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.

Park Pass Information for the Cape Range National Park

Exmouth Park Pass

Park Pass Entry fees into the Cape Range National Park

A park pass into the Cape Range National Park is required to access the West Coast beaches and Range.

Some ‘must do things in Exmouth’ include a visit the Cape Range National Park!

Department of Parks and Wildlife manage the parks and have options available to suit everyone’s visiting requirements.

The Cape Range National park is a World Heritage listed area and the fees help maintain the camping grounds, access roads, toilets and day use areas.

We can all enjoy this stunning part of the world.

For a small visiting fee visitors have access to all of the areas in the National Park, fantastic snorkelling spots and pristine beaches.

Day Entry Park Pass

  • Visitors that enter on foot or bicycles don’t need to pay a fee.
  • If camping and not planing on leaving the park a day entry park pass is valid for the duration of the stay.
  • Camping fees are payable as an extra cost.
  • A single park pass will cover private vehicles that seat up to 12 people legally.
Standard fee Concession
Motorcycle $7 per motorcycle no concession
Vehicle with up to 12 occupants $13 per vehicle $7 per vehicle
Vehicle with more than 12 occupants but not on a commercial tour $6 per occupant 6 years or older $2 per occupant

Other Types of Passes

  • Included with the purchase of a Goldstar pass is a one year subscription to the LANDSCOPE Magazine.
  • RAC members can obtain a discount on the Holiday Pass. The Annual All Parks Pass and the Concession Annual All Parks Pass discount applies when purchased from the RAC member benefits website.
Valid Fees Concession
Holiday Pass Four weeks $46 no concession
Annual All Parks Pass One year $92 $58
Goldstar Pass* One year $115 $82

Where to Buy

Please buy National Park Passes from the local Department of Parks and Wildlife office in Exmouth. Or at the entrance of the Cape Range National Park.

Visit the Department of Parks & Wildlife shop online to see all the park passes available.

Alternatively when planning your stay in one of our holiday homes please contact us directly. We will help point you in the right direction.