Ningaloo Reef – Exmouth
World-renowned Ningaloo Reef lies along the Western Australian coast, about 1200 km north of Perth. Ningaloo reef is famous for it’s snorkelling, as well as it’s amazing sea life, including Whale sharks, Manta rays, humpback whales, reef sharks and turtles. Our first night we went up to the lighthouse to watch the sunset and were thrilled to see more whales than we have ever seen in one place before, breaching and playing just off the coast for hours as the sun slowly disappeared over the horizon. Then the following day, walking on the beach, we saw lots of turtles swimming around in the shallows, and one huge one right up on the beach, letting the waves wash over it’s back. I thought this one might have been sick or even dead, but when I got nearer, it looked me straigh in the eye then turned around and swam away, looking a bit offended at being disturbed.
It’s been a bit windy since we arrived in Exmouth, so we haven’t been able to do much snorkelling as the wind stirs up sediment in the water, making it cloudy. However the day we went into Cape Range National Park, the wind dropped a bit in the afternoon and we were able to have a swim and snorkel, which was really nice. We saw heaps of big fish and some lovely coloured coral at Oyster Stacks. We also walked up and along Yardie Creek Gorge, at the southern end of the park. Even though it can’t compare to the gorges in Karijini and the Kimberley, it is still very impressive and the creek itself is a beautiful deep blue.
On our way home we could see kites above the sand dunes, so we ventured in to have a look at the kite surfers who were enjoying the windy conditions.
‘Bella’ belongs to one of the surfers, and took an instant liking to us. When Peter sat on the sand, she cuddled up next to him and tried to crawl onto his lap. Don’t tell Gypsy, she will be jealous. Bella actually looks a bit like Gypsy.
Peter has been fishing here, with some success. Most afternoons he has headed off to a different beach to try his luck. Even though it is windy, it has been warm and sunny and it is still pleasant on the beach. I often walk through the dunes and along the beach with the camera. Some of the dunes are huge expanses of white sand that look great when contrasted with the turquoise waters.
All sorts of treasures wash up on the beach; there are heaps of coral and sponges and more sea urchins that I can count. Unfortunately unbroken sea urchins are a rarity, I think around 99.9% of them have holes so I have only collected three good ones.