice of pizza.

The Social Society Exmouth

Enticing new venue in Exmouth

The Social Society Exmouth is a newly opened quirky and quaint cafe focusing on Vegan and Vegetarian foods.  You won’t find any type of meat dishes served here but what is served up is wholesome and filling.  Owners Anne and Kai have put in a lot of effort and hard work to make this venue an all time favourite whatever your food and beverage tastes

Delightful Dishes and Extensive Drinks

The Social Society Exmouth has a menu that is diverse and unique. Serving dishes such as Housemade Granola with Fruit and Walnut and Bean Burgers.  I had the Turkish Fried Eggs but asked if the eggs could be poached. No problem at all Anne was happy to oblige. What a treat they were poached to perfection and everything else on the plate was scrumptious.  I certainly did not miss the meat it was plentiful and satisfying.  This dish had been recommended by a friend who said it was the first *Vegetarian Meal* she had ever had where she didn’t feel it needed bacon.  She was not wrong it didn’t need bacon or any kind of meat.  I also had a pot of the Rooibos Tea a very generous serve loved it.

Turkish Fried Eggs

The Social Society Exmouth prides themselves on offering Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free,Paleo and no refined sugar is used in any of the dishes or drinks.  The cakes are to die for and locally sourced from both Ari’s Cakes and Cookies (click here for samples) and Ningaloo Cakes (Facebook page here).  In fact Anne and Kai endeavour to source everything locally.

Choose from a huge range of hot drinks with Speciality Teas to Cold Pressed Juices and Super Smoothies everyone is a winner here.  If you take in your own cup for takeaway drinks you will receive 50 cents discount.

Anne and Kai
Granola & Fruit
Walnut & Bean Burger

A place to relax and unwind

Stepping inside you will love the relaxing rustic seating areas.  Choose a book to read or open up your laptop and take some time out. The walls are adorned with local art and the furniture and fittings are all recycled and pre-loved.  There is even a little tiny tots area with books, toys and little tree stump stools.  In addition there are also clothes racks with new and pre-loved clothes for sale.

A visit to  The Social Society Cafe Exmouth will not disappoint even if you are a huge meat lover.  In fact I am sure you will be back for more. Check out the goodness and variety on the menu below.

The Social Society Cafe Menu

Exmouth Wildlife Care Group

Exmouth Wildlife Care Group is run by registered volunteers also known as Carers.  It is part of a nation wide network who work together to:

  • Care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife
  • Rehabilitate and release wildlife back to their natural environment
  • Aim to prevent road accidents with wildlife through education and infrastructure

What They Do

A rescued animal will be assessed by the group’s coordinator. The animal may also need to be Vet checked. If the animal can be rehabilitated it will be allocated to a Carer.  The animal will then be cared for until it is ready for release.

Care group also do fund raising activities to assist with their upkeep.  When you are in town you may come across some Joeys enjoying a meet and greet usually at the Community Markets or outside a local venue such as the Visitor Centre.  For a small donation you can have a cuddle and photo taken.  It does depend on the day how the Joeys are our Carers only bring the Joeys along if they are relaxed and happy.  Even though they are being hand raised they are still a wild animal and our Carers will always put the animals welfare first.

 

Remember to always drive carefully and slowly particularly in the national park area where the wildlife is in abundance.

For more information on being Wildlife Wise please click on the flyer link below.  You will find helpful information here as well as contact numbers should you come across any injured or orphaned wildlife needing rescue

Exmouth Wildlife Care

Rescued Euro Joey – Milly
Ducklings Rescued

Rescued Euros – Opal & Joelene

Euro in Soft Release Pen – Leo

Barn Owl successfully released

Joeys successfully released

  How You Can Help

Donations are always welcomed by the Group.  The group does receive some annual grants but the costs are ongoing. Milk, Bedding, Feeding Bottles etc all have to be purchased on a regular basis. You will find plenty of places around town that have Wildlife Donation Tins. Alternatively you can make a donation either by visiting their Facebook Page, please click here , or during the booking process of any of our holiday homes. All proceeds go directly to maintaining and preserving our Local Wildlife

The most important way you can help is to be Wildlife Wise yourself and to pass your knowledge on to others.

