If you’re looking to add some ticks to your bucket list, then take the road less travelled and head over to the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park on the Western Coast of Australia. With 50km of unspoilt, virgin coastline to explore and with a seal of approval from the Aussies themselves, you won’t come across a more authentic ‘down under’ experience.
Situated off the coast of the Cape Range National Park, the coral reef has become a hidden holiday gem for locals all year round because you’re spoilt for choice with the array of marine activities you would expect from Australia’s east coast, but without the commercialisation that often plagues an international tourist destination.
What if you could explore a World Heritage Site in your own tranquillity, at a fraction of the price of the Great Barrier Reef? With over 500 species of fish and 250 species of coral at your fingertips, the Ningaloo Reef allows you to get your ‘fish fix’. The reef is home to an array of other exotic marine life, including green, loggerhead, and hawksbill turtles (tip: don’t try and keep up with them!) What’s more, if you’re there between the months of June and November, you’ll even catch a glimpse of the Whales migrating along the Ningaloo coastline; Exmouth Gulf has the highest density of Humpbacks in the Southern Hemisphere!
For relaxation, the suitably named (two guesses why), Turquoise Bay is one of many pristine beaches in Cape Range where you can wade out in the shallows to the Ningaloo Reef from the comfort and shade of your own parasol, making it a perfect pit stop for beginners and young families. Equipment is available to hire at Exmouth Visitor Centre, where you can stock up on amenities and endless activity brochures before making your way into the National Park.
Featured Photo Credit: Sail Ningaloo