Western Australia’s Coral Coast is renowned for its beaches and marine wildlife. Stretching from slightly north of Lancelin along the coastline to Exmouth, there is plenty to see and do in this region of Western Australia. When planning your next trip to this region consider visiting these 5 tourist attractions:
Officially opened in 1967, Exmouth first started to attract settlers during the second World War, when Learmonth Airport was used as a defence base by the Royal Australian Airforce. The town has a rich military history with the establishment of a US Navy communications station in 1963. Today Exmouth is a perfect base from which to explore many of the sights of the northern Coral Coast including: Ningaloo Reef, Cape Range National Park and Yardie Creek. As well as national parks, Exmouth is within easy reach of some spectacular beaches including: Pebble Beach, Dunes Surf Beach, Turquoise Bay, Sandy Bay and Lefroy Bay. More than just beautiful coastline, you can visit the Solar Observatory, Navy Pier, Vlaming Head Lighthouse and the Wreck of “SS Mildura” whilst staying in Exmouth.
- Shark Bay & Monkey Mia
Western Australia’s first world heritage listed area, Shark Bay and its surrounds offers a wealth of coral coast touring options. Home to a host of marine life, visitors might be lucky enough to spot turtles, dolphins, manta rays, whales and dugongs. Monkey Mia is world famous with tourists flocking to the beach in the hopes of having an up close experience with a dolphin or two. Nearby Shell Beach is a sight to behold; the white beach is made up of millions of tiny shells.
- Kalbarri National Park
Home to some spectacular river gorges, cliffs and rugged terrain, Kalbarri National Park is one spot worth a visit when you are visiting the Coral Coast. Easily accessible from the town of Kalbarri, this National Park is home to some very famous natural landmarks including; The Loop, Nature’s Window and the Z Bend. Over many thousands of years the Murchison River, which winds through the park, has carved the red and orange rock here into impressive shapes and gorges. Tourists can spend time marvelling at the impressive rock formations from several lookouts, or hike down into the gorges and even go for a dip in the river.
- Mt Augustus National Park
460 kilometers east of the town of Carnarvon, Mt Augustus National Park is home Mount Augustus, standing more than twice the size of Uluru. Approximately 8 kilometers long and 1105 meters above sea level, this rock formation is a sight to behold. Known as Burringurrah by the local Wadjari people, the rock is named after a dreamtime character, a young boy who was speared and turned into a rock. Mount Augustus tourist park offers an alternative perspective of the Coral Coast, with red dirt, arid landscapes and a distinct outback feel.
- Ningaloo Marine Park
Protecting the world famous Ningaloo Reef – Australia’s largest fringing reef – is the Ningaloo Marine Park. The park is 300 kilometers long, beginning in the gulf near Exmouth and ending just north of Carnarvon, and covers over 5,000 square kilometres of ocean. Visitors to the Marine Park have a variety of options to enjoy the park; take a swim off one of the beaches, experience the reef via a boat tour or glass bottom boat or book in for a diving or snorkelling trip – the possibilities are extensive. The park is also host to a wide variety of marine life, so tourists should keep an eye out for whale sharks, dolphins, turtles, dugongs and at certain times of year, humpback whales. There is also a variety of fish species within the park, and there are recreational zones that allow for fishing.