THANK YOU FOR CARING

Exmouth Ride Sunday 2nd July 2017

Exmouth Ride Sunday is proud to take part in the world wide charity Ride Sunday.  This year motorcyclists in Exmouth can hop on their bikes and ride for their favourite charity.  The event will take place on Sunday 2nd July 2017.  Meeting at the Shire of Exmouth Car Park (opposite the Potshot Hotel) at 9:45 am for briefing and then head off at 10:00 am returning at approximately 1:00 pm.

This will be a fun ride and a chance to create new friends while supporting a worthwhile cause.

Exmouth Ride Sunday – Gulf to the Bay

The return trip will take you from Exmouth Gulf to our beautiful Turquoise Bay with a planned break in between. It will be a very scenic ride along our coastal road where the ranges meet the pristine sparkling waters of the Ningaloo Reef.  Pillion passengers are welcome too.

Your two wheels can make a huge difference to changing the lives of people worldwide.

Beautiful Turquoise Bay

 

Where the Ranges meet the Reef

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Bike? Want to Ride? No Problem

Ningaloo Salty Scooters have bikes for hire and are happy to support this event.  Local Residents and Visitors are welcome to hire one of their 50cc scooters on the day. For more information and how to book click here or call them on ​0448997906

 

 

Please click here for further information on Ride Sunday or to register.  Alternatively if you are unable to ride but would like to sponsor our local organizer Alexander King please click here. Alex is riding in support of the very worthwhile cause Movember funding men’s health projects.  More information on Movember can be found here.

You can also download the flyer here Ride Sunday

If you wish to discuss any of the above please feel free to call Alex on 0413941739

Exmouth – 50 Years Celebrations

A Brief History

The town of Exmouth was born when the United States built the Naval Communication Station North West Cape. The station opened on 16th September 1967.

On 20th September 1968 the name changed to the Naval Communication Station Harold E Holt in memory of the late Australian Prime Minister Harold E Holt.  The Prime Minister disappeared while swimming in Portsea, Victoria three months after commissioning.  He was declared dead presumably from drowning but his body was never recovered.

Exmouth town site developed the same time to give support to the base and provide housing to the dependent families of the US Navy personnel.

US family houses were built in town rather than on the base that only had single men housing.  A power station was constructed, bores were sunk and water was reticulated around town then the became sealed and kerbed which was a first for the north west.  Later a school, hospital, community hall, library and swimming pool and other sporting facilities were quickly built.  The town was officially opened the same day as the station.

50 Years Celebrations

On 16th September 2017 the 50 years celebrations of the town and station will begin and events are being planned over three days.  The celebrations will also coincide with the official opening of the new Ningaloo Centre where many of the events will take place.

 

Ningaloo Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Exmouth will see the return of quite a large number of US Navy personnel for the celebrations.  VIP’s and Visitors from all over the globe are expected too.  So make sure you book your accommodation early to avoid disappointment.

For more information on events click here

Latest Flyer update below – check out the Softball Match Australia v USA

50 Year flyer

Bringing up a Boat? Or know a local who owns a Boat?

There will be a *Float your Boat* flotilla on Sunday 17th September guaranteed fun on the water leaving the Exmouth Marina for Town Beach. For information and registration details click on below flyer

FLOAT-YOUR-BOAT

Turtle nesting season in Exmouth

November to March is turtle nesting season in Exmouth. Your opportunity to bear witness to one of natures true spectacles. Watching as a loggerhead, hawksbill or green turtle haul itself ashore is an experience you will not forget. With eggs beginning to hatch now in February, chances are you could also see some baby turtles flap and slide their way down the beach towards the water.

A baby turtle makes it to the water

There are many beaches in Exmouth where you can observe turtles mating, nesting and hatching. Exmouth’s warm summer nights and early mornings are perfect for turtle watching.

During turtle nesting season, a turtle watching trip should start with a visit to the Jurabi Turtle Centre. It is open 24 hours and a quick tour will tell you all you need to know about our Ningaloo turtles as well as fill you in on the Turtle Watchers Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct, an abbreviated version of which can be seen at all the major rookeries, tells you how to avoid disturbing turtles embarking on this amazing night time spectacle. photo (7)

Turtle tours can be booked at the Exmouth Visitor Centre. As part of the tour, which can last 3-4 hours, you guide will tell you all there is to know about the three species of turtles that nest on the Ningaloo coast. Why are they special, what threatens them and what is being done to conserve the species?

If you are not so keen on the late nights and early mornings or you don’t want to test the kids patience and “quiet” ability at a late hour, you could try your luck in the early evening at one of the more popular rookeries like Wobiri Beach.

Take a picnic dinner to enjoy on the beachside picnic tables and explore the beach for sea creatures, shells and nesting sites.

Turtle tracks like the ones pictured can be seen leading to deep holes where the turtles have laid their eggs.

photo (11)

 

Watch the sun set over the water and look for turtles in the shallows, waiting for the light to fade before struggling up the beach.

Sun sets on Wobiri Beach

As it gets darker, the beach comes alive with sand crabs on the look out for a tasty turtle meal.

When the moon starts to glisten on the water, let your eyes adjust to the dark or take a dim light to guide you along the beach as you search for baby turtles hurtling towards shore.

And if you don’t see any turtles? There is always tomorrow

Exmouth marina canel access

Exmouth Holidays

Exmouth Holidays

Exmouth holidays made easy with holiday houses to suit everyone! Ningaloo Reef Holiday Homes offers a rang of accommodation including;

Premium Holiday Houses

Book exmouth holidays rentals in Exmouth and visit the Ningaloo reef.

Marina Houses

If a holiday house on the marina is something you would be looking for we offer a full range of marina homes. Some marina holiday accommodation has boat mooring facilities and boat parking facilities. The marina holiday houses are new and located close to town beach and Novetel Resort. Within walking distance to the town centre the marina homes are a perfect choice for exquisite premium water front homes, with a lot of luxury when staying at Exmouth in Western Australia.

We offer a range of houses to suit everyones needs. If you would like a holiday house with space for families or groups we have options to suit. We have houses to suit all budget conscious travellers. From cheap accommodation to expensive luxury accommodation. We have houses that have private swimming pools to cool off after a day out Exploring.

Exmouth Holidays are for everyone! Holiday villas are a great option for a couple or small family group, wishing to stay in something that’s more suitable to individual needs. Some of our villas are located in popular Exmouth resorts and gives you the privilege of using all of the resort facilities.

Pet Friendly holiday homes is our speciality! Bring along the whole family on Exmouth holidays! We can cater for your pets and ensure you all have a fantastic time while visiting Ningaloo!

Exploring Exmouth

Exmouth holidays are a great way to explore the coral coast region including Coral bay and surrounds. Explore the Cape Range National park and World Heritage areas from the comfort of an Exmouth holidays houses.

We have some local guest info that helps you plan your Exmouth Holidays! We have a list of local events and local links.

For the current weather we advise checking the BOM website to keep up to date with the local weather. Google maps will provide a comprehensive Exmouth map with the option to have a look from street view. This might be helpful when choosing the right holiday house for your Exmouth holidays.

Guest Information

Wondering what to bring on holiday? Our holiday homes are self contained and designed for you to walk in with clothing and food and having everything else provided. We also offer equipment for hire for more specialist needs such as baby equipment hire. We offer a FAQ page with the most common questions that quests often ask. If you have any more questions, please contact our team,we are more than happy to help!

Our booking process is easy and quick. If you prefer to talk to someone directly please give us a call directly and we can help. Our team is more than happy to answer any questions and help match you to the perfect holiday accommodation for your Exmouth holidays. Each of our holiday rentals has testimonials for you to read and decide if the holiday house is right for your Exmouth holidays.

Things to Do

Exmouth has some amazing natural beaches & attractions! A unique part of Australia that is on the Ningaloo Reef and on the World Heritage list! Tour operators offer guided tours around the Exmouth area that showcase some of the best parts of the region. Exmouth also has plenty of things to do around the town including restaurants for eating out and retail outlets for shopping